The Digital Agenda for Europe is the first of seven key initiatives arising from the Europe 2020 strategy for sustainable and inclusive growth. It is a strategy that encourages a broader application and efficient use of digital technologies which should provide a higher quality of life to European citizens. The implementation of the Digital Agenda should provide a growth of the European GDP by 5% and a long-term opening of 3.8 million new jobs. Unfortunately, there are still no public policies in Croatia that follow the needs of the digital industry which would utilize those needs to improve the social situation. However, civil society organizations such as Centar M.A.R.E., Forum 50+, Telecentar, Zeleno zlato and CTK Rijeka, have been encouraging the digital inclusion of citizens through their programmes. For this reason they have formed a partnership in the project Digital Agenda for Creative Croatia whose goals are networking and joint advocacy of civil society organizations in order to achieve an impact on positive social changes in the area of digital inclusion and education for the digital industry.
The organizations have launched the National coalition Digital Agenda for Creative Croatia that will advocate and monitor public policies in the area of the Digital Agenda for Europe at a national and European level. The Coalition will develop strategic documents in order to create conditions for the sustainability of the coalition and sign agreements on cross-sectoral cooperation with organizations from the public, private and civil sectors. The organizations will advocate the adoption of public policies with policymakers in Croatia (Ministries, Management Boards and Commissions).
The significance of the issue was recognized by the National Foundation for Civil Society Development, which financially supports the project with 352,887.92 HRK. The coalition has stated its following official position statement.
Digital Agenda for Creative Croatia
Digital Agenda for Creative Croatia is a multi-stakeholder partnership of organisations and individuals from the civil, public and private sector. Our objective is to facilitate formal and non-formal development of competencies required on the labour market within converging fields of information and communication and new media technologies.
The main activities of our network include development and implementation of the iProfessional competence framework, occupational standards, qualification standards and new curricula for vocational schools, higher education institutions and training centres. Successful implementation of the new education and training programmes will primarily depend on the quality of education and training providers. Therefore, any newly developed training content needs to be immediately supplemented with a comprehensive training of teachers and development of the new learning resources.
In order to stimulate growth of micro and small enterprises, particular emphasis will be put on simultaneous development of creative and entrepreneurial competencies of youth. These competencies are the key to development of attractive multimedia content, which increase demand for the new ICT infrastructure and thereby stimulate growth of the digital economy.
Short term measures are required to fix the current mismatch between the digital industry demands and the existing educational programmes. However, sustainable development of e-Leadership has to start in the early childhood and should become an integral part of media and information literacy curricula already in elementary schools.
We plan to raise public awareness about employability potentials in the digital technology sector through partnership with student media channels and public broadcasters. We collaborate internationally with members of the Telecentre Europe and the Media and Learning Association and we hope to expand this collaboration with new partners from other national coalitions.
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