Croatia Today

Here’s a brief round-up of Croatia today – the currently political state of affairs in the country, who its leaders are, and its standing on the global stage.

The country is a parliamentary democracy. The last general elections were held in September 2016 (having previously only been held in November 2015 – then resulting in a hung parliament) after a motion of no confidence in June 2016 against then Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic, a Croatian-Canadian businessman. Once again, no one party won a majority so a coalition was once again formed made up of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) – who have governed Croatia for much of its history since independence – along with The Bridge of Independent Lists (MOST) and some other small minority parties. Andrej Plenkovic, leader of HDZ, became Prime Minister on 19th October 2016.

Croatia Today

The Croatian Parliament – the Sabor – on the right, next to St Marks Church, Zagreb

Presidential elections were last held in December 2014 and January 2015. As in the previous set of presidential elections in 2009/10, no one candidate managed to obtain more than 50% of the vote in the first round, so the top two candidates – incumbent Ivo Josipovic (backed by the Social Democratic Party) and Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic (HDZ) went through to a second round that took place on 11th January 2015. Ms Grabar-Kitarovic came away as the winner in a very close election – she received 50.74% of the vote compared to 49.26% for Mr Josipovic. Ms Grabar-Kitarovic therefore became the fourth – and first female – President of Croatia. You can read more in this BBC News article: Grabar-Kitarovic elected Croatia’s first woman president (12th January 2015).

Croatia received an invitation to join NATO in 2008, and officially became a member on 1st April 2009.

We are pleased to say that Croatia is finally part of the European Union! Croatian joined the EU on 1st July 2013 after a rather lengthy entry negotiation process – the country officially applied to be part of the EU in 2003.

If you’d like to read more about the official initial stages of Croatia joining the EU (President Ivo Josipovic and outgoing Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor signed Croatia’s accession treaty to the EU on 9th December 2011), you can read about it in this BBC News article: Croatia signs treaty to join EU in middle of 2013 or from Bloomberg: Croatia Signs Up to Become EU’s 28th Member. You may also be interested in an article from earlier in 2011, when the European Commission officially recommended to the EU that they should accept Croatia: Croatia cleared for EU membership in 2013.

For some articles on Croatia’s actual entry into the EU, please see:

  • You’re very welcome! Yes, I do hope that you’ll find places/transport accommodating. It may help that you’re going off season when places won’t be anywhere near as busy as summer, and people will be more willing to accept a dog (perhaps grateful for some custom in mid April!). Indeed, I don’t think that you’d need to book accommodation as you can just search for it when there.

    Wow – your map is brilliant…I love it!

    Enjoy your time in Croatia!

  • Annushka Sonic-Weener

    You’re being extremely helpful, thanks! We’ve definitely got no problem keeping him on the leash at all times, and hopefully we’ll be able to find restaurants and transport as you suggest, by just calling in advance.

    We plan to travel from around April 10 to 28, as that’s when my husband was able to get vacation. I’m quite excited about picking wild asparagus in Istria, hopefully we won’t miss it because of the unusually warm spring! We know we’ll be in Split and then Dubrovnik over Easter to meet friends, and other than that it’s up to us. We’ve got a car and a tent and hope to take advantage of it being off-season to not have to book too much in advance.

    It’s a great google map. I’ve actually been making myself a similar one for this trip:

    Thanks again!

  • Hi there, thanks very much for your kind words – glad you have found our website useful! I’m afraid dogs in Croatia isn’t something I know much about (in a day-to-day, actually going around with a dog, sense) – in some of the main towns/cities, it seems like *everyone* has a dog and likes to proudly walk (around with) them as if they’re a status symbol. Unfortunately, I think you’re right about dogs and public transport – in some cases they’re just not allowed, in some cases it might be at the discretion of the driver and so on. For taxis, I would perhaps simply ask when booking/hiring a taxi; again, likely to be at the discretion of the driver. I notice there’s quite a few blogs on people visiting places in Croatia with dogs – I’d maybe email some of them to see how they got on and if they could provide any pointers. Whereabouts will you be visiting?

    Dogs *are* allowed in national parks, as far as I know, but you would have to keep your dog on a leash at all times.

    There are some dog/dog friendly beaches in the country, although I couldn’t find a proper resource. However, this – – looks like it’s been created by someone helpful!

    Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful! Hope you and your dog enjoy Croatia!

  • Annushka Sonic-Weener

    Hi, I’ve noticed you’re very attentive and helpful so I thought I would also ask a question! We will be driving to Croatia from Dresden for the last three weeks in April, accompanied by our microchipped dog (he has a Spanish passport). We’ve read the technical requirements to bring him in and it’s all fine, and the accommodation we’ve been booking is all pet-friendly.

    But I’ve been hearing some horror stories from friends who’ve found out once they arrived that dogs are not allowed on any public transport or taxis, which makes it difficult to get into cities if your car is also not allowed in. Do you know if there are any resources about this? A map of dog-friendly beaches would be great. We’d also love to know if any national parks have restrictions on dogs.

    Thanks for a great website!