Science and Education Minister Blazenka Divjak on Monday underscored that Croatia's presidency of the Council of the EU was an opportunity for Zagreb to highlight the topics it finds important and to present itself as a country of professional and creative people.
Presenting priorities in education and science during Croatia's presidency, Minister Divjak explained that the role of its presidency "is not just to pursue one's own policies but to objectively conduct the EU's policies" however, it is an opportunity to recognise those topics that Croatia has been working on for a long time, she said.
Research and space technology are in the Council's remit and one of the priorities is brain circulation and jobs of the future that are related to space technology.
Brain drain is a huge problem for Croatia and similar countries. "Talent is equally distributed, opportunity is not," and so it is important for equalise opportunities as much as possible, it was said.
With regard to space technology, this does not refer to travelling to Mars but to industries that apply space technology and more than 10 percent of the economy is dependent on that technology, it was underscored atthe news conference which the minister held.
Topics that are important for Croatia include teachers of the future, discussions on reforms and investments in education and vocational education. Another important issue is mobility that is implemented through the Erasmus+ programme.
The EU's Horizon Europe for research has 100 billion euros at its disposal.
The Erasmus+ programme, for which there are proposals to triple its funding, could be as high as €70 bn, while the EU proposes investing €16 billion to enhance the European space programme.
A total of 24 official events will be held in the remit of these two councils as will some important conferences which will include numerous institutions, agencies, universities, schools and teams of mentors.
We expect an improvement in opportunities for Croatian researchers and teachers to participate and to bring their institutions closer programme-wise, Minister Divjak said.
As an example she noted the establishment of the European universities' network with the inclusion of three Croatian universities from Rijeka, Split and Zadar.