Basic Information
Year of approval of the SD strategy and updates

Strategy for Sustainable Development of the Republic of Croatia (NSSD) has been adopted by the Croatian Parliament at its session on 20 February 2009.

Type of SD strategy

Covers all three dimensions of sustainable development (SD).

Lead ministry/institution in the SD strategy process
Link to the SD strategy document

NSSD can be downloaded on the UN SD Knowledge Platform: Strategy for Sustainable Development of the Republic of Croatia

SD objectives listed in the NSSD: Croatian NSSD is focusing on long-term action in the following eight key areas: 

  1. encouraging population growth in the Republic of Croatia
  2. environment and natural resources
  3. promoting sustainable production and consumption
  4. ensuring social and territorial cohesion and justice
  5. ensuring energy independence and increasing the efficiency of energy use
  6. strengthening public health
  7. interconnectedness of the Republic of Croatia
  8. protection of the Adriatic Sea, coastal area and islands

These are the eight key challenges of sustainable development that also serve as the basis for strategic directions of the development of the Republic of Croatia. Each one of them is further explained and elaborated in the overall objective or overall objectives for that area, which is/are in turn elaborated in concrete measures that can be seen in NSSD. NSSD also points out that the efficient state, knowledge-based society / education for sustainable development, research and development and mitigation and adaptation to climate change are the preconditions for further development. Of these, the education for sustainable development is especially singled out as the precondition for sustainable development and as such considered to be a cross-sectoral key challenge.

Further information about the SD strategy process

It is envisaged that the NSSD will be implemented through action plans which will contain the details on the authorities responsible for implementing individual plans and projects envisioned by the NSSD; authorities responsible for achieving specific objectives; funds required to implement plans or projects; sources for financing plans or projects; participants in a plan or project; timeframes for achieving the planned objectives; expected results of plans and projects as well as on those responsible for supervising the implementation of plans and projects.

Following that Ministry of Environment and Energy (MEE) coordinated drafting strategic  plan related to topics under its governance that contribute to the implementation of NSSD, relevant EU policies and global SDGs: waste and water management plans, air and climate protection plan, marine environment protection strategy, adaptation to climate change strategy, integrated energy and climate plan, green public procurement plan and strategy for protecting nature and biodiversity.      

In addition, there are action plans that are covering other areas of sustainable development which are under competence of other bodies.

Agenda 2030 Implementation

The National Strategy for Sustainable Development of the Republic of Croatia (NSSD) from 2009 will be revised in a way to present general political framework for implementing Agenda 2030.

In parallel, on operational level key challenges in implementing priority SDGs for Croatia are reflected in the National Development Strategy 2030 (NDS 2030), which will be adopted in the 2020. The NDS 2030 is an overarching strategic document of the Republic of Croatia for the period up to 2030, which identifies key challenges, goals and targets for sustainable development of the Republic of Croatia and shall form the foundation for shaping and implementing all public policies at the national and subnational level. The establishment of an integrated system of strategic planning will facilitate the vision of Croatia as an open and globally competitive country whose social and economic growth and development are based on sustainable development goals of the 2030 UN Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Leading Ministry and respective unit

The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, Directorate for multilateral and global affairs is national coordinator for Agenda 2030 and SDGs.

The Ministry of Environment and Energy, Service for Sustainable Development is responsible for drafting the National Strategy for Sustainable Development due to the Environmental Protection Act.

The Ministry for Regional development and EU funds is responsible for drafting the National Development Strategy 2030.

Other ministries involved

There is no single ministry responsible for the overall implementation of the 2030 Agenda the SDGs. Given the complexity of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, its inevitable impact on the overall social and economic development, there is a shared responsibility of all relevant ministries to be focused on the implementation of the specific goal/s and target/s in accordance with their specific competencies.

Croatian Bureau of Statistics coordinates follow up of SDG indicators.

Main contact point for the implementation process

Ms. Mirta Mandić, MSc
Head of Division for Global Affairs
Directorate for multilateral and global affairs

Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Republic of Croatia
Phone: +385 1 4569 825

Ms. Branka Pivčević Novak, Ph.D.

Head of the Service for Sustainable Development

Department for Climate change, sustainable development for air and soil protection and from light pollution

Sector for climate change and sustainable development

Ministry of Environment and Energy

Phone: +385 1 3717 283


Links to main websites/documents on national implementation of the 2030 Agenda and SDGs
Voluntary National Reviews

Croatia submitted a Voluntary National Review to the High Level Political Forum in 2019.

Vertical Integration

Mechanisms of vertical integration are described in the Environmental Protection Act (OG 80/13, 153/13, 78/15, 12/18, 118/18). The Act sets out responsibility for sustainable development on different political levels, including national government, counties, cities, and other relevant stakeholders. This responsibility is regulated through sustainable development and environmental protection documents, of which National Strategy for Sustainable Development of the Republic of Croatia (NSSD) is the highest level document that other such documents (Environmental Protection Plan, Environmental Protection Programme and Environmental Status Report) as well as all other development documents in Croatia have to be in accordance with.

