The Croatia (in Croatian: Hrvatska ), officially Republic of Croatia (in Croatian: Republika Hrvatska ) is a State of the South of the Europe which extends from the Eastern end of the the Alps, on its borders in the North-West and of the plains pannoniennes in the North-East, to the littoral of the Adriatic Sea in the south, while passing by the mountainous solid mass of the Alps Dinariques in the center. It is surrounded by the Slovenia, the Hungary, the Serbia, the Bosnia-Herzégovine and the Montenegro. Its capital is Zagreb. Croatia is candidate with adhesion with the European Union and NATO.
See also: History of Croatia
Croatia was, throughout its history, with the crossroads of four big spaces cultural, which confers a richness on its inheritance, as well architectural as artistic. In addition to the Slavic character of its inhabitants which goes back to the end of the 6th century, Croatia was subject to the Venetian influences on the Dalmatian coast on the one hand, and the Austro-Hungarians influences in the plains of the north of Slavonie and in the basin of the the Danube on the other hand. This heritage comes to superimpose on that préroman - Roman and Byzantine - more diffuse but to which it owes its Christian tradition . The immediate vicinity of the Ottoman Empire, of, whose expansion stopped out of Croatian ground, also had its importance since Croatia inherited its current borders in form them “horseshoe”.
Contemporary Croatia is also the heiress of the medieval Croatian Royaume, initially independent then associated in 1102 with the Hungarian crown and in 1527 integrated into the grounds of Habsbourg, become the Austria-Hungary of 1867 to 1918. At the beginning of the 15th century, the coastal province of Dalmatie became Venetian for four centuries, then French of 1809 to 1814, within the Provinces it which reflect fine with the République of Raguse. The Croatian aspired to the formation of a Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia-Dalmatie, within the framework of Austro-Hungarian monarchy, but the Austro-Hungarian agreement of 1867 left Dalmatie to the Austria, while Croatia and the Slavonia remained in Hungary.
If the Croats always fought, since the end of the 11th century, to preserve their autonomy, the side-Slavic and Yugoslav feeling developed to with it as from the years 1830. The 11th century saw, for the first time, Croatia linked with its Slavic neighbors. From 1918 to 1941, it was in the shape of a kingdom centralized under the sceptre of a Serb dynasty, within the Royaume of Serb, Croatian and Slovenien the , which was famous Royaume of Yugoslavia on January 6th, 1929 (Yugoslavia meaning Pays of Slavic South ). In 1941, after the invasion of Yugoslavia by the armies of IIIe Reich, the State independent of Croatia - satellite fascistic State of the Nazi Germany - was set up by the latter. Compared to current Croatia, this State was amputee of part of Dalmatie and Istrie (annexed by Italy), but included the near total of Bosnia-Herzégovine. In parallel, the Council antifascist of the war of liberation of Croatia (ZAVNOH) gathered Croatian resistance within the Partisans (Yugoslavia) of Josip Broz Tito. In 1945, Croatia was released as the remainder of Yugoslavia by the communist partisans. As of November 1943, the partisans announced their project to set up a Yugoslavia news which would be federal. Croatia became a State federated within the socialist Federal republic of Yugoslavia made up of six republics.
June 25th, 1991, following the first elections multi-party of Croatia in 1990, this one, like the Slovenia, declared her independence. The federal government did not recognize this declaration and, in the name of the safeguarding of the Federal state and the Serbe minority of Croatia, carried out a war under cover of pacification. Croatia was internationally recognized on January 15th, 1992. The new Croatian army carried out operations against the forces of the Serb République of Krajina supported by the Armée popular Yugoslavian (JNA), in particular in 1995, the Opération flash in Western Slavonie and Opération Storm to reconquer the Serb République of Krajina. These operations involved the exodus of: 150000 Serb, mainly towards the Bosnia-Herzégovine and the Serbia. The Eastern Slavonia and the Western Syrmie were returned peacefully to Croatian sovereignty, in 1998.
