Case Study (2013): More inclusive and meaningful public engagement on laws in Croatia
One of the most meaningful ways the public can interact with the government is through public consultations on laws. Croatia made improving the quality of their public consultations a key tenet of their OGP Action Plan; ensuring citizens are given every opportunity to discuss new laws, regulations and acts. Inclusive and meaningful public consultations are essential for the effective formulation and implementation of public policies – they make a critical contribution to transparency and accountability, raise the level of public confidence and promote evidence-based decision making.
The Croatian government has used several different approaches to improve the experience and effectiveness of public consultations for all citizens. The project to improve public consultations began with the drafting of the Code of Practice on Consultation with the Interested Public in the Procedures of Adopting Laws, Other Regulations and Acts, which was adopted in November 2009. But drafting a law alone was not enough to guarantee public consultations would improve – more work had to be done. So the Croatian government, civil society and ordinary citizens have worked together to develop the Code of Practice and the way it is implemented.