1st roundtable and workshop in Croatia: “Current status and challenges of SPAs in Northwestern Croatia“

Project partner City of Križevci has hosted a round table discussion and also a workshop afterwards called “Current status and challenges of SPAs in Northwestern Croatia“ on September 30th, 2019. – as an whole-day event, at the conference halls in Development Centre and Technology Park Križevci. This press release summarizes the discussions which brought together representatives from local governments and enterprises in the SPA industry and business, but also a representative from the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Energy working in Water protection department and permits. This event aimed at encouraging brainstorming and discussion about the condition and challenges of SPA in NW Croatia. Participants of the round table were:

1. Mr. Igor Nekić, general director, LifeClass Terme Sveti Martin – also an Associated partner on the project

2. Mrs. Ivana Kolar, general director, Julius Rose d.o.o.

3. Mrs. Bernarda Cecelja, general director, Bernarda d.o.o.

4. Mrs. Nives Ernoić, City of Varaždinske Toplice

5. Mr. Ernest Svažić, Municipality Krapinske Toplice

6. Mrs. Anđela Kuzman, Ministry of Environmental Protection and Energy

Mayor of the City of Križevci, Mr. Mario Rajn started the event by welcoming everyone and stated that this is the first step for City of Križevci and its needs in the future in usage of thermo-mineral water. Project leader Ms. Lucija Topić has then presented the HealingPlaces project to attendees. Page 2  

The objective of the discussion was to build a better understanding of SPA’s status and challenges and their role in developing local communities, in NW Croatia but also on a national level. During the round table discussion participants had equal time to say their opinion.

The discussion was focused around the following topics:

  • Property and legal relations
  • Process of obtaining concessions
  • Cooperation between local (regional, national) government and investors 
  •  Environmental impacts
  • Social and economic potential and tourism aspects
1st roundatble and workshop in Croatia
  • Further development potential


Round table moderator was journalist Mr. Benjamin Bauer.

Several key elements and insights were being shared among the attendees. The most important are that local government should cooperate more efficiently. There is a lot of administration that is slowing down investors and prevents them to invest and develop all SPA potential in North West Croatia. The process of obtaining concessions and different permits also need to be shorter. Mrs. Bernarda Cecelja has fought a battle for 4 years to obtain every legal document and stated that the process is rather slow and the elections kept slowing it more with the change of leadership within the public administrations.

Participants also talked about tourism. For example, the biggest part in overnight stays for Međimurska County are guests of LifeClass Terme Sveti Martin, our Associated Partner. Moderator has asked about the term “SPA Municipality” as it is in legislative in CE countries such as Hungary and Poland – and should it also be established in Croatia, on which the round-table participants agreed on that it should. Mrs. Nives Ernoić said that SPA municipality should be established by creating SPA network. Also there is a high tax value on the bathing tickets, in Slovenia it is 10% while in Croatia it is 25%.

After the round-table and lunch-pause, the workshop started on the upper floor of the DCTP. Workshop was held by the Energy Institute Hrvoje Požar from Zagreb (a non-profit scientific institution owned by the Republic of Croatia) – they are also working with City of Križevci on the A.T1.1. Activity: Analysis of current status of registered SPAs in partner countries & their socio-economic potential. Page 3  

Participants of the workshop were:

1. Mrs. Danica Maljković, Energy Institute Hrvoje Požar

2. Mrs. Sanja Živković, Energy Institute Hrvoje Požar

3. Mr. Igor Nekić, General director, LifeClass Terme Sveti Martin

4. Mr. Vedran Augustić, Maintenance and security director, LifeClass Terme Sveti Martin

5. Anđela Kuzman, Ministry of Environmental Protection and Energy

6. Ljiljana Stojasavljević Križan, City of Križevci  

The most important conclusions of the workshop are:

  • SPA which is held by local or regional public authority do not need concession, only private bodies
  • Administration which need to be complete to obtain concession
  • Presentation of the excel-table made by project partner IRT, PL – on the current status of the SPAs in NW Croatia  

The event which was held at the Križevci Entrepreneurial Centre was organised jointly by the project team of the City of Križevci.