Government of Croatia
|Government of the Republic of Croatia|
|Vlada Republike Hrvatske|
|State||Republic of Croatia|
The Government of Croatia (Croatian: Vlada Hrvatske), formally the Government of the Republic of Croatia (Croatian: Vlada Republike Hrvatske), commonly abbreviated to Croatian Government (Croatian: Hrvatska Vlada), is the main executive branch of government in Croatia. It is led by the President of the Government (Croatian: Predsjednik Vlade), informally abbreviated to premier (Croatian: premijer) or prime minister. The prime minister is nominated by the President of the Republic from among those candidates who enjoy majority support in the Croatian Parliament; the candidate is then chosen by the Parliament. There are 20 other government members, serving as deputy prime ministers, government ministers or both; they are chosen by the prime minister and confirmed by the Parliament (Sabor). The Government of the Republic of Croatia exercises its executive powers in conformity with the Croatian Constitution and legislation enacted by the Croatian Parliament. The current government is led by Prime Minister Andrej Plenković.
Following the Croatian–Hungarian Settlement of 1868, the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia and the Government of the Land or officially the Royal Croatian-Slavonian-Dalmatian Government of the Land (Croatian: Zemaljska vlada or Kraljevska hrvatsko-slavonsko-dalmatinska zemaljska vlada)—headed by a crown-appointed ban—were established. This government existed until the Austria-Hungary breakup and the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes' creation in 1918. In 1939, the Banovina of Croatia was established and a head of the Banovina of Croatia (Ban) was appointed by the crown, but no effective government was formed before World War II. In 1943, the ZAVNOH established an executive board to act as a new government. Communist Croatia, while a part of Communist Yugoslavia, had a separate government (from 1953 to 1990 known as the Executive Council, appointed by the Sabor) with limited powers (excluding defence and foreign relations; this was similar to all the previous governmental forms). Following the first multi-party elections and the adoption of the present Constitution of Croatia in 1990, the present governmental form was adopted and Stjepan Mesić became the first person to hold the title of Prime Minister of Croatia (with Croatia as part of Yugoslavia), while Franjo Gregurić was the first prime minister of an independent Croatia. Since Communist rule's end, the Republic of Croatia has had twelve governments headed by ten different prime ministers. Eight governments have been formed by the Croatian Democratic Union, three by the Social Democratic Party of Croatia and one was a national unity government (formed during the Croatian War of Independence's peak).
The term "Government" in Croatia (Vlada) primarily refers to the executive branch, as used by the government itself, the press and colloquially, as that branch of the government (vlast) is responsible for day-to-day governance of the nation (uprava); this sense is intended when it is said that a political party forms the Government. At its widest, the term Croatian Government can refer collectively to all three traditional branches of government, including the legislative branch (the Sabor) and judicial branch (the Judiciary of Croatia), as well as other parts of government and civil services which are part of the state of Croatia.
Governmental structure and powers
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The Government, the main executive power of the Croatian state, is headed by the prime minister (PM). The PM currently has four deputies (elected by the Croatian Parliament), who also serve as government ministers; there are 16 other ministers, who are appointed by the prime minister with the approval of the Sabor (by absolute majority vote). The government ministers are each in charge of a particular sector of activity such as Foreign Affairs. The prime minister and all the deputies form an inner cabinet, tasked with coordinating and supervising the work of government ministers on behalf of the PM; the inner cabinet also prepares materials for meetings of the full government cabinet (consisting of the inner cabinet and the remaining 16 ministers). The first deputy prime minister also discharges the duties of the prime minister when the latter is incapacitated or absent. State secretaries (Croatian: državni tajnici) are the highest officials below each minister. There are one or more State secretaries in the ministries. Each State secretary is appointed by the Government for the term of the minister, and is responsible to the minister. They act as deputy ministers and attend Government meetings only exceptionally. State secretaries are also heads of the Central State Offices (see below).
The executive branch is responsible for proposing legislation and a budget, executing the laws and guiding the foreign and internal policies of the republic. The government's official residence is at the Banski dvori in Zagreb. Although the cabinet normally meets at the Banski dvori, occasionally its meetings are held elsewhere in the country.
