Open government reforms: The challenge of making public consultations meaningful in Croatia
A strong dialogue between government and civil society provides a sound foundation for open government reforms in Croatia. The adoption and implementation of commitments aimed at strengthening public consultations in policy-making responds to long-term priorities of both government and civil society. There is visible progress in citizen participation, as well as in the number of public consultations held and comments received. However, the overall level of public involvement is still low and the impact on the quality of laws and regulations remains unclear. The number and quality of public consultations varies significantly across state institutions, but it is very low at the sub-national level. Limited administrative capacity, compounded by a prolonged economic crisis, political and bureaucratic legacies, the low costs of not implementing consultations, and limited citizen awareness about consultation mechanisms, explain these shortcomings.