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Croatia Country Report

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Risk Level

Low
Moderate
Elevated
High
Very High
Severe
Extreme

Overview

Executive Summary

The current centre-right HDZ-led coalition comfortably survived six no-confidence motions against the government as a whole or individual ministers in two years. This has served to strengthen its mandate while demonstrating opposition weakness. The government’s slim majority of 82 MPs in the 151-seat parliament, following a May 2017 coalition reshuffle, means it will continue to struggle to pass ambitious structural reforms – including changes to public administration and further pension reforms – deemed necessary for its ambition to join the eurozone. A potential early election in 2019 (the vote is currently due before end-2020) appears likely to yield a stronger majority for the governing HDZ.Croatia’s accession to the Schengen Area is expected by mid-2020, with membership particularly benefiting tourism, shipping, and general merchandise and service trade. The newly hardened external Schengen borders with Montenegro, Bosnia, and Serbia will cause delays to cargo and supply chains and increases the risk of future diplomatic spats, prompting measures such as temporary import tariffs.Economic slowdown in the rest of Europe will dampen economic growth in 2019-20, exacerbated by Croatia’s open economy, within which more than 40% of industrial turnover is conducted with external markets. Weaker economic activity in the EU also will reduce Croatian tourism service exports, trimming the country’s current-account surplus in both 2019 and 2020.In 2019, the Croatian central bank will apply to join the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM II), the waiting room for eurozone membership. Having already achieved exchange-rate stability against the euro, contained inflation, pushed interest rates downward, and show strong political will to adopt the euro, Croatia is expected to spend little more than the minimal amount of time of two years in the ERM II before final euro adoption.
Last update: May 11, 2019

Operational Outlook

The EU accession process generated large-scale improvements in Croatia's operating environment, particularly in curtailing its over-inflated bureaucracy. One of the proclaimed goals of the HDZ-led government is to further curtail bureaucracy and thus cut operating costs for businesses. General infrastructure is adequate for business operations, and there is an overall skilled and educated workforce. Trade unions are moderately prone to strike, but the frequency of strikes is diminishing as the economic recovery picks up.

Last update: May 23, 2019

Terrorism

Elevated

The threat from Islamist terrorism is moderate, as only a few dozen individuals in the country are thought to adhere to a radical interpretation of Islam. However, there is a threat of a spillover effect, emanating from the roughly 300 jihadists who have returned to Croatia's neighbouring countries (predominantly Bosnia) from Iraq and Syria. Left- and right-wing extremist groups, generally within sports fan groups, are likely to pose a greater risk of death and injury, despite being poorly organised. Risks from organised crime will gradually decrease in the three-year outlook because of improving law enforcement capabilities.

Last update: November 13, 2018

Crime

Croatia has generally enjoyed relatively high levels of public safety, exempting wartime security situations and minority return areas. However, this perception of public safety was partially shaken in 2008 with high-profile assassinations allegedly linked to organised crime. Violence is usually targeted at rival groups or businessmen, journalists, or lawyers engaged in anti-corruption activities, with incidents usually concentrated in Zagreb and large port cities such as Rijeka. Drug trafficking remains a serious problem, with Croatia sitting along a major transit route between the Middle East and Western Europe. Croatia's anti-corruption agency, USKOK, has enjoyed significant successes in fighting financial crime.

Last update: May 23, 2019

War Risks

Despite several border disputes with neighbouring states – mainly concerning maritime borders with Slovenia, Bosnia, Montenegro and Serbia – war risks are now mitigated by Croatia's EU membership since July 2013, NATO membership since April 2009. Further mitigating war risks are the joint military exercises being conducted by Western Balkan countries. The territorial disputes, such as that with Slovenia, are likely to be resolved peacefully.

Last update: May 23, 2019

Social Stability

Moderate

There is a moderate risk of protests over public spending cuts, privatisations and shipyard restructuring in the one-year outlook, although they are unlikely to escalate and involve large-scale violence. Incidents involving fighting between migrants and police at Bosnian border checkpoints are likely to increase in 2019. Violent protest risks over inter-ethnic and language issues have also increased, particularly in Serb-populated areas of Dalmatia and Eastern Slavonia. Protests and riots are also likely prior to, during, and after football games, with games between rival clubs Hajduk Split and Dinamo Zagreb being particularly prone to result in violence.

Last update: May 23, 2019

Health Risk

Elevated

Vaccines required to enter the country

No vaccinations are required to enter the country.

Vaccines recommended for all travelers

Routine vaccinations: Consult your doctor to ensure all routine vaccinations - such as for diphtheria, tetanus, polio, tuberculosis, influenza, measles, mumps, pertussis, rubella, varicella, etc. - are up to date (include booster shots if necessary).

Vaccines recommended for most travelers

Hepatitis A: The vaccine is given in two doses, six months apart, and is nearly 100 percent effective. The WHO recommends the vaccine be integrated into national routine immunization schedules for children aged one year or older.

Vaccines recommended for some travelers

Hepatitis B: The WHO recommends that all infants receive their first dose of vaccine as soon as possible after birth, preferably within 24 hours. The birth dose should be followed by two or three doses to complete the primary series. Routine booster doses are not routinely recommended for any age group.

Rabies: The rabies vaccination is typically only recommended for travel to remote areas and if the traveler will be at high risk of exposure (e.g. undertaking activities that will bring them into contact with dogs, cats, bats, or other mammals). The vaccination is administered in three doses over a three-to-four week period. Post exposure prophylaxis is also available and should be administered as soon as possible following contact with an animal suspected of being infected (e.g. bites and scratches).

Last update: April 5, 2019

Natural Risks

Very high

The country is often afflicted in winter months by difficult conditions caused by low temperatures and snowfall. Local authorities are usually poorly equipped to deal with winter storms.

Croatia is located in an active seismic zone. A magnitude-6.0 earthquake struck the Dubrovnik region in 1996, leading to moderate structural damage and several casualties. Numerous minor tremors have occurred since, resulting in only minor damage.

Last update: April 5, 2019

Practical Information

Climate

Winters are cold in the center of the country where snowstorms are common; summers are very hot. Along the coast, the climate is Mediterranean: winters are mild and summers are hot and dry with thunderstorms common in the evenings. Ocean temperatures range from 21°C to 25°C between the beginning of June and the end of September.

Useful Numbers

Country Code: +385 (from a foreign cellphone, dial 020092)
Police: 92
Fire Dept.: 93
UAS: 94
Civil Defense (DUZS): 112

Electricity

Voltage: 230 V ~ 50 Hz

Outlets:

Last update: April 5, 2019