Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.
Skip to main content
European Commission logo


EACEA National Policies Platform


5. Participation

5.1 General context

Last update: 27 March 2024
On this page
  1. Main concepts
  2. Institutions of representative democracy

Main concepts

There are no definitions, concepts, or specific terminology regarding youth participation in Croatian youth policy.


Institutions of representative democracy

The government in the Republic of Croatia is organised on the principle of the separation of powers into legislative, executive, and judicial branches. This structure, however, is constrained by the recognition of the right to local and regional self-government. Hence, citizens are guaranteed the right to local and regional self-government.  This right is to be realised through the election of local and regional representative bodies in free elections. Additionally, citizens  can directly participate in administering local affairs through meetings, referendums, and other forms of direct decision-making, all in accordance with the law and statutes.



In Croatia, parliamentary and local elections occur every four years, while presidential and European parliamentary elections are held every five years. According to the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia, every adult Croatian citizen has the right to vote and be elected. Elections occur through a secret ballot and direct voting. Furthermore, the Croatian Constitution allows all citizens to vote, even if they are not currently in Croatia during elections.

The Croatian Parliament (Hrvatski sabor) is the body of elected representatives of the people and holds the legislative power in the Republic of Croatia. 

According to the Constitution, the Croatian Parliament consists of 100 to 160 representatives. Constitutional Law on the Rights of National Minorities allows national minorities to have at least five and not more than eight representatives in the national Parliament. Specifically, in accordance with the Act on Election of Representatives to the Croatian Parliament:

  • members of the Serbian national minority shall elect three representatives to the Parliament, consistent to the Constitutional Law on the Rights of National Minorities
  • members of the Hungarian national minority shall elect one representative to the Parliament
  • members of the Italian national minority shall elect one representative to the Parliament
  • members of the Czech and Slovakian national minorities shall together elect one representative to the Parliament
  • members of Austrian, Bulgarian, German, Polish, Roma, Romanian, Ruthenian, Russian, Turkish, Ukrainian, Wallachian, and Jewish national minorities shall together elect one representative to the Parliament
  • members of Albanian, Bosnian, Montenegrin, Macedonian, and Slovenian national minorities shall together elect one representative to the Parliament

The Croatian Parliament presently consists of 151 representatives.

The Croatian Parliament:

  • decides on the enactment and amendment of the Constitution 
  • passes laws and adopts the State Budget 
  • passes declarations expressing the policies of the Croatian Parliament
  • elects, appoints and dismisses – and oversees the work of – the Croatian Government and other bodies vested with public authority accountable to the Croatian Parliament
  • determines matters related to war and peace 
  • adopts the national security and defence strategy
  • conducts civilian oversight of the armed forces and security services of the Republic of Croatia 
  • calls referendums and conducts elections 
  • holds authority in granting amnesty for penal offences
  • conducts other affairs as stipulated by the Constitution



1. The President of the Republic of Croatia

The President of the Republic of Croatia presents and represents the Republic of Croatia both domestically and internationally. Additionally, the President is responsible for safeguarding the independence and territorial integrity of the Republic of Croatia. The President is elected through direct, universal, and equal suffrage by secret ballot for a term of five years. The President’s mandate is limited to two terms.

2. The Government of the Republic of Croatia

The Government of the Republic of Croatia exercises executive power in accordance with the Constitution and the law. Its organisation, operation, and decision-making are regulated by the Act on the Government of the Republic of Croatia and its rules of procedure. The Government proposes laws and other acts to the Croatian Parliament, including the State Budget and final accounts. It implements laws and decisions of the Parliament, passes regulations for law implementation, conducts foreign and internal politics, directs and controls state administration, works on the country’s economic growth, oversees the activities and expansion of public services, and conducts other affairs as specified by the Constitution and the law. The Government is responsible to the Croatian Parliament.


Local self-government in Croatia

Constitutional provisions state that the units of local self-government (municipalities and towns) ”shall administer affairs of local jurisdiction by which the needs of citizens are directly fulfilled, and in particular affairs related to the organisation of localities and housing, zoning and urban planning, public utilities, child care, social welfare, primary health services, education and primary schools, culture, physical education and sports, customer protection, protection and improvement of the environment, fire protection and civil defense.  Units of regional self-government (counties) ’shall administer affairs of regional significance, and in particular the affairs related to education, health service, zoning and urban planning, economic development, transportation and transportation infrastructure and the development of the network of educational, health, social and cultural institutions’.