The election of moderate the Stjepan Mesić, in 2000, following the death of the nationalist Franjo Tuđman who had directed the country during the ten previous years, constituted a political and economic turning major. The country was democratized and opened on Europe, the authors of exactions during the military conflicts were continued, it followed a policy of privatizations and opened with the overseas investments. That was done, however, with strong internal resistances because of presence of nationalists extremists in certain structures of the apparatus of State (defense) and in certain areas (Split). Croatia officially declared candidate, on February 21st, 2003, with adhesion with the European Union and the statute of State candidate to him was officially recognized on June 17th, 2004. The opening of the negotiations of adhesion, however, was delayed because of insufficient co-operation of Croatia, with the International penal court for ex-Yugoslavia (TPIY), with regard to the arrest of the people suspectées to have made crimes.
Relations with the European UnionThe country is enough close to the entry in the European Union. To conclude the negotiations they remain to in the long term initially carry the reform of the legal system and the public administration. For Croazia the entry could occur in 2010. Those already traversed stages of the lawsuit of integration:
- on February 21st, 2003 Croatia presents the question of adhesion;
- on October 3rd, 2005 Croatia opens the negotiation of adhesion (finished it).
See also: Political of Croatia
The President of the Republic of Croatia ( Predsjednik ) is the Head of the State; it is also the Chef of the armies and it has the duty to indicate the president of the government (the “Prime Minister”) with the agreement of the Parliament. It also has a certain influence on the foreign politics. The president of the Republic is elected by the universal direct suffrage for a five years mandate, renewable.
The Croatian Parliament Unicaméral or Sabor is composed of a maximum of 160 representatives elected with the Vote for all for one duration 4 years. The plenary sessions proceed from January 15th to July 15th and from September 15th to December 15th.
The Croatian Gouvernement ( Vlada ) is directed by the president of the government (usually qualified of “Prime Minister” in the media Anglo-Saxon and French-speaking), which has two vice-presidents and thirteen ministers in charge of various branches of industry. Executive power with the responsibility of propose laws and a budget, to take care of the application of the laws and to guide the interior policy and foreign Republic.
The election of moderate the Stjepan Mesić, in 2000, following the death of Franjo Tuđman which had directed the country during the ten last years, constituted a major political turning. Thanks to this election and with the victory of the parties moderated with the held legislative elections the same year, the country was democratized and opened on Europe. The victory in November 2003 of the conservatives of HDZ and the nomination of Ivo Sanader with the head of the government mark the one second alternation. With the presidential elections of January 16th, 2005, Stjepan Mesić was re-elected with the second turn for a second presidential mandate vis-a-vis Jadranka Kosor with more 60 % of the votes.
Croatia obtained, on June 17th, 2004, the statute of candidate to the European Union and the Council of the European Union recognized, on October 3rd, 2005, that it filled the unit of the conditions to launch the negotiations of adhesion. This was not possible that after the Croatian government agreed to better cooperate with TPIY. Croatia is also candidate with NATO. It in addition obtained at the Top Ouagadougou in November 2004 the statute of observer within the International organization of the Francophonie, in spite of the low number of people speaking French.
Physical geographyCroatia has a particular form which resembles a crescent or a horseshoe, which explains why it has borders with many countries: the Slovenia, the Hungary, the Serbia, the Bosnia-Herzégovine, the Montenegro, and a maritime border with the Italy in the Adriatic Sea. The Croats often also regard the Austria as a country bordering even if, actually, Slovenia separates some, by making in fact an adjoining country. Its continental territory is divided into two noncontiguous parts by the port of Neum in Bosnia-Herzégovine.
The relief is enough diversified and contains:
- of the plains, the lakes and the hills in the northern, north-eastern part (central Croatia and Slavonia, part of the flat pannonienne);
- of the mountains very wooded in the Lika and the Gorski Kotar which belong to the the dinaric Alps;
- a rock littoral along the Adriatic Sea (Istrie, Scandinavian littoral and Dalmatie).
