In Croatia, safe country concepts started being applied in 2016 under the LITP. In 2016 a Decision on the list of safe countries of origin was adopted.
Safe country of origin
According to the LITP, a country is considered as a safe country of origin where, on the basis of the legal situation, the application of the law and the general political circumstances, it can be shown that there is generally and consistently no persecution, or risk of suffering serious harm, as established on the basis of information on:
- The relevant laws and legislation of the country and the manner in which they are applied;
- Respecting the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the ECHR, especially Article 15(2) of the ECHR, the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights and the United Nations Convention against Torture;
- Respect for the principle of non-refoulement;
- The provision of a system of effective remedies.
The information referred above shall be collected from various relevant sources, especially from other member states of the European Economic Area, the European Asylum Support Office (EASO), UNHCR, the Council of Europe and other relevant international organisations.
The Minister competent for internal affairs, with the prior consent of the Minister competent for foreign affairs, shall render a decision to establish a list of safe countries of origin, and shall inform the European Commission of this. The Ministry shall regularly verify and as necessary revise the list of safe countries of origin, taking into account above mentioned information, with the prior consent of the minister competent for foreign affairs, and shall inform the European Commission accordingly.
It shall be established for each application individually whether the conditions are met for the application of the concept of safe country of origin. A country included on the list of safe countries of origin may be considered a safe country of origin in a specific case only if the applicant:
- Has the nationality of that country or had his or her previous residence in that country as a stateless person; and
- Has not explained in a credible manner why that country of origin cannot be deemed to be a safe country of origin for him or her.
The applicant shall be informed timely of the application of the mentioned concept in order to enable him/her to challenge the use of the concept of safe country of origin, in view of the specific nature of his/her personal circumstances.
An application shall be rejected in an accelerated procedure if it is possible to apply a safe country of origin concept (see section on Accelerated Procedure). This is also applied to unaccompanied minors, who are generally exempted from accelerated procedures (see Special Procedural Guarantees).
In 2016, a Decision on the list of safe countries of origin in the procedure of granting international protection has been adopted. The list includes 10 countries:
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- North Macedonia
According to information provided by the Ministry of Interior to the Croatian Law Centre (CLC) and ECRE at the end of November 2016, the concept is not used for applicants from Turkey. According to CLC’s knowledge the concept is still not in use for applicants from Turkey.
In 2018, negative decisions based on the concept of safe country of origin were issued in 76 cases. 39 of those concerned citizens of Algeria, 13 Morocco, 13 Tunisia, 5 Kosovo, 4 Serbia and 2 Bosnia and Herzegovina. No information on decisions based on the concept of safe country of origin is available for 2019 and 2020.
 Article 44 LITP.
 Article 41(1)(9) LITP.
 Information provided by the Ministry of Interior, 28 January 2019.