IPA 2011 “CIVIL SOCIETY FOR ACCOUNTABLE GOVERNANCE”- HELD MOTIVATIONAL MEETINGS WITH SELECTED CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS IN OSIJEK AND BELI MANASTIR 31st of March, 21st and 27th of APRIL 2015.

Held motivational meetings with selected civil society organizations in Osijek and Beli Manastir

On the 31st of March and 27th of April 2015. in the premises of the Center for Peace, Non-Violence and Human Rights, Osijek, Trg Augusta Šenoe 1, held motivational meetings with local civil society organizations, selected to participate in the project IPA 2011 “Civil Society for Accountable Governance,” funded by the European Union – under the IPA 2011 Programme “Reinforcing Support of CSOs in Enhancing Transparency and Good Governance in Croatian Public Administration”.

Objectives of the project are to strengthen the capacities of local civil society organizations for the monitoring, analysis and reporting on the implementation of the policies related to the good governance and anti-discrimination, to strengthen cross-sector partnership through the establishment of local expert groups-platforms of civil society organisations, local government and public institutions in order to improve implementation of good governance and anti-discrimination on the local level and to foster structured dialogue between civil society organizations, local government and public institutions, government bodies and experts from the EU, with the support of the creation and promotion of new mechanisms for the monitoring of policies in the field of good governance and anti-discrimination.

The meeting was attended by representatives of the organisations from Osijek, PRONI Center for social education Osijek, “Consumer Forum” –  Association for protection and promotion of consumers rights Osijek, Organization for the citizens initiative -O.G.I. Osijek, Society to help people with intellectual disabilities – Osijek and the Women’s Association “Izvor”.

The theme of the meeting was a prelude to the planned project activities, the exchange of informations about potential local policies/strategies/action plans (related to the target groups) that will be subject to monitoring.

Project Manager Ljiljana Bozić Krstanović introduced to the present how the IPA 2011 is sort of sequel to the previous IPA 2008 that he’s been implementing by Center for Peace, Non-Violence and Human Rights, which had focus on strengthening the capacity of civil society organizations for greater participation in legislative initiatives and the development of anti-discrimination policies through education on monitoring of public policies and to increase the availability of free legal assistance to marginalized groups that are at risk of discrimination. The focus of the monitoring was the implementation of the law on free legal aid as a mechanism for the exercise of the right to equal treatment in all areas and by all discriminatory grounds that a law on combating discrimination, prescribes. She also introduced representatives of OCDs with aim of the upcoming training/education to be held in Zagreb, with establishment, purpose and duration of local expert teams- platforms and  obligations of the members in future platform. Follow up training in 2016 is also described as continuation of first training (control of what we’ve learned and how we made reports), and the purpose and time of organisation of the Regional Forum, and who will like follow up be held in Osijek. The Manager explained the tasks of organisations such as writing reports by monitoring the form which will be determined on the training in Zagreb, and how they will have support by the Center for peace in their work.

“Consumer Forum” –  Association for protection and promotion of consumers rights Osijek have stressed that association has cooperation with the local government, which is evident through the work of the Council and of the Commission. It was emphasized how according the Law on the Protection of the Consumers and the regulations, Ministry of economy and the City of Osijek are obliged to co-finance the work of Counseling of their Association, but that is not happening by the city of Osijek, because currently they simply can not fund them. “Consumer Forum” explained the problem of frequent hole in their funding, and how this impacts on the quality of work of the Council. Association sees also the problem with “sliding down” obligations with national to local, and locally there are no funds to do mentioned work by default. Association wants to improve the rights of consumers, and also see the problem in respecting the Law on Waste, according to which the waste was often billed towards the square footage before, and not according to volume, quantity, or to the people who create it. Today, in generally, there are  not charge per square footage than by volume, but the volume is determined by the number of household members. This is not the solution either, because there exists sort of lump-sum.

Otherwise, the novelty is in the modifications and amendments of the Law on Protection of Consumers which stipulates that the composition of the National Council for Consumer Protection extends with the representatives of local government and, in which there are such Counseling to consumers. It is quite important because often in the meetings of the Council issues related to utilities are discussed, and they’re not there.

PRONI Center for social education, participated in the drafting of programmes for young people for the the area of the City of Osijek for the year 2014-2017, and themselves are holders of, or associates of the City on the execution of several activities, such as the elaboration of the catalogue of informal educational programmes offered by institutions, organizations and economic entities on the city level, the promotion of a culture of non-violence, etc. Otherwise the PRONI conducts numerous training for young people, have “a small school with life skills,” teaching young people to be active in society.

The representative of the Society to help people with intellectual disabilities – Osijek stressed that the main problem with intellectual disabilities the right to work. Problem is also in the absence of financial resources for the introduction of the new user in the system of education/schooling. It is necessary to raise the quality of life of adults with intellectual disabilities and their families and to prevent the isolation of adults with intellectual disabilities upon completion of the process of education — education and employment training. They see the key problem in the absence of providing social services for all users, or people with intellectual disabilities, in the area of the city of Osijek. The problem is also in understanding the person with a commandeered the business ability — because they are viewed as “the kids” (these persons are not allowed to marry, they do not have the right to enter into contracts, etc.).

