From 20 until 22 September 2022 SOLIDAR members and partners came together in Zagreb, Croatia for a Study Visit. Over three days, they reflected and exchanged views on Education for Inclusive and Democratic Societies and elaborated on Global Citizenship Education (GCE) – including Peace Education. The situation of CSOs in Croatia was extensively discussed as members and external partners shared the challenges they are facing due to a shrinking civic space.
SOLIDAR Foundation’s latest national report on Croatia elaborates on the specific challenges Croatian CSOs face due to the shrinking civic space which had been a trend before the COVID-19 pandemic but has been exacerbated since. The report has been created in the framework of SOLIDAR Foundation’s annual Citizenship and Lifelong Learning Monitor and provides case studies that illustrate the Croatian CSOs’ response to counter the shrinking of its civic space. It also raises the issue of how this affects Education for Environmental Sustainability (EES) in the frame of GCE. The situation of the civic space relates to the implementation of EES, considering how the green competences need to be mainstreamed and actualized on a day-today basis by active citizens. To this end, a narrowed civic space does not provide room for demanding that public authorities mainstream the topic but also makes it impossible to exert civic rights in a manner that is consistent with sustainability and the planetary boundaries.
Thus, in the Croatian context, the implementation of EES and the actualization of green competences by all learners became difficult, even as they are supported by the informal and non-formal education providers which have been struggling the close the gaps. The report reveals the missing building blocks for ensuring that learners receive an education that can make them active citizens that actualize their green competences, while also providing a set of recommendations on how these challenges can be addressed.
Explore also the Policy Pill released by SOLIDAR Foundation on Education for Environmental Sustainability to learn more about our work on this topic!