Mark Thomas - The editor and big chief of The Dubrovnik Times. Born in the UK he has been living and working in Dubrovnik since 1998, yes he is one of the rare “old hands.” A unique insight into both British and Croatian life and culture, Mark is often known as just “Englez” or Englishman. He is a traveller, a current affairs freak and a huge AFC Wimbledon fan.
Croatian Prime Minister, Andrej Plenkovic, and the European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, opened the Croatian government and European Commission meeting in Zagreb today.
“The priorities of Croatia's EU presidency are our priorities,” the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said at the start of the meeting between the Croatian government and the Commission in Zagreb on Friday. The new European leader said on the occasion that the success of the Croatian presidency would also determine the start of the new convening of the Commission.
"The first Croatian Presidency is a crucial moment, and this is the beginning of our term. Your success will define our success," von der Leyen said at the beginning of the meeting of the College of Commissioners of the European Commission and Croatian Ministers, formally marking the beginning of Croatia's EU Presidency in the first semester of 2020.
"I have listened carefully to the priorities and I can say that your priorities are ours as well," she added about the Croatian presidency.
Prime Minister Plenkovic outlined four priority areas at the beginning of the session: Europe is developing; a Europe that connects; a Europe that protects and a Europe that is influential.
Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic received European Council President Charles Michel this afternoon and they discussed an agreement on a new multiannual financial framework with member states during Croatia's EU presidency.
Andrej Plenkovic and Charles Michel addressed the press after the meeting. Plenkovic thanked Michel for visiting Croatia at the beginning of the Presidency.
"We talked about common priorities over the next few months. We presented to Mr Michel key elements of the Croatian Presidency - a Europe that is developing, connecting, protecting and globally influential. We touched on a few topical topics, notably the negotiations on the Multiannual Financial Framework, which is in the final stages, and whose coordination and negotiation the European Council in December has been entrusted by Mr Michel," commented Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic.
"The second topic we have discussed is the completion of legal procedures regarding the UK's exit from the European Union. The Brexit theme should be completed by January 31, at least in this first phase. Croatia is ready to complete this work by the end, to secure the consent of the European Parliament, to carry out written procedures and thus conclude this phase of the relationship with previous final decisions in London. We are ready to work on a negotiating the framework for future relations between the United Kingdom and the EU,” added Plenkovic.
“The third topic we discussed was particularly important to us, namely the holding of a summit between the Heads of State and Government of the Member States of the European Union and the countries of Southeast Europe here in Zagreb in early May. We are pleased that Charles Michel has accepted our initiative and that he will work with us both on the preparation and on the conclusions that should determine the dynamics of the future relations of all six neighbouring countries with the European Union,” said the Croatian Prime Minister.
“Croatia is a success story from 2000 to the present, we strengthened our international position and sovereignty with EU membership, enabled better economic development, greater solidarity and greater investment. We wish a similar path, with the fulfilment of the criteria, to all Southeast European countries," concluded Prime Minister Plenkovic.
Charles Michel congratulated Croatia on taking over the Presidency of the Council of Europe.
"The first priority we discussed was the EU budget. The question before us is how to align traditional European policies with challenges such as climate change, migration, innovation and the like,” commented Michel.
The Dubrovnik Tourist Board has printed a monthly leaflet for January containing a list of open restaurants, pizzerias and fast food outlets during January, with special opening hours so that guests staying in Dubrovnik are as informed as possible, and that the open restaurants are better promoted.
The leaflet can be downloaded on the Dubrovnik Tourist Board website, and is available in the open Tourist Information Offices of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, on Pile and in Gruž and in all open Dubrovnik hotels.
Download the leaflet from the above link and bon appetite!
Zagreb is hosting the Commissioners of the European Commission, led by President Ursula von der Leyen, on Thursday and Friday, marking the start of Croatia's semi-annual presidency of the Council of the European Union. This will officially mark the start of the EU Council Presidency in the Croatian capital, with European Council President Charles Michel taking part.
Having already arrived in Zagreb on Wednesday and met with newly-elected Croatian President Zoran Milanovic, Charles Michel met with Prime Minister Andrei Plenkovic this morning. In the afternoon, he is expected to meet with Croatian Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandrokovic, and in the evening he attends the opening ceremony at the Croatian National Theater (HNK).
All the commissioners of the European Commission, led by President Ursula von der Leyen, will arrive in Zagreb a little later on Thursday and will attend a ceremonial concert at the Croatian National Theatre.
