Shipping is important for Croatia, as it generates more than €1 billion, greatly contributing to the country's economy and GDP. 25,000 of the world’s seafarers are from Croatia, two-thirds of which sail with non-Croatian companies.

The SUC organises the country’s seafarers, and general secretary Neven Melvan mentions that the seafarer profession is still very popular among the country’s young population.

Social dialogue in the Croatian shipping industry is a priority for us a union, and we are working on improving the quality of the training system to make sure our members’ full potential is realised

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Currently, EU seafarers often face social issues when sailing under an EU flag, and they should have social insurance under the same country as the ship is flagged. However, this is often a very slow procedure and as a result in many cases seafarers do not have insurance.

For his part, Mario Zorovic, managing director of CROSMA, said that it employs 8,000 seafarers, with Croatia following all major conventions and regulations. He explained that social standards for Croatian seafarers are probably among the best in the world, and CROSMA wants to remain a key social partner. For this reason it is important that international standards are followed.

In addition, during the meeting, a proposal to equalise EU seafarers with auxiliary staff was discussed, aiming to guarantee that the seafarers receive health and pension insurance.

With 500 new seafarers entering the market every year, Croatia is an important maritime country. The ITF will continue to work closely with the SUC to guarantee good working conditions

ITF general secretary Stephen Cotton, concluded.