25 June – Independence Day

The 25 June is a memorial day marking the historic decision of Sabor (Parliament), passed on that date in 1991, to initiate the process of disassociation from other Yugoslav republics.

The historic decision of the Croatian Sabor to initiate the process of disassociation from other Yugoslav republics was preceded by a referendum held on 19 May 1991 in which citizens of the Republic of Croatia expressed the same opinion on the subject.

Citizens have decided as follows:

“1. The Republic of Croatia, as a sovereign and independent state, which guarantees cultural autonomy and all civil rights to Serbs and members of other nationalities in Croatia, may enter into an alliance of sovereign states with other republics. (93.24% votes in favour)

2. The Republic of Croatia shall not remain in Yugoslavia as a single federal state.” (92.18% votes in favour).

Based on such a manifestation of the will of citizens, and after the failure of negotiations with other former Yugoslav republics on settling the state political crisis, at a joint session of all three parliamentary chambers on 25 June 1991, Sabor of the Republic of Croatia passed the Constitutional Decision on Sovereignty and Independence of the Republic of Croatia, establishing that “by this act the Republic of Croatia initiates the procedure of separation from other republics and the SFRY. The Republic of Croatia initiates the procedure for international recognition”. At the same session, Sabor also passed the Declaration on the Establishment of the Sovereign and Independent Republic of Croatia.

Through the mediation of the international community and in order to facilitate negotiations on disassociation between the former Yugoslav republics, the Brioni Declaration set a three-month postponement on the implementation of the Constitutional Decision of 25 June 1991. However, with the expiration of the moratorium on this historic decision, on 8 October 1991, the Republic of Croatia severed the state and legal ties with other republics and became a free, independent and sovereign state.