The final conference within the Swiss-Croatian Cooperation Programme

Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs (GOfNGOs) organised the final conference on the occasion of finalisation of the implementation under the Swiss-Croatian Cooperation Program.

In her welcome speech, the GOfNGOs Director, Helena Beus emphasized that in the implementation of 52 projects contracted under the NGO Block Grant and Partnership Block Grant, participated 94 Croatian civil society organisation (CSOs), 10 Swiss CSOs, 77 elementary schools, 37 secondary schools, 19 local and regional self-government units and 14 institutions. As many as 25 899 children and young people participated in the implementation of 363 educational programmes for sustainable development in elementary and secondary schools throughout Croatia and thus improved their knowledge and skills on sustainable development by applying innovative and interactive approaches and methods in learning. 9 CSOs from Croatia and 10 CSOs from Switzerland and 3,450 participants participated in the activities of strengthening Croatian-Swiss partnerships for local socio-economic development and exchange of knowledge and experiences. Also, 66 models of good practices from Switzerland were presented and developed in achieving the goals of sustainable development in the local community, including the concepts of social and solidarity economy, digital innovation, models of housing cooperatives and socio-cultural centres, management of protected natural areas, education for global citizenship and solutions related to urban transport and child safety.
The Swiss Confederation Ambassador in the Republic of Croatia, Emilija Georgiev thanked to all organisations and partners for cooperation and support in the last three years during which it became clear that the changes in the society are possible and achievable.
The State Secretary in the Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds, Spomenka Đurić pointed out that the Swiss contribution is aimed for the new EU members presenting expression of Swiss solidarity with the Europe towards economic and social inequalities at the territory of the European Union. She also stated that investing in civil society activities has been identified as one of the priority areas under the next financial perspective, and that talks between Switzerland and Croatia are under way to continue co-operation, and a framework agreement is expected to be signed in autumn in order to make possible implementation of new projects within the Swiss-Croatian cooperation program.
Within the Conference two panel discussion were held: the first on the theme “Education for sustainable development – tool for more sustainable society?” in which participated the State Secretary Spomenka Đurić, professor Mislav Ante Omazić, Ph.D from the Faculty of Economy, Vesna Hrvoj Šic from the Ministry of Science and Education, Roland Python from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and Helena Beus, Director of the GOfNGOs.
In the second panel discussion titled “CSOs’s experiences in the implementation of the sustainable development projects in local communities” the representatives of the beneficiary organisations that implemented projects within Swiss-Cooperation Cooperation Programme: Viktorija Rogić form Klaster Lika Destination, Ivana Marin from the Association Argonauta, Branka Mrzić Jagatić from the Association Roditelji u akciji – RODA (Parents in Action) and Milan Medić from Local Action Group Vallis Colapis.
The conference was attended by 50 participants who were shown a video promoting the achievements of NGO projects implemented under the Swiss-Croatian Cooperation Program, also available at the Youtube GOfNGOs Channel.