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Results of CARDS 2003 project for administrative decentralisation presented

The European Commission's Delegation in Croatia and the Croatian Central State Office for Administration on Monday presented the results and achievements of the CARDS 2003 project "Capacity strengthening for administrative decentralisation," whose aim was to support the ongoing process of decentralisation in line with EU standards and the best practices in EU member states.

Deputy Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor said that the Croatian government was fully prepared to apply the principles of the European Charter of Local Self-Government to local self-government in Croatia and that last week it had sent to Parliament the bill ratifying the Charter.

Kosor said that administrative decentralisation was a key segment of reform in transition countries which promoted a plural democratic society and a market economy. She stressed that the government was trying to achieve the balanced development of all areas of Croatia through a partnership with units of regional and local self-government.

Kosor said that the government was ready to leave public affairs to local authorities to a greater extent and to provide them with sufficient funds for the conduct of such affairs.

Constantino Longares Barrio of the European Commission's Delegation expressed support to all stakeholders involved in the decentralisation process, saying that regional development and the structuring of local administration and self-government were crucial for the development of Croatia.

Longares Barrio said that it was necessary to continue the process of administrative decentralisation at a fast pace, and that nearly EUR 1.2 million invested in the project was well spent.

Project coordinator Giovanni Morsiani said that the proposed measures for decentralisation were mainly supported at all administrative levels and by all service providers.