Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic Forms New Government

Daniela Rogulj

July 16, 2020 – The new government of Andrej Plenkovic should have 16 departments, and it will have four vice presidents in addition to the prime minister. The new government will also be much younger, with an average age of 46. 

Jutarnji List reports that the youngest ministers will be Ivan Malenica, who has not yet turned 35, and Josip Aladrovic (35), while the oldest is Gordan Grlic Radman, who is 62 years old. There will be at least four women in the government.

Davor Bozinovic will continue being Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, and Zdravko Maric Minister of Finance. The new vice president for national security will be Croatian Defense Minister Tomo Medved.

From the national minorities, which with their eight deputies are the second strongest partner in the new ruling majority, SDSS’s Boris Milosevic is coming as Deputy Prime Minister for Social Affairs and Human Rights.

All the ministers who remain without positions in the Government, namely Vesna Bedekovic, Marko Pavic, Gari Cappelli and Drazen Bosnjakovic, will be members of Parliament.

As Jutarnji already unofficially announced, the Ministry of Demography, Family, Youth and Social Policy could be divided between three departments. The Ministry of Health, which will continue to be headed by Vili Beros, could be joined by the Ministry of Social Policy, while the current Ministry of Labor and Pension System, headed by Josip Aladrovic, should be joined by a section covering family and demography. However, this is not yet the final decision because Aladrovic may eventually have the social welfare department.

The ‘new’ Ministry of Tourism should be called the Ministry of Tourism, Youth and Sports, and it will be headed by Nikolina Brnjac.

Brnjac was also mentioned as a possible candidate for the Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds, but in the end, it was decided that Natasa Tramisak, the current head of the Administrative Department for Investments, Development Projects and EU Funds in Osijek-Baranja County, should take over from Marko Pavic. She is also the only candidate of Slavonian HDZ members who had to get at least one ministry, considering their result in the elections in Slavonia.

Either the Ministry of Regional Development or the Ministry of Agriculture is in the game, which will continue to be led by Marija Vuckovic.

Mario Banozic will no longer be the Minister of State Property but will become the new Minister of Defense after Damir Krsticevic resigned, while the department of state property will be merged with the Ministry of Construction and Physical Planning, headed by the current Minister of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Crafts, Darko Horvat.

The Department of Economy will merge with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Tomislav Coric will be the head of this mega-ministry.

The departments of justice and administration will also merge. The new Ministry of Justice and Administration will be headed by the current Minister of Administration, Ivan Malenica. Gordan Grlic Radman is the new-old Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Oleg Butkovic remains in the position of Minister of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure, while Nina Obuljen Korzinek will continue to head the Ministry of Culture.

Only the question of the new Minister of Science and Education remains open. It was speculated that Radovan Fuchs would take over the ministry, then that it might be led by the current assistant Ivana Franic. HDZ/EPP MEP Tomislav Sokol was mentioned as a possible candidate, and the latest information is that it could be Mato Njavro, vice dean of the Zagreb School of Economics and Management.

But all these speculations were unofficially denied by the Government, and that remains the only open question.

On Wednesday, Andrej Plenkovic and his HDZ associates held a working lunch at the well-known Zagreb restaurant Baltazar with the new ruling majority. All representatives of minorities were present at lunch – the president of HSLS Dario Hrebak, the president of HNS Predrag Stromar and the president of the Reformists Radimir Cacic.

The last meeting in Baltazar in a similar composition was held in September last year when Milan Bandic threatened not to support the budget, and even then, the Prime Minister said that he would like to continue cooperation in the next term with those who enter Parliament. 

At the working lunch, the Prime Minister spoke to the partners about the new architecture of the Government, presented the further dynamics of events until the constitution of the Parliament and the new Government, and about the Government’s program. Namely, separate agreements will not be signed with the coalition partners, but their ideas and demands will be heard and what is logical will be incorporated into the joint program of the Government.

“The conversation took place in an excellent atmosphere and we talked about the cooperation so far and everything we have achieved together in the first term. I also presented the dynamics of this and next week. After the official election results are announced on Thursday, I will have a meeting with the President of the Republic, and after I get the mandate to form the Government, he and the Speaker of Parliament will agree on the first constituent session scheduled for next week,” said Plenkovic after lunch. He added that it is first a matter of voting on systemic laws on the new government, and then a vote of confidence in the government. The constituent session of the Parliament is planned for July 22 in the Parliament building, and the next day, Thursday, a vote of confidence in the Government will be held. There will be no parliamentary sessions on Friday.

SEC President Đuro Sessa will bring the final results of the presidential election to Pantovcak on Thursday at 11 am, and then at 11:30 am, Plenkovic will come with 76 signatures, and the President will entrust him with the mandate to form the Government at around 12 noon.

The Prime Minister said that on Thursday he would announce the structure of the new government and the number of ministries, and on Monday, after the session of the HDZ Presidency, he would also announce the names of the new-old ministers.

“We have drafted the Government’s program based on our “Safe Croatia” program, we will consult with partners to see what their programs are and we will incorporate all this into the joint program of the Government,” said Plenkovic.

He also said that the partners would participate in the form of state secretaries in the government.

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