General information on Scope of Activities and Organization of the Central State Office for Croats Abroad
Care for Croats outside the Republic of Croatia becomes a constituent part of internal and foreign policy of the Republic of Croatia.
At the end of 2011, Act on Relations of the Republic of Croatia with Croats Abroad was passed. In the middle of 2012 the State Office for Croats Abroad was established, thus creating basic legal and institutional prerequisites for the development of systematic and efficient cooperation with the Croats who live outside the Republic of Croatia:
- Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Croatian national minority in 12 European countries
- Croatian Diaspora
Strategic objective of the Republic of Croatia is preservation, strengthening and development of Croatian unity, as well as the economic and overall progress that includes Croats in the native land and Croats living in other countries. Therefore, a special effort will be made to protect the rights and interests of Croats outside the Republic of Croatia and to strengthen Croatian communities, taking into account all their specific conditions and needs.
The State Office for Croats Abroad is the central government body for relations between the Republic of Croatia and Croats outside the Republic of Croatia.
Main activities of the State Office for Croats abroad is defined in Article 13 of the Act on Relations of the Republic of Croatia with Croats Abroad and it encompasses:
- coordination and monitoring of the activities between the competent ministries, other state administration bodies and other competent authorities for cooperation between the Republic of Croatia and the Croatians outside the Republic of Croatia,
- care for the protection of rights and interests of the Croatians outside the Republic of Croatia,
- care for the preservation and strengthening of the identity of the Croatians outside the Republic of Croatia,
- establishment, maintenance and promotion of the relations with the Croatians outside the Republic of Croatia,
- strengthening of cooperation with the Croatians outside the Republic of Croatia and design of the communication strategy for the Croatians outside the Republic of Croatia,
- in cooperation with other competent ministries, conducting the activities relating to the creation of conditions for the return of emigrants/Diaspora to the Republic of Croatia and their inclusion in the economic and social life in the Republic of Croatia,
- proposing a policy of encouraging of and assistance related to return and immigration,
- conducting measures and programs for integration of Croatian returnees and immigrants,
- providing assistance in business investments,
- economic support for the return and sustainable survival of the Croatians as a constituent people in Bosnia and Herzegovina and of the Croatian minorities in the Republic of Serbia, Montenegro and the Republic of Kosovo,
- economic support for other Croatian communities if necessary,
- implementation of the Strategy and proposing projects and strategic plans, and monitoring their progress,
- keeping official records of the Croatians outside the Republic of Croatia,
- planning and ensuring financial means to the Croatians outside the Republic of Croatia for programs and projects, and
- other activities regulated by a special law.
Act on Relations of the Republic of Croatia with Croats Abroad
Act on Amendments to the Act on Relations of the Republic of Croatia with Croats Abroad
ORGANISATION OF CENTRAL STATE OFFICE
Regulation on the Internal structure of Central State office for Croats abroad is defined by Regulation on the Internal Organisation of the Central State Office for Croats abroad (Official Gazette, no.: 97/20) and Rules on Internal Organisation and Job Classification are based on it. In addition, organizational chart is created.
HEAD OF OFFICE CABINET
Head Office Cabinet provides expert and administrative services for Head of Office and Deputy Head of Office, observes the work and communicates with Croatian Parliament and Croatian Government, ministries and other administrative bodies, cooperation carriers of the Republic of Croatia and Croats abroad. Head Office Cabinet coordinates drafting of legal documents for protection of rights and interests of Croats abroad; coordinates program and project implementation within the Office departments; manages data of status of Croats abroad in specific countries and coordinates relations of Croatia towards Croats abroad; coordinates implementation of the Strategy and the Act on relations of the Republic of Croatia with Croats abroad, prepares and coordinates public appearances of Head of Office and Deputy Head of Office in the Republic of Croatia and abroad, PR activities, protocol activities of special interest of the State Office, performs other expert and administrative tasks related to work program and Head of Office as well as Deputy Head of Office; performs tasks regarding citizens petitions and complaints and other activities within its competence.
Welcome office is the department which performs acceptation, informs and refers Croats abroad in general state system in Republic of Croatia, performs administrative and expert activities that Head Office is competent for to deal with the status of Croats abroad, coordinates and cooperates the same activities in the state administrative bodies at the county level, assists in expediting the procedure for acquiring Croatian citizenship for Croats outside the Republic of Croatia all in accordance with the Croatian Citizenship Act; deals with requests for acquiring the Status of Croat without Croatian citizenship status; prepares and performs activities related to the issuance of Croatia card; cooperates with competent ministries and other institutions; coordinates activities with other office departments to gain additional information and to deal with issues related to Croats abroad; drafts welcoming and acceptance programs for Croats abroad; coordinates recommendation and other strategic materials for establishing, maintaining and promoting bonds with Croats abroad and ; prepares communication strategy; informs public and conducts promotional activities related to Croats abroad through Internet site and other informative publications of the State Office; cooperates with other administrative bodies and institutions regarding PR campaign; informs State Office, prepares reviews, announcements and ongoing activities; prepares, drafts and implements visiting programs for representatives of Croats abroad received through diplomatic missions and consular offices; prepares replies to petitions and complaints; proposes regulations for exercising rights regarding secondary and higher education, information, granting scholarships, competitions, health insurance, employment and other related areas relevant for Croats abroad; proposes and coordinates accelerated procedure for acquiring a temporary residence permit, work and business permits and other benefits according to specific laws for Croats without Croatian citizenship and without Status, offer benefits and provides information about health insurance, pension and disability insurance as defined by Law, tax relief and custom benefits for Croatian returnees/immigrants, recognition of foreign secondary education and higher education qualifications, and about the process of acquiring ownership rights in real estate in the Republic of Croatia; acts as a mentor-adviser providing guidance to returnee/immigrant regarding their status; collects data and keeps records on solving status issues; makes necessary analyses and reports, on Head Office advise prepares and performs other protocol activities and other tasks within its competence.
