In accordance with legal tradition, the Croatian Parliament is traditionally titled the Sabor. The oldest preserved records of Sabor sessions date back to 1273, although the beginnings of the Sabor are much earlier. Alongside the Icelandic Althing, formed in 930, and the Parliament of Sicily, established in 1130, the Sabor is therefore one of the oldest Diets in Europe.

Political organisation

Legislative power

In accordance with legal tradition, the Croatian Parliament is traditionally titled the Sabor. The oldest preserved records of sessions of the Sabor date back to 1273. Until the 16th century, the Slavonian and Croatian Sabors sat separately, but from 1681 they were united in the Sabor of the Kingdom of Croatia, Dalmatia and Slavonia (Congregatio Regnorum Croatiae, Dalmatiae et Slavoniae). Until 1848, representatives were elected exclusively from the ranks of church dignitaries and the nobility, before the period when ordinary citizens were included.

Until 1847, the official language was Latin, and from then on, Croatian. During the Second World War, the tradition of the Sabor was taken over by the ZAVNOH (National Anti-Fascist Council of the People’s Liberation of Croatia), which declared the National Sabor of Croatia in 1945. A single-party Sabor was formed during the time of Yugoslavia, but real power was concentrated in the Communist League. The first multiparty Sabor was constituted on 30 May 1990, and this day is celebrated as the Day of Hrvatski Sabor (Croatian Parliament Day). Since then, seven Parliaments have been constituted.

The Croatian Parliament building on St. Mark’s Square in Zagreb, opposite the seat of the Government.
The Parliament in session, 2012

The Croatian Parliament is the representative body of its citizens and is vested with legislative power. It has a minimum of 100, and a maximum of 160, members. Members of Parliament have no imperative mandate and enjoy immunity. The Croatian Parliament has a Speaker and one or more Deputy Speakers.

The Croatian Parliament decides on the adoption of or amendments to the Constitution, passes laws, adopts the State Budget, declares war or peace, adopts documents through which the policies of the Croatian Parliament are expressed, adopts strategies of national security and defence, carries out civil supervision of the armed forces and security services, decides on border changes, holds referenda, conducts elections, appointments and dismissals, supervises the work of the Government and other holders of public authority answerable to the Croatian Parliament, grants amnesty for criminal offences, and performs other work laid down in the Constitution. The Parliament may establish investigative commissions for matters in the public interest.