The Republic of Croatia is a sovereign country at the crossroads of Central Europe, Southeast Europe, and the Mediterranean that declared its independence from SFR Yugoslavia on 25 June 1991. Croatia is a member of the European Union (EU), United Nations (UN), the Council of Europe, NATO, the World Trade Organization (WTO), Union for the Mediterranean and a number of other international organizations. Croatia has established diplomatic relations with 181 countries. President and the Government, through the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, co-operate in the formulation and implementation of foreign policy.
The main objectives of Croatian foreign policy during the 1990s were gaining international recognition and joining the United Nations. After these objectives have been achieved by year 2000, two main goals became NATO and EU membership. Croatia fulfilled both of these goals, first in 2009, second in 2013. Current Croatian goals in foreign policy are: positioning within the EU institutions and in the region, cooperation with NATO partners and strengthening multilateral and bilateral cooperation worldwide.
Croatian foreign policy has focused on greater Euro-Atlantic integration, mainly entering the European Union and NATO. In order to gain access to European and trans-Atlantic institutions, it has had to undo many negative effects of the breakup of Yugoslavia and the war that ensued, and improve and maintain good relations with its neighbors.
Key issues over the last decade have been the implementation of the Dayton Accords and the Erdut Agreement, nondiscriminatory facilitation of the return of refugees and displaced persons from the 1991-95 war including property restitution for ethnic Serbs, resolution of border disputes with Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro, and general democratization.
Croatia has had an uneven record in these areas between 1996 and 1999 during the right-wing HDZ government, inhibiting its relations with the European Union and the United States. Improvement in these areas severely hindered the advance of Croatia's prospects for further Euro-Atlantic integration. Progress in the areas of Dayton, Erdut, and refugee returns were evident in 1998, but progress was slow and required intensive international engagement.
Croatia's unsatisfactory performance implementing broader democratic reforms in 1998 raised questions about the ruling party's commitment to basic democratic principles and norms. Areas of concern included restrictions on freedom of speech, one-party control of public TV and radio, repression of independent media, unfair electoral regulations, a judiciary that is not fully independent, and lack of human and civil rights protection.
A centre-left coalition government was elected in early 2000. The SDP-led government slowly relinquished control over public media companies and did not interfere with freedom of speech and independent media, though it did not complete the process of making Croatian Radiotelevision independent. Judiciary reforms remained a pending issue as well.
Major Croatian advances in foreign relations during this period have included:
Foreign relations were severely affected by the government's hesitance and stalling of the extradition of Croatian general Janko Bobetko to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), and inability to take general Ante Gotovina into custody for questioning by the Court.
Refugee returns accelerated since 1999, reached a peak in 2000, but then slightly decreased in 2001 and 2002. The OSCE mission in Croatia has continued to monitor the return of refugees and is still recording civil rights violations. Croatian Serbs continue to have problems with restitution of property and acceptance to the reconstruction assistance programmes. Combined with lacking economic opportunities in the rural areas of former Krajina, the return process is highly troubled.
At the time of Croatia's application to the European Union, three EU members states were yet to ratify the Stabilization and Association Agreement: United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Italy. The new Sanader government elected in 2003 elections repeated the assurances that Croatia will fulfill the missing political obligations, and expedited the extradition of several ICTY inductees. The European Commission replied to the answers of the questionnaire sent to Croatia on 20 April 2004 with a positive opinion. The country was finally accepted as EU candidate in July 2004. Italy and United Kingdom ratified the Stabilization and Association Agreement shortly thereafter, while the ten EU member states that were admitted to membership that year ratified it all together at a 2004 European Summit. In December 2004, the EU leaders announced that accession negotiations with Croatia would start on 17 March 2005 provided that Croatian government cooperates fully with the ICTY. The main issue, the flight of general Gotovina, however, remained unsolved and despite the agreement on an accession negotiation framework, the negotiations did not begin in March 2005. On 4 October 2005 Croatia finally received green light for accession negotiations after the Chief Prosecutor of the ICTY Carla Del Ponte officially stated that Croatia is fully cooperating with the Tribunal. This has been the main condition demanded by EU foreign ministers for accession negotiations. The ICTY called upon other southern European states to follow Croatia's good example. Thanks to the consistent position of Austria during the meeting of EU foreign ministers, a long period of instability and the questioning of the determination of the Croatian government to extradite alleged war criminals has ended successfully. Croatian Prime minister Ivo Sanader declared that full cooperation with the Hague Tribunal will continue. The accession process was also complicated by the insistence of Slovenia, an EU member state, that the two countries' border issues be dealt with prior to Croatia's accession to the EU.
