|Name in English||Number of staff
|Ministry responsible||Is there any political interference possible by the responsible Minister with the decision making in individual cases by the determining authority?|
|Department for international protection procedure||N/A||Ministry of Interior||No|
|Reception Centre for applicants for international protection in Zagreb and Kutina||N/A||Ministry of Interior||No|
Following the entry into force of the amendments of the Decree on the internal structure of the Ministry of Interior in March 2019, changes have been introduced to the internal organisation of the Ministry of Interior. Asylum matters are now under the responsibility of the Directorate for immigration, citizenship and administrative affairs, under which the Sector for foreigners and international protection is divided into following organisational units dealing with asylum matters:
- Service for international protection
- Department for international protection procedure
- Department for Dublin procedure
- Department for integration
- Service for reception and accommodation of applicants for international protection
- Reception centre for applicants of international protection in Zagreb
- Reception centre for applicants of international protection in Kutina
The Department for international protection procedure of the Ministry of Interior is an administrative authority responsible for examining applications for international protection and competent to take decisions at first instance. In September 2020, a new Decree on the internal structure of the Ministry of Interior entered into force. The same organisational units are responsible for asylum related matters.
Croatia has a single procedure for international protection. The Department for international protection procedure examines whether the applicant fulfils the eligibility criteria for refugee status and, failing that, subsequently examines whether the applicant is eligible for subsidiary protection. The civil servants working in the Department for international protection procedure conduct interviews with applicants for international procedure and, on the basis of all the relevant facts and circumstances arising from the application, the applicant’s position and personal circumstances (including sex and age) based on the testimony presented during the interview, the evidence submitted and available country of origin information, as well as the activities of the applicant after leaving the country of origin to assess whether these activities might expose him/her to persecution or serious harm if they are returned to that country, issue a decision on the application for international protection. The existence of an internal protection alternative in the country of origin, and the possibility for the applicant to obtain the protection of his or her alleged country of nationality, are also considered when taking a decision.
When deciding on the credibility of the applicant’s statements, the person conducting the procedure should abide by the principle of the benefit of the doubt.
As far as the Croatian Law Centre is aware, the Head of the Department for international protection procedure reviews all decisions in order to ensure the quality of decisions.
 Decree amending the Decree on the Internal Organisation of the Ministry of the Interior, Official Gazette 24/2019, available in Croatian at: https://bit.ly/2WIbhdd.
 This Sector further includes unites responsible for other migration-related matters e.g. citizenship, legal residence of foreigners, visas etc.
 Decree on the internal structure of the Ministry of Interior, Official Gazette 97/2020, available in Croatian at: https://bit.ly/2Rrj1zK.
 Articles 27 and 28 LITP.
 Article 29 LITP.