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Local/National Level Economic Policy Dialogue: the Competitiveness Council and Economic and Social Councils in Croatia. Joe Lowther; Kresimir Sever February 1, 2006. Institutional Framework. National Competitiveness Council National Economic and Social Council (GSV)

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Local/National Level Economic Policy Dialogue: the Competitiveness Council and Economic and Social Councils in Croatia

Joe Lowther; Kresimir Sever

February 1, 2006

institutional framework
Institutional Framework
  • National Competitiveness Council
  • National Economic and Social Council (GSV)
  • Local Economic and Social Council
  • Ad hoc local economic development groups
  • Participation in Parliament and other Bodies
    • Parliament committees (non-voting)
    • Management boards of employment service, health insurance institute, pension insurance institute
    • National committees and councils
usaid s projects to assist policy dialogue in croatia
USAID’S Projects to Assist Policy Dialogue in Croatia
  • Competitiveness Project Goals re NCC
    • Develop a business competitiveness council Develop a national competitiveness council
  • Tripartite Dialogue Project Goals
    • Improve dialogue, nationally and locally, on important economic and social issues
    • Develop a secretariat for the GSV to provide unbiased analysis and logistical support.
    • Improve methods for resolving disputes between the social partners.
challenges for the councils
Challenges for the Councils
  • How to agree on the problem (a precondition for developing solutions)?
  • How to make their joint work more efficient?
  • How to avoid unproductive squabbles in the media?
  • How to get the public and policymakers to take the GSV seriously?
learning from other countries
Learning from Other Countries
  • Ireland: a role model
  • Austria: trade partner with historical influence
  • Netherlands: successful Polder model
  • Belgium: regional and national approaches
  • E.U.: upcoming accession
implementing lessons learned from other countries
Implementing Lessons Learned from Other Countries
  • Establish secretariats
  • Obtain unbiased analysis and use it to develop consensus on policy
  • Develop a vision and strategy
  • Limit issues to work on
  • Project image of competence and importance
local input on policy
Local Input on Policy

Success Stories

  • Brodsko-Posavska County hosted a national Government cabinet session to discuss local issues.
  • Medimurska County is a model local GSV that has successfully tackled many local and national issues


  • Local government stymies progress due to lack of commitment, politics, and changing representatives
  • Employers lack commitment and don’t have time to fully participate
  • Sometimes trade unions cannot fill the leadership void due to lack of confidence or competence
lessons learned by councils
Lessons Learned by Councils
  • The council secretariat is important and should answer to the entire council
  • A vision and strategy document should be based on analysis and thorough dialogue
  • Committees need a mandate, leadership, and their results must be used by the council
  • Local councils need local commitment and attention from the national government
tripartite dialogue project
What the project did right

Delivered research, analysis, and training to the social partners

Facilitated development of improved labor conciliation

Attained broad understanding of policy issues and dialogue process

Supported local GSVs

Attempted to facilitate GSV strategic management

What the project did wrong

Failed to obtain acceptance, buy in, on behalf of the GSV members

Failed to obtain commitment by social partners to develop the Office for Social Partnership

Too slow to facilitate dialogue

Did not put enough emphasis on GSV committees and their results

Tripartite Dialogue Project