Croatia National Platform
Ministry of Interior, Civil Protection Directorate
(Hrvatska platforma za smanjenje rizika od katastrofa)
Date of Creation: November 2009
Founded in 2009, as multi-sector, interdisciplinary in practice, the advisory body to the Government of the Republic of Croatia, held conferences every year and was redesigned during 2016 into a more pro-active body on two levels. A new redesign is in progress, due to changes in jurisdiction of relevant government bodies.
The Platform Committee is a body established by the Government to coordinate all activities of the Croatian Platform. The administrator of the Platform is the Ministry of the Interior, Civil Protection Directorate
The Structure and members of the Committee and the Main Working Group will be amended and delivered in accordance with the new Government Decision.
The budget is envisaged in the budget of the Ministry of the Interior.
Platform is an umbrella body leading to major risks reduction through continuous risk prioritisation in order to achieve: smart investments, sectorial active involvement, prevent recourse squandering (knowledge, data, money, etc.), create an active network of educated and fully involved individuals and vertical and horizontal cooperation.
In March 2009, the Government of the Republic of Croatia has brought forth a decision on holding a conference on Croatian Platform for disaster risk reduction, which is to take place every year under the chairmanship of the Croatian Government’s representatives.
The Decision founded the Croatian Platform Committee under the chairmanship of the Croatian vice prime minister including members from all ministries and other state administration bodies and calling upon representatives of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, large economic entities, public companies non-governmental organizations that deal with protection and rescue, especially Croatian Red Cross, Croatian Mountain Rescue Service, Croatian Firefighting Organization, as well as representatives of religious communities registered in the Republic of Croatia. The Ministry of the Interior is tasked with the organization and activities between the conferences acting as a secretariat for the Croatian Platform.
The Croatian Platform Committee was set up in May 2009 and it defined a program whose goal was for the National Platform to ensure the participation of all factors of the development of the society. In the year 2010 the Croatian Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction has the same goal and has been working on linking of scientific institutions with all actors included in activities related to disaster risk reduction and disaster response. The Croatian Platform Committee has been holding meetings throughout the year in the same composition and discussions were held on how to make the Croatian Platform as sufficient as it can be to make its goals and to progress.
All participants are since then invited to prepare and submit their papers on the topic of disaster risk reduction every year for annual conferences of the Croatian Platform. After every conference, the Platform issues conference proceedings.
The first conference of the Croatian Platform was held on 09 November 2009 with over 180 participants from the state authorities, large economic entities, scientific community (Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts and several colleges and institutions), as well as citizens’ associations and religious communities.
The second conference of the Croatian Platform was held on 14 October 2010. The Second Conference had an international component supporting the Platform’s task of strengthening international cooperation. Guests of the conference on its first day were heads of protection and rescue services in the countries of the region (Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia and North Macedonia). On the next day, 15 October, participants were addressed by Ms Margareta Wahlström, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, who paid a visit to Croatia owing to the Conference.
On the 4 November 2011, the 3rd Croatian National platform for disaster risk reduction conference was held and more than 150 participants attended the Conference. The fourth Conference, held on 13 December 2012, instructed the Croatian Platform Committee to propose a way of strengthening the jurisdiction and the responsibilities of the Platform, and the possibility of its transformation into a stronger national mechanism that acts as a body responsible for carrying out disaster risk reduction, provides coordination and support to all stakeholders in disaster risk reduction and pushes the implementation of disaster risk reduction into all planning and development documents.
The fifth and sixth Croatian National Platform conferences took place outside Zagreb where the aim was to get an opportunity to isolate the participants from their daily tasks and have them actively participate in every discussion as well as produce valuable conclusions and drafted documents as well as generate new ideas and raise awareness.
The results were, besides the conclusion of the Conference, obligatory assignments for bodies responsible for certain areas of DRR in the Croatian Government. However, the Platforms activities did not result in concrete and desired results, which is why the Platform was restructured in 2016.
The Croatian Platform also actively participates in the European Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction raising it to the international level where Croatia exchanges experiences with other members on a yearly basis. Croatia co-chaired the Forum in 2011 and chaired it in 2012.
During the following years, Disaster Risk Conferences were held and conclusions adopted by the Government, but still mostly without active and systematic involvement in DRR.
During 2014 and 2015, Croatia went through a process of developing the first national Disaster Risk Assessment. All sectors responsible of a risk were actively involved in the assessment process and great benefits were seen in the cooperation and constant conversation on the way to risk ownership. To use the momentum, experience and knowledge gained, Croatia decided to redesign the Platform. A new Government Decision on the Platform Bodies was adopted on 14 September 2016.
Now the Platform is an active body whose working bodies are ones that are actively involved in developing strategic risk reduction documents as well as implementing them. The Platform cooperates with the scientific community in all its activities and connects the scientific community and the decision makers as well as the experts and high-level officials. The Platform therefore ensures both horizontal and vertical cooperation in reducing risks and is considered an important tool and mechanism to coordinate DRR activities in Croatia.