The Government of the Republic of Croatia exercises its executive powers in conformity with the Croatian Constitution and legislation enacted by the Croatian Parliament, the Sabor (Croatian: Hrvatski sabor). Its structure, operational procedures and decision-making processes are defined by the Government of the Republic of Croatia Act (2011 with 2014 and 2016 amendments) and the Government Rules of Procedure (2015 with 2015 amendments). The Constitution mandates that the Government proposes legislation and other documents to the parliament, proposes the budget and gives financial reports, implements Acts and other decisions of the parliament, enacts any regulations required to implement the Acts, defines foreign and internal policies, directs and oversees the operation of state administration, promotes the economic development of the country, directs the activities and development of public services and performs other activities conforming to the provisions of the Constitution and applicable legislation. The Government also passes regulations and administrative acts and orders appointments and removals of appointed officials and civil servants within the scope of its powers. Furthermore, the Government makes rulings in cases of conflicts of jurisdiction between governmental institutions, responds to questions asked parliamentary majority and opposition representatives, prepares proposals of new legislation and other regulations, gives opinions on legislation and other regulations and adopts strategies for the economic and social development of the country.
The Government manages state property of the Republic of Croatia unless special legislation provides otherwise. It may appoint special committees to manage the property on its behalf; this process is implemented through appointed members of supervisory boards and managing boards of companies partially or wholly owned by the Republic of Croatia. (The Government also determines these appointees' salaries.) The Government maintains specialized bodies, agencies and offices—including the Legislation Office, the Office for Human Rights and the Rights of National Minorities and Public Relations Service—that are required by the Government Act of 2011, as well as committees to decide administrative matters. Various branches of government may establish joint services. There are further entities established by the government as companies designed to support the aims of the Government, such as the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development that strives to fund the reconstruction and development of the economy of Croatia.
Local (city/municipality) and regional (county) governments are separate from the central government; the latter maintains a State Administration Office in each county, under the Ministry of Public Administration.
The Government is responsible to the Croatian Parliament; the parliament may recall the Government as a whole or any member of the Government in particular by an absolute majority vote (majority of all MPs) following a request for a confidence vote by one fifth of the parliament members or by the prime minister. The prime minister and other members of the Government are jointly responsible for decisions passed by the Government and individually responsible for their respective portfolios (areas of responsibility). The President of the Republic appoints the prime minister, who must then secure a vote of confidence from the Croatian Parliament (majority of all MPs); the appointment is therefore counter-signed by the speaker of the parliament to signify this. Appointments of members of the Government are done by the prime minister with the approval of the Croatian Parliament (again signified via a counter-signature by the speaker of the parliament). The rules of procedure and regulations enacted by the Government must be published in Narodne Novine—the official gazette of Croatia—to be binding.
Government, state and public offices and agencies
|Offices of the Croatian Government[A]|
|Office of the President of the Government||Advisory, analytical and administrative services for the President of the Government (prime minister)|
|Legislation Office||Furnishes opinions on the compliance of proposed legislation with the Constitution|
|Office for the Protocol||Organisational and technical tasks required by the Government or the President of Croatia related to preparation for official visits of Croatian government officials abroad and foreign officials in Croatia; planning and control of expenditures related to these visits and other related tasks|
|General Administration Office of the Croatian Parliament and Croatian Government||Administrative, analytical, financial and other tasks required by the Parliament or the Government|
|Office for Human Rights and the Rights of National Minorities||Develops, implements and monitors human rights protection and promotion systems. Implements policies for national minority rights|
|Office for Cooperation with NGOs||Cooperates with Non-governmental organisations (NGOs)|
|Office of the Committee for Relations with Religious Communities||Performs expert, administrative and other tasks related to relations with religious communities|
|Office for Gender Equality||Administrative tasks promoting gender equality|
|Office for Mine Action||Providing expert analyses and advice for demining|
|Office for Combating Narcotic Drug Abuse||Activities defined by the Intoxicating Drugs Abuse Act|
|Office of the Representative of the Republic of Croatia before the European Court of Human Rights||Manages activities of the Croatian representative (agent) before the ECHR|
|Office for Internal Audit||Internal audit services for Government bodies and offices (and other entities financed through the budget)|
|Directorate for the Use of Official Aircraft||Service organised as the operator of aircraft owned by the Republic of Croatia for occasional independent air transport for the needs of state authorities in national and international civilian air transport|
