Datum objave: 11. December, 2023.

Organized by the Ministry of Regional Development and European Union Funds, the conference “Days of Regional Development and EU Funds” was held in Šibenik from December 7 to 9, dedicated to 10 years of Croatian membership in the European Union and successful EU projects. The opening was marked by the speeches of Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, Minister of Regional Development and European Union Funds Šime Erlić, with welcoming addresses from Šibenik-Knin Prefect Marko Jelic and Šibenik Mayor Željko Burić.
This year’s conference program is focused on the full decade of the Republic of Croatia in the European Union and the use of EU funds and implemented EU projects.

On the second day of the conference, on the panel entitled: “New approaches for the sustainable development of the islands”, as a representative of civil society organizations that are beneficiaries of MRRIFEU support through the “Public call for applications for projects to encourage the development of civil society on the islands”, the Argonauts association was invited, whose representative is Ivona Jadrić, the development director of the association, spoke about the experiences of Argonauta, as an active island association, in this competition and the implemented projects:

Your association has been participating in the implementation of public invitation projects of the Ministry since the very beginning – since 2008. (We took a look at our database from 2008 – at that time you were called: Ecological Association Argonauts, the name of the project was: “Let’s get to know our region” and you were supported by the Ministry with HRK 15,000.00). In general, considering the many years of experience of your association in the implementation of the Ministry’s public invitation projects, please briefly describe your results/effects of the implemented projects so far?

Yes, it was a long time ago! I think that for two years we directed the funds from the project “Get to know our region” to the preservation of cultural material heritage, so I remember that, among other things, as part of this project, we made one male and one female Murter national costume, and they were part of the set, on dolls, but soon they came to life for the needs of the Murter pyre, a manifestation that revives the Murter wedding customs, and we wear them on that occasion to this day!

Later, over the years, we directed the project funds obtained in this competition through the project “Archaeological treasure Colentum” to the valorization of the archaeological site Colentum, and we developed many contents for interpretation through projects, for example: a story and an exhibition of graphics inspired by Colentum, informative and educational boards, a wooden plateau-observatory, Cluentum – a social game through which one learns about the history of Colentum, the train game Mission Impossible, organized the event Days of Colentum, which revolved around the staging of a historical tale through a dramatic representation, where the main actors were local children and young people, tourist map of Blago Colentum, countless volunteer campaigns to restore dry stone walls, clean litter, restore paths, eco-action… How we were supported in this by the local self-government and other stakeholders such as the Museum of the City of Šibenik and the local Tourist Board, the Regional Development Agency of Šibenik-Knin County and based on this story, the interreg HR-IT projects announced, in which the Municipality of Murter-Kornati was a partner, and which financed the rehabilitation and conservation of the remains of anti-Czech architecture, themed promenades, an underwater educational trail, and the first Croatian archaeological beach, augmented reality for interpretation – After 10 years of neglected site, Colentum grew into an Archaeological Park despite many obstacles, it is now a new and complete tourist product, and I invite everyone to explore it if they find themselves on Murter. And it all started with one small project and a few enthusiasts….

The Ministry’s public invitations are aimed exclusively at civil society organizations that have their headquarters and operate on the territory of the island. Do you think that this type of call is important/significant for the island community?

It is significant, but it should and could be even more significant if sufficient financial resources were provided. I believe that the financing of island associations should be initiated in the sense of Institutional support for the cold plant – to provide more funds for work, part-time compensation, but preferably regular work, in order to be able to support that islanders who have ideas and enthusiasm can dedicate themselves to their realization through their associations all year round and be compensated for your work. Because in the end it all boils down to a lack of human capacity. Nothing can be developed or improved or add value to something if there are no people who will devote themselves 100% to it, and get paid for it.

How are the target groups in the implementation of your projects children and young people of primary school age – Do you think that you are opening up new perspectives for children and young people by implementing your projects that promote the preservation and protection of the marine environment, togetherness/resourcefulness among young people, learning traditional and life skills in crisis situations and similar. That is, do you think that the local communities are aware of the efforts of civil society organizations related to improving the quality of life of the island community?

We certainly open up the horizons for children and young people, we involve them in various activities, which are educational, this is a great opportunity in a small island community, an opportunity for them to use their free time in a quality way, apart from sports and art – but already in their teenage years they encounter other interests and become aware of the harsh reality of life on the island and in HR, they go on to study and it is difficult to keep them on the island, even the one that is connected by a bridge, and what about the islands that can only be reached by steamboat.

The opening speech was given by Spomenka Đurić, State Secretary (MRRFEU), and other guests were: Marija Pećirko, principal of the Bartula Kašić High School, Pag, Mario Šmit, OPG Natura Škoj, Prvić and Ivo Radica, mayor, Town of Vis. The panel was moderated by Dominik Paparić, director of the Islands Administration.

We would like to thank the Islands Administration for the invitation.

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