The campaign for the European elections in Croatia started officially on 10 April with the publication of the 33 valid candidate lists with 396 candidates. Croatia elects 11 MEPs. There is also a 5% threshold in order to take up seats in the new European Parliament.
Croatia joins the European Union on July 1, 2013. In 2014 elections only 3 political parties managed to elect EU parliamentarians. Six for the EPP affiliate party, four for the Socialists and one for the Greens.
Now it seems that there is a certain refreshment of the political environment since three new parties are in the electoral camp.
According to recent polls the two major parties will lose 1 seat each. The EPP member Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) is expected to elect 5 MEPs and the Socialist Democratic Party 3 while the Greens will not have any representation in the next European Parliament.
But there are three new political players.
The populist Croatian Human Shield (Živi zid) party is led by the 28-year old Ivan Vilibor Sinčić. The party opposes the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, it calls for a total ban of GMO products and for the full legalisation of marijuana and supports full secularisation of the state. Also an anti-Nato campaigner, the party is openly pro-Russian. According to recent polls, it attracts between 9 and 10% of the electoral body and will elect one MEPs. Sinčić is an ally of Luigi Di Maio’s Mouvement Five Stars.
With 8.5% comes the liberal, Emmanuel Macron’s ally, Amsterdam Coalition. It consists of seven parties of liberal orientation. The name of the coalition emerged after the first two founding parties, GLAS and Smart, became members of the ALDE in 2017, in Amsterdam. They say that they are “struggling for an advanced, free and prosperous Croatia” able to “resist intolerance, inability and primitivism”. It is expected to win 1 seat.
The Bridge of Independent Lists (Most) in Croatia combines liberalism with conservatism and is expected to elect one MEP. The party was founded in 2012 and led by Božo Petrov, a former Deputy Prime Minister and former Speaker of the Croatian parliament.
This party supports a strict monetary policy aiming for the reduction of public debt. It proposes reforms in the public sector. It currently has 10 seats in the Sabor (parliament).