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Country Reports

Croatia Country Report

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Risk Level

Low
Moderate
Elevated
High
Very High
Severe
Extreme

Overview

Executive Summary

In the parliamentary election held on 5 July, the ruling HDZ party won 66 seats, ahead of opposition SDP’s Restart Coalition with 41 and the Homeland Movement with 16. As part of negotiations for the formation of a new government, HDZ leader and incumbent Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said that HNS and NS-Reformist, along with ethnic minorities, had agreed to support a government led by HDZ.As part of relaxation measures introduced in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) virus outbreak, the government reopened its borders for all EU and Schengen Area travellers from 1 July. The introduction of an online application system for visitors is likely to mitigate the risk of delays to cargo and transport at Croatia’s borders, reducing waiting times and procedures at border crossings. The government has also approved two relief packages worth EUR1.8 billion to support the economy and protect jobs.Croatia’s accession to the Schengen Area is likely to be delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic beyond 2020. Previously, Croatian economic growth was slowly accelerating in 2019. However, the country’s heavy reliance upon tourism exports, the imposition of some of the most severe social distancing requirements within Europe, and its open economy will make Croatia’s downturn among the deepest in Europe owing to the effects of the COVID-19 virus. We anticipate quarterly losses that will be particularly severe in the second quarter, with the critical third quarter for tourism receipts also severely undermined. With consumer appetite for vacationing likely to be slow to recover, Croatian GDP growth will be slow to rebound in 2021.The evaporation of tourism export earnings will push Croatia into a current-account deficit in 2020, albeit a small one. Nonetheless, it has been seven years since the last time the country’s current account was in the red for the year as a whole.
Last update: July 8, 2020

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, particularly in the public sector (education, healthcare, transport).

Last update: July 11, 2020

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 250 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: July 11, 2020

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: July 11, 2020

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, as well as 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: July 11, 2020

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 remain moderate in the one-year outlook. Violent protest risks over inter-ethnic and language issues have 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: February 27, 2020

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