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How was GONG formed?

GONG’s birthday is April 13th, 1997, when GONG first monitored local elections despite being strictly prohibited from doing so by the Electoral Commission.

During the 90s, independent and non-partisan monitoring of the electoral process wasn't an option, but 13 organizations had the incentive to start an initiative for the protection and promotion of human rights for NGOs and citizens. Its name became “Građani Organizirano Nadgledaju Glasanje,” (translation: Citizens Supervising Voting in an organized manner) which became the name for GONG.

In addition to allowing citizens to take part in the electoral process as non-partisans, GONG’s role has increased the credibility and integrity in the political system. More than 21,000 GONG observers have monitored a total of 15 elections, one national referendum, and numerous local elections and electoral processes in other transition countries. Besides educating tens of thousands of high school seniors on electoral laws and how to exercise their rights, GONG has also contributed to the professionalization of the State Election Commission, exposed the 2005 voters’ list manipulations, and has repeatedly shed light on the flaws in the legal framework and oversight of party and campaign financing.

Citizens have a right to know - Freedom of Information has become a constitutional category in 2010, thanks to GONG's research of the enforcement of the Act on Freedom of Information and the timely warnings of its deficiency.

Gazette to the people – publication of the content of the Official Gazette that had, in 2001, tried to be charged. After this action, the plans to charge citizens for access to legislation was abandoned.

Disclosure of government closed sessions agendas - with governments giving away millions in closed sessions without public explanation, GONG began tackling this issue starting in 2007. Thanks to GONG, disclosure of government closed sessions began on March 15, 2012.

The Worth 22% less initiative in 2004 – the Ministry of Finance had not yet revoked overseas donation VAT payment, except for the Church. After a public reaction, then-Finance Minister Šuker had attempted to “bribe” GONG, Friends of the Earth Croatia, B.a.B.e, and the Croatian Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, all of which declined arguing the Golden Rule.

LOTUS research – the first systematic transparency research conducted on regional self-government units in all of Croatia’s cities and municipalities, in order to analyse and resolve their transparency issues and enhance the cooperation between civil society organizations and local self-government. Thanks to GONG's LOTUS project, the Ministry of Justice has launched its own version in the Fall of 2012.

Platform 112 and “shadow monitoring” – in the years leading up to Croatia’s EU accession, an initiative made up of about 60 CSO focused on the protection of human rights, democratization, peace building, fighting corruption, and public resources. Platform 112 demands suggested priorities and specific measures in paving the way to a Croatia where the rule of law would be fundamental to activities of individuals, institutions and politicians. Platform 112 performed “shadow monitoring”, which fulfilled its obligations from Chapter 23, as well as drafting reports used by the EU to establish the Croatian Progress Report.

Open Parliament – upon GONG's initiative, the Parliament instituted an open-door policy for citizens and added external members to most of its committees to ease the cooperation with CSOs and other experts. In 2001, they also introduced an internship program in both Parliament and the Government, so law and political science students can gain necessary skills working with their representatives. The Parliament is independently conducting this program today.