It  is  also  planned  that  representatives  of  other  sustainable  development  stakeholders  will  participate  in  the  work  of  the  National  Council  for  Sustainable  Development  in  an  advisory  role,  namely  representatives  of  regional  self-government  units,  the  economic  sector,  interested  scientific  and  professional  public  and  civil  society  representatives.

EU linkages

The NSDS follows the principles of the Mediterranean Strategy on Sustainable Development (2005) and the renewed EU Strategy for Sustainable Development (2001).

Horizontal Integration

For  the  purpose  of  coordinating  the  implementation  of  sustainable  development  goals,  the  Government  of  the  Republic  of  Croatia  established  the  National  Council  for  Sustainable  Development  in  January  2018. National  Council  for  Sustainable  Development  is  chaired  by  the  Prime  Minister  and  its  members  are  heads  of  relevant  ministries  (i.e.  members  of  the  Cabinet),  representative  from  the  Office  of  the  President  of  the  Republic,  as  well  as  heads  of  the  Government’s  Office  for  Human  Rights  and  National  Minorities,  Government’s  Office  for  Civil  Sector,  Government’s  Office  for  Gender  Equality  and  the  Croatian  Bureau  of  Statistics. Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs acts as SDGs coordinator, as secretariat for the new Council for SD.

Mechanisms of horizontal integration are also described in the Environmental Protection Act that prescribed that development documents pertaining to individual areas and activities cannot be in contravention to the NSSD.

For the purpose of developing the sectoral strategic documents, usual procedure in Croatia starts with interdepartmental consultations at the very beginning of the preparation phase. This is followed by establishment of the working groups composed of representatives of various stakeholders e.g. government bodies, institutions and agencies, business and civil society – which are working together to draft the document.


Amendments to the NSSD or a new NSSD may be adopted every ten years, as well as sooner, by way of derogation, upon the proposal of the Ministry of Environment and Energy. The Environmental Status Report prescribed by the Environmental Protection Act and carried out every four years has to include an evaluation of the realization of NSSD goals.


The national Environmental Status Report periodically reports on status of environment and sustainable development on the basis of the National indicator list  and indicators listed in the NSSD.

In addition to that the Information System for Strategic Planning and Development Management was established in early 2019 to allow for electronic storage and collection of statistical and financial data required  for  monitoring  and  reporting  on  the  implementation  of  strategic  planning  acts  at  national,  regional  and  local  level,  thus  allowing  the  monitoring  of  implementation  activities  contributing  to  the  achievement  of  the  2030  UN  Agenda  for  Sustainable  Development  in  Croatia. For  the  purpose  of  disseminating  the  results  and  the  status  of  implementation  the  sustainable  development  key  indicators  to  the  wider  public,  the  Croatian  Bureau  of  Statistics  has  designed  an  internet  portal  modelled  after  the  UN  portal  Sustainable  Development  Knowledge  Platform.


The development of NSSD was based on a participatory approach so that NGOs, civil society and the business sector were included in its creation. In the consultation process, a draft version of the NSSD was submitted to various stakeholders and posted on the lead ministry's web-site for 30 days and two public debates were held. Comments received in this way were taken into consideration in the final version of the Strategy.

Regarding National Development Strategy 2030 (NDS 2030), wide consultations were taken that included central, local and regional governance, science, business and civil sector.

Subnational Activities

There is a growing awareness of the importance of sustainable development, and a number of towns and counties are taking the initiative on their own, joining the international initiatives and campaigns in that direction. Some other sub-national activities are organized by public administration or are result of civil society. Herewith are some of them.

Two Croatian counties and 20 towns (including the capital of Croatia, Zagreb) participate in the European Sustainable Cities and Towns Campaign and are signatories of the Aalborg Charter.

74 Croatian towns and municipalities (including the capital of Croatia, Zagreb) have made a commitment to help mitigate the climate change by reducing their CO2 emissions and improving the town's energy efficiency through creation of their own Sustainable Energy Action Plans and are signatories of the Covenant of Mayors.

 70 towns and municipalities joined to the Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy and committed to work on action plan for climate protection and energy efficiency. 25 of them give commitment to work on adaptation to climate change action plan.

Three towns (Zagreb, Rijeka and Koprivnica) are members of ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability, an international association of local governments as well as national and regional local government organizations that have made a commitment to sustainable development, and that provide support for local government in the implementation of sustainable development at the local level.

The Croatian County Association is an organization founded in 2003 to promote the regional self-government and foster and support the economic and social development of regional self-governmental units in the Republic of Croatia.

The Croatian Cities Association is founded in 2002 to promotes collaboration between cities and exchange of good practice.