The Republic of Croatia covers an area of 56,538 km2, bordering with Slovenia, Hungary, the FR Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), Bosnia-Herzegovina, and across the Adriatic sea with Italy. These frontiers are the result of long and frequent changes in the past, and were directly inherited after the dissolution of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (1945-1991).

Croatia is a regionally diverse country. Southern Dalmatia and Istria with Primorje, northern Slavonia and the area around the capital Zagreb, and centrally placed Lika, Gorski Kotar, Kordun and Banija, had different histories, both within and outside Croatia’s historical borders. Waves of national unification and integralism in the 19th and 20th centuries did not blend regional feelings into a homogeneous national corpus. Today regionalism as a political movement is strongest in Istria. This is where the major impulses for Croatian decentralization come from. Centralist political parties in Croatia, and this means the great majority of political parties, are no longer as suspicious as they used to be in Istrian intentions: it was shown that the great majority of Istrians support the idea of regional autonomy only within the Republic of Croatia, and consider that belonging to Istria does not exclude belonging to Croatia.

Croatia is a democratic republic. Its legal system is based on the Constitution adopted in December 1990 and amended in 1992.

Since the end of 1992, in accordance with laws on state constitution, Croatia has been divided into twenty counties, with special status for the capital city of Zagreb. The political opposition in Croatia considered that county divisions reflected electoral engineering by the ruling-party, and there were fears that attempts to achieve decentralization would be neutralized. However, this was not so and today many counties, municipalities and towns are exerting pressure on the central authorities and demanding more favorable conditions.

The 1991 census showed that Croatia had a total of 4,784,265 inhabitants, 0.96% of the total population of Europe. The average annual population growth rate fell from 0.82 at the first post-Second World War census in 1948, to 0.40 in 1991, which was the smallest overall population increase in all the republics of former Yugoslavia. The main reasons for the fall were the decline of the natural birth rate, i.e. fertility, a negative migration balance, and the effects of demographic loss in the Second World War.

In the same period the agricultural population decreased from 64% in 1948 to less than 15% in 1991. This led to rural depopulation, which was much higher than the urbanization rate and population increase in urban areas (today almost 55% inhabitants live in towns).

The share of one-member households has grown from 16% in 1981 to 17.8% in 1991, and so has the share of households with 2-3 members (42.6 to 42.7%), while the share of larger households has decreased (in the 4-6 member category from 37.9 to 37.1%, in the category of over 6 members from 3.5 to 2.4%).

According to age structure, more than 24% people are 55 and over, 13.5% are 15-24, and almost 42% are 25-54.

Concerning national structure, in 1991 there were 78.1% Croats in the total population and 12.2% Serbs. In the meantime, as an aftermath of the war in Croatia, the number of Serbs has decreased significantly - mostly because of mass exodus from the part of Croatia that was under Serbian occupation and which was liberated in the summer of 1995 in the Croatian military-police action 'Storm'.

The total number of people killed and missing in the war in Croatia is estimated at about 50,000.

The war created a new population category. According to data of the Bureau for Displaced Persons and Refugees of the Government of the Republic of Croatia, on 1 November 1996 there were 366,135 displaced persons and refugees in Croatia. They included 138,088 displaced persons, 167,035 refugees and 61,012 returnees to liberated areas. The number of displaced persons and refugees is constantly decreasing, the number of returnees increasing. The minority of displaced persons and refugees (53,851) have been accommodated in hotels, special settlements, workers’ settlements and repaired accommodation, the majority (about 250,000) in private homes (mostly with family and friends). Finally, there are almost 22,000 refugees from Croatia in other countries.


When the new state was created in December 1990, the principles and objectives of Croatian cultural policy were set forth in general terms about pluralism, market economy and the autonomy of creative work. Not long after many laws were passed (a total of 12), and decrees, ordinances and by-laws adopted (a total of 24) regulating the cultural sector.

The explicit strategic objectives of Croatia’s cultural policy have not been developed to the degree that one can talk about a completely systematic cultural policy. It is sooner a combination of intuition, ad hoc approach and systematic elaboration, as on other levels of policy. The results of this combination are still to be described and defined.

