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Croatia

(last updated: May 2018)
 

Estonia recognised the Republic of Croatia on 31 December 1991. Diplomatic relations between the two countries were established on 2 March 1992.

Presently Croatia is represented in Estonia by Ambassador Josip Buljević (residing in Helsinki), who  presented his credentials to President Kersti Kaljulaid on 20 March 2018.

Croatia's first ambassador to Estonia was Damir Perincić, who resided in Stockholm (1994-1996). As of 1999 the Croatian ambassador to Estonia has resided in Helsinki. The other Croatian ambassadors to Estonia have been Mladen Ibler (1997-1998, residing in Stockholm), Zeljko Bošnjak (1999-2002), Marin Andrijašević (2003-2006), and Damir Kušen (2007-2012), Krešimir Kopčić (2012-2018).

Croatia's defence attachés in Estonia, residing in Warsaw, have been Commander Andrija Ljulj (2013-2017, Colonel Krešimir Trstenjak (2004-2008) and Colonel Nediljko Bojič (2008-2012).

Estonia's ambassadors to Croatia:

  • Sten Schwede (from 7 June 2017, residing in Prague)
  • Celia Kuningas Saagpakk (01.12.2015-06.06.2017, residing in Rome)
  • Priit Pallum (17.12.2010-29.09.2014, residing in Budapest and 30.09.2014-30.11.2015, residing in Tallinn)
  • Miko Haljas (2006-2010, residing in Budapest)
  • Toivo Tasa (2003-2006, residing in Budapest).

Visits

Visits to Estonia
 
april 2018 Speaker of Parliament Gordan Jandroković
september 2017 Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Marija Pejčinović Burić
January 2015 Prime Minister Zoran Milanović
March 2013 Speaker of Parliament Josip Leko
May 2011 President Ivo Josipović
October 2008 Foreign Minister Gordan Jandrokovič
November 2007 President Stjepan Mesić
February 2007 Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration Kolinda Grabar – Kitarović and Defence Minister Berislav Rončević participated in the meeting of the foreign affairs and defence ministers of the member states of the Baltic and Adriatic Charters and of the USA in Tallinn
May 2006 Minister of Defence Berislav Ronćević
November 2005 Prime Minister Ivo Sanader
June 2004 Minister of Agriculture Petar Cobankovic
April 2003 President Stjepan Mesić
April 2002 Foreign Minister Tonino Picula
October 2000 Chairman of the Parliament Zlatko Tomčić

Visits to Croatia

July 2017 Prime Minister Jüri Ratas' visit to Zagreb in the role of the Presidency of the Council of the EU – meetings with Prime Minister and Speaker of the Parliament of Croatia
March 2016 State visit by the President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, accompanied by the Foreign Minister Marina Kaljurand, the Interior Minister Hanno Pevkur, the Minister for Entrepreneurship Liisa Oviir, the Commander of the Estonian Defence Forces, Lieutenant General Riho Terras
June 2015 Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas
February 2012 Riigikogu Speaker Ene Ergma
July 2011 Foreign Minister Urmas Paet
April 2009 Defence Minister Jaak Aaviksoo
March 2009 President Toomas Hendrik Ilves
September 2008 Prime Minister Andrus Ansip
October 2007 Foreign Minister Urmas Paet at the meeting of USA-Adriatic-Baltic foreign and defence ministers in Split
April 2006 Foreign Minister Urmas Paet and Defence Minister Jürgen Ligi participated in the meeting of Adriatic-Baltic-Atlantic foreign affairs and defence ministers at Brijun, Croatia
February 2006 President Arnold Rüütel
September 2004 Minister of Agriculture Ester Tuiksoo
March 2004 Foreign Minister Kristiina Ojuland
June 2001 Chairman of the Riigikogu Toomas Savi
May 2000 Foreign Minister Toomas Hendrik Ilves

Bilateral relations


Relations between Estonia and Croatia have been very active in recent years: high-level visits have taken place, as well as meetings and consultations between representatives of the countries’ foreign and interior ministries as well as between ministers of entrepreneurship.

As of April 1, 2009, Croatia is a member of NATO and as of July 1, 2013, a member of the European Union. As an EU member state in favour of enlargement, Estonia supported Croatia’s accession and shared as much of its accession experience as possible.

