land and people
Croatia is a parliamentary democracy and is organised as a unitary republic. It is a member of the United Nations (1992), NATO (2009) and the European Union (2013).

Political organisation

Croatia is a parliamentary democracy and is organised as a unitary republic. The welfare state, freedom, equality, equal rights and the rule of law are among the highest values of the constitutional order. The political system is based on the principle of the division of power into three branches: the legislative, the executive and the judiciary. The Croatian Parliament, or Sabor has a single house and has inherited many centuries of parliamentary tradition; its members are elected for four years. The President of the Republic, who is elected by general, direct election for a period of five years, represents the country abroad, cooperates with the Government in shaping and implementing foreign policy and commands the armed forces. The Government proposes laws and the State Budget, leads foreign and internal policy, and directs and monitors the work of the state administration. Croatia is divided administratively into 20 counties and the City of Zagreb. Alongside the judiciary, the institute of the Ombudsman promotes and protects the legal rights of citizens. There are also Ombudsmen for Children, Gender Equality, and Persons with Disabilities.

The Constitution

The Croatian Parliament adopted the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia on 22 December 1990, so it is popularly known as the ‘Christmas Constitution’. The Constitution was amended in 1997, 2000, 2001 and 2010.

Electoral system

The political system of Croatia is based on the principle of the division of power between the legislative, executive and judicial branches. The Constitution confirms that the people have the power to elect their own...

Legislative power

In accordance with legal tradition, the Croatian Parliament is called the Sabor. The oldest preserved records of sessions of the Sabor date back to 1273. Until the 16th century, the Slavonian and Croatian Sabors...

Executive power

The President of the Republic represents and acts for the Republic of Croatia at home and abroad. The President is elected pursuant to universal and equal suffrage by direct election for a period of five years.

Judicial power

Judicial power is exercised by the courts, which are autonomous and independent. According to the law, bodies of state authority are obliged to protect the Constitution and laws confirmed by the legal order of the...


The basic units of regional self-government are the counties (županija in Croatian). The present administrative territorial division of the country was introduced in 1997, when the 1992 division was changed.