Hrvatska demokratska zajednica

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Hrvatska demokratska zajednica
HDZ logo.svg
Andrej Plenković 2015 (cropped) .jpg
Party leader Andrej Plenković
founding June 17, 1989
Place of foundation Zagreb
Headquarters Trg žrtava fašizma 4
10000 Zagreb
Alignment Christian democracy ,
conservatism , national conservatism
Colours) blue
Parliament seats
Number of members 220,000
International connections Christian Democratic International , International Democratic Union
European party European People's Party

The Hrvatska demokratska zajednica ( HDZ for short , German  Croatian Democratic Union ) was founded in 1989 and registered and approved as a party in 1990. The political profile of the HDZ went through several changes; While in the 1990s under Franjo Tuđman it was considered nationalist or right-wing populist , in the 2000s it developed into a more moderate national-conservative or Christian Democratic party. As a result, she became a member of the European People's Party (EPP) at European level . Since 2011 observers see the party again on a stronger right course.

Political classification

According to Croatian political scientists Nenad Zakošek and Tomislav Maršić, the HDZ of the 1990s can be classified ideologically as a “ right-wing nationalist ” party that used its politically dominant position to penetrate the entire state apparatus with its members and supporters. After Tuđman's death and the party's loss of power, however, under Ivo Sanader it transformed into a “ conservative party” that distances itself from the authoritarian excesses of the 1990s, rejects extreme nationalism and populism and also recognizes it in the context of the European conservative and Christian democratic parties have found. According to Tomislav Pintarić, the HDZ was classified as a “ Christian Democratic Party” in 2010 . The historian Heinrich August Winkler, however, describes the HDZ under Sanader (2003) as " national conservative ", as does Paul Srodecki (2013).


The HDZ was founded on June 17, 1989 at a secret meeting as a national collection movement, among others by Stipe Mesić , Josip Manolić and Franjo Tuđman , who became the first party president. It gave itself a strongly centralized structure and had organizations in all parts of the country of the then Socialist Republic (SR) Croatia . Since August 1990 there has been an offshoot in Bosnia and Herzegovina ( Hrvatska demokratska zajednica Bosne i Hercegovine , HDZBiH).

The then nationalist HDZ achieved an absolute majority in the first free multi-party election for the parliament of SR Croatia in 1990.

The HDZ was at the head of the six-party "Croatian Democratic Bloc". The HDZ won 55 of 80 seats in the first chamber of parliament and 205 of 365 in the second. With this majority in the Croatian parliament (Sabor), it implemented a new constitution on December 22, 1990. In a referendum on May 19, 1991, 93.24% of the voters voted for Croatia's independence , with most members of the Serb minority in Croatia boycotting the vote.

The Croatian partition policy towards Bosnia and Herzegovina at the time of the war led to disputes within the party, which became apparent at the party congress in October 1993 at the latest. Although officially denied, there were indications that the HDZ's policy under Tuđman was temporarily aimed at integrating part of Bosnia-Herzegovina into Croatia. The group around Stipe Mesić and Josip Manolić, at that time the presidents of the two parliamentary chambers, demanded an immediate end to the aggressive Bosnian policy. In May 1993, the then German Foreign Minister, Klaus Kinkel , also publicly criticized the Croatian part in the Bosnian war.

Tuđman spoke out for the central trend, which offended many party supporters. Mesić and Manolić finally split off with 15 MPs in May 1994 and founded the Croatian Independent Democrats (HND, Hrvatski nezavisni democi ). The HDZ survived the crisis and consolidated its power again in 1995 at the latest with the recapture of the Serb-occupied territories and the success in the parliamentary elections.

Due to her tailor-made electoral laws of 1992 and 1995, passed with the parliamentary majority, she was represented in the Chamber of Deputies much more strongly than her percentage of the vote corresponded to. After the proclaimed sovereignty was obtained , the commitment to the rule of law remained empty. The separation of state and economy was not seriously pursued; rather, the opposite was done in practice. Their inclination towards the one-party system became clear when dealing with the media. After the election victories in 1990 and 1992, she took control of all the major media in the country. In addition, the HDZ never distanced itself from the fascist Ustasha regime, but worked on its rehabilitation.

After Tuđman's death and during Ivica Račan's center-left government from 2000 to 2003, the party underwent reforms. Here sat Ivo Sanader against his fiercest adversaries Ivić Pašalić by and brought the party to a pro-European, Christian democratic course. In addition, corrupt party members were expelled. The party emerged stronger from these reforms and regained greater popular support. With its new chairman Ivo Sanader, it emerged from the parliamentary elections on November 23, 2003 as the strongest party (66 of the 152 seats in parliament) and again led the country's government. Since it did not have enough seats for a stable government, it formed a coalition with the Croatian Social-Liberal Party (HSLS) and until February 2006 with the Democratic Center (DC); In addition, she won several small parties for tolerance - including the Independent Serbian Democratic Party through offers to the Serbian minority. In the presidential election (runoff election on January 16, 2005), the HDZ candidate, Jadranka Kosor, was clearly defeated by the incumbent incumbent Stjepan (Stipe) Mesić.

