Vesna Pusić

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Vesna Pusić
V pusic.jpg
Minister of Foreign and European Affairs
Assumed office
23 December 2011
Prime Minister Zoran Milanović
Preceded by Gordan Jandroković
First Deputy Prime Minister of Croatia
Assumed office
16 November 2012
Prime Minister Zoran Milanović
Preceded by Radimir Čačić
President of the Croatian People's Party
Assumed office
23 March 2013
Preceded by Radimir Čačić
Personal details
Born (1953-04-25) 25 April 1953 (age 61)
Zagreb, Yugoslavia
(now Croatia)
Political party Croatian People's Party
Spouse(s) Jurgis Oniunas
Children 1 (Diana Pusić)
Alma mater University of Zagreb
Religion Atheism[1]

Vesna Pusić (pronounced [ʋɛ̂sna pǔːsitɕ]; born 25 March 1953) is a Croatian sociologist and politician who currently serves as a First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs in the centre-left Cabinet of Zoran Milanović. She is known as an outspoken liberal and a vocal advocate of the European integration, gender equality, and LGBT rights.

After becoming involved in politics in the early 1990s, Pusić served three consecutive terms as MP, having been elected to the Croatian Parliament in the 2000, 2003, and 2007 parliament elections. She also ran in the 2009–10 presidential election, coming in fifth out of twelve candidates. During her 2008–2011 parliament term she chaired the parliamentary committee for tracking the progress of Croatia's accession negotiations with the European Union. She also held the post of Vice-President of the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party (ELDR).

Pusić is president of the Croatian People's Party.

Early life[edit]

Vesna Pusić was born in Zagreb, Croatia, to the family of Eugen Pusić, a professor at the Faculty of Law at the University of Zagreb, and Višnja Pusić, a professor of English language.[2]


Pusić graduated from II. Gymnasium in 1971. She graduated with a degree in sociology and philosophy from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in 1976,[3] and obtained a doctorate in sociology in 1984 at the same faculty.[2][3]

Professional Career[edit]

From 1975 to 1979 she was a member of the International Research Group (IDE) doing research on industrial democracy in Europe.

From 1976 to 1978 she was a researcher at the Institute of Sociology at the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia.[2]

Since 1978 she has been working at the Sociology Department of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and teaching courses in the Theory of Industrial Democracy and the Sociology of Politics. In 1978, Pusić was one of seven women who initiated the first feminist organization in SFR Yugoslavia Žena i društvo and was widely criticized by the authorities at the time.[2]

Pusić lectured at the University of Chicago, Cornell University, and American University in Washington, D.C., as well as the Wilson Center.[2]

Political Career[edit]

Pusić was one of the 28 founding members of the Croatian People's Party in 1990, after participating in the Coalition of People's Accord. She left party politics in 1992, but rejoined the same party in 1997 and was later its President between 2000 and 2008 and again since 2013. She first entered the Parliament on the Croatian parliamentary election, 2000.

In 1992 Pusić was the co-founder and director of the Erasmus Guild, a nongovernmental, nonpartisan think-tank for the culture of democracy, and the publisher and editor of the journal Erasmus, focusing specifically on different issues of transition in Croatia, countries of former Yugoslavia and Eastern Europe.[2] Erasmus Guild ceased operations in 1998.

In 2005 and 2008,[4][5] she was made the head of the National Committee for EU negotiations, the body that oversees accession negotiations and is composed of members of parliament as well as representatives of the President, the academic community, employers, and union representatives.

Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos and Croatian Foreign Minister Vesna Pusić in Zagreb in April 2013

In 2006 and 2008 she was elected vice-president of ELDR.[2]

In the Croatian presidential election, 2009–2010, Pusić was the HNS-LD candidate. She won 7.25% in the first round, placing fifth out of twelve candidates, and was thus eliminated from the second round.

After Kukuriku coalition won the 2011 Croatian parliamentary elections Pusić serves as a Minister of Foreign and European Affairs in the centre-left Cabinet of Zoran Milanović

After Radimir Čačić was expelled from the Croatian People's Party (HNS-LD) on 23 March 2013 because of his attempts to destabilize the party, she took the party presidency.[6]


Vesna Pusić is very popular in the Croatian LGBT community. In 2011, Zagreb Pride attenders awarded her with the "gay friendly person of the decade".[7] She has been regular attendant at Zagreb LGBT pride.[8]

She has a brother Zoran who is also civil rights and peace activist.


  • Democracies and Dictatorships, Durieux, Zagreb 1998
  • The Leaders and the Managers, Novi Liber, Zagreb 1992
  • Industrial Democracy and Civil Society, Sociološko društvo Hrvatske, Zagreb 1986.
  • Industrial Democracy in Europe, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1981 (co-author)
  • European Industrial Relations, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1981 (co-author)


  1. ^ Robert Bajruši (24 March 2009). "Život bez Boga i vraga u katoličkoj Hrvatskoj" [Life without the God or the Devil in Catholic Croatia] (in Croatian). Nacional. Archived from the original on 23 July 2012. Retrieved 23 July 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Vesna Pusić - Biografija" (in Croatian). Croatian People's Party - Liberal Democrats. Retrieved 2010-10-05. 
  3. ^ a b "Vesna Pusić - Zastupnici 6. saziva Hrvatskoga sabora" [Vesna Pusić - Representative in the 6th assembly of the Croatian Parliament] (in Croatian). Croatian Parliament. Retrieved 2010-11-05. 
  4. ^ "A liberal heads the negotiations for the access of the Croatia into the EU". ELDR. 3 March 2008. 
  5. ^ Eduard Šoštarić; Robert Bajruši (16 June 2008). "Plan to destroy HNS: Sanader to remove Vesna Pusic from the head of the Alliance for the European Union". Nacional. Archived from the original on 25 July 2012. Retrieved 25 July 2012. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ Martina Čizmić (18 June 2011). "Homofob desetljeća Marijana Petir, Homofrend Vesna Pusić" [Marijana Petir - homophobe of the decade, Vesna Pusić - homo-friend] (in Croatian). Nacional (weekly). Archived from the original on 1 July 2012. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
  8. ^ "Pusić zahvalna organizatorima Gay Pridea" (in Croatian). 26 June 2008. 

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Radimir Čačić
President of the Croatian People's Party
Succeeded by
Radimir Čačić
President of the Croatian People's Party
Political offices
Preceded by
Gordan Jandroković
Minister of Foreign and European Affairs
Preceded by
Radimir Čačić
Deputy Prime Minister of Croatia