Sunday, 27 March 2022

10,409 Ukrainian Refugees Have arrived in Croatia

ZAGREB, 27 March 2022 - A total of 10,409 Ukrainian refugees have arrived in Croatia so far, of whom 2,136 in the last seven days, the Ministry of the Interior has said on the Croatia for Ukraine website.

Of the 10,409 refugees, 5,064 are women, 3,996 children and 1,349 men.

Since 25 February the Civil Protection Directorate has mobilised 36 facilities to accommodate the refugees, three reception centres and 33 facilities for collective accommodation, one catering company and one transport company.

Currently 29 persons are staying in privately-owned properties, 1,338 have been provided with collective accommodation and 9,042 have been provided with accommodation on an individual basis.

The Ministry of the Interior on 20 March launched a bilingual website that provides daily information of relevance for Ukrainian refugees and for Croatians offering assistance to them.

The website Hrvatska za Ukrajinu (Croatia for Ukraine) contains information on the number of refugees arriving in Croatia, accommodation capacity, ways to help the refugees and information for Croatians who have taken in the refugees.

The section of the website in the Ukrainian language provides answers to the most frequently asked questions.

For more, check out our politics section.

Sunday, 17 October 2021

Vagrancy in Croatia Increases by 20% This Year - Večernji List

ZAGREB, 17 Oct, 2021- A recent court ruling under which a 55-year-old man from Knin was found guilty of vagrancy and given a conditional sentence of 15 days in prison has brought attention to the issue of vagrancy in Croatia, which has increased by 20 percent this year compared with last year, Večernji List newspaper said earlier this week.

According to data provided by the Ministry of the Interior, 408 persons were reported for vagrancy and begging in 2020, while 490 such cases were recorded in the first eight months of this year, the newspaper said, noting that vagrancy is an offence under the Public Order and Peace Offences Act.

In Croatia, vagrancy is punishable by a fine of between 25 and 100 euros or a prison sentence of up to 30 days. The Knin man was given a conditional prison term of 15 days, but he will not go to prison if he does not repeat this or similar offence over the next year. The 60 kuna (8 euros) he "earned" by begging was taken away from him and will be returned to the injured parties. Because of his financial situation, he was exempted from paying court costs, Večernji List said.

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Saturday, 11 September 2021

Božinović: Opposition Seems Not to Want Corruption Cases to Be Prosecuted

ZAGREB, 11 Sept, 2021 - Interior Minister Davor Božinović on Saturday criticised statements by some Opposition MPs following arrests in two corruption cases in Međimurje County. 

"I am certain that already the present and the future will prove their cheap political statements wrong. They seem not to want such cases to be prosecuted," Božinović said in an interview with Croatian Radio.

Speaking after the arrests of Međimurje County head Matija Posavec and Social Democrat (SDP) MP Stjepan Kovač, MP Nikola Grmoja of the Bridge party said on Friday that the arrests were politically motivated to "divert attention from the scandal in Kutina" involving the ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) party, while the SDP's Arsen Bauk said that the timing of the arrests in two unrelated cases showed "a skilful manoeuvre" by the Attorney-General's Office (DORH).

Responding to these accusations, Božinović said that in the first eight months of this year the police had brought corruption charges in 86 percent more cases than in the same period last year. "This means that the police, along with USKOK (anti-corruption office) and DORH, are fully committed to their work, and great changes can be seen in this regard."

"However, no changes can be seen in reactions from the Opposition. Whenever the police and DORH do something, the Opposition immediately says that it is politicisation. I cannot understand those people at all," the minister said.

Commented on the fact that one of the suspects in the Kovač case is a police officer, Božinović said that the police have zero tolerance to any illegal behaviour. Last year proceedings were launched against more than 540 police officers and so far this year against more than 320 officers, he said. 

For more on politics, follow TCN's dedicated page.

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Sunday, 29 August 2021

Croatia Takes in 19 Afghan Nationals

ZAGREB, 29 Aug, 2021 - Nineteen Afghan nationals, who worked as support staff for the European Union Delegation in Kabul, arrived at Zagreb Airport on Saturday, the Croatian Ministry of the Interior has reported.

The 19-member group consists of three families with children and a single.

They have all said that they intend to apply for international protection in Croatia, the ministry said.

The Afghan nationals had all been vetted prior to their employment with the EU Delegation.

The European External Action Service (EEAS) has called on EU members to take in EU staff from Afghanistan, around 500 Afghan nationals, mostly interpreters, logistics staff and their families.

