Civil Society Priorities for the Croatia’s EU Presidency

Croatian civil society organizations, gathered in the informal network Forum 2020, through in-person consultations in five cities (Rijeka, Varaždin, Split, Osijek and Zagreb) as well as online consultations, have come to an agreement on the priorities for the Presidency of the Council of the European Union from January to June 2020.

We are cognizant that the Presidency of the Council of the European Union presents a challenge as well as an opportunity for the entire country. This is also a special opportunity to strengthen Croatia’s reputation and change its image as a member state with weak coalition potential for cooperation with other EU member states. In order to do this, we believe that joint efforts are needed, from both governmental bodies as well as civil society organizations. Therefore, we see these priorities as an opportunity for collaborative work on shaping EU public policies.

Our priorities emerge from the current need for the EU to redefine and strengthen its public policies to respond to the real needs of EU citizens. Hence, the priorities are a clear reflection of the common interests of the EU and of the Republic of Croatia as a full member of the Union. They were inspired by the idea of putting emphasis on some of the critical points of EU policies that in the past have either failed to be realized or articuluated in a way that benefitsthe majority of EU citizens.

In addition to the above mentioned thematic priorities, we emphasize the importance of youth participation in all areas and their inclusion in decision-making processes. Youth as a key social group represent the potential that is further strengthened through participation in political processes, creating the conscious, critical and socially active citizens that are the foundation of every democratic society. Furthermore, we consider it important to point out that all priorities need to strive for gender equality in decision-making and implementation processes to ensure equal representation and eliminate discrimination based on gender.

1. A democratic Europe of free and responsible citizens. A Europe where rule of law and human rights are respected. A Europe of free, independent and critical civil society, and independent institutions and media.

2. A European Union which continues to have the potential for expansion. A Europe that stabilizes the Western Balkans.

3. A European Union committed to the Sustainable Development Goals within and beyond its borders

4. The EU as a global peacebuilder – let us not forget that the EU is a “peace project”.

The full priorities list is available HERE.

The project ‘Towards an open, fair and sustainable Europe in the world – EU Presidency Project 2019-2021’ is funded by the European Union and implemented by the Finnish NGO platform for development Fingo, the Romanian platform FOND, the Croatian Platform CROSOL and CONCORD, the European NGO Confederation for relief and development.