There is several Climat S in Croatia. The north-eastern part of the country is of continental Climat whereas the climate of the littoral is of Mediterranean type, and that of the central part and south is mountainous.
The country contains eight national parks: 3 in mountainous area (Paklenica, Plitvice, Risnjak) and five in coastal area (Brijuni (Brioni), Mljet, Kornati, Krka, Velebit) representing a surface of 79.320 hectares, is 7,5% of the country with as project to double the extent of protected spaces within the framework of national parks or other modes of environmental protection.
Among the lakes of Croatia, Omladinsko jezero and the Lacs of Plitvice are remarkable.
The highest top in Croatia is the Pic of Dinara, culminating with 1.830 meters of altitude.
Croatia is a unit republic. The territorial organization of the country includes/understands two levels. First is consisted 21 comitats ( županija ), the second by the territorial collectivities or municipalities (423 communes and 123 cities).
Decentralization and local autonomy
Under article 4 of the Constitution, the exercise of the capacities of the State is limited by the autonomy granted to the territorial collectivities and regional, defined in title VI of the Constitution. Moreover, to each territorial level of organization (communes, cities, zupanije) corresponds a transfer of competence of the State towards the type of community considered, governed by the Law on the local autonomy of April 10th, 2001.
Member of the Council of Europe, Croatia is also signatory since 1997 of the European Charter of the local autonomy (cf text in Croatian 1997, OJ n°14/95) which aims at guaranteeing the autonomy of the territorial collectivities.
The territorial collectivities have the load of very varied functions and paramount importance for the collective life:
- electoral functions
- maintenance of the roadway system and habitat
- town planning and local territorial installation
- social action
- elementary cultural activity
- elementary medical assistance
- civil protection
- consumer protection
- environmental protection.
The zupanije and the cities of more than 30.000 inhabitants lay out, moreover, of clean competences as for:
- secondary education and university
- town planning and regional territorial installation
- economic animation
- transport and their infrastructure
- the development of the medical, social and cultural networks regional.
The citizens can also take an active share in the businesses of the local government agency by the means of local referendums.
Municipalities: communes and cities
The communes, 423, generally include/understand several inhabited localities, of which the number on the unit of the Croatian territory amounts to some 6700. They count to the maximum 30.000 inhabitants. The statute of city is allotted to the chief towns of the zupanije, with the agglomerations of more than 10.000 inhabitants and, in exceptional circumstances, the cities which can there claim for reasons historical, economic, urban, etc Of comparable statute, the communes and the cities are municipalities.
The Municipal council is, as well within the framework of the commune ( opcinsko vijece ) as in that of the city ( gradsko vijece ), the assembly representative of the municipality which regulates by its deliberations the businesses of this one. Elected for four years, it is composed of an odd number members:
- 7 to 13 members for the communes of less than 3.000 inhabitants
- 9 to 15 members for the communes from 3.001 to 10.000 inhabitants
- 13 to 19 members for the communes and the towns of 10.001 to 30.000 inhabitants
- 19 to 35 members for the cities of more than 30.000 inhabitants
- 51 members for the Town of Zagreb.
The municipal council is qualified for:
- to approve the municipal Statute
- to vote the decisions and draws up the general acts relating to the municipal life
- to indicate and revokes the mayor, his assistants and the persons in charge of the municipal services
- to found the municipal commissions and designates their members
- to determine the composition of the municipal services and fixes their competences.
In the municipalities of less than 3.000 inhabitants, the functions concerned with the municipal executive are filled by the Municipal council while the president of the municipal council exerts the function of mayor. In other words, the same person then exerts the president's functions of the municipal council and mayor. On the other hand, the communes of more than 3.000 inhabitants, as well as the cities, generally have a clean municipal executive ( Poglavarstvo ) of which members, elected by the municipal council among his members, then give up their mandate city council man (this function being incompatible with the membership of the local executive authority). The mayor, elected by the municipal council is, as for him, traditionally selected among the chief candidates of the parties represented. He chairs the municipal executive, made up members also elected for four years. However, in the communes from 3.001 to 10.000 inhabitants, the municipal council with the possibility of investing right to exert the functions of municipal executive, by registering it in the municipal Statute. The executive, composed of an odd number members, counts:
- 3 or 5 members for the communes from 3.001 to 10.000 inhabitants
- 5 or 7 members for the communes and the towns of 10.001 to 30.000 inhabitants
- 7 or 9 members for the towns of 10.001 to 30.000 inhabitants
- 9 to 15 members for the Town of Zagreb.
