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Croatia

Ensuring the Sustainability of Values and Content of the OGP Initiative (HR0021)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Croatia Action Plan 2012-2013

Action Plan Cycle: 2014

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Ministry of Science, Education and Sport

Support Institution(s): Education Agency, National OGP Council

Policy Areas

Capacity Building, OGP

IRM Review

IRM Report: Croatia End-of-Term Report 2014-2016, Croatia IRM Progress Report 2014-2015

Starred: No

Early Results: Worsens

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Civic Participation

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Inclusion of the values and content upon which the initiative Open Government Partnership is based in the Curriculum programme for civil education, Implementation indicators: The values and content upon which the initiative Open Government Partnership is based included in the curriculum for civil education, particularly in the area of anticorruption, achieving the right of access to information, and the inclusion and participation of citizens in decision-making processes. Lead institutions: Ministry of Science, Education and Sport Supporting institutions: Education Agency; National OGP Council Start date: Not specified, End date: 31 December 2014

IRM End of Term Status Summary

12. Ensuring the Sustainability of Values and Content of the OGP Initiative

Commitment Text:

12.1. Inclusion of the values and content upon which the initiative Open Government Partnership is based in the Curriculum programme for civil education  

Implementation indicators: The values and content upon which the initiative Open Government Partnership is based included in the curriculum for civil education, particularly in the area of anti-corruption, achieving the right of access to information, and the inclusion and participation of citizens in decision-making processes.

Lead institutions:    Ministry of Science, Education and Sport

Supporting institutions: Education Agency; National OGP Council

Start date: Not specified   End date: 31 December 2014

 
Commitment Aim:

The issue of civic education in Croatia has been a highly debated topic for years. Civil society organisations dealing with human rights, anti-discrimination, anti-corruption, openness, and transparency advocated for civic education to be introduced into schools as soon as possible.[Note 61: Agencija za odgoj i obrazovanje, Kurikulum građanskog odgoja i obrazovanja, kolovoz 2012., http://bit.ly/Wv7rRD [Agency for Education, Civic Education Curriculum, August 2012].] This commitment aims to include OGP values and content into the curriculum programme for civic education, including anti-corruption, right of access to information, and civic participation in decision-making processes.

Status

Midterm: Limited

The government launched pilot projects and used good practice examples to improve the proposed curriculum. The programme was expected to be used as a new school subject in September 2014, but with a change of leaderships at the Ministry of Science, Education, and Sport in June 2014, this process was halted. The topics intended to be taught as a single subject are now cross-curricular, while a final decision on the method of implementation was pending. This has delayed the implementation of this commitment, resulting in a limited completion level. For more details, please refer to the IRM midterm report.

End of term: Limited

The draft self-assessment report states that the decision on the adoption of cross-curricular and interdisciplinary content of civic education for primary and secondary schools (Official Gazette, No. 104/2014) determined that the contents and themes of civic education should be conducted in the framework of cross-curricular implementation. In July 2015, an expert working group was formed for drafting the Curriculum of Cross-Curricular Topics in Civic Education. Civic education in the 2015/2016 school year was implemented cross-curricularly as an experimental elective programme in the eighth grade of primary school. The draft self-assessment report proceeds to list the steps undertaken in implementing this commitment, and states that the draft for this cross-curricular topic was published on 22 February 2016.[Note 62: The draft version of the document was submitted for public consultations and is open for commenting until 1 December 2016: https://esavjetovanja.gov.hr/ECon/MainScreen?entityId=3715.%5D

However, mass protests were held in several cities in Croatia, with more than 25,000 participants in Zagreb alone, under the name “Croatia can do better” (Hrvatska može bolje).[Note 63: See more at http://hrvatskamozebolje.org/5542/reuters-thousands-of-croatians-protest-for-education-free-of-politics/.%5D Their purpose was to express dissatisfaction with the new education minister’s decision to dismiss the expert working group at the moment public consultations were being held on the content of the draft curriculum. This controversial decision, according to the initiative “GOOD,”[Note 64: GOOD is an initiative established in 2008 by several civil society organizations engaged in informal education and human rights, committed to systematically and efficiently introduce education for human rights and democratic citizenship in the educational system.] heralded by several prominent Croatian CSOs, was contrary to the decisions of the Croatian Parliament, to adopted strategic documents and democratic procedures, as well as standards set by the Code for Consultation with the Interested Public in Legislative Procedures.[Note 65: See more at http://goo.hr/good-inicijativa/.%5D

Did it open government?

Civic participation: Worsens

For a country with limited experience with civic education as well as open governance values and principles, the impact of this commitment could potentially have been transformative. The current inactivity regarding implementation and the highly controversial decisions by the technical minister for science, education and sport (for example, suspending the expert working group before its mandate was over and tampering with established public consultation procedures) means the actual impact of this commitment has worsened the status quo regarding open government. Furthermore, civil society is concerned that the process may have been stopped for the foreseeable future, which points to the conclusion that the government’s actions have led to a deterioration in opportunities and capabilities for the public to inform or influence decisions on this topic in the second year of implementation. The initiative “GOOD” stated in one of its announcements:[Note 66: See more at http://goo.hr/aktualna-rasprava-o-kurikulumima/.%5D “We strongly condemn the actions of the technical Minister [of Science, Education and Sport], who … is behaving contrary to the decisions of the Croatian Parliament. … We therefore urge the Minister to refrain from violating the decision of the Croatian Parliament and doing further damage to education reform.”