SECTOR FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF PROGRAMS AND PROJECTS FOR CROATS ABROAD
Sector for implementation of programs and projects for Croats abroad performs administrative and expert tasks related to care for preserving Croatian identity of all generations among Croats abroad: cooperates with Croatian institutions abroad (associations, organizations, institutions, cultural centres, Croatian catholic missions etc.) provides support regarding promotion of Croatian language, culture and tradition, develops cultural, educational, scientific, economic and sport cooperation; prepares regulations drafts as well as expert document frames from its competence. Recommends, implements and coordinates activities with other cooperation carriers of the Republic of Croatia and Croats abroad, accordingly to the Government politics, in the area of economy; organizes, implements and monitors all kinds of competitions in the area of culture, education, science, sports, health and economy for Croats abroad; implements and supervises special programs for Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina, for Croatian minority and Croatian Diaspora in the area of economy ; coordinates economic activities of Croats abroad in Croatia as well as projects of economic cooperation of Croatia with Croats abroad; prepares necessary information and reports/analyses for Welcome office; performs tasks of mentor- adviser and provides guidance to returnees/immigrants in the area of economy; coordinates replies to citizens’ complaints, collects data, keeps records on applications to public bids/invitations to bids within its competence as well as financial reports on implementation of programs and projects approved at public bids/invitations to bids within the competence of the Sector, keeps records on supervision of approved programs and projects within its competence; participates in developing plans and making reports, as well as special reviews, pro memoria and analyses and performs other tasks accordingly to State Office needs.
Sector for implementation of programs and projects for Croats abroad constitutes of:
- Department for competitions implementation and project monitoring
- Department for economic cooperation
SECTOR FOR LEGAL STATUS, CULTURE AND EDUCATION OF CROATS ABROAD
Sector for legal status, culture and education of Croats abroad cares of preservation of national identity of all generations of Croats abroad; cares of status of Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina, of Croatian autochthonous minority in European countries, of Croatian Diaspora; monitors implementation of accepted standards of protection of Croats in the countries where they live; supports ethnical, religious, cultural and linguistic self-awareness as well as the right to their own specific cultural life and national traditions; monitors changes in the migration politics and legal frame in the state of residence; recommends and participates in drafting of bilateral agreements of protection of the rights; maintains continuous cooperation with representatives of Croats abroad; cooperates and communicates with other competent ministries and institutions regarding protection of legal status of Croats abroad; organizes and supervises cultural, educational, scientific and sport programs for the Croats abroad; coordinates the views of the Republic of Croatia regarding the status of Croats abroad; cooperates with related institutions in Croatia and European Union, international organizations and coordinates specific activities regarding status of Croats abroad; participates in proposing regulations within its competence; cooperates with special advisers regarding issues and activities related to Croats abroad , makes analyses and reports and performs other task within its competence.
Sector for legal status, culture and education of Croats abroad constitutes of:
- Department for legal status, culture and education of Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Department for legal status, culture and education of Croatian minorities
- Department for legal status, culture and education of Croatian Diaspora
Head Secretariat performs legal, HR management, financial planning, accounting, organizational, general, accessory and technical tasks for State Office. Coordinates tasks of drafting of strategic plan of the Head Office, and alignment of financial plans with strategic goals; coordinates drafting of annual plan, draws reports of State Office work results and other reports accordingly to Head Office request, coordinates implementation of office departments decisions; conducts the admission process to the civil service; coordinates education plans, professional training and specialization of state officials and employees in the State Office; prepares decisions and contracts on all legal issues regarding the employment of civil servants, employees: conducts the assessment of work and efficiency of civil servants; gives opinion about the issues related to state service, makes proposals of rules and ordinance, instructions and other by-laws within its competence; prepares plans and tenders goods, works and services in accordance with procurement process as defined by the Act on public procurement, monitors realization of it in accordance with the budget; keeps records of procurement processes; plans and implements the budget; monitors financial plan implementation and gives proposals for budget amendments; coordinates implementation and development of financial management methodologies at all levels and in all departments of the State office; performs foreign exchange operations ; cares for adequate use of financial resources, assets and equipment; performs tasks of office correspondence; prepares and performs tasks of regular maintenance, technical and other accessory tasks; cares of regular maintenance and use of equipment, means of work, equips State Office premises, maintains fleet, official vehicles; organizes transports for the needs of State Office and performs other tasks within its competence.
Head Secretariat constitutes of:
- Department for human resources and general information affairs
- Department for financial affairs and IT