I consider it an extraordinary privilege to be appointed Minister of Defence and Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia. The Croatian Armed Forces are a symbol of the strength and pride of the Croatian people, and I will fully commit myself to their modernization and strengthening.
On 16 November, 2023, a formal handover of duties took place at the Ministry of Defence in Zagreb between State Secretary Zdravko Jakop and newly appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, Ivan Anušić.
“Everyone in the MoD and the Croatian Armed Forces is at your disposal,” said State Secretary Zdravko Jakop, wishing the recently appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, Ivan Anušić, success in his new role and introducing him to the most significant projects and activities within the Ministry of Defence. He noted, “We all work towards the same objective for the well-being of the Ministry of Defence, the Croatian Armed Forces, and the Republic of Croatia.”
“It is an exceptional honour for me to assume the position of Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia and Minister of Defence of the Republic of Croatia,” stated the newly appointed Minister of Defence. “I sincerely pledge to devote myself to modernising and strengthening the Croatian Armed Forces, the symbol of strength and pride of the Croatian people, in order to further improve defence capabilities and enhance national security. Since the Croatian soldier is the most vital component of the defence system, I will give extra consideration to bolstering material rights and improving living, training, and working conditions for Croatian soldiers, non-commissioned officers, and officers.”
Ivan Anušić was born on 13 October, 1973, in Osijek. He is married and the father of four children. He graduated from the Faculty of Kinesiology in Zagreb. Mr. Anušić was the prefect of Osijek-Baranja County from 2017 to 2023. From 2016 to 2017, he was a member of the Croatian Parliament for the ninth term, the chairman of the War Veterans Committee, and a member of the Defence Committee. He served as a member of the Croatian Parliament for the eighth term from 2015 to 2016, vice president of the National Council for Monitoring the Implementation of the Anti-Corruption Strategy, and a member of the Agriculture Committee and the Committee for Regional Development and EU Funds. From 2005 to 2017, he was the mayor of the Antunovac Municipality, and from 2002 to 2005, he was the president and coach of the Antunovac Kick Boxing Club.
He volunteered for the Homeland War and began defending his country in 1991. He was a member of the Military Police, the Eagle Special Police, and the 106th and 130th brigades of the National Guard Corps. He retired from the 3rd Guards Brigade in 2001.
Mr. Anušić quit high school in the third grade in March 1991, when he was seventeen years old, to enlist in the volunteer units. He volunteered in the Homeland War and served as a minor member of the 106th Brigade of the National Guard Corps of the Republic of Croatia since June 1991. The newly appointed Defence Minister also served in the Eagle military special police, the Military Police, the 106th and 130th Brigades of the National Guard Corps, and the 3rd Guards Brigade of the Croatian Armed Forces during the Homeland War. In Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia, he experienced multiple battlefields between 1991 and 1995. After passing through the front lines in Eastern Slavonia, he arrived in the Dubrovnik region in August 1992 and took part in General Janko Bobetko’s operation to liberate the hinterland of Dubrovnik. He took part in the Maslenica Operation and went to Bosnia and Herzegovina for a month in August of 1993. Together with the Eagle special police members, he was involved in the Velebit operations from 1993 to 1995 and also participated in the operation “Flash” and the liberation of the western Slavonia region with the same unit. In addition to several commendations and awards, he is the bearer of the Homeland War Memorial Medal and decorations for his involvement in the military-police operation “Flash”.
In 2011, he became a member of the Croatian Democratic Union and was elected president of the HDZ county organisation of Osijek-Baranja County in March 2014. Two years later, at the Osijek-Baranja County HDZ County Board regular election assembly, he was unanimously elected to the same post. He was elected Vice President of the Croatian Democratic Union in 2020.
As a member of the Croatian Parliament, he was the driving force behind numerous community-beneficial projects, including redefining statistical regions, modifying the Water Act to include the extraction of sand and gravel, altering the regulations governing the distribution of wood, and carrying out several other community-beneficial projects.
During the tenth term of the Croatian Parliament, he led the HDZ slate in electoral district IV, where they garnered 23,671 preferential votes, the third-best result in the 2020 elections, and for the first time in the party’s history, eight parliamentary mandates.
After being elected prefect of Osijek-Baranja County in 2017, he submitted a request to put the parliamentary mandate on hold. Mr. Anušić in the first round of the 2021 local elections to a second term as Osijek-Baranja County prefect. Many capital infrastructure projects were started and completed during his term as prefect of Osijek-Baranja County. He also placed a strong political emphasis on bolstering cooperation and support for Croats living outside the Republic of Croatia, particularly those in Vojvodina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro.