Croatia Basic Information

By | July 21, 2022

Basic information about the territory

Croatia Basic Information

Subchapters:

  • System of governance and political tendencies in the country
  • Foreign policy of the country
  • Population

The system of governance and political tendencies in the country

Official name of the country: Republic of Croatia
President: Zoran Milanović, the president is elected for five years, the last elections were held in two rounds in December 2019 and January 2020. The next elections will be held in December 2024 and January 2025.

Prime Minister: Andrej Plenković. The current government was appointed in July 2020, the government is led by the center-right Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and supported by the Croatian People’s Party (HNS), reformists and eight members of parliament from ethnic minorities. The Parliament (Hrvatski Sabor) is unicameral and has 151 seats. The last elections were held in July 2020, the next parliamentary elections will take place in July 2024. Check computerminus to learn more about Croatia political system.

Deputy Prime Ministers:
Minister of Croatian Veterans: Tomo Medved (HDZ)
Minister without portfolio: Anja Simpraga (SDSS)
Minister of Finance: Zdravko Marić (Independent)
Minister of the Interior: Davor Božinović (HDZ)
Key ministers:
Minister of Agriculture: Marja Vučković (HDZ)
Minister of Construction, Spatial Planning and State Property: Ivan Paladina (Independent)
Minister of Culture: Nina Obuljen Koržinek (Independent)
Minister of Defense: Mario Banožić (HDZ)
Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development: Davor Filipovič (HDZ)
Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Affairs: Gordan Grlić-Radman (HDZ)
Minister of Health: Vili Beroš (HDZ)
Minister of Justice and Public Administration: Ivan Malenica ( HDZ)
Minister of Labor and Social Affairs: Marin Piletiić (HDZ)
Minister of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure: Oleg Butković (HDZ)
Minister for Regional Development and EU Funds: Nataša Tramišak (HDZ)
Minister for Science and Education: Radovan Fuchs (HDZ)
Minister of Tourism and Sports: Nikolina Brnjac (HDZ).

Political trends and outlook
The ruling coalition has only a narrow majority of 77 out of 151 votes in the parliament. Disputes between the president and the government, particularly in the area of ​​defense and foreign policy, have significantly affected the political dynamics in the last two years. The current situation suggests that the next elections await Croatia in the spring of 2024 at the earliest (elections to the European Parliament and parliamentary elections). Croatia is currently focusing on three foreign policy priorities: Entry into Schengen, entry into the Eurozone and entry into the OECD. Territorially, Croatian foreign policy is defined by membership in the EU and NATO. The traditional role in foreign policy is played by the transatlantic link with the USA and, in recent years, also the effort to get closer to the Franco-German core of the EU. Croatia supports the admission of new members to the EU and NATO with the aim of stabilizing the region with which it is directly adjacent.

Foreign policy of the country

In the last twenty years, Croatian foreign policy has focused on the country’s integration into Euro-Atlantic structures, especially the European Union and NATO. In order to gain access to European and transatlantic institutions, it had to cope with the many negative effects of the breakup of the former Yugoslavia as well as the civil war that followed. At the same time, she had to improve and maintain good relations with her neighbors. Croatia has established diplomatic relations with 194 countries, in 2021 it had a network of 57 embassies, 30 consulates and 8 permanent diplomatic missions abroad. In addition, the Republic of Croatia now hosts 56 foreign embassies and 67 consulates, as well as several offices of international organizations such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)., World Bank, World Health Organization (WHO), International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), United Nations Development Program (UNDP), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and UNICEF. The main goals of Croatian foreign policy are to strengthen relations with neighboring countries, develop international cooperation and support the Croatian economy. Croatia acceded to the European Union on 1 July 2013, marking the end of a process started in 2001 by signing the Stabilization and Association Agreement and applying for EU membership in 2003. Croatia was invited to join NATO in 2008 and formally joined alliance on April 1, 2009. The country is currently preparing to enter the Schengen Area and the Eurozone. These, along with the interest in joining the OECD, are the main priorities of the government. Check relationshipsplus for Croatia defense and foreign policy.

Croatia has a number of unresolved bilateral issues, especially with directly neighboring countries. Croatia has a specific interest in the events in neighboring Bosnia and Herzegovina, where Croatia supports the political interests of Bosnian Croats in particular. Mutual relations with Serbia are heavily burdened by a whole series of past issues. Positive and relatively active relations are maintained with China, even in the context of cooperation between the countries of Central and Eastern Europe (the so-called 17+1 format). In recent years, Chinese companies have participated in dozens of tenders for the construction and/or operation of transport infrastructure (highways, railways, the deep-sea terminal of the port of Rijeka). However, the only success so far is the victory of the CRBC company in April 2018 in the tender for the construction of a bridge from the mainland to the Pelješac peninsula worth over HRK 2 billion. The bridge should be put into operation in July 2022.

Population

Demographic trends in Croatia have been negative for a long time. people (128,000 people under the age of 35 left the country in the last 13 years). In January tr, the Statistical Office published the preliminary results of the population census, which took place in the fall of 2021. Croatia lost 9.25% of its population, there was a significant decrease in the population from 4.28 million to 3.89 million. The numbers decreased in all Croatian regions (counties), including the capital city of Zagreb (here the decline is the lowest, but still amounts to -2.54% over 10 years). The east of the country (Slavonia) is the most affected. Compared to 1991, when Croatia declared independence (4.78 million people lived in the country at that time), this is a decrease of 18.7%. The most affected is the Vukovar-Srijem County (-19.54%, the region bears considerable trauma from the war t years 1991-1995) and Sisak-Moslavina County (-18.49%, which was also affected by the war and the post-war exodus of Serbs and the year before last by a devastating earthquake). The north of the country (Zagreb, Zagorje, Mezimuří), the northwest (Istria) and the south of the country (Dalmatia) are less affected by the population decline. The Czech community is equally affected by negative demographic trends. The largest number of Croatian Czechs live in the Bjelovar-Bilogora County, whose total population, according to the census results, fell by 14.59% in 10 years. Abroad, apart from Western Europe (where approximately 1 million Croats live), up to 4 million people of Croatian origin found a new home (mainly in the USA, Canada, South America and Australia). The Croatian labor market represents million people, the share of the economically active population is approximately 51%, which is one of the lowest in the EU.

Ethnic composition: In terms of ethnic composition, the absolute majority of the population is Croats (90.42%). The only minorities that make up more than one percent of the population are Serbs (4.4%), Bosnians (0.73%), Italians (0.42%), Albanians (0.41%), Roma (0.40%), Hungarians (0.33%), Slovenians (0.25%) and the Czech minority, which represents 0.22% of the country’s population.
Population density: 73 persons/km2. Regarding the religious composition of the population, 86.28% are Catholics, 4.44% Orthodox, 1.47% Muslims, 3.81% are of no religion.