Activism and civil society
One of the main goals of FoE Croatia is to contribute to the development and strengthening of environmental activism and movement in Croatia and the region as well as civil society in general.
Our activities within this topic are focused on:
- informing and educating people on environmental issues and methods of activist action;
- empowering citizens to act independently and actively with the aim of protecting nature and the environment and establishing a sustainable and just society;
- disseminating the experience, knowledge and practice of FoE Croatia in order to empower civil society activists, initiatives and organisations through an intersectional approach;
- strengthening and connecting activist and environmental networks in Croatia and the region, especially the Green Forum, SEENET and Young Friends of the Earth Europe.
We achieve these goals primarily through the work of our Activist Group. The Activist Group or Activist Section, as it was originally called, has existed almost from the very beginning of FoE Croatia. It consists of activists, volunteers who support our campaigns and programs, organise their own volunteer projects such as the Environmental Film Festival and conduct numerous trainings. Many people who now work in some other organisations, initiatives, institutions, etc., have passed through our Activist Group, which we are very proud of, and therefore we believe that it is kind of the heart of FoE Croatia.
The values and principles of the Activist Group are: environmental, social, gender and economic justice; nonviolence; anti-discrimination; inclusiveness; solidarity; voluntary participation and joint action; participatory democracy.
If you are interested in participating in the Activist Group, apply here (LINK).
Some of the most significant results of the Activist Group's work:
- organised hundreds of street actions and protests (from the 1990s to the present);
- designed and conducted numerous trainings and workshops (eg School of Civil Disobedience, Intersectionality and Group Dynamics, Climate Quiz, etc.);
- the establishment and contribution to the Young Friends of the Earth Europe network;
- Celebrating Earth Day (1999-present);
- Autumn Eco-Seminar (from the late 90's until today);
- Environmental Film Festival (2014-present);
- “Give a tree to everyone on Earth” - holiday anti-consumer campaign for afforestation (2017-2019);
- “Exchange locker” established (since 2019);
- website Aktivizam.hr (2021-present).
Civil society implies that citizens, in different groups, initiatives and organizations, and even individually, by participating in public political space, represent different interests and values. Civil society organisations, such as associations, have an important role to play in promoting and protecting democracy and human rights and, in addition to the independent media, are kind of a watchdog and corrective to the government.
Associations in Croatia, through various socially important activities, make a significant contribution to shaping a better and fairer society through civic initiatives, advocacy and protection of human rights and vulnerable groups, active participation in shaping various national regulations, programs and strategies and providing social and public services of public interest in the field of environment, education, health, social welfare, sports, etc.
From the beginning - even before its founding - FoE Croatia has been closely linked to wider civil society,nationally, regionally and internationally. In fact, our association originated from the anti-nuclear and peace initiative Svarun in the 80's, and at the beginning of the war and the escalation of the conflict in 1991 in Croatia, some activists and members of FoE Croatia were actively involved in the anti-war campaign.
Solidarity, social sensitivity and mutual support have remained the basic principles of FoE croatia to this day. For example, we have supported Pride from the very beginning, have been involved in the “I vote against” initiative and Platform 112, and are part of the GOOD initiative, the Welcome! initiative and Platform Upgrade. We also try to share our knowledge and experience of public advocacy campaigns with our colleagues from the civil society sector, as well as the establishment and operation of associations.
Today, the employees of FoE Croatia are part of numerous civil society initiatives, but also institutional bodies such as the Civil Society Development Council, the Parliamentary Committee on the Environment (as external members), etc. with the aim of improving the environmental sector and civil society framework.
The most significant results of our work on civil society include influencing the general narrative in public space and giving visibility to topics of general importance for civil society, defending the values of civil society, counterbalancing retrograde social processes and similar.
- Anti-war campaign (1991)
- Green Campaign within Voice 99 (1999)
- “I vote against” (2013)
- "Let's learn to be big" campaign (2016)
- Campaign for a Strong Civil Society (2016-2020)