The municipal executive is initially charged with:
- execution of the decisions of the municipal council
- to prepare the proposals submitted to the municipal council
- to direct the action of the services of the municipal administration
- to manage the assignment of the movable and real goods of the municipality.
ZupanijeThe zupanija is characterized by a territory which wants to be the reflection of a geographical unit, historical, economic, defined in the intention to support the coordinated development of the area as a whole. The capital, Zagreb, constitute with it only a zupanija.
In a way similar to the role fills by Municipal council at the lower level, the Regional assembly ( Zupanijska skupstina ), elected for four years, constitutes the assembly representative of the zupanija and regulates by its deliberations the businesses of this one. The Regional assembly ( Zupanijska skupstina ), made up of an odd number of member, counts 31 to 51 members. Its president, elected among the regional advisers, is assisted by two vice-presidents. At least once per quarter, the president ( predsjednik Zupanijske skupstine ) convenes the sessions of the Regional assembly, which it chairs and represents. Its other prerogatives are fixed by the Regional assembly.
The Regional assembly is qualified for:
- to approve the statute of the zupanija
- to vote the decisions and draws up the general acts relating to the regional life
- to indicate and revokes the zupan, its assistants and the persons in charge of the regional services
- to found the regional commissions and designates their members
- to determine the composition of the regional services and fixes their competences.
See also: Economy of Croatia, List of Croatian companies
The transition process of a system of planned economy towards a market economy started at the end of the years 1980, but disindustrialization and the damage due to the war of independence slowed down this change. The privatizations started during the war of independence were sullied with politico-financial scandals.
The country engaged in a vast program of rebuilding carried out by the government: since 1996, half of destroyed housing stock was rebuilt almost without international assistance, while the growth of GDP reached an average of 6%, and average annual inflation over five years remains lower than 4 %. Since the end of the war, the country knows a rather fast Economic growth.
The macro-economic situation of Croatia is rather good, with an inflation contained (estimate 2005: 3,3%) and a rather constant growth (2005: 4%). The public deficit, although important is in decrease (2004: 4,2%,2005: 3,7%, forecast 2006: 3,3%, objective 2007: 3%). The level of the external debt is high (85% of the GNP), even if it is necessary to keep in mind that the public debt is more moderate (65% of the GNP). Croatia concluded in August 2004 an agreement with the IMF, granting to him a loan of 140 million euros, subject to a signficant reduction of the consolidated budget deficit and of a stabilization of the external debt. It should be prolonged.
The foreign trade is strongly unbalanced, the deposit rate of the imports being only of 43%. The incomes generated by the industry of tourism (17% of the GDP) make up partly deficit of the trade balance. The balance of Croatian payments is characteristic of that of a country of transition. The trade balance is very adverse but the deficit of the current payments is only of 5% thanks to the importance of the tourist incomes (officially tourism accounts for 25% of the GDP). GDP per capita (2004) is about 6 500 euro per capita and of 11 200 $ (that is to say 41,6% of the average of the European Union) in terms of Purchasing power parity per capita.
Croatia has an economy mainly based on the services, and a little on light industry. The principal economic problem is a important Chômage structural. The continuation of the structural reforms is programmed. The BERD, the EIB and the World Bank play a crucial role in the financing of the projects and the companies.
Economic importance of tourismThe Tourisme is an important source of revenue (officially tourism accounts for 25% of the GDP), thanks to the beauty of the country and the various cultural activities and of leisures. Croatia, which counts only 4,6 million inhabitants, accommodates each year 10 million tourists.
