The millennial national identity of the Croatian nation and the continuity of its statehood, confirmed by the course of its entire historical experience in various political forms and by the perpetuation and development of the state-building idea grounded in the historical right of the Croatian nation to full sovereignty, has manifested itself:
– in the formation of the Croatian principalities in the seventh century;
– in the independent medieval state of Croatia established in the ninth century;
– in the Kingdom of the Croats established in the tenth century;
– in the preservation of the attributes of statehood under the Croatian-Hungarian personal union;
– in the independent and sovereign decision of the Croatian Parliament in 1527 to elect a king from the Habsburg Dynasty;
– in the independent and sovereign decision of the Croatian Parliament to ratify the Pragmatic Sanction in 1712;
– in the conclusions of the Croatian Parliament of 1848 regarding the restoration of the integrity of the Triune Kingdom of Croatia under the authority of the ban (viceroy), rooted in the historical, national and natural right of the Croatian nation;
– in the Croatian-Hungarian Compromise of 1868 regulating relations between the Kingdom of Dalmatia, Croatia and Slavonia and the Kingdom of Hungary, resting on the legal traditions of both states and the Pragmatic Sanction of 1712;
– in the decision of the Croatian Parliament of 29 October 1918 to sever all constitutional ties between Croatia and Austria-Hungary, and the simultaneous accession of independent Croatia, invoking its historical and natural national rights, to the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs, proclaimed in the former territory of the Habsburg Empire;
– in the fact that the Croatian Parliament never ratified the decision made by the National Council of the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs to unite with Serbia and Montenegro in the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (1 December 1918), subsequently proclaimed the Kingdom of Yugoslavia (3 October 1929);
– in the establishment of the Banate of Croatia in 1939, which restored Croatian state autonomy within the Kingdom of Yugoslavia;
– in the establishment of the foundations of state sovereignty during the course of the Second World War, as expressed in the decision of the Territorial Antifascist Council of the National Liberation of Croatia (1943) in opposition to proclamation of the Independent State of Croatia (1941), and then in the Constitution of the People’s Republic of Croatia (1947) and in all subsequent constitutions of the Socialist Republic of Croatia (1963-1990), at the historic turning-point characterized by the rejection of the communist system and changes in the international order in Europe, in the first democratic elections (1990), the Croatian nation reaffirmed, by its freely expressed will, its millennial statehood;
– in the new Constitution of the Republic of Croatia (1990) and the victory of the Croatian nation and Croatia’s defenders in the just, legitimate and defensive war of liberation, the Homeland War (1991-1995), wherein the Croatian nation demonstrated its resolve and readiness to establish and preserve the Republic of Croatia as an independent and autonomous, sovereign and democratic state.
Setting forth from these historical facts and the universally accepted principles governing the contemporary world and the inalienable and indivisible, non-transferable and perpetual right of the Croatian nation to self-determination and state sovereignty, including the inviolable right to secession and association as the fundamental conditions for peace and stability of the international order, the Republic of Croatia is hereby established as the nation state of the Croatian nation and the state of the members of its national minorities: Serbs, Czechs, Slovaks, Italians, Hungarians, Jews, Germans, Austrians, Ukrainians, Rusyns, Bosniaks, Slovenians, Montenegrins, Macedonians, Russians, Bulgarians, Poles, Roma, Romanians, Turks, Vlachs, Albanians and others who are its citizens and who are guaranteed equality with citizens of Croatian nationality and the exercise of their national rights in compliance with the democratic norms of the United Nations and the countries of the free world.
Respecting the will of the Croatian nation and all citizens so unwaveringly expressed in free elections, the Republic of Croatia is hereby established and shall further develop as a sovereign and democratic state in which equality, freedom and human and civil rights are guaranteed and secured, and economic and cultural advancement and social welfare are promoted.