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Croatia

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The Republic of Croatia is a country in Europe bordering the Mediterranean, Central Europe and the Balkans. Its capital is Zagreb. In recent history, it was a republic of Yugoslavia.

Republika Hrvatska
Flag of Croatia Croatia: Coat of Arms
(Details) (Details)

National motto: None

image:LocationCroatia.png
Official language Croatian

(+ Italian in Istria county)

Capital Zagreb
President Stjepan Mesić
Prime Minister Ivo Sanader
Area

 - Total
 - % water

Ranked 124th

56,542 km²
0.01%

Population

 - Total (2003)
 - Density

Ranked 117th

4,422,248
83/km²

Independence 25 June 1991
Currency kuna (kn)
Time zone
 - in summer
CET (UTC+1)
CEST (UTC+2)
National anthem Lijepa naša domovino
Internet TLD .hr
Calling Code 385
 
Contents

History

Main article: History of Croatia

The Croats are a largely Slavic people, who migrated from areas of what is today Galicia (in Ukraine and Poland) and settled in present-day Croatia during the 7th century. It became one of the most powerful kingdoms in the region. In 1102 the Croatians ended a decade-long dynastic struggle by agreeing to submit themselves to Hungarian authority. By the mid-1400s, the Hungarian kingdom was gravely impacted by the Ottoman expansion while Dalmatia became mostly Venetian. The Republic of Dubrovnik was independent.

The Battle of Mohács in 1526 led the Croatian Parliament to invite the Habsburgs, under Ferdinand I, to assume control over Croatia. Habsburg rule eventually did prove to be successful in thwarting the Ottomans, and by the 18th century, much of Croatia was free of Turkish control. Istria, Dalmatia and Dubrovnik all eventually passed to the Austro-Hungarian Empire between 1797 and 1815.

Following World War I and the demise of Austria-Hungary, Croatia joined the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (which became Yugoslavia in 1929). Yugoslavia was invaded during World War II and Croatia was made into a fascist puppet-state named the Independent State of Croatia. After the defeat of the Axis powers, Yugoslavia became a federal socialist state under the strong hand of Josip Broz Tito.

Although Croatia declared its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, it took four years of sporadic and often bitter fighting with the Serbs before the end of the war in 1995. Peaceful reintegration of all rebel territories was completed in 1998 under UN supervision.

Croatia applied for European Union membership in 2003 and the EU leaders accepted it as an official candidate country in 2004. Accession talks will begin in early 2005, with entry into the EU expected around 2007-2010.

Politics

Main article: Politics of Croatia

Since the adoption of the 1990 Constitution, Croatia has been a parliamentary democracy.

Croatia is a member of:
United Nations
Council of Europe
OSCE
Partnership for Peace
Other organizations

The President of the Republic (Predsjednik Republike) is head of state and elected for a five-year term. In addition to being the commander in chief of the armed forces, the president has the procedural duty of appointing the Prime minister with the consent of the Parliament, and has some influence on foreign policy.

The Croatian Parliament (Hrvatski Sabor) is a unicameral legislative body of up to 160 representatives, all elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms. The plenary sessions of the Sabor take place from January 15 to July 15, and from September 15 to December 15.

The Croatian Government (Vlada) is headed by the Prime minister who has 2 deputy prime ministers and 14 ministers in charge of particular sectors of activity. The executive branch is responsible for proposing legislation and a budget, executing the laws, and guiding the foreign and internal policies of the republic.

Croatia has a three-tiered judicial system, consisting of the Supreme Court, county courts, and municipal courts. The Constitutional Court rules on matters regarding the Constitution.

See also: Foreign relations of Croatia

Counties

Main article: Counties of Croatia

Map of Croatia

Croatia is divided into 20 counties and one city*:

  1. Zagrebačka
  2. Krapinsko-zagorska
  3. Sisačko-moslavačka
  4. Karlovačka
  5. Varaždinska
  6. Koprivničko-križevačka
  7. Bjelovarsko-bilogorska
  8. Primorsko-goranska
  9. Ličko-senjska
  10. Virovitičko-podravska
  11. Požeško-slavonska
  12. Brodsko-posavska
  13. Zadarska
  14. Osječko-baranjska
  15. Šibensko-kninska
  16. Vukovarsko-srijemska
  17. Splitsko-dalmatinska
  18. Istarska
  19. Dubrovačko-neretvanska
  20. Međimurska
  21. Grad Zagreb*

See also: List of cities in Croatia

Geography

Main article: Geography of Croatia

Croatia is situated between central, southern and eastern Europe, because it has a rather peculiar shape that resembles a crescent or a horseshoe. This accounts for its many neighbours: Slovenia, Hungary, Serbian part of Serbia and Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegrin part of Serbia and Montenegro, and Italy across the Adriatic. Its mainland territory is split in two non-contiguous parts by the short coastline of Bosnia and Herzegovina around Neum.

Its terrain is diverse, containing:

Croatia has a mixture of climates. In the north and east it is continental, Mediterranean along the coast and a semi-highland and highland climate in the south-central region.

Economy

Main article: Economy of Croatia

Croatia has an economy based mostly on various services and some, mostly light industry. Tourism is a notable source of income. The Gross Domestic Product per capita in purchasing power parity terms for 2002 was USD 9,800 or 42.7% of the EU average.

Croatian economy is post-communist. In the late 1980s, at the beginning of the process of economic transition, its position was favourable, but it was gravely impacted by de-industrialization and war damages.

Main problems include massive structural unemployment followed by an insufficient amount of economic reforms, deterred by public resistance. Of particular concern is the gravely backlogged judiciary system combined with inefficient public administration, especially involving land ownership.

The country has since experienced faster economic growth and has been preparing for membership in the European Union, its most important trading partner.

Demographics

Main article: Demographics of Croatia

The population of Croatia has been stagnating over the last decade. The natural growth rate is minute, as the demographic transition has been completed half a century ago. Life expectancy and literacy rates are reasonably high.

Croatia is inhabited mostly by Croats. Minority groups include Serbs, Bosniaks, Hungarians and others. The predominate religion is Catholicism, with some Orthodox and Sunni Muslim minorities.

The official and common language, Croatian, is a South Slavic language, using the Roman script.

Culture

Main article: Culture of Croatia

Croatian culture is based on thirteen century long history during which the country has attained many monuments and cities, which gave birth to a fair number of brilliant individuals. The country includes six World Heritage sites and eight national parks. Three Nobel prize winners came from Croatia, as did numerous important inventors and other notable people — notably, some of the first fountain pens came from Croatia.

Interestingly enough, Croatia also has an place in the history of neckwear as the origin of the necktie (cravat). The country has a long artistic, literary and musical tradition.

Related articles

External links



Countries in Europe
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Dependencies: Faroe Islands | Gibraltar | Guernsey | Jan Mayen | Jersey | Isle of Man | Svalbard


 
The European Union and candidates for enlargement

Flag of the European Union

Member countries: Austria | Belgium | Cyprus | Czech Republic | Denmark | Estonia | Finland | France | Germany | Greece | Hungary | Ireland | Italy | Latvia | Lithuania | Luxembourg | Malta | Netherlands | Poland | Portugal | Slovakia | Slovenia | Spain | Sweden | United Kingdom

Candidate countries joining on January 1, 2007 (preliminary date): Bulgaria | Romania

Other recognised candidate countries: Croatia | Turkey


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