Contemporary Southeastern Europe
Research Articles

The 2011 Census in Croatia – A (partial) role model for the Western Balkans?

  • Anna-Lena Hoh
Within the framework of EU enlargement, the population and housing census is a pre-condition for EU membership. The 2011 census in Croatia was conducted according to EU regulations and considering this, it should present a good example for the region. However, there are some aspects which are not addressed by EU regulations, but are of importance when looking at censuses in the Western Balkans: the so-called sensitive issues such as ethnicity, language and religion. Answers to these questions are not required by the EU; nonetheless all Western Balkan countries have included these questions in their censuses. In Croatia, the census results are used to determine political participation by proportional representation of ethnic minorities, and this has led to ethnic tensions . This article looks into the historical perspective of censuses in Croatia, as well as the EU conditionality of census-taking in the Croatian census of 2011. In addition, the practice of linking political participation to census results will be taken into account, before finally posing the question of whether the 2011 census in Croatia can really be taken as a role model for census-taking in the Western Balkans.