The Croatian Parliament (Sabor) is a representative body of citizens, vested with legislative power.
According to the Constitution, Croatia has a one-chamber Parliament of no less than 100 and no more than 160 members, elected on the basis of direct universal and equal suffrage by a secret ballot. Members of Parliament are elected for a four-year mandate: their mandate is not binding and they enjoy immunity. Currently there are eight representatives of national minorities, elected in one polling precinct representing the whole territory of Croatia. The Diaspora is also entitled to electing representatives in a special "constituency": a "non-fixed quota" should be applied, which means that the number of representatives will depend on the turnout of diaspora voters.
The Parliament regularly sits twice a year: between January 15 and July 15, and between September 15 and December 15. Extraordinary sessions may be called at the request of the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister or a majority of representatives. The sessions of the Parliament are public. The structure and the work of the Croatian Parliament are regulated by the Rules of Procedure, which are passed by the majority vote of all deputies.
On October 10th, 2012 Josip Leko was elected as the President of Parliament.
The roles of the Parliament are:
- decides on the enactment and amendment of the Constitution, enacts laws and the State Budget,
- decides on war and peace and on alterations of the borders of the Republic of Croatia,
- adopts the national security and defence strategy,
- passes acts,
- decides on the strategies and carries out civil surveillance of the armed forces and security services,
- ratifies major international treaties,
- passes declarations that express the policies of the Croatian Parliament.
- calls referenda,
- decides on the appointment of members of the Constitutional Court, the governor of the National Bank, the Ombudsman, etc.
Pursuant to the Constitution, the Parliament elects, appoints and dismisses the Croatian Government and other bodies vested with public authority accountable to the Croatian Parliament. The Parliament also supervises the work of the executive branch, grants amnesty for criminal offences and performs other activities as specified by the Constitution.
The structure of the Parliament
Besides plenary sessions the work of the Parliament is also carried out by its working bodies (established in accordance with the Rules of Procedure). The working bodies are its committees and commissions. Additionally, the Parliament may form commissions of inquiry regarding any issue of public interest. The chairperson of the inquiry commission is appointed by the majority of representatives from among the ranks of opposition representatives.
The working bodies of the Parliament discuss and debate motions and initiatives for the adoption of laws and other regulations and other matters within the authority of the Parliament. They also monitor, within the limits of their competence, the work of the Government and other bodies whose work is overseen by the Parliament pursuant to the Constitution and laws. Working bodies discuss the reports of bodies and institutions, which they submit to Parliament pursuant to law. After conducting hearings, parliamentary bodies adopt a position and establish draft legislation and report to the Parliament thereupon. Working bodies hold hearings on the petitions and proposals submitted to Parliament by citizens.
As a rule the composition of the working bodies corresponds to the party composition of the Parliament. A working body may only adopt a position on a matter within its competence if a majority of all members are present, and decisions are taken by a majority vote of all the members present. The sessions of parliamentary working bodies must be attended by a member of Government (or by his/her deputy) when Government proposals or positions are considered or by heads of state administration bodies when matters from within their competence are considered. Parliamentary working bodies may invite scholars, professionals, public officials and other persons to sessions to obtain their views on matters being discussed. Scholars, professionals and public officials appointed to some parliamentary working bodies are entitled to all rights of the working body, with the exception of decision-making authority.
In order to facilitate the consideration of individual matters within its competence a working body may establish sub-committees (and its chairman may establish a special task force) which operate exclusively within the framework of the working body.
The working bodies are:
- Commission for Identification of the Conflict of Interest
- Committee on Agriculture and Forestry
- Committee on Education, Science, and Culture
- Committee on Elections, Appointments, and Administration
- Committee on European Integration
- Committee on Family, Youth, and Sport
- Committee on Finance and Budget
- Committee on Foreign Affairs
- Committee on Gender Equality
- Committee on Human Rights and Rights of National Minorities
- Committee on Immigrant Affairs
- Committee on Information, Information Technology, and Media
- Committee on Internal Affairs and National Security
- Committee on Interparliamentary Cooperation
- Committee on Labour, Social Welfare, and Health Care
- Committee on Legislation
- Committee on Local and Regional Self-government
- Committee on Maritime Affairs, Transportation, and Communications
- Committee on Petitions and Complaints
- Committee on Physical Planning and Environmental Protection
- Committee on the Constitution, Standing Orders, and Political System
- Committee on the Economy, Development, and Reconstruction
- Committee on the Judiciary
- Committee on Tourism
- Committee on War Veterans
- Council for Nuclear Safety
- Credentials and Privileges Commission
- National Committee