The Republic of Croatia is a parliamentary democracy. The Constitution of the Republic Croatia, together with the Constitutional Act on the Constitutional Court and the Constitutional Act on the Rights of National Minorities consist the fundamental legislation upon which all other laws are based. The electoral legislation is defined through the Act on Election of Representatives to the Croatian Parliament and Political Parties Act.
The political system is based on the principle of the division of power into three branches: the legislative, the executive and the judiciary.
The legislative body in the Republic of Croatia is the Croatian Parliament (Hrvatski sabor). The Croatian Parliament is the representative body of citizens in the Republic of Croatia. According to the 1990 Constitution, the Croatian Parliament may have a minimum of 100 and a maximum of 160 members, who are elected directly by secret ballot based on universal suffrage for a term of four years. Parliamentary terms of office are not binding, while members have legal immunity. Croatian Parliament is a unicameral representative body with 151 members. Out of them 140 are elected in multi-seat constituencies, 8 are representatives of minorities and 3 representatives of Croatian diaspora.
The Parliament’s internal structure and operating methods are regulated by the Standing Orders, which are passed by a majority vote of all deputies. The Croatian Parliament decides on the enactment and amendment of the Constitution, enacts laws and the National Budget, declares war and proclaims peace, passes declarations that express the policies of the Croatian Parliament, adopts the national security and defence strategy for the Republic of Croatia, conducts civilian oversight of the armed forces and security services of the Republic of Croatia, decides on changes to the borders of the Republic of Croatia, calls referendums, and pursuant to the Constitution it elects, appoints and dismisses, and oversees the work of, the Croatian Government and other bodies vested with public authority accountable to the Croatian Parliament.
The Croatian Parliament is authorised to make decisions if a majority of members are present at sessions, except in cases specified otherwise by the Constitutions of the Republic of Croatia or the Standing Orders. Sessions of the Croatian Parliament are public. Besides plenary sessions, the work of the Croatian Parliament is also carried out by its working bodies, which are established in accordance with the Standing Orders of the Croatian Parliament.
Drafts of Laws are proposed by the Ministry with portfolio for the issue. After being approved by the Government the drafted Law is sent to the Parliament. Besides the Parliament the Constitution defined referendum as a model of direct democratic legislation. According to Croatian legislation referendums are mandatory in case of association with other states or dissolution of association with other states. Referendum can be initiated by the President of the Republic of Croatia, by the Parliament, or as a civil initiative if 10% of the electorate.
Information on the legislative procedure can be found on the official website of the Croatian Parliament.
Furthermore, the Ombudsman is authorised by the Croatian Parliament to protect the constitutional and legal rights of citizens in proceedings before governmental administration and bodies vested with public authority. The Ombudsman is elected by the Croatian Parliament for a period of eight years.
The Executive Branch
The Government of the Republic of Croatia is the main executive branch of government in Croatia. The prime minister is appointed by the President of the Republic of Croatia after the parliamentary elections on the basis of the election results.
In the Republic of Croatia, the government is organized on the principle of separation of powers into legislative, executive and juridical power. The Government of the Republic of Croatia exercises executive power in accordance with the Constitution and laws. In the exercise of executive power, the Government determines, directs and coordinates the implementation of policies and programs and for that purpose proposes and adopts strategies, provides guidelines, issues acts and takes other measures necessary to regulate relations within its area of competence.
The Government proposes laws and other acts, the state budget and final bill to the Croatian Parliament, implements laws and other decisions of the Croatian Parliament, adopts regulations for the implementation of laws, conducts foreign and internal policy, directs and supervises the work of state administration, takes care of the economic development of the country, directs its activities and the development of public services, and performs other tasks specified in the Constitution and laws.
The Prime Minister is in charge of the Government of the Republic of Croatia. Together with the members of the Government, he is responsible for decisions that the Government makes. The Government is responsible to the Croatian Parliament.
The responsibilities of the Prime Minister are representing the Government, convening and chairing sessions and managing the work of the Government and signing the acts adopted by the Government.
The Government is obliged, at the request of the Parliament or on its own initiative, to inform the Parliament of its work, policies (as a whole or in a particular area), the implementation of laws and regulations, and of other matters within its scope. The Prime Minister at the beginning of the second regular session of the Parliament presents to the Parliament an annual report of the Government in which he reports on the observed phenomena, problems and situation in the society, as well as on the activities of the Government. Once a year at the beginning of the first annual session the Government reports to the Parliament on the meetings of the European Council in the past year.
The Republic of Croatia also has the President of the Republic, who is elected by general, direct election for a period of five years. The President represents the country abroad, cooperates with the Government of the Republic of Croatia in shaping and implementing foreign policy and commands the armed forces.
Ministries involved in education
The Ministry of Science and Education performs administrative and other tasks related to preschool education, elementary and secondary education in the country and abroad; develops the National Curriculum; approves textbooks and introduces regulations and standards as well as other requirements regarding educational work; fosters the development of the school system; works on improving the student standard; conducts inspections; establishes educational institutions and supervises the legal aspects of their activities; provides funding and facilities for educational work; enables children, young adults and adults to acquire technical skills and competences; supports organizations invested in education.
The Ministry also performs administrative and other tasks related to: the development of higher education; the implementation of national strategies and higher education programmes; the provision of funding and facilities for higher education institutions and monitoring their activities; the preparation of reports on the activities and evaluation of higher education institutions and study programmes, and their recommendation for approval; the subsidization of study costs; the improvement of the student standard; monitoring success rates of study programmes and other higher education processes; administering the implementation of the Croatian Qualifications Framework; administering the Registry of Higher Education Institutions and the Registry of Study Programmes; managing databases on higher education; fostering lifelong learning and higher education for adults; the administrative supervision of higher education institutions.
Sources are official websites: