ZAGREB, Nov 17 (Hina) – Veterans’ Affairs Minister Tomo Medved was presented with a funding agreement on Tuesday for a project to digitise archival documents from the Homeland War, with PM Andrej Plenkovic, who attended the event, saying that it is necessary to preserve the past in order to build the future together.
The project, valued at HRK 81.5 million, will be financed for the most part with EU funds, and it is important because it will make procedures enabling veterans and war victims to exercise their legal rights faster and more efficient, but will also preserve historical facts for coming generations, Minister Medved said.
PM Plenkovic said that the project was launched following a government decision in August 2017 in an effort to make material that had existed for years available in one place in digital format.
Important message ahead of Remembrance Day: EU is funding the project
Underscoring that the project is being financed from the European Social Fund with the assistance of the Ministry of Labour and Pension System, Plenkovic said that the European dimension of the project was a strong message ahead of Homeland War Victims Remembrance Day and Vukovar and Skabrnja Remembrance Day.
This latest project needs to be put in the context of veterans’ centres which will also be financed with European funds in the amount of almost HRK 330 million, he said.
This shows that the government is not only showing respect symbolically and working on reconciliation and coexistence but has also managed to obtain funds for important components of our collective memory, the PM said.
He added that the draft National Development Strategy has clearly pointed out the importance of preserving the values of the Homeland War and the culture of remembrance, as well as the importance of protecting veterans’ interests, which was why efforts would be made to improve the system of psycho-social and health care for veterans and their families.
Documents may be ruined if not archived properly
Presenting the agreement to his colleague, Minister of Labour, Pension System, Family and Social Policy Josip Aladrovic said that material related to the Homeland War is still dispersed in army barracks and police stations around the country and that if not archived properly, it could be ruined and lost.
This project will enable the data processing of two million units and the digitisation of 100,000 units of archival material, as well as building an IT system to manage the material as well as a database on the status of veterans and their rights. It will require training for 120 staff to work in the system.
The project was launched in September 2017 and is foreseen to last until June 2023. So far, more than 52% of the material has been processed. The project also clearly shows the benefits of Croatia’s membership of the European Union, Medved said.