Prime Minister of Croatia

Last updated
President of the Government of the Republic of Croatia
Predsjednik Vlade Republike Hrvatske
Zastava predsjednika Vlade RH.svg
Andrej Plenkovic (2024-03-25).jpg
Andrej Plenković
since 19 October 2016
Government of Croatia
Office of the President of the Government
Type Head of Government
Member of
Reports to Croatian Parliament
Seat Banski Dvori, Trg sv. Marka 2,
Zagreb, Croatia
Nominator President of Croatia
Appointer Croatian Parliament
Term length At the pleasure of the parliamentary majority. Parliamentary elections must be held no later than 60 days after the expiration of a full parliamentary term of 4 years, but an incumbent prime minister shall remain in office in a caretaker capacity until a new government is confirmed in Parliament and sworn in by its speaker.
Constituting instrument Constitution of Croatia
Inaugural holder Stjepan Mesić (after adoption of constitutional Amendment LXXIII) [2]
Josip Manolić (under current Constitution)
Formation25 July 1990 (by constitutional Amendment LXXIII) [3]
22 December 1990 (under current Constitution)
Deputy Deputy Prime Minister
(position held by one or more members of the government)
Salary 2874,92 monthly [4]

The prime minister of Croatia, officially the president of the government of the Republic of Croatia (Croatian : Predsjednik / Predsjednica Vlade Republike Hrvatske), is Croatia's head of government, and is de facto the most powerful and influential state officeholder in the Croatian system of government. Following the first-time establishment of the office in 1945, the 1990–2000 semi-presidential period is the only exception where the president of Croatia held de facto executive authority. In the formal Croatian order of precedence, however, the position of prime minister is the third highest state office, after the president of the Republic and the speaker of the Parliament.


The Constitution of Croatia prescribes that "Parliament supervises the Government" (Article 81) and that "the President of the Republic ensures the regular and balanced functioning and stability of government" (as a whole; Article 94), while the Government is introduced in Article 108. [5] Since 2000, the prime minister has had various added constitutional powers and is mentioned before the Government itself in the text of the Constitution, in Articles 87, 97, 99, 100, 101, 103, 104. [5] The current prime minister of Croatia is Andrej Plenković. The Government of Croatia meets in Banski dvori, a historical building located on the west side of St. Mark's Square in Zagreb.


The official name of the office, literally translated, is "President of the Government" (Predsjednik / Predsjednica Vlade), rather than a literal translation of "Prime Minister" (Prvi Ministar). In Croatian, the shorter term Premijer / Premijerka (Premier) is commonly used as well.



The Royal Government of the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia (1868–1918) was headed by the Ban of Croatia (Viceroy), who represented the King.

The first head of government of Croatia as a constituent republic of Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia was Vladimir Bakarić, who assumed the position on 14 April 1945. The position was then the most powerful public office in the state in addition to the position of the Secretary of the League of Communists of Croatia, as a single-party system was in place. The head of government was renamed to the President of the Executive Council in 1952. Notably, Savka Dabčević-Kučar was the first woman (not only in Croatia, but in Europe) to hold an office equivalent to a head of government as Chairman of the Executive Council of the Socialist Republic of Croatia (1967–1969).

Transition to independence

After the constitutional amendments that allowed for multi-party elections in Croatia in 1990, the country was still a constituent republic of SFR Yugoslavia, the position of the President of the Executive Council of the Socialist Republic of Croatia was filled by Stjepan Mesić on 30 May 1990 (the 14th Executive Council).

The newly-elected Croatian Parliament enacted numerous amendments to the constitution on 25 July 1990. It eliminated socialist references and adopted new national symbols, while the Government of the Republic of Croatia was formally instituted by Amendment LXXIII. [6]

The Constitution of Croatia was subsequently also changed significantly on 22 December 1990, as the so-called "Christmas Constitution" fundamentally defined the Republic of Croatia and its governmental structure. From this point onwards, Croatia was a semi-presidential republic, which meant the president of Croatia had broad executive powers (further expanded with laws to a point of superpresidentialism), including the appointment and dismissal of the prime minister and other officials in the government.

Following the May 1991 independence referendum in which 93% of voters approved secession, Croatia formally proclaimed independence from Yugoslavia on 25 June 1991, with Josip Manolić continuing in the role of prime minister as head of government of an independent Croatia. However, the country then signed the July 1991 Brijuni Agreement in which it agreed to postpone further activities towards severing ties with Yugoslavia. Meanwhile, the Croatian War of Independence ensued, and Franjo Gregurić was appointed to lead a Government of National Unity. In October the same year, Croatia formally severed all remaining legal ties with the Yugoslav Federation.

Since independence

During the period between 1990 and the next constitutional amendments in late 2000, Croatia had seven prime ministers. [7] [8]

Following the January 2000 general election the winning centre-left coalition led by the Social Democratic Party amended the Constitution and effectively stripped the President of most of his executive powers, strengthening the role of the Parliament and the prime minister, turning Croatia into a parliamentary republic. The prime minister again (as before 1990) became the foremost post in Croatian politics.