Historically like quantitatively, Croatia is one of the first naturist countries of Europe, the first naturist beach opened on the island of Rab in 1934.
- Amphitheater of Pula
- Basilica Euphrasienne de Poreč
- Cathedral Saint-Jacob de Šibenik, Cathedral Duje Saint of Split
- Vault Saint Jean Ursini de Trogir
- church of Donat Saint of Zadar, church Saint Marie de Danče, church Saint Marie de Škrilinah, church Saint Michel of Igrane
- Palate of Dioclétien to Split, fortress of Kaštel Gomilica, fortifications of Kotišna
- Temple of Auguste de Pula
- Theater of Hvar
- Zlatni rat tourist
- localities and cities: Brela, Dubrovnik, Hvar, Korčula, Lovran, Makarska, Opatija, Poreč, Primošten, Rovinj, Split, Trogir, Zagreb.
See also the Photo-guide underwater naturalist of Dalmatie (Croatia).
See also: Demography of Croatia
The population of Croatia is stable since the last decade. The Birth rate is stable (less + 1 %), the demographic Transition was reached approximately fifty years ago. The average Life expectancy is approximately 75 years, and the Taux of elimination of illiteracy is of 98,5%, which is rather high.
The principal religion is the Catholicisme (87,8 %). There are also Christian minorities orthodoxe (4,4 %) and Moslem woman sunnite (1,3 %). All the other religions together cover less 1 % of the population.
The most current official languages and are the Croatian and the Italian , a Slavic Langue, which uses the Latin alphabet extended by some diacritics. Less 5 % of the population uses another language as native tongue. The Italian is official language in the area of the Istrie (in particular in the towns of Pola/Pula, Rovigno/Rovinj, Umago/Umag).
See also: Croatian
The official languages of Croatia are the Croatian which a language of the southernmost group of the Slavic Langues, the family of the Indo-European Langues and the Italian . Even if the linguists use the term of Serbo-Croatian to define the spoken language in Croatia, in Bosnia-Herzégovine, Serbia and with the Montenegro, officially the Serbo-croatian does not exist any more, each country naming its Croatian language , Bosnien , Serbe or Montenegrin . There is no Isoglosse between these languages (the speakers include themselves/understand spontaneously, without translator), their definition is historical and political. On the other hand there are differences partial of lexicon (certain words, certain conjugations or variations vary) and a difference in alphabet: it is Latin in Croatian and in the Fédération of Bosnia-and-Herzégovine, and also Cyrillic in Serbia, in Montenegro and in the Serb République of Bosnia.
Population : 4.437.460 inhabitants (in 2001). 0-14 years: 18,16%; 15-64 years: 66,61%; + 65 years: 15,23%
Superficie : 56.594 km ² (more 31.067 km ² of water)
Densité : 78,5 hab./km²
Borders terrestres : 2.028 km (Bosnia-Herzégovine 932 km; Slovenia 501 km; Hungary 329 km; Serbia 266 km)
Littoral : 5.835 km (left continental: 1.777 km; islands: 4.058 km)
Ends of altitude : 0 m > + 1.830 m
Life expectancy of the hommes : 71,8 years (in 2005;: Classified 53e ex æquo (world classification 2006 - 168 countries)
CodesCroatia has as codes:
- CRO, according to the Code list country of the CIO,
- HR, according to the international Code list of the number plates,
- HR, according to the standard ISO 3166-1 (code list country), code alpha-2,
- HR, according to the Code list countries used by NATO, code alpha-2,
- HRV, according to the standard ISO 3166-1 (code list country), code alpha-3,
- HRV, according to the Code list countries used by NATO, code alpha-3,
- Political of Croatia
- Economy of Croatia
- Culture of Croatia
- Croatia on DMOZ
- /Site of the government of Croatia
- /Chamber of commerce
- the agency of promotion of the trade and Croatian investment
- National office of tourism
- Data bank and bibliography with accompanying notes
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