Croatia Last in EU as to Perceived Independence of Justice System

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According to a 2021 Eurobarometer survey, Croatia is last in the EU according to the perceived independence of its justice system, while Slovakia, Poland, Bulgaria, Italy, Spain, Hungary and Slovenia are slightly better.

The perceived independence of the national justice system is best in Austria, Finland, Germany and Luxembourg.

In Croatia, 68% of respondents among the general public cited interference or pressure from government and politicians as the main reason for the perceived lack of independence of courts and judges, 63% cited pressure from economic or other specific interests, and 50% said the status and position of judges do not sufficiently guarantee their independence.

Croatia also came last in the perceived independence of the national justice system among companies.

Poland, Italy, Slovakia and Hungary placed above Croatia, while Finland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Austria, Ireland and Luxembourg had the best scores.

Croatia and Italy have the largest numbers of pending cases in civil and commercial cases, although Croatia has the largest number of judges per capita after Slovenia.

When it comes to the time estimated as necessary to solve civil, commercial, administrative and other cases in Croatia, that was 130 days in 2019, 102 in 2018, 114 in 2017 and 133 in 2012.

The waiting was longest in Cyprus, 882 days in 2019, followed by Portugal and Greece, 860 and 677 days respectively in 2012.

Denmark scored best, with only 19 days of waiting in 2019, followed by Latvia (25 days), Estonia (32), Lithuania (52) and Slovenia (56).

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