Along with European guests and ministers and Prime Minister Plenkovic, the concert will also be attended by President of the Republic Kolinda Grabar Kitarović and Croatian Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković.
Dubrovnik entered the new decade in style with a spectacular fireworks display over the historic UNESCO Old City.
It was a night to remember. And one of our readers has sent us a stunning video of the moment that a hundred fireworks lit up the Dubrovnik night sky to bring in the New Year.
Mariusz Zet kindly sent us this great video and if you didn’t have the opportunity to visit Dubrovnik this festive season it will give you a brief insight into the fireworks display that signalled 2020.
Enjoy the video
During 2019, a record 14,500 aircraft from all parts of the world landed at Split Airport, carrying around 3,302,000 passengers, the airport announced on Wednesday.
"In the past year, we had 29,000 landings and take-offs at Split Airport, which means that we had 14,500 aircraft and this is the highest number of aircraft during one year in the history of our airport," commented Mate Melvan from Split Airport.
3,302,000 passengers in 2019 was also a record number for the airport and a 5.8 percent growth over 2018. "Throughout 2020, we expect a further increase in traffic at our airport and we believe that this traffic will be more than 3.4 million passengers,” added Melvan.
Split Airport has direct flights from 25 countries around the world. And there is plenty of room for improvement in the future as Split Airport suffers from the seasonality of many Croatian airports, meaning that during the winter months it is virtually empty.
Rental car businesses are found in every city because lots of people need to use their services quite often.
Rental car businesses are found in every city because lots of people need to use their services quite often. If you wonder, “Are there rental car companies near me?” the answer will likely be “yes.” Often, people rent an auto when they do not have their own vehicle or they cannot use it. Sometimes, you just need a special vehicle, and it is great that you can easily check a rental car company’s fleet on the Internet, for instance, here https://realcar.nyc/fleet. Let’s find out what are the good reasons for you to rent a car.
Reason #1 — Rent a car if you do not have your own auto
While it is possible to use public transport, it may be better to rent a car to travel to/from home from/to work. This may save you plenty of time. In order to make it not only convenient but also cheap, you can split the costs between your colleagues who also need to travel the same route.
Reasons #2 — Get the right model depending on your trip
Unless you are a millionaire who can afford to purchase a fleet of several different cars, you will likely need to use different cars depending on the type of your trip. If for day to day traveling, you can use a small vehicle with low fuel consumption, you will need something else for traveling long distances with your family or friends.
Reason #3 — Your car is broken
Some things happen suddenly, such as problems with your car. If there is a problem with the engine, tires, etc., they should be fixed which may take time. Since you want to stick to your usual routine, renting a car would be the best solution for you.
Reason #4 — Traveling long distances
Sometimes, it is just physically impossible to take your car with you, for instance, if you are about to fly to another continent or to another part of the country. In this case, you can simply rent a comfortable car to enjoy your trip even more.
“As George Bernard Shaw once said, “those who seek paradise on Earth should come to Dubrovnik.” With its winding streets, Game of Thrones filming locations, cliffside beach bars and UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Old Town, it’s no wonder Dubrovnik is such a popular spot. Head over to the nearby town of Cavtat for truly breath-taking scenery and to remove yourself even further from the tourist scene,” writes Big 7 Travel about Dubrovnik on their latest travel list.
The global travel site Big 7 Travel has released the official list of the 50 Best Places to visit this decade and Dubrovnik came in at a very healthy 19th position.
Following on from sample survey results of their 1.5 million social audience and contributions from their editorial team, they can reveal the places in the world that travellers should have on their radar this decade.
Spanning six continents, it's an exciting mix of emerging tourist destinations and places that might soon be changed beyond recognition.
Countries who made it into the Top 25 include Italy and Kenya, as well as Tokyo, thanks to its futuristic buildings and old-meets-new vibe. Other places in the Top 50 to add to your ‘must-visit’ list this decade include Greenland and Jordan.
TOP 10 PLACES TO VISIT IN THE 2020s
19th Dubrovnik, Croatia
9th. Kapiti Island, New Zealand
8th. Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
7th. Belfast, Northern Ireland
6th. Melbourne, Australia
5th. New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
4th. San Jose, Costa Rica
3rd. Boston, Massachusetts, USA
2nd. Kyiv, Ukraine
1st. Guadeloupe, Caribbean