Representatives of the Organization for the citizens initiative O.G.I. Osijek have proposed monitoring of the implementation of the “Guarantee for the youth”, which was recently featured. Guarantee for youth  is a new approach in addressing the issues of youth unemployment, which all persons under the age of 30 years seeks to quickly activate on the labour market. Express activation on the labour market implies getting quality offerings within four months from the time of leaving or the completion of education or entry into unemployment, even if a person has been reported to the Department of employment or not. Quality offer applies to: a job offer or an offer of apprenticeship, or trainee and internships or continuation of education with an emphasis on adaptation to the individual abilities and needs of the individual young person.
CES has started with the implementation of Guarantee for youth people on 1st of July 2013. and it is a package of measures for the young “young and creative” rewrite with an additional 11 measures (www.hzz.hr/default.aspx?id=11698) primarily aimed at young people to 29 years. The measures are aimed at raising the competences and the preparation of young people for employment, and in particular strengthening and involvement of young people in entrepreneurship and the development of civil society organizations as all significant stakeholders in the labour market.
He also passed a law in which an employer who hires a young person up to 30 years old for an indefinite period of time through five years of releases from the payment of contributions from the so-called. gross II. It should, with the assistance of CES statistics-be seen how it be carried out one of the 20 measures for young people.

Women’s Association “Izvor” – finds that in the focus of future monitoring and platforms may be housing of victims of domestic violence (with an emphasis on women), whose treatment is one of the goal of the National Strategy of Protection required by domestic violence 2011-2016, and illogical is seen in the fact that on these users applies a completely inappropriate law on areas of special State concern, and is a consequence of indirect discrimination on grounds of sex.
Women’s Association “Izvor” through legal counselling unit continuously monitors the actions of a woman victim of the partner and/or family violence, the applicant for housing, so that in that section and many years of experience in the area of the protection of the rights of women and housing is an integral part of the of the area and therefore feel that they can contribute to the project.

Project co-ordinator for the Osijek-Baranya County, Mirren Špek pointed out that through survey was found that the Strategy of compensating for disabled people of the city of Osijek, and an Action plan for the implementation of the measures of the national policy for gender equality in the area of Osijek is in the last period of the implementation (2015). As far as the consumers there are no local policy/strategy or action plan. The program for young people in the area of the city of Osijek (2014-2017) is a step-by-step strategic document, and on the occasion of making the public debate took place (online) with the interested public.

A motivational meeting with selected civil society organizations in Beli Manastir 21. April 2015

On 21st of April 2015. in the premises of a Peace group Beli Manastir, OAZA Jozsefa Antala 3, held motivational meeting with the three selected local civil society organizations to participate in the project the IPA 2011 “Civil Society for Accountable Governance,” funded by the European Union – under the IPA 2011 Programme “Reinforcing Support of CSOs in Enhancing Transparency and Good Governance in Croatian Public Administration”.

The meeting was attended by representatives of civil society organizations from Beli Manastir, Vesna Nedic – OASIS peace group, Mirela Alagić – Project Civic Democratic initiative, and you, P.G.D. Dusko Kostić – Association of Roma of friendship LUNA.

Coordinator for Osijek-baranja county, Miren Špek pointed out that through research and by sending a query did not noticed any strategies/Plans or programs for the target groups in the project in the area of the town of Beli Manastir, i.e.,. the disabled, the young, the Roma. An action plan for the implementation of the measures of the national policy for gender equality in the area of Osijek is applicable and to the territory of the city of Beli Manastir, but it expires in 2015. year. The representatives agreed that there is no strategic documents at the local level in connection with the mentioned target groups.

At the meeting  is discussed the program for young people in the area of the city of Osijek and opportunities to advocate the adoption of a similar document, adaptive to the needs and opportunities of the town of Beli Manastir, and about the possibilities of making the action plan for Romas, who would then be able to keep up with. In the area of the town of Beli Manastir Romas are, along with the Hungarians and Serbs, most larger national minority population so present are considered to be very worthwhile to bring the same. Currently, it can be monitored the National strategy for Roma inclusion 2013-2020 and the related action plan for the implementation of the National strategy 2013-2015. Representatives of the organizations had noted that the biggest problem is in a fixed income and in the absence of financial resources for social services.

CSOs introduced the Center for peace with the fact that the town of Beli Manastir, together with five Croatian towns with the war fatalities, such as the area of Benkovac, Knin, Petrinja and Vukovar, will receive from the EU funds 24 million euros (total of 120 million euros), which should be spent to improve infrastructure, to strengthen growth potential, increase attractiveness for living and investment potential.

As for the youth, for the preparation, participation and the implementation of the monitoring and of certain of the city’s activities in relation to this group is in charge of the advice of the youth of the town of Beli Manastir, but it has not yet been created, it’s only at the stage of passing formal requirements of candidates, so it’s hard to expect the possibility of their attending a training session. Their candidates for the tip of the youth of the town of Beli Manastir have suggested and Oasis and P.G.D.I.

Representatives of the organization also took copies of reports on the monitoring of the implementation of the law on free legal aid and the law on combating discrimination for 2011. year and 2012.