Croatia has responded to the appeal, deciding to accept 20 persons whose lives and security are threatened by the restoration of the Taliban regime.

The ministry's immigration service is now in charge of the Afghan nationals.

Since the group includes as many as ten minors, it will be accommodated at a ministry facility for vulnerable groups.

The ministry said that it would not provide further information on the immigrants for the sake of their security.

For Croatia's daily news updates, CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

Croatian Ministry of the Interior (MUP) Obtaining Million Euro Equipment

Cybercrime is a growing problem in our ever more technologically minded modern society, and MUP is catching up, too.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 8th of January, 2020, the Croatian Ministry of the Interior (MUP) has begun implementing the project called ''Strengthening MUP's Capacity to Combat All Forms of Cybercrime '', in which it will procure equipment worth almost one million euros and educate police officers on how to successfully combat cybercrime.

A statement from MUP claims that the decision to award the project implementation funding was made by the Schengen Coordination and EU Funds Independent Sector, and the project will procure equipment and computer programs that will allow for the efficient execution of court orders to search holders of electronic evidence such as computers, laptops, tablets, hard drives, mobile (cell) phones and more.

In addition, 31 police officers will be intensively trained to raise their competencies for successfully combating cybercrime in Croatia. The topics of education will be the basics of attack and protection of information systems and information security, architecture, models, mechanisms and principles of information technology, digital traces, evidence and forensics, as well as prevention, surveillance and more specialised areas of cyber-attacks.

The allocation of funding for these projects is based on the exclusive competence of the Cyber ​​Security Police Crime Service, with a total estimated budget of 995,000 euros with VAT, while the European Union's co-financing percentage stands at ninety percent of that figure in total.

MUP has stated that the training of the police officers, which was based on a previously conducted public tender, has been being conducted by the Algebra Tenderer Community d.o.o. and the Zagreb Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing from November 2019, and will continue until February this year.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for much more on MUP, crime, policing and the judiciary in Croatia.

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Brexit Brits in Croatia - Simplified Jargon for Croatia's British Residents

A look at the possible Brexit scenarios and what they mean for Croatia's confused British residents.

Brexit has been delayed. If May can't get her deal through parliament, or if no other way forward is proposed, the UK could end up with a disorderly No Deal exit, despite parliament having voted overwhelmingly against it. If May passes her deal or parliament finds another route and that is passed then Brexit has been delayed until May the 22nd to allow for the necessary legislation to be passed. The UK cannot delay Brexit any further unless it agrees to partake in the European elections. Farcical, no? 

Anyway, La La Land, sorry... I mean Britain, aside, let's see how things currently stand for Croatia's resident Brits. I've tried to update you a lot, but as you know, the Brexit situation has changed more times than Boris Johnson has changed his political beliefs, so it doesn't always mean much. Still, let's give it a go.

May's deal/withdrawal agreement passes:

If, in the unlikely event May's deal passes during the third meaningful vote on it (third time lucky?), then the withdrawal agreement concluded back in 2018 will come into force on May the 22nd this year, giving way to a transition (implementation) period until what we currently believe to be the end of December, 2020. This however, could be extended and altered. 

What does this mean?

It means that you need to make sure you're correctly registered with the authorities (MUP/Ministry of the Interior) as a resident in Croatia. You need to be in possession of a valid residency permit or the white piece of paper proving you've been approved and you're just waiting for it to be made, before December 2020. If you're due to gain permanent residency (after five years of continuous, lawful residency in Croatia), you can apply for it as an EU citizen would during this time. In short, nothing will alter.

Here's a more detailed guide I wrote a few months ago.

May's deal fails again, parliament can find no way forward, No Deal occurs:

This remains unlikely as this is only the desire of a handful of people who seem hell bent on such an insane idea. Still, it could happen. You need to make sure you're correctly registered with MUP as stated above, and your registration, receipt of registration and/or residence permit will act as proof of your British citizenship and proof of you having been resident in Croatia before the UK's withdrawal from the EU. It's hugely important that you do this if you haven't already. 

Here's how you should prepare for all scenarios, this guide will help you make sure you're on the right side of the law should the UK crash out of the EU with no deal next month. 

Here are MUP's guidelines, with our explainers and points thrown in, in the case of a No Deal Brexit. Croatia has now finally confirmed it will protect British citizens living legally in Croatia and minimise any disruption as much as possible regardless of the Brexit outcome. Click the above link and read carefully. Here's MUP's original post on the subject.

Is there any new information?

