It is estimated that there are about 40,000 Croats and their descendants in France.
Croats in France can be divided into three groups, as a result of different waves of immigration:
-The first group: wave of emigration after World War II, mostly political emigrants who mostly received French citizenship.
-The second group: wave of emigration at the end of the sixties, which was followed by economic reasons..
-The third group includes the descendants of the above group, the second and third generations.
More than 90 percent of Croats in France resides in the eastern part of the country. About half of Croatian citizens living in the wider Paris region (it is about 10,000 to 12,000 Croats). Then followed by Côte d'Azur region with 4,000 to 5,000 who mostly live in the cities of Nice, Marseille and Monaco. Roughly the same number of Croats, that between 4,000 and 5,000 lives in the region Rhône-Alpes. The majority of these groups live in cities Lyon and Chambery and their surrounding areas. Finally, there are two regions with a large group of Croatian citizens (but in far smaller numbers): in the east of France, in the cities of Mulhouse, Metz, and Belfort in the north of Lille and the surrounding area where it is about 250 to 300 Croatian households.
Status of Croats in France
Specific laws on the rights and obligations of immigrants do not exist. It allows foreign nationals the same labor law and social treatment as well as for all citizens of the host country. Effective are certain laws that govern immigration, admission to citizenship, permanent residence, temporary residence and asylum. At the census in France, officially does not include the issue of ethnic origin of each person.
French citizenship can be acquired after a stay in the country for at least five years, with the ability to use the French language. France allows its citizens dual citizenship.
It is also important to note that the Republic of Croatia and the France have an international agreement on social security.
Croatian Association and the Catholic Mission
It is important to highlight the role of an umbrella organization CRICCF (Conseil des Institutions représentatif et Communautés Croates de France - Congres mondial en anglais France, or council of elected representatives of the institutions and the Croatian community in France). CRICCF (http://www.cronet.org) is also representative of the Croatian World Congress in France. AMCA (Association des anciens de Étudiants Croatie en France), is association of former students of Croatian universities in France, http://amca-paris.com and Croatian youth of Paris (http://www.macroatie.com) . In Lille, there is a Franco-Croatian Cultural Association and the Association of Corsica France Croatie Corsica.
At the beginning and during the War in Croatia and BiH, the number of associations has increased sharply, mainly for the purpose of collecting humanitarian aid, but also for the growing needs of an organized and coordinated action of the Croatian community in France. In his humanitarian work Croatian community in France has proved to be extremely active and well organized, thanks to the existence CRICCF's.
There are three Croatian Catholic Mission : in Paris, Lyon and Nice, and once a month held St. Mass in Croatian, in Beauvais, Metz and Lille.
Croatian classes and programs for Croatian language
Croatian classes in the French Republic are responsible of the Croatian Ministry of Science, Education and Sports . Classes are organized all around the French Republic, in the cities of Paris, Lyon, Dijon and Lille and the surrounding areas. Classes attended by approximately 180 students. Four teachers work with them at 11 learning sites.
An important step in learning the Croatian language is the inclusion of teaching Croatian supplementary school in the French education system modeled ELCO (Enseignement de langue et de culture d'origine, ie, teaching language and culture of people of foreign origin).
At the facultis was established several programs for Croatian language:
Exchange instructorships the jurisdiction of the : Croatian Ministry of Science, Education and Sports
Université de Paris - Sorbonne, Paris
Université Jean Moulin, Lyon
Université Stendhal, Grenoble
INALCO Institute, Paris (Institut national des langues et Civilisations Orientales-tj.Nacionalni Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilization).
Université le Miral, Toulouse
Independent instructorships outside jurisdiction of the Croatian Ministry of Science, Education and Sports:
Université de Bourgogne, Dijon
It is also important to highlight the Croatian interdisciplinary program of study ( interdisciplinaire Programme d'études croates) at the University of Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV), which is realized in collaboration with the University of Zagreb and Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia at 1981th.
Since 1998th, between the University of Zagreb and the University Pantheon Assas (Paris II) exists bilaterally university partnership agreement which organizes "University postgraduate professional study European Studies" (Diplôme d'études européennes). It is the first graduate degree education in Croatia in French and Croatian language aimed that students attain the level of "European technical assistants" (lectures, seminars and consultations are held in the premises of the Faculty of Law in Zagreb and Dubrovnik). Students who pass the final exam will receive an equivalent specialist degree in French and Croatian.
Publishing and Media
- Bulletin "Hrvatski veznik" published by CRICCF.
- The Gazette "Naš glas" published by the Croatian Catholic Mission in Paris. A few years ago, "Naš glas" opened its pages and Catholic missions in Lyon and Nice.
- Croatian classes publishing a bulletin, "Zavičaj" in which they presents the work of students