Public debate on social inequality in Sisak, Croatia
The Local Democracy Agency Sisak – ALDA Operational Partner – as member of the Equality Forum, organised the public debate “Social (in)equality in Croatia: from international comparison to local impact on Sisak-Moslavina region citizens”, held on 29 September 2016 in Sisak at the popular exhibition place “Holland House”.
Equality Forum is the open platform of organisations working on equality achievement for all citizens in Croatia. The debate gathered citizens debating on:
- Social inequality representation in Croatia, comparing to other countries;
- The position of Croatia on different social inequality aspects;
- Sisak-Moslavina region citizens’ energy poverty and possible solutions of related problems.
The LDA Sisak President, Mrs Paula Raužan, delivered the introduction speech, followed by the dr.sc. Goranka Lalić Novak, Vice-president of the Croatian Legal Centre, who opened the debate and moderated it on behalf of the Equality Forum. Citizens had opportunity to discuss about the results of an on-going survey, conducted by the Equality Forum in the area of whole Croatia, gathering citizens’ opinions on their perspective of social inequality.
Two key speakers gave an introduction on the topic: dr.sc. Branko Ančić from the Institute for Social Research in Zagreb with his lecture “Comparative social inequality in Croatia and selected countries” and dr.sc. Maja Božičević Vrhovčak, Executive director of the DOOR- Society for Sustainable Development Design, with her lecture “Energy poverty – research of energy characteristics and energy costs of the Sisak-Moslavina region the poorest households”.
The results of the first empiric research on energy poverty conducted among the poorest households of the Sisak-Moslavina region has been presented, and citizens get to know about energy poverty itself and how energy efficiency measures can support and help the poorest citizens in lowering their living costs.
The conclusions of the debate were focused on the fact that, despite the existing resources and material wealth classifying Croatia as the third of the World’s richest countries, citizens of Croatia are facing daily different forms of inequalities in all aspects of their life, such as economy, politics, health, basic human existence and social life in general. It is necessary to take new measures in order to improve the situation in Croatian society, which is constantly worsening because of poor resource redistribution. Highlight is on quality educational system that should motivate young people to take an active role in community life, as well as contributing in developing decisions that might lower existing social inequalities as much as possible.