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Croatia

Croatia

5. Participation

5.1 General context

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

As written in the Constitution, The Republic of Croatia is a unitary, indivisible, democratic and social state. Power in the Republic of Croatia derives from the people and belongs to the people as a community of free and equal citizens. Moreover, the Republic of Croatia is formed and is developing as a sovereign and democratic state in which the equality, freedoms and rights of man and citizen are guaranteed and ensured, and their economic and cultural progress, and social welfare, promoted. 

Government in the Republic of Croatia is organised on the principle of the separation of powers into legislative, executive and judicial but limited by the right to local and regional self-government. Hence, citizens are guaranteed the right to local and regional self-government.  The right is to be realised through local and regional representative bodies elected in free elections and citizens are also able to directly participate in administering local affairs, through meetings, referendums and other forms of direct decision-making, in conformity with law and statute.

Legislative

In Croatia, parliamentary and local elections are organized every 4 years while presidential and the European parliamentary elections are held every 5 years. According to the Croatian Constitution, every Croatian citizen of full age has the right to vote and be elected. The election is conducted by secret ballot and direct suffrage. Moreover, the Croatian constitution allows voting to all citizens who at the time of elections might not be present in Croatia.

The Croatian Parliament (Sabor) is the body of elected representatives of the people and is vested with the legislative power in the Republic of Croatia.

The Croatian Parliament (Sabor), according to the Constitution consists of 100-160 parliamentary seats. Constitutional Law on national minorities (OG 155/2002) allows national minorities to have at least five and not more than 8 representatives at the national parliament.  Moreover, the Act on Election of Representatives to the Croatian Parliament (NN 116/99, 109/00, 53/03, 69/03, 167/03, 44/06, 19/07, 20/09, 145/10, 24/11, 93/11, 120/11,  19/15, 104/15, 98/19) states that:

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

The Croatian Parliament currently has 151 representatives.

The Croatian Parliament decides on the enactment and amendment of the constitution, passes laws, adopts the state budget, decides on war and peace, passes acts which express the politics of the Croatian Parliament, decides on the strategy of national security and the strategy of defence for the Republic of Croatia, carries out civil control of the armed forces and security services of the Republic of Croatia, calls referendums, carries out elections, appointments and relief of office in conformity with the constitution and law, supervises the work of the Government of the Republic of Croatia and other holders of public powers responsible to the Croatian Parliament in conformity with the constitution and law, grants amnesty for penal offences and conducts other affairs as specified by the constitution.

Executive

1. The President of the Republic of Croatia

The President of the Republic of Croatia presents and represents the Republic of Croatia at home and abroad, and is responsible for the defence of the independence and territorial integrity of the Republic of Croatia. The President is elected on the basis of direct universal and equal suffrage by secret ballot for a term of five years. Nobody can be elected President of the Republic more than two times.

2. The Government of the Republic of Croatia

The Government of the Republic of Croatia exercises executive power in conformity with the constitution and law, with the organisation, operation and decision-making regulated by the Law on the Government of the Republic of Croatia and its rule of procedures. The government proposes laws and other acts to the Croatian Parliament, the state budget and final accounts, implements laws and other decisions of parliament, passes regulations for the implementation of laws, conducts foreign and internal politics, directs and controls the work of state administration, works on the economic growth of the country, directs the activities and expansion of public services, conducts other affairs as specified by the constitution and 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) are ‘to carry out the affairs of local jurisdiction by which the needs of citizens are directly fulfilled, and in particular the affairs related to the organization of localities and housing, area and urban planning, public utilities, child care, social welfare, primary health services, education and elementary schools, culture, physical education and sports, customer protection, protection and improvement of the environment, fire protection and civil defence’.  The units of regional self-government (counties) are ‘to carry out the affairs of regional significance, and in particular the affairs related to education, health service, area and urban planning, economic development, traffic and traffic infrastructure and the development of networks of educational, health, social and cultural institutions’.