Croatia finished accession negotiations on 30 June 2011, and on 9 December 2011, signed the Treaty of Accession. A referendum on EU accession was held in Croatia on 22 January 2012, with 66% of participants voting in favour of joining the Union. The ratification process was concluded on 21 June 2013, and entry into force and accession of Croatia to the EU took place on 1 July 2013.
The main objective of the Croatian foreign policy is positioning within the EU institutions and in the region, cooperation with NATO partners and strengthening multilateral and bilateral cooperation.
Croatia has established diplomatic relations with 174 countries. As of 2009, Croatia maintains a network of 51 embassies, 24 consulates and eight permanent diplomatic missions abroad. Furthermore, there are 52 foreign embassies and 69 consulates in the Republic of Croatia in addition to offices of international organizations such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, International Organization for Migration, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), World Bank, World Health Organization, International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), United Nations Development Programme, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and UNICEF.
Republic of Croatia participates in the following international organizations: CE, CEI, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, EU, FAO, G11, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, ITUC, NAM (observer), NATO, OAS (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PCA, PFP, SECI, UN, UNAMSIL, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMEE, UNMOGIP, UPU, WCO, WEU (associate), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO
There exists a Permanent Representative of Croatia to the United Nations.
Croatia receives support from donor programs of:
Between 1991 and 2003, the EBRD had directly invested a total of 1,212,039,000 EUR into projects in Croatia.
In 1998, U.S. support to Croatia came through the Southeastern European Economic Development Program (SEED), whose funding in Croatia totaled $23.25 million. More than half of that money was used to fund programs encouraging sustainable returns of refugees and displaced persons. About one-third of the assistance was used for democratization efforts, and another 5% funded financial sector restructuring.
In 2003 USAID considered Croatia to be on a "glide path for graduation" along with Bulgaria. Its 2002/2003/2004 funding includes around $10 million for economic development, up to $5 million for the development of democratic institutions, about $5 million for the return of population affected by war and between 2 and 3 million dollars for the "mitigation of adverse social conditions and trends". A rising amount of funding is given to cross-cutting programs in anti-corruption, slightly under one million dollars.
Relations with neighbouring states have normalized somewhat since the breakup of Yugoslavia. Work has begun -- bilaterally and within the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe since 1999 -- on political and economic cooperation in the region.
Discussions continue between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina on various sections of the border, the longest border with another country for each of these countries.
Sections of the Una river and villages at the base of Mount Plje?evica are in Croatia, while some are in Bosnia, which causes an excessive number of border crossings on a single route and impedes any serious development in the region. The Zagreb-Biha?-Split railway line is still closed for major traffic due to this issue.
The border on the Una river between Hrvatska Kostajnica on the northern, Croatian side of the river, and Bosanska Kostajnica on the southern, Bosnian side, is also being discussed. A river island between the two towns is under Croatian control, but is also claimed by Bosnia. A shared border crossing point has been built and has been functioning since 2003, and is used without hindrance by either party.
The Herzegovinian municipality of Neum in the south makes the southernmost part of Croatia an exclave and the two countries are negotiating special transit rules through Neum to compensate for that. Recently Croatia has opted to build a bridge to the Pelje?ac peninsula to connect the Croatian mainland with the exclave but Bosnia and Herzegovina has protested that the bridge will close its access to international waters (although Croatian territory and territorial waters surround Bosnian-Herzegovinian territory and waters completely) and has suggested that the bridge must be higher than 55 meters for free passage of all types of ships. Negotiations are still being held.
The relations between Croatia and Italy have been largely cordial and friendly, although occasional incidents do arise on issues such as the Istrian exodus or the Ecological and Fisheries Protection Zone.
Croatia and Montenegro have a largely latent border dispute over the Prevlaka peninsula.
Croatia and Slovenia have several land and maritime boundary disputes, mainly in the Gulf of Piran, regarding Slovenian access to international waters, a small number of pockets of land on the right-hand side of the river Dragonja, and around the Sveta Gera peak.