|Public Relations Service||Informs the public about the activities of the Government|
|Central State Administrative Offices[B]|
|Central State Office for Public Procurement||Purchases for the central Government|
|Central State Office for Croats Abroad||Coordination and monitoring of the activities between the competent authorities for cooperation between the Republic of Croatia and the Croatians outside the Republic of Croatia|
|Central State Office for Sports||Performs administrative and expert tasks in the field of development and promotion of sports and its role in society|
|Central State Office for Reconstruction and Housing||Planning, preparation, organization and supervision of housing and reconstruction for refugees, displaced persons and returnees, former tenancy rights holders and other beneficiaries of housing programmes in accordance with a special regulation|
|Central State Office for Digital Society Development||Coordinates the development and implementation of information and communication technology in public digital services. Performs technical tasks of establishing and maintaining a digital Central catalog of official documents of the Republic of Croatia, publication of data on the Central State Portal|
|State Administration Bodies[C]|
|Croatian Bureau of Statistics||Surveys, statistical analysis, and publication of survey data and analysis|
|State Office for Radiological and Nuclear Safety||Radiation safety, including nuclear safety|
|State Office for Metrology||Metrological administrative services, testing and supervision|
|State Intellectual Property Office||Protects intellectual property rights|
|Meteorological and Hydrological Service||Meteorological and hydrological services|
|National Protection and Rescue Directorate||Search and rescue and other emergency responses|
|State Geodetic Directorate||Geodetic survey, cartography (mapmaking), cadastral and photogrammetric services|
|Public Sector Bodies[D]|
|Croatian Agency for the Environment and Nature (HAOP)||Nature conservation. Collects, integrates and processes environmental data; promotes sustainable development|
|Central Depository & Clearing Company||Manages the central depository of securities, clearing system and transaction settlement—coordinates scheduled executions of transactions between banks and maintains the registry of company stock ownership|
|Central Finance and Contracting Agency||Purchases using money from EU funded programmes: Budgeting, tendering, contracting, payments, accounting and financial reporting|
|Central Registry of Insured Persons (REGOS)||Tracks individuals and their funds for pensions|
|Croatian Health Insurance Fund||Health insurance|
|Croatian Institute of Public Health||Public health promotion and education, disease prevention, microbiology, environmental health, mental health care and addiction prevention|
|Croatian Employment Service||Employment mediation, unemployment benefits, vocational guidance and training|
|Croatian Standards Institute||National standards body; promotes safety, quality, and interoperability of products, services and processes|
|Croatian Pension Insurance Institute||Pension insurance fund|
|Hydrographic Institute of the Republic of Croatia||Safety of water navigation and development of the maritime economy|
|Croatian Mine Action Centre||Demining surveys and planning, cleared area acceptance, mined area marking, quality assurance, demining research and development, and mine victim assistance|
|Croatian Accreditation Agency||Accredits inspectors to keep European and international standards|
|Croatian Academic and Research Network (CARNet)||Manages internet services, promotes online development, and educates|
|Croatian Financial Services Supervisory Agency (HANFA)||Maintains financial system stability and supervises trade transactions for legality|
|Croatian Agency for Small Business (HAMAG)||Develops the economy of Croatia via entrepreneurship, supports small and medium enterprises, guarantees entrepreneurial loans, and educates and develops an advisory service for small businesses|
|Fund for the Compensation of Expropriated Property||Compensates for property seized during Communist rule|
|Financial Agency (FINA)||Financial administrative and technical services|
|State Agency for Deposit Insurance and Bank Rehabilitation||Bank deposit insurance|
|Human Rights Centre||Arranges for human rights-related public events, education, volunteer programmes and implementation of human rights projects|
|Croatian Competition Agency||Antitrust and merger control; monitors competition regarding agricultural and fisheries aid|
|Personal Data Protection Agency||Supervises personal data protection, reports personal data protection status recorded in the country and abroad, and maintains the central register of personal data|
|Agency for Transactions and Mediation in Immovable Properties||Supervises the purchase and trading of real estate in Croatia, except where legislation defines the authority of another body; subsidizes real estate development|
|State Audit Office||Constitution based institution that performs financial audits of the state and local governments (and other entities with majority government ownership)|
Government meetings are public; however, the government may decide to close any part of its sessions (or entire sessions) to the public. The prime minister may authorise any deputy to represent the PM and otherwise take over any particular task assigned to the PM. The quorum for government sessions is a majority of government members. Most decisions are reached by a simple majority vote; a two-thirds majority vote is required for decisions about changes to the Croatian Constitution, uniting with other states or transferring any part of Croatian sovereignty to supranational organisations, changes to Croatian borders, dissolution of the parliament, or calling a referendum.
