Abstract of the country report
The politics of citizenship in post-Yugoslav Croatia are deeply marked by the political climate in which they emerged. Almost all of Yugoslavia’s successor states—with some variation according to their specific context and at a different pace—used their founding documents, constitutions and citizenship laws as effective tools to accelerate nation-building and to ‘ethnically engineer’ their populations to the advantage of the majority ethnic group. Croatia in the 1990s was no exception to this rule. With the death of Franjo Tuđman in 1999 and the subsequent electoral defeat of his party (HDZ), the beginning of 2000 marked a sharp contrast with the practices of the previous decade.
Owing in part to the democratic changes within Croatian politics and to Croatia’s bid for EU membership, the implementation of the citizenship laws began to demonstrate more inclusiveness towards ethnic non-Croats, although the law on citizenship itself remained unchanged. The case of Croatia demonstrates how sticks and carrots employed by the EU could alter relations between a nationalising state and its internal minorities as well as between a kin-state and its ethnic diaspora in the ‘near abroad’. At the same time, it shows how the latter relations can be preserved within the institutional framework of the EU. We thus witness parallel attempts to integrate a country into the supranational institutions of the EU, to democratise its political life, and to clearly show political and social inclusiveness towards ethnic minorities; but also to maintain a transnational ethnic community by using ethno-centric citizenship laws.
|Country Reports PDF||
Published: November 2009 - Latest Update: February 2013
Published: February 2013
|Current citizenship law|
|Domestic case law||Croatia domestic case law|
|International and European case law||Croatia International and European case law|