Germany and Croatia: Bilateral relations

05.10.2022 - Article

Political, economic, cultural and social relations are traditionally close and amicable. The bilateral Action Plan signed by the two countries’ Foreign Ministers on 7 March 2019 and extended into 2022 further strengthens relations between Germany and Croatia. 2022 marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic Relations.

There are regular political visits in both directions, though the pandemic has shifted most meetings online over the past two years. Germany and Croatia also make use of numerous meetings at minister of state or ministerial level, as well as the European Union’s political bodies, to conduct close exchange. The successive Croatian and German Presidencies of the Council of the European Union in 2020 created further ties.

The two countries also enjoy close relations in the business, science and technology sectors. Germany is Croatia’s largest trading partner and ranks third among foreign direct investors behind the Netherlands and Austria. With almost three million German holidaymakers visiting Croatia in 2022, Germany was once again the largest source of tourists to the country.

Bilateral cultural cooperation is based on the German-Croatian cultural agreement of 26 August 1994, which entered into force on 23 January 1998. Priority areas of cooperation are promoting mobility in science and higher education and maintaining and strengthening the prominent role of the German language in the Croatian education system (almost 30% of all pupils at Croatian schools learn German as their first or second foreign language). The Goethe-Institut, the German Academic Exchange Service and the Central Agency for Schools Abroad (in the form of an adviser on the German Language Certificate (DSD) and six seconded teachers at Croatian grammar schools) are active in Croatia. The Deutsche Internationale Schule Zagreb (DISZ, German International School Zagreb) was founded in 2004; together with the École française internationale de Zagreb, it forms the Eurocampus, a beacon of Franco‑German cooperation not only in Croatia.

The more than 426,000 Croatian nationals who live in Germany, as well as the large number of Croats who previously lived in Germany and have returned to Croatia, also play a part in upholding the close relations between the two countries.


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