After the parliamentary elections in autumn 2007, the opposition parties gained votes. Forming a government initially seemed difficult. The Croatian Democratic Union could no longer rely on its previous minority government; it needed more coalition partners to form a government, which, after exploratory talks, the previous opposition, liberal party, the Croatian Social-Liberal Party and the Croatian Peasant Party, got involved.

In the elections to the European Parliament on April 14, 2013, the HDZ achieved a 33 percent share of the vote and has had six members since July 1, 2013. It was able to regain first place as an opposition party.

List of party leaders

No. image Surname Term of office
1. FranjoTudmanleft.jpg Franjo Tuđman June 17, 1989–
December 10, 1999
K. Vladimir Seks Dvadeseta obljetnica formiranja OSRH 280511 98.jpg Vladimir Šeks January 5, 2000 -
April 29, 2000
2. Svecanost podizanja NATOve zastave Zagreb 67.jpg Ivo Sanader April 29, 2000 -
July 4, 2009
3. 16 obljetnica vojnoredarstvene operacije Oluja 04082011 Jadranka Kosor crop 924.jpg Jadranka Kosor July 4, 2009 -
May 21, 2012
4th 16 obljetnica vojnoredarstvene operacije Oluja 04082011 Tomislav Karamarko 848.jpg Tomislav Karamarko May 21, 2012 -
June 21, 2016
5. Andrej Plenković 2015 (cropped) .jpg Andrej Plenković July 17, 2016–

Overview of election results

year choice Share of the vote Parliament seats space position
1990 CroatiaCroatia Parliamentary election 1990 1st round
2nd round
1. government
1992 CroatiaCroatia Parliamentary election 1992 44.68%
1. government
1995 CroatiaCroatia General election 1995 45.2%
1. government
2000 CroatiaCroatia General election 2000 26.88%
2. opposition
2003 CroatiaCroatia General election 2003 33.9%
1. government
2007 CroatiaCroatia General election 2007 36.6%
1. government
2011 CroatiaCroatia Parliamentary election 2011 23.8%
2. opposition
2015 CroatiaCroatia General election 2015 33.45%
1. government
2016 CroatiaCroatia General election 2016 36.27%
1. government
2020 CroatiaCroatia General election 2020 37.3%
1. government

Individual evidence

  1. a b Carolin Leutloff-Grandits: Power of definition, utopia, retaliation: "ethnic cleansing" in Eastern Europe in the 20th century . Ed .: Holm Sundhaussen. LIT Verlag, Berlin 2006, ISBN 3-8258-8033-8 .
  2. ^ A b Arno Weckbecker, Frank Hoffmeister: The development of the political parties in the former Yugoslavia . Oldenbourg, Munich 1997. pp. 177 f.
  3. ^ Norbert Mappes-Niediek: Before the parliamentary elections in Croatia: polarization instead of issues. In:, November 6, 2015, accessed on November 7, 2015; Christian Wehrschütz: Focus on the Balkans: Bloody past. Uncertain future. Styria Premium.
  4. Nenad Zakošek, Tomislav Maršić: The political system of Croatia. In: Wolfgang Ismayr (Ed.): The political systems of Eastern Europe. 3rd, updated and expanded edition, VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, Wiesbaden 2010, pp. 773–836, here p. 805.
  5. Tomislav Pintarić: The legal processing of the communist past in Croatia. In: Friedrich-Christian Schroeder, Herbert Küpper: The legal processing of the communist past in Eastern Europe. (= Studies by the Institute for Eastern Law, Volume 63) Peter Lang, Frankfurt am Main 2010, pp. 99–126, here p. 116.
  6. ^ Heinrich August Winkler: History of the West: The time of the present. CH Beck, 2015, p. 324.
  7. Paul Srodecki: Antemurale Christianitatis. In: Joachim Bahlcke, Stefan Rohdewald, Thomas Wünsch (Ed.): Religious places of remembrance in East Central Europe. Constitution and competition in access across nations and epochs. Akademie Verlag, o. O. 2013, pp. 804–822, here p. 816.
  8. ^ Frank Hoffmeister and Arno Weckbecker: The development of the political parties in the former Yugoslavia . Südost-Institut Oldenbourg, Munich 1997, ISBN 3-486-56336-X , p. 164/165 .
  9. Sanader sastavlja Vladu (Croatian).
  10. “Center-right will have six MEPs when Croatia joins the EU in July”, European Voice, April 15, 2013.


  • Arno Weckbecker and Frank Hoffmeister, The Development of Political Parties in Former Yugoslavia , 1997, ISBN 3-486-56336-X , pp. 177-180.

Web links