Carried forward?

The next action has not been drafted or released by the government in accordance with the OGP schedule. The IRM researcher suggests undertaking the following steps to reach full completion:

•  The government should implement this commitment as envisaged, while striving to uphold all achieved democratic standards regarding transparent decision making, respect for legal procedures, and the value of civic participation and accountability.


Croatia's Commitments

  1. Implementing Right to Information

    HR0026, 2018, Capacity Building

  2. Fiscal Transparency

    HR0027, 2018, E-Government

  3. Political Finance Transparency

    HR0028, 2018, Capacity Building

  4. Commercial regulations of companies owning local governments

    HR0029, 2018, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  5. Transparency in NGO project finance

    HR0030, 2018, Capacity Building

  6. Protection of Persons Reporting Corruption

    HR0031, 2018, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  7. Parliamentary transparency

    HR0032, 2018, E-Government

  8. Media regulations framework

    HR0033, 2018, Civic Space

  9. Data Opening

    HR0034, 2018, E-Government

  10. Raising awareness about open data

    HR0035, 2018, Capacity Building

  11. Central state portal

    HR0036, 2018, E-Government

  12. public consultations

    HR0037, 2018, Capacity Building

  13. implementation of anti-corruption policies by NGOs

    HR0038, 2018, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  14. local and regional open government

    HR0039, 2018, E-Government

  15. OGP sustainability

    HR0040, 2018, Capacity Building

  16. Right to Access Information Legislative Framework

    HR0010, 2014, Legislation & Regulation

  17. Improving the Implementation of the Right of Access to Information Act

    HR0011, 2014, Capacity Building

  18. Starred commitment Proactive Release of Information and Opening Data

    HR0012, 2014, Capacity Building

  19. Fiscal Transparency

    HR0013, 2014, Capacity Building

  20. Starred commitment Improvements of Transparency and Efficiency in Public Administration Work

    HR0014, 2014, Capacity Building

  21. Improvement of Transparency of Election and Referendum Campaigns

    HR0015, 2014, E-Government

  22. Transparency in the Area of Youth Policy

    HR0016, 2014, E-Government

  23. Media Transparency

    HR0017, 2014, Civic Space

  24. Improving Transparency of Information on Members of Parliament and Their Work

    HR0018, 2014, Asset Disclosure

  25. Improving Transparency of Data on Assets of Officials

    HR0019, 2014, Asset Disclosure

  26. Starred commitment Improving the Consultation Process with the Interested Public in Legislative Procedures

    HR0020, 2014, Capacity Building

  27. Ensuring the Sustainability of Values and Content of the OGP Initiative

    HR0021, 2014, Capacity Building

  28. Starred commitment Participation in Drafting the New Anti-Corruption Strategy

    HR0022, 2014, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  29. Regulation of Lobbying

    HR0023, 2014, Capacity Building

  30. Improving Efficiency of the Ministry of Interior's Complaints Commission

    HR0024, 2014, Justice

  31. Promoting Civil Participation in the Work of Civil Society Organizations

    HR0025, 2014, Civic Space

  32. Improving the Content and Transparency of Budgetary Documents: Publish and update the state budget proposal

    HR0001, 2012, Fiscal Transparency

  33. Improving Transparency of Business Activity of The Companies Of Special State Interest

    HR0002, 2012, Private Sector

  34. Making The Contents of All Budgetary Documents Understandable And Accessible To Citizens

    HR0003, 2012, Fiscal Transparency

  35. Improving Accessibility of Local Budget Contents to the Citizens and the Public: Give recommendations to local units to publish budget documents

    HR0004, 2012, Fiscal Transparency

  36. Starred commitment Improving the Legislative Framework for Exercising the Right of Access to Information: Amend the Act on the Right of Access to Information

    HR0005, 2012, Legislation & Regulation

  37. Starred commitment Improving Access to Information on Expending Public Resources and Contents of Relevant Registers: Implementation of acts on political activity and campaign financing

    HR0006, 2012, Civic Space

  38. Ensuring Transparent Work of Public Authority Bodies In The Service Of Exercising Citizen Rights: Enhancement of web portal with info on exercising rights

    HR0007, 2012, E-Government

  39. Starred commitment Setting up a System of Participatory Drafting and Monitoring of State and Local Budget Implementation: Public discussions on budget allocation

    HR0008, 2012, Participation in Budget Processes

  40. Starred commitment Improving the Practice of Consulting the Interested Public in Procedures of Adopting New Laws: Amend procedural rules

    HR0009, 2012, E-Government