CROATIA

Legal Framework 2 of 3


 

Legal Framework- Protection and Rescue Act
The Law of Rescue and Protection, which was promulgated in 2004 and came into force in 2005, regulates:

  • the system of protection and rescue of citizens, goods and property in disasters and major accidents;
  • the management and coordination of protection and rescue activities;
  • the rights, obligations, specific training and general education of participants in protection and rescue activities;
  • the tasks and the structure of protection and rescue authorities; how to alert and warn, and how to organize mobilization for the purposes of protection and rescue.

The act introduces three levels of Civil Protection organization: central level (Level 1), which is primarily responsible for coordinating forces and is represented by the National Protection and Rescue Directorate; county level (Level 2), which is the responsibility of county prefects; and town or municipality level (Level 3), which is the responsibility of the town or municipality mayors.
In common with other countries of South Eastern Europe, a terminology commonly used at United Nations level is adopted into the Protection and Rescue Act.
The Law was updated in 2007, according to the SEVESO II Directive.
Each of the three different levels of Croatian Civil Protection has its own distinct role and mandate. In the event of a major accident or disaster in the territory of a municipality or town the immediate responsibility for mobilizing a Civil Protection response lies with the relevant Level 3 authority. The authority has the right and the duty to mobilize all available human and material resources to deal with the event according to the protection and rescue plan.
When all relevant capacities and capabilities in the administrative area have been employed the Level 3 authority can request further assistance from county level (Level 2) by contacting its prefect.
This process is repeated at county level. In the event of a major accident or disaster in the county the immediate responsibility for mobilizing a Civil Protection response lies with the county prefect. The county authority has the right and the duty to mobilize all available human and material resources to deal with the event according to the protection and rescue plan. When all relevant capacities and capabilities in the county have been employed the Level 2 authority can request further assistance from central level (Level 1) by contacting the National Protection and Rescue Directorate. It is important to remember that under the present system the Directorate includes its regional offices, located in each of the 20 counties and the city district of Zagreb, along with its central body. This structure will continue until the process of decentralization is complete, at which time the regional offices will be assigned to regional administrations.

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