As of 2022 there have been twelve Prime Ministers who have chaired 14 governments since the first multi-party elections. Nine prime ministers were members of the Croatian Democratic Union during their terms of office, two were members of the Social Democratic Party and one was not a member of any political party. Since independence there has been one female prime minister (Jadranka Kosor).

List of prime ministers

ElectionTerm of officePartyCabinetCompositionPresident
Term startTerm endDuration
1 Mesic cropped.jpg Stjepan Mesić
1990 30 May 199024 August 199086 days HDZ
Croatian Democratic Union
Mesić HDZ Franjo

Flag of the President of Croatia.svg
2 Dan OSRH Josip Manolic 28052011 2.jpg Josip Manolić
24 August 1990 25 June 1991305 days HDZ
Croatian Democratic Union
Manolić HDZ

Croatia formally declared itself independent on 25 June 1991. After the declaration of independence, the position continued to be named the Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia.

ElectionTerm of officePartyCabinetCompositionPresident
Term startTerm endDuration
2 Dan OSRH Josip Manolic 28052011 2.jpg Josip Manolić
25 June 199117 July 199122 days HDZ
Croatian Democratic Union
Manolić HDZ Franjo

Flag of the President of Croatia.svg
3 Cvjetni trg simul 20160601 DSC 5221 (cropped).jpg Franjo Gregurić
17 July 1991 12 August 19921 year, 26 days HDZ
Croatian Democratic Union
Gregurić HDZ   SDP   HSLS   HNS   HKDS   HDS   SDSH   SSH
4 Hrvoje Sarinic.jpg Hrvoje Šarinić
1992 12 August 1992 3 April 1993234 days HDZ
Croatian Democratic Union
Šarinić HDZ
5 Dan OSRH Nikica Valentic 28052011 2.jpg Nikica Valentić
3 April 1993 7 November 19952 years, 218 days HDZ
Croatian Democratic Union
Valentić From 3 April 1993 to 31 December 1994:
From 31 December 1994 to 7 November 1995:
6 Zlatko Matesa.jpg Zlatko Mateša
1995 7 November 1995 27 January 20004 years, 81 days HDZ
Croatian Democratic Union
Mateša HDZ

Flag of the President of Croatia.svg
7 Ivica Racan.jpg Ivica Račan
2000 27 January 2000 23 December 20033 years, 330 days SDP
Social Democratic Party
Račan I SDP   HSLS   HNS   HSS   IDS   LS
Račan II SDP   HSS   HNS   Libra   LS
8 Sanader cropped.jpg Ivo Sanader
2003 23 December 20036 July 20095 years, 195 days HDZ
Croatian Democratic Union
Sanader I HDZ   DC
2007 Sanader II HDZ   HSLS   HSS   SDSS
9 Jadranka Kosor 26052011 crop.jpg Jadranka Kosor
6 July 200923 December 20112 years, 170 days HDZ
Croatian Democratic Union

Flag of the President of Croatia.svg
10 16 obljetnica vojnoredarstvene operacije Oluja 04082011 Zoran Milanovic 38.jpg Zoran Milanović
2011 23 December 201122 January 20164 years, 30 days SDP
Social Democratic Party
Milanović SDP   HNS   IDS

Flag of the President of Croatia.svg
11 TihomirOreskovic.jpg Tihomir Orešković
2015 22 January 201619 October 2016271 days Independent Orešković HDZ   MOST
12 Andrej Plenkovic (2024-03-25).jpg Andrej Plenković
2016 19 October 2016Incumbent7 years, 159 days HDZ
Croatian Democratic Union
Plenković I From 19 October 2016 to 28 April 2017:
From 28 April to 9 June 2017:
From 9 June 2017 to 23 July 2020:

Flag of the President of Croatia.svg
2020 Plenković II HDZ   SDSS
1. ^ From 1990 until the constitutional changes enacted in 2000, which replaced a powerful semi-presidential system (de facto a superpresidential system) with an incomplete parliamentary system, the term of the Prime Minister legally began on the date on which he was appointed by the President of the Republic and not on the date when he received a vote of confidence in Parliament, as is the case since 2000.
2. ^ Until 12 October 2010.

Spouses of prime ministers

NameRelation to Prime Minister
Milka Mesić (née Dudunić)wife of Prime Minister Stjepan Mesić
Marija Eker Manolićwife of Prime Minister Josip Manolić
Jozefina Gregurić (née Abramović)wife of Prime Minister Franjo Gregurić
Erika Šarinićwife of Prime Minister Hrvoje Šarinić
Antonela Valentićwife of Prime Minister Nikica Valentić
Sanja Gregurić-Matešawife of Prime Minister Zlatko Mateša
Dijana Pleštinawife of Prime Minister Ivica Račan
Mirjana Sanader (née Šarić)wife of Prime Minister Ivo Sanader
Jadranka Kosor divorced before becoming prime minister
Sanja Musić Milanović wife of Prime Minister Zoran Milanović
Sanja Dujmović Oreškovićwife of Prime Minister Tihomir Orešković
Ana Maslać Plenković wife of Prime Minister Andrej Plenković

See also

Related Research Articles

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