Apr 24, 2014

SPB Newsfeed: Taking part in SPB activities - Impressions from Croatia

Challenges of significant staff fluctuations in the public sector reinforce the need for capacity development, such as provided at the Strategic Planning and Budgeting (SPB) project.

When returning from CEF training events, I shared my newly gained knowledge in informal discussions with colleagues at the Ministry of Finance of Croatia. I have attended three SPB events so far. I liked the atmosphere and themes of all events, meeting different experts from my field and listen to case studies of other countries in the region. Attending the event was very useful for my professional development and applicable to my work, as it gave me a more comprehensive picture of issues that I deal with at the Ministry of Finance in Croatia. At the SPB events, I had the opportunity to share my knowledge with other participants, and to extend my network.

For example, the Programme Budgeting workshop helped me strengthen my understanding of budgeting, which has been particularly important as I recently joined the Ministry of Finance in the budget sector. A participant of this workshop, with whom I exchanged contacts, recently came to Zagreb to learn more about our budget supervision, as he received the assignment at his country's Ministry of Finance to advance the budget supervision sector.

And attending the Integration of Structural Reforms into Fiscal Programming workshop helped me enrich my knowledge of structural reforms. Better knowledge of these reforms may help me in my future work when our Ministry will analyse other budget users and ceilings, in particular when it comes to integrate structural reforms. Newly gained knowledge from this workshop will be useful, for instance, when preparing the National Reform Program, for which we will have to prepare economic and fiscal policy guidelines that define budgetary ceilings. Lecturers of this workshop presented great case studies.

I particularly appreciated an example put forward by Professor Mrak. He exemplified the importance of having developed a competitive market economy for EU accession by referring to Slovenia's 'yogurt' case. It helped me realize how important it will be for Croatia, as a new EU member country, to assure a competitive market economy and to accept for that matter proper reforms, so that Croatian national producers are able to sustain also competitive pressures in the Single European market.

Andrea Kocelj
Expert Associate
Ministry of Finance

SPB Project Website