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Council for development of civil society holds session

The Minister of Family Affairs, Veterans and Inter-generational Solidarity, Jadranka Kosor, the head of the government's Office for NGOs, Igor Vidacak, and the president of the Council for the Development of Civil Society, Toni Vidan, expressed satisfaction with their cooperation in the past year at a session of the Council for the Development of Civil Society on Monday.

Kosor said that the accomplishment of Croatia's strategic goals - admission to the EU and NATO - required closer cooperation among civil society organisations in a number of projects related to EU membership.

She called on government ministries and state institutions to open up to cooperation with civil society organisations, noting that the cooperation on the state level was excellent, while the cooperation on the local level had to be improved.

Vidan said that the Council's main achievement in the past year was the re-establishment of trust between government bodies and civil society organisations that was shaken in 2006 and early 2007.

Vidan said that the most visible result of the Council's work was the inclusion of civil society organisations in the process of integration with the EU.

Vidacak said the Council was contributing considerably to the development of a more transparent and more efficient system of financing civil society projects and programmes from the government budget and to the improvement of the participation of civil society in determining priority projects to be financed from EU pre-accession funds.

The session also discussed the annual report on the work of the Council for the Development of Civil Society and a draft report on the implementation of the national strategy for building an environment encouraging the development of civil society.