Croatian National Security Report 2021: Stable Democracy, Neigbours Having Problems

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Like any country which cares about national security, Croatia has its own intelligence agency. Croatia’s Security and Intelligence Agency (acronym, or in spy terms, code name SOA) collects and analyses information in an attempt to detect and prevent the activities of individuals or groups that threaten the independence, integrity, and sovereignty of the Republic of Croatia, and/or those who aim at violently overthrowing constitutional order. Additionally, let’s suppose you’re in Croatia and you try threatening human rights and basic freedoms or want to endanger the fundaments of the economic system of the Republic of Croatia, in that case, you will also make it to the list of this organization.

”SOA also collects and analyses political, economic, scientific-technological and security-related information concerning foreign countries, organisations, political and economic alliances, groups and persons and other information relevant to national security,” explains SOA’s public website.

As Slobodna Dalmacija writes, SOA has so far published seven reports assessing the threats to Croatia’s well being previous years. The latest reports, as Slobodna Dalmacija writes, rates Croatia as a safe and stable democracy. However, the pandemic boosted the rise of extremism and radicalism in the country, namely due to disinformation and conspiracy theories in the European and national response to this unprecedented public health crisis.

The terrorist threat in Croatia is low but not completely out of the equation.

As TCN wrote back in October 2020, a policeman was wounded on St Mark’s square (Markov trg) in Zagreb (which is home to both the parliament and governmental building) by 20-year-old Danijel Bezuk, who, shortly after the incident and while on the run, took his own life.

”SOA states that the attack had the features of a terrorist assault from the extreme right spectrum and the gathered data suggest a psychological disorder of someone with a disassociative, bipolar personality. However, no type of extremism has significant basis nor public support and therefore no potential for endangering national security,” writes Slobodna Dalmacija.

Nonetheless, more serious threats have been identified and explained.

When it comes to internal threats, corruption should come as no surprise. Criminal organisations and individuals, SOA warns, try to illegally affect public representatives.

”The attempts of corruptive influence on political, legal, economic and other processes and on public interest decision making processes are particularly worrying,” says Slobodna Dalmacija in following SOA’s report. Looking at solely external threats, the tensions between EU and Russia didn’t bypass Croatia as SOA confirmed 12 state-sponsored cybernetic attacks in Croatia which came with a Russian signature.

Additionally, tensions in neighbouring countries need to be observed closely from the perspective of Croatian national security, warns SOA.

”The report states that Greater Serbian extremism is still present in certain neighbouring countries, and this is evident in their denying Croatia and neighbouring countries their territorial integrity,” Slobodna Dalmacija reports.

Following previous TCN writing, this is clearly a reference to the tensions in Montenegro as well as Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić’s calls on ethnic Serbs in Croatia to raise Serbian banners in the country. When it comes to Bosnia and Herzegovina, radical Islam, which also questions the integrity and values of both democracy and territorial borders, is also a reason for serious concern.

If you don’t look for trouble, but trouble always ends up finding you, you can learn more about the emergency services that can help you in Croatia in our TC guide.

For more about security in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.


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