Croatia Croatia


Baričević V., Koska V., Center for the Study of Ethnicity, Citizenship and Migration (CEDIM), (2017), Public Attitudes and Perceptions about National Minorities, Refugees, and Migrants, Report published as part of the project Racism and Xenophobia: For Refugee and Ethnic Equality, Zagreb, Centre for Peace Studies

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Type of publication

Study - qualitative research

Geographical coverage


Area/location of interest

Not applicable - regional level

Type of Institution



Croatia, Center for the Study of Ethnicity, Citizenship and Migration (CEDIM) , Faculty of Political Science, University of Zagreb / Centar za istraživanje etničnosti, državljanstva i migracija (CEDIM), Fakultet političkih znanosti, Sveučilište u Zagrebu

Main Thematic Focus

Racism & xenophobia

Target Population

General population Refugees & asylum seekers Ethnic minorities

Key findings

One of the most common narratives of the research was questioning the ability of different cultures living together, where some interviewees focused on perceived differences of “Muslim East” and “Civilised West”. Balkan Muslims were perceived as culturally close, while Muslims arriving from the Middle East and other Asian countries were perceived as more culturally different, and, for some, less willing to adjust to receiving societies. Connected to that, another prominent theme in the research was connecting the issue of forced migration with security (and terrorism), and this type of perceived threat was directly connected to Muslim migrant populations. On the other hand, migrants who were interviewed pointed out that they often feel that prejudices from the majority population arise solely because of their skin colour and Muslim religion. This feeling of discrimination and prejudices is amplified when their refugee status is also brought up.
In conclusion, one of the important research findings was substantial Islamophobia present in society, directed at Muslim immigrants.

Methodology (Qualitative/Quantitative and exact type used, questionnaires etc)

Exploratory qualitative research - interviews, focus groups

Sample details and representativeness

Field research - interviews with 120 actors, 3 focus groups. More specifically: 62 interviews with the general population, 20 interviews with national minority members, held in 13 cities of continental Croatia, Slavonia, Dalmatia, Istria and Kvarner. 10 interviews with system representatives (state representatives, civil society representatives, international organisations representatives, media representatives) held in Zagreb, where most actors are active in. 28 interviews with refugees and asylum seekers held in Zagreb and Kutina (where reception centres are located in). Focus groups with national minority representatives, system actors and mixed groups (minorities, general population and system representatives) held in Zagreb, but included people living in different parts of the country.

DISCLAIMERThe information presented here is collected under contract by the FRA's research network FRANET. The information and views contained do not necessarily reflect the views or the official position of the FRA.