The inner or core cabinet (the prime minister and the PM's deputies) monitors and discusses the operation of the government, and may hold preliminary discussions on any matter performed by the government. The core cabinet may act as the government in emergencies when the government is unable to meet; however, its decisions must be verified at the next government session to remain in force. The Government Secretary coordinates agencies, offices and other services subordinated to the government.
Since 10 October 2016, the President of the Government (Prime Minister) has been Andrej Plenković. There are four deputy prime ministers: Davor Ivo Stier, Martina Dalić, Damir Krstičević and Predrag Štromar. The Government ministers are from the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and the Bridge of Independent Lists (MOST), with three of them being independent politicians.
List of Ministers
Short-lived Croatian Royal Council (1767-79), appointed by queen Maria Theresia, was a central authority administering economic, political and military matters in Kindgdom of Croatia. Ban's Council (Croatian: Bansko vijeće) of 1848–1850 was the first executive council established in Croatia. It acted as an administrative body governing Croatia (and Slavonia) within the Austrian Empire as a government, later to be replaced by the Ban's Government (1850 - 1854), Royal Lieutenancy for Croatia and Slavonia (1854 -1861), and Royal Lieutenancy Council (1861 - 1868) in Zagreb (with Royal Croatian-Slavonian-Dalmatian Chancellery in Vienna, 1862 - 1868).
Following the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867 and the subsequent Croatian–Hungarian Settlement of 1868, the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia was established, along with the Government of the Land, officially the Royal Croatian-Slavonian-Dalmatian Government of the Land (Croatian: Zemaljska vlada or Kraljevska hrvatsko-slavonsko-dalmatinska zemaljska vlada) headed by a crown-appointed ban. The establishment was carried out during the administration of Ban Levin Rauch. This government form continued until the breakup of Austria-Hungary and creation of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes in 1918. In total, 15 Bans acted as heads of the government in this period. The Royal Croatian-Slavonian-Dalmatian Government was not a parliamentary government, as its cabinet ministers and its head (Ban) were not appointed or confirmed by the Croatian Parliament (Sabor), but by Hungarian-Croatian government in Budapest.
In the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, the Cvetković–Maček Agreement was made in 1939; it established the Banovina of Croatia and Ivan Šubašić was appointed as ban to head the Croatian government (Ban's Government, Croatian: Banska vlast). Still, an effective government was not formed before the onset of World War II.
In June 1943, the National Anti-Fascist Council of the People's Liberation of Croatia (ZAVNOH) established an 11-member Executive Board to act as the new government of Croatia. The first People's Government of the Federal State of Croatia (led by Vladimir Bakarić) was founded at the extraordinary session of the Presidency of the National Anti-Fascist Council of the People's Liberation of Croatia (ZAVNOH), which was held on April 14, 1945 in Split.
People's Republic of Croatia, from 1963 Socialist Republic of Croatia, a part of Yugoslavia, maintained its own government (of limited powers, excluding defence and foreign relations). The government was appointed by and responsible to the Sabor. During the Communist era, there were 14 governments of Croatia. From 1953 to 1990 the official name of the government was the Executive Council of the Sabor (Croatian: Izvršno vijeće Sabora).
Following the parliamentary elections and the adoption of the present Constitution of Croatia in 1990, the present form of government was begun. On 30 May 1990, Stjepan Mesić became the first person to hold the title of Prime Minister of Croatia, and Franjo Gregurić was the first prime minister of an independent Croatia, as he held the office on 8 October 1991 when the declaration of independence came into effect.
List of governments of the Republic of Croatia
Since 30 May 1990 (the first multi-party parliamentary election held following the 45-year Communist rule), the Republic of Croatia has had a total of twelve governments headed by ten different prime ministers. The prime minister in the first government after the first multi-party election was Stjepan Mesić, who would later go on to become the President of Croatia. That government was formed by the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), as were seven other governments of Croatia. Three governments have been formed by the Social Democratic Party of Croatia (SDP), and one was a national unity government (representing a wide coalition of political parties) formed during the Croatian War of Independence's peak, between July 1991 and August 1992, with Franjo Gregurić as the prime minister.
- These are supporting offices of (services for) the cabinet; each is run by a Head of the Office (Director).
- These support the central government as a whole in terms of strategy coordination and infrastructure; each is headed by a State Secretary.
- In general, these supervise other government bodies such as the Public Sector Bodies (below); each is headed by a Director of the Office/Bureau/Directorate.
- These are public sector organisations established for various tasks.
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