Other issues that have yet to be fully resolved include:
|Country||Formal relations began||Notes|
|Algeria||15 October 1992|
|Angola||16 November 1994|
|Benin||26 March 2001|
|Botswana||9 September 2005|
|Burkina Faso||18 May 1995|
|Cape Verde||13 August 1994||
|Chad||17 September 1999||
|Comoros||29 June 1999||
|Côte d'Ivoire||17 October 1995|
|Djibouti||25 May 2017|
|Egypt||1 October 1992||
|Eritrea||4 June 1999||
|Ethiopia||17 October 1995||
|Gabon||22 October 2001||
|Gambia||16 October 1998|
|Ghana||17 February 1993|
|Guinea-Bissau||19 October 1995||
|Kenya||22 May 1992|
|Lesotho||6 November 1998|
|Libya||30 March 2000||
|Madagascar||27 September 2006|
|Malawi||13 October 1998|
|Mali||20 September 1995|
|Mauritania||11 November 2004||
|Mauritius||3 September 1997||
|Morocco||26 June 1992||
|Mozambique||23 August 1996||
|Namibia||22 June 1998|
|Nigeria||7 January 1993|
|São Tomé and Príncipe||23 May 1993||
|Senegal||1 October 1997||
|Seychelles||30 September 1997||
|South Africa||19 November 1992||
|Sudan||17 July 1992|
|Tanzania||2 July 1993|
|Togo||20 December 1993||
|Tunisia||30 January 1993||
|Uganda||10 March 1999||
|Zambia||20 September 1995|
|Zimbabwe||12 February 1999|
|Country||Formal relations began||Notes|
|Antigua and Barbuda||20 September 1999|
|Argentina||13 April 1992||See Argentina-Croatia relations
|Bahamas||31 January 2017|
|Belize||23 January 1996|
|Bolivia||26 November 1992|
|Brazil||23 December 1992||See Brazil-Croatia relations|
|Canada||14 April 1993|
|Chile||15 April 1992||See Chile-Croatia relations|
|Colombia||25 April 1995|
|Costa Rica||19 October 1995|
|Cuba||23 September 1992||
|Ecuador||22 February 1996|
|El Salvador||24 July 1997||
|Grenada||19 May 2000||
|Guatemala||22 December 1992||
|Guyana||25 February 2003|
|Honduras||20 September 1999||
|Jamaica||9 October 1996|
|Mexico||6 December 1992||See Croatia-Mexico relations|
|Nicaragua||29 March 1996|
|Panama||12 June 1996|
|Paraguay||13 March 1992||
|Peru||12 January 1993|
|Saint Lucia||10 December 1997||
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||7 October 1994||
|Suriname||17 December 1997|
|Trinidad and Tobago||14 December 2011|
|United States of America||11 August 1992||See Croatia-United States relations|
|Uruguay||4 May 1993||See Croats in Uruguay|
|Venezuela||9 October 1992|
|Country||Formal relations began||Notes|
|Afghanistan||3 January 1996||
|Armenia||8 July 1994||See Armenia-Croatia relations
|Azerbaijan||26 January 1995||See Azerbaijan-Croatia relations
|Bahrain||18 January 1993||
|Cambodia||10 September 1996||
|China (People's Republic)||13 May 1992||
|Georgia||1 February 1993|
|India||9 July 1992|
|Indonesia||3 September 1992||
|Iran||18 April 1992||See Croatia-Iran relations|
|Iraq||5 January 2005|
|Israel||4 September 1997||See Croatia-Israel relations
|Japan||5 March 1993||
|Jordan||29 June 1994|
|Kazakhstan||20 October 1992||
|Kuwait||10 August 1994|
|Kyrgyzstan||23 December 1996|
|Laos||4 March 1996|
|Lebanon||5 December 1994|
|Malaysia||4 May 1992|
|Maldives||8 April 1997||
|Mongolia||10 March 1993||
|Myanmar||3 September 1999|
|Nepal||6 February 1998|
|North Korea||30 November 1992|
|Pakistan||20 July 1994||
|Philippines||25 February 1993||
|Qatar||5 December 1992||See Croatia-Qatar relations|
|Saudi Arabia||8 June 1995||See Croatia-Saudi Arabia relations|
|Singapore||23 November 1992||
|South Korea||18 November 1992||
|Sri Lanka||14 February 1997|
|Syria||29 August 1997||
|Tajikistan||1 April 1999||
|Thailand||9 September 1992||
|Timor-Leste||5 February 2003|
|Turkey||26 August 1992||
|Turkmenistan||2 July 1996||See Croatia-Turkmenistan relations
