Greek-Croatian bilateral relations are inspired by the principle of good neighbourly relations, are further strengthened by Croatia’s upcoming EU accession, and are further cultivated by frequent bilateral contacts on all levels. There is mutual interest in expanding bilateral economic cooperation, which has significant potential for further growth. Greek-Croatian regional cooperation is at a particularly good level within the framework of the South East European Cooperation Process (SEECP).
Greece supported Croatia’s accession to NATO. Within the framework of Greece’s broader strategy for the European perspective of the Western Balkans, we supported steadily the completion of Croatia’s accession negotiations to the EU.
Greece and Croatia established diplomatic relations on July 20th 1992. The Greek Embassy in Zagreb has been operating since 1994, while the Croatian Embassy in Athens has been operating since 1993.
Within the Greek Embassy in Zagreb there is a Consular Office and an Office of Economic and Commercial Affairs, while the Embassy of Croatia in Athens maintains a Consular Office.
Political relations between the two countries are at a very good level and were further strengthened after Croatia’s accession to the European Union (1 July 2013). Our country has consistently supported the Euro-Atlantic integration of Croatia, which has also been a member of NATO since 2009. Beyond the bilateral framework, the cooperation between Athens and Zagreb in the framework of international organizations and regional fora, i.e. the SEECP, is also very good.
There is a broad range of agreements between Greece and Croatia (28 in total), many of which were signed with the former Yugoslavia and are still valid under the succession rules. Examples include the Economic Partnership Agreement (1994), the Agreement on Cooperation in the Fields of Culture, Education and Science (1995), the Double Taxation Agreement (1996), the Tourism Agreement (1998) etc
In Croatia a small number of Greek businesses are active mainly in hotel facilities. In the energy sector. Croatia is interested in joining the TAP pipeline via the IAP pipeline and has signed a relevant Joint Declaration with the countries of the wider region of S.E. Europe. The increase in the flow of tourists between the two countries is continuous, something that is reflected in the increase in the number of organized groups that travel either by charter flights to many Greek destinations or by tourist buses mainly to Croatia.
According to the Hellenic Statistical Authority, the volume of bilateral trade in 2016 amounted to 136 million Euro versus 170 million Euros in 2015, (-20,42%). By 2016 Greek exports to Croatia amounted to 82 million Euros, recording an increase of 3.36% compared to 2015, while Greek imports from Croatia amounted to 53.8 million Euros, marking a significant decrease of 41.12% .
As can be seen from Table 1, Greek exports to Croatia after 2013 have been constantly increasing, as a result of Croatia's full accession to the EU (1.7.2013). At the same time, the course of Croatian exports to Greece is unstable, since after a significant upward trend in 2013 (+ 7%) and 2014 (+ 22.49%), in 2015 there is a downward trend (-13%) Is confirmed with a significant decrease in 2016 (-41.12%).
Thus, the trade balance in 2016 is surplus in favour of Greece by 28.44 million Euros for the first time since 2010 to date.
COMMERCIAL TRANSACTIONS BETWEEN GREECE AND CROATIA
(In thousand Euros)
Source: ELSTAT (Hellenic Statistical Authority) - Editing Econ. and Com. Aff. Office/Zagreb
The most important Greek products exported to Croatia are oils from petroleum or from bituminous minerals, synthetic fiber yarns, medicaments, aluminum alloys, sheets and thin films from aluminum, footwear, women's clothing, citrus, melons, watermelons, fish, etc.
Greece and Croatia have signed a Cultural Agreement (Athens, 10.03.1995), which is implemented through bilateral executive programmes. The second consecutive Educational, Scientific and Cultural Cooperation Programme has been in force since 2004. It provides, inter alia, for the cooperation between higher educational institutions, exchange of visits of scientists and researchers, scholarships for postgraduate studies and research, attendance of summer language courses, cooperation between libraries and archives, participation in cultural events and festivals etc.
At the Universities of Zagreb and Zadar there is a seat of ancient Greek Literature in the Department of Classical Studies, where modern Greek language is also taught. Modern Greek is also taught in the public humanistic high school of Zagreb, which is financially supported by the "Alexandros Onassis Foundation”.