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Germany and Croatia: Bilateral relations

08.11.2023 - Article

Political, economic, cultural and social relations are traditionally close and amicable. Cooperation focuses on bilateral trade and economic relations, close cooperation at the EU level and the maintenance of scientific and cultural relations.

Germany is Croatia’s largest trading partner and regularly ranks among the leading foreign direct investors alongside the Netherlands, Austria and Luxembourg. In 2023, almost three million German visitors again meant that the country accounted for the largest group of foreign tourists in Croatia.

Croatia and Germany are partners at EU level and work closely together on all major European issues. Political contacts are backed up with regular high-level meetings both in Brussels and in the two capitals.

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 (DAAD) and the Central Agency for Schools Abroad (in the form of an adviser on the German Language Certificate (DSD) and five 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 430,000 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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