Croatian minority in the Republic of Bulgaria

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Croatian people started coming to the Republic of Bulgaria as early as 18th century when they are mentioned in Sofia, Plovdiv and Chiprovtsi, but the majority came from Janjevo in the late 19th century and early 20th century. 

Based on available information, 200 Croats live in the Republic of Bulgaria, of whom the majority lives in Sofia.

In the Republic of Bulgaria, Croats do not have the status of a national minority since the Republic of Bulgaria supports the notion of a single Bulgarian nation and it does not recognize any other ethnic identification when it comes to its citizens.

Based on the Law on Relationships between the Republic of Croatia and Croats Abroad (Zakon o odnosima Republike Hrvatske s Hrvatima izvan Republike Hrvatske), the Government of the Republic of Croatia adopted the Decision on Establishing and Appointing the Members of the Council of the Government of Croatia for Croats Abroad, which held its constituting session in July, 2022, where the representative of the Croatian minority in Bulgaria at the third Council convocation is Mr. Rumen Boyadzhiev.

Croats in the Republic of Bulgaria do not have a well organized structure so there is one active civil association named “Biskup Josip Juraj Strossmayer“ in Sofia, dedicated to promoting friendly relations between Croats and Bulgarians.

There are two schools in the Republic of Bulgaria where Croatian language is taught; one is the elementary and high school „Marin Drinov“ in the province of  Sofia, Ilinden and the other is the elementary school 102 „Panajot Volov“ in the province of Sofia, Nadežda where approximately a hundred students learn Croatian as a modern European language. Moreover, at the “St. Kliment Ohridski” University, within the Faculty of Slavic Studies, one of the Slavic philology courses offered is the Course of Croatian Language.