|United Arab Emirates||23 June 1992|
|Uzbekistan||6 February 1995|
|Vietnam||1 July 1994||
|Yemen||17 January 1993|
|Country||Formal relations began||Notes|
|Albania||25 August 1992||See Albania-Croatia relations
|Andorra||28 April 1995|
|Austria||15 January 1992||See Austria-Croatia relations
|Belarus||25 September 1992||See Belarus-Croatia relations
|Belgium||10 March 1992||See Belgium-Croatia relations
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||21 July 1992||See Bosnia and Herzegovina - Croatia relations
|Bulgaria||13 August 1992||See Bulgaria-Croatia relations|
|Cyprus||4 February 1993||
|Czech Republic||1 January 1993||
|Denmark||1 February 1992||
|Estonia||2 March 1992|
|Finland||19 February 1992||
|France||24 April 1992||
|Germany||15 January 1992|
|Greece||20 July 1992||
|Holy See||8 February 1992|
|Hungary||18 January 1992||
|Iceland||30 June 1992||
|Ireland||27 January 1995|
|Italy||17 January 1992||
|Kosovo||30 June 2008||
|Latvia||14 February 1992||
|Liechtenstein||4 February 1992||
|Lithuania||18 March 1992||
|Luxembourg||29 April 1992|
|Malta||30 June 1992||
|Moldova||28 July 1992||
|Monaco||14 December 2007|
|Montenegro||7 July 2006||
|Netherlands||23 April 1992||
|North Macedonia||30 March 1992||
|Norway||20 February 1992|
|Poland||11 April 1992||
|Portugal||3 February 1992|
|Romania||29 August 1992|
|Russia||25 May 1992||
|San Marino||11 February 1993|
|Serbia||9 September 1996
then as FR Yugoslavia and including Montenegro
|See Croatia-Serbia relations
|Slovakia||1 January 1993||
|Slovenia||6 February 1992||See Croatia-Slovenia relations
|Sovereign Military Order of Malta||22 December 1992||
|Spain||9 March 1992||See Croatia-Spain relations|
|Sweden||29 January 1992||
|Switzerland||30 January 1992||
|Turkey||26 August 1992|
|Ukraine||18 February 1992|
|United Kingdom||24 June 1992||
|Country||Formal Relations Began||Notes|
|Australia||13 February 1992||
|Fiji||14 June 1997|
|Nauru||14 December 2000|
|New Zealand||25 February 1992||
|Samoa||8 March 1994||
|Tuvalu||2 November 2020|
|Vanuatu||18 April 2000|
Croatia hasn't established diplomatic relations with these 11 UN member and 1 observer states:
|Central African Republic|
| State of Palestine
(Not recognized by Croatia. Note that Palestine was granted "non-member observer state" status in 2012.)
According to the former Croatian diplomat Budimir Lon?ar, Croatia hasn't established diplomatic relations with 13 UN member states because those states are not present in international relations, nor are that much politically active so Croatia wasn't interested in initiating any diplomatic relations. Former Yugoslavian diplomat, sociologist Ivica Ma?truko discarded any political reasons, stating that those 13 countries are not internationally active and do not have diplomatic representatives in many international organizations and larger countries, nor they have elaborate diplomatic apparatus so Croatia shows no interest in developing diplomatic relations with them. Nevertheless, Croatia is the process of establishing diplomatic relations with Burundi and Djibouti thanks to the local Catholic missionaries who have been working in these two countries for many years.
The Mongol way now led via Lake Balaton to a crossing of the Drava river into Croatia. The Mongols soon captured Zagreb, and before very long they were in ...
The diplomatic relations between Belarus and Croatia were established on September 25, 1992. There is no Belarusian Embassy to Croatia and there is no Embassy of Croatia to Belarus. The states maintain their bilateral relations through their embassies to Russia.[permanent dead link]