Yes and no. Here's what we know so far: Croatia has committed to protect its British residents regardless of the outcome, which is good news. You can click here for an overview of each EU member state's guidelines for residence rights for Brits in the unwanted event of the UK leaving without a deal. It isn't in alphabetical order, so scroll down until you find Croatia, or don't, because I'll just write what you need to know here and explain each point as necessary anyway. Here goes:

''In order to provide for the regulation of residence status of UK nationals and their family members, who on the day of departure of the UK from the European Union have already registered their temporary or permanent stay or have been issued with a residence card pursuant to Title X of the existing Aliens Act, certain amendments to the draft proposal for the Act on EEA nationals and their family members have been proposed.  

Those provisions provide for keeping the existing residence status and lay down the right to work without obtaining additional authorisation (this provision will have no end date). 

The residence documents already issued under the existing Aliens Act will be recognised as temporary national residence permits for nationals of the United Kingdom and their family members after Brexit (option c). These temporary national residence permits will be valid maximum up to one year from the entry into force of the Act (or until their expiration date, if the said date is shorter).

An obligation has also been prescribed to replace residence documents within a year from the entry into force of the Act. New residence permits will be issued in the format laid down by Regulation 1030/2002. 

Pursuant to a special procedure, the draft Act will be sent before the Croatian Parliament for urgent legislative procedure.

b). On 19 March 2019 total of 655 UK nationals have regulated their residence in the Republic of Croatia (358 on temporary residence and 297 have permanent residence).

Having this in mind, we do not currently expect overburden of our administrative capacities.

We aim to implement a simple and straightforward procedure in order not to overburden UK nationals.

Therefore we are considering accepting applications for exchanging the recognised temporary national residence permits after 30 March 2019 (or no deal Brexit date) and issue first permits in accordance with Regulation 1030/2002 afterwards (in order to replace any temporary documents).

c). We have made a proposal for a recommendation addressed to all UK nationals and their family members residing in the Republic of Croatia who intend to continue residing in the Republic of Croatia, to register their residence in the Republic of Croatia in line with the provisions of the existing Aliens Act.

This recommendation was published on the website of the Ministry of the Interior https://mup.gov.hr/vijesti/information-concerning-the-future-relations-between-the-united-kingdom-and-the-european-union/283273

What does all that mean?

In short, legislation is being put forward to mean that the current residence document/permits you hold now, which were obtained via your EU treaty rights (the right to live and work in any EU member state) will remain valid for one year, or less if you're due to update them (renew or apply for permanent residence) in less than one year. 

This legislation will mean that essentially, British citizens already residing legally in Croatia will be treated like all other EU citizens and their unrestricted entitlement to access the Croatian labour market will remain as it is now - permanently.

There aren't many Brits living here, so there shouldn't be any particular extra burden felt by MUP or by individuals.

Eventually, residence cards obtained through EU law will cease to be valid for British nationals, but there's nothing to worry about, you simply exchange them for whatever the new ones will be. Croatia is considering beginning permit exchanges as of the 30th of March (however this might be worth bypassing considering the fact that the UK will almost certainly still be a member of the EU on that date).

Need an example?

1) Let's say you're due to get permanent residency this year. You'll apply for it as normal just like you were still an EU citizen, and you'll be granted under the same conditions as EU nationals. Ask the official if you'll need to alter it in a year's time. If you do, you won't be asked to make an application again, it will be a simple exhange for a new permit. It will still be permanent residence, just maybe a slightly different looking card.

2) You've still got a few years to go before you hit that magic five year mark. Your current temporary residence permit will remain valid for another year. Go and exchange it for whatever the new document will be as soon as MUP announce they're beginning exchanges to save you any extra burden. Ask at your local police station for information on this, or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

3) Let's say you've somehow managed to live in Croatia without any sort of residence permit (yes, it happens), you need to go and register your residence now and get a five year temporary residence permit. You can then exchange it for whatever the new document is when MUP begins exchanging cards, and then eventually get permanent residence.

What about healthcare?

If no other way forward is found and no further extension to the Brexit process is agreed, the UK will crash out of the EU. In this case, the EU health insurance card will cease to be valid for British citizens. As things stand, we can reveal that the Croatian Government is preparing a Draft Law Proposal on a Temporary Measure in the area of Obligatory Health Insurance designed to provide transitional healthcare arrangements after the UK leaves the EU to those who are residents in Croatia.

We'll update you as soon as we know more about what that means.

Make sure to follow British Embassy Zagreb on Facebook, and sign up for email alerts from gov.uk's Living in Croatia page, which is updated as soon as any new information comes out. Give our dedicated politics page a follow for much more on Brexit and beyond.

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