Members of the Croatian Defence Forces have taken part in a number of senior management courses at the Baltic Defence College.

Estonia supports Croatia in preparing for the first Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2020. Estonia also supports Croatia’s path to Schengen and euro area.

Agreements

  • Agreement on Cultural Co-operation (came into force 31.08.1999);
  • Agreement on the Abolition of Visa Requirements (came into force 03.09.2000);
  • Agreement on the Readmission of Persons (came into force 28.04.2001);
  • Agreement on Technology and Higher Education Related Co-operation (came into force 15.05.2001);
  • Convention for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income and on Capital (came into force 12.07.2004);
  • Aviation Agreement (signed 31.03.2004);
  • Defence Co-operation Agreement between the Estonian and Croatian ministries of defence (signed 9 May 2006).

Economic relations

 

TRADE


Trade and economic relations between Estonia and Croatia are rather modest. According to statistics from the past few years, Croatia as a trade partner has remained between 60th and 70th place among all of Estonia’s trade partners. In 2017, the trade turnover increased by 35%, compared to the previous year, amounting to 5.5 million euros, of which 2.9 million was from exports and 2.6 million from imports.

The primary articles of export from Estonia to Croatia in 2017 were animal products and live animals – 24%, chemical products – 14%, articles of base metals (iron and steel) – 14%, machinery and mechanical appliances – 12%.

Estonia’s primary imports from Croatia during the same period were machinery and mechanical appliances –55%, articles of base metals – 14%, and wood and articles of wood – 10%.

Estonia-Croatia trade 2011-2017 (in millions of euros):

  2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Export 2.9 7.6 1.9 1.8 1.4 1.9 2.9
Import 3.1 5.0 3.5 2.0 1.7 2.1 2.6

Source: Statistical Office of Estonia

Direct Investments


Bank of Estonia data indicates that Estonian direct investments in Croatia as of 31 December 2017 equalled 23.7 million euros. Investments were mostly made in the financial and insurance sector as well as in the property sector.

Croatian investments in Estonia as of 31 December 2017 were 108 000 euros, mainly made in the wholesale and retail trade sector.

Tourism


Since 2014, there have been seasonal direct flights between Estonia and Croatia. In 2018, Nordica offers seasonal flights from Tallinn to Rijeka and to Split. The tourism from Estonia to Croatia has increased year by year. The number of trips to Croatia has tripled over the past decade. In 2008, the Estonian residents made 7835 visits to Croatia but in 2017, this number was 19 753 and each visit lasted an average of 5 days.

Defence cooperation


Since 2003, Croatian servicemen have taken part in the advanced training of colonels and executives at the Baltic Defence College in Tartu and also in the Senior Staff Officers’ course (2009-2010). They have also participated in senior staff officer courses since 2005. The Defence College is interested in the continuation of cooperation with Croatia, including Croatian teachers coming to teach at the college.

In September of 2008, Chief of the Defence Forces Lieutenant General Ants Laaneots participated in the meeting of the defence chiefs of the Baltic and Adriatic Charter countries in Croatia.

In January of 2009, consultations between the defence ministries of the two countries took place in Tallinn. Minister of Defence Jaak Aaviksoo was in Croatia for a visit in April of 2009.

In March of 2016, Chief of the Defence Forces Lieutenant General Riho Terras, within the state visit by the President Toomas Hendrik Ilves to Croatia, met with the Chief of the Defence Forces and the Defence Minister of Croatia.

Cultural cooperation


Thus far, cultural relations between Estonia and Croatia have not been very active. The most notable cultural event in 2009 was the exhibit of porcelain sculptures by sculptor Merike Hallik entitled “White Birds for a White City” at the Golden Horse Gallery in Zagreb.

In 2011, the biggest cultural event was the publishing of Sofi Oksanen’s novel “Purge” in Croatian. In 2015, NO99 Theatre from Tallinn participated in the Zagreb World Theatre Festival with their production of "My wife got angry".

In the autumn 2016 premiers “The Spy and the Poet”, a film directed by Toomas Hussar and produced in cooperation between the Estonian Allfilm and the Croatian Nukleus Film.

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