With Croatia's accession to the European Union, the position and role of Croatian Parliament changed, since EU level legislative and non-legislative acts are adopted at EU level, which either are directly applicable in Croatia or must be transposed into Croatian legislation.
When such laws are adopted, Croatia is represented in the Council of the European Union, as the legislative body, by the Croatian Government. In the second EU legislative body, the European Parliament, Croatian citizens are directly represented by Members of European Parliament elected in Croatia.
The participation of the Croatian Parliament in the decision-making process at EU level is guaranteed by the amendments to the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia in June 2010, the adoption of the Act on the Cooperation of the Croatian Parliament and the Government of the Republic of Croatia in European Affairs and the adoption of the Standing Orders of the Croatian Parliament.
Sabor participates in European affairs indirectly by scrutinizing the Government's work in EU institutions and directly by exercising the powers vested to national parliaments by the Lisbon Treaty. This in particular implies monitoring the compliance of the subsidiary principle in draft legislative acts of the European Union and involvement in political dialogue with European institutions. These powers are exercised through the European Affairs Committee on behalf of Sabor, but it does not mean that European affairs are centralized.
The Standing Orders of the Croatian Parliament provide for broad involvement of all working bodies and Members of Parliament in European affairs, with the European Affairs Committee acting as the coordination body. The work programme for the consideration of the positions of the Republic of Croatia establishes the priorities of involvement of Sabor in the process of adopting legislative and non-legislative acts of the European Union. Meetings of the Council of the European Union and the European Council are discussed as well, both before and after they are held. Members of European Parliament from Croatia may participate in meetings of all working bodies of Sabor.
With Croatia’s membership in the European Union, European affairs ceased to be foreign affairs and became internal issues concerning every Member of Parliament and working body member. Setting up an appropriate framework for action of the Croatian Parliament in European affairs is the best guarantee to express Croatian positions at EU level.