The general ideological orientation of the new cultural policy, and the first practical steps, immediately made it clearly different from the earlier cultural policy of Croatia (as part of former Yugoslavia). The ideological innovations are: political pluralism, re-privatization of ownership, autonomy of cultural creativity and - centralization. Of the first practical steps in 1991, special emphasis must be laid on many urgent new activities in connection with the war that broke out: primarily the protection of cultural monuments and of parts of the cultural heritage that had been destroyed.

From 1990 to 1995 the new cultural policy was regulated by laws which, in addition to the standard legal text, also contained succinct indications about the programme of cultural development.

From 1990 to 1993 the Law on Culture Funds, passed in 1990, was in force. In the Ministry of Culture argot this period of cultural policy is spoken of as the "culture funds model". Financing culture from funds was inherited from the former state. This law stipulates that "the Cultural Development Programme includes all forms of encouraging, developing and advancing cultural activities that contribute to the development and advancement of cultural life" in the community (municipalities, City of Zagreb, the Republic of Croatia). Article 4 mentions the "foundations of the cultural development policy", which are to be proposed by the government and accepted by the Sabor, and on the basis of which the Ministry of Culture is to draw up a "programme of cultural development of the Republic". Article 13 determines the foundation of committees, advisory bodies in the Ministry of Culture whose composition and work is left to the decision of the Minister. In that period the above-mentioned Foundations of the Cultural Development Policy were not adopted. Instead the validity of the cultural policy principles formulated as part of the general Strategy of Development of the Republic of Croatia from 1990 was implied. According to this document, the Ministry of Culture is responsible for creating and implementing cultural policy on the principles of "a) free artistic and cultural creativity, b) de-ideologization of culture, c) establishment of priorities and a hierarchy of values, d) professionalism and responsibility, e) private initiative and entrepreneurship, f) functionality and optimum organization of cultural institutions, g) stimulation of talented and successful individuals, institutions, programmes, h) pluralism of cultural initiatives".

From the priorities given by the Ministry of Culture in 1996, 5 focal points can be singled out here: 1) preserving the cultural heritage, 2) re-creating the representational image of national cultural identity (festivals, Croatian design, publications in foreign languages) and history (lending a spectacular note to historical themes, e.g. through staging historical battles in Croatia), 3) fitting both the above into Croatia’s tourist offer, 4) further computerization of cultural planning and cultural activities, and 5) encouraging coordination and cooperation on all levels of governmental administration.


2.1 Public and semi-public bodies

The Culture Council and commissions for cultural activities were founded on the basis of the Law on Culture Funds, as the first work groups with responsibilities for a given programme. The council consisted of 15 members (prominent figures from all the fields of culture). Its main job was to study the outline of the Foundations of Cultural Policy, propose an outline of a Cultural Development Programme and a financial budget for realizing this Programme to the Ministry of Culture, and supervise the implementation of the Programme and its financial costs. The job of the 9 commissions (each for a particular field of cultural activities) was to make operative preparations for the work of the Council on the basis of detailed monitoring and assessing the Programme, activities and financial costs in each field. These bodies presented the results of their work in annual reports to the Ministry of Culture.

In 1993 culture funds were abolished with the explanation that the provision about preparing the Foundations of the Cultural Development Policy "had never been implemented in practice". The Council and commissions for cultural activities were also abolished. Instead of them, in the 1993-1995 period a "model of public needs" was established based on the Law on Financing Public Needs in Culture (Zakon o financiranju javnih potreba u kulturi) enacted in 1993. This law determined that the Republic of Croatia, towns and municipalities are to make Programmes of Public Needs in Culture. This is a very long list of needs whose corrective criterion is the national interest.

The central ministry responsible for culture is the Ministry of Culture. This Ministry recommends and implements the cultural policy of the Republic, especially in the following areas: protection of historic monuments, museums and galleries, archives and libraries; publishing, librarianship, theatre and other performing arts, film, audiovisual production, music, cultural events, work of free-lance artists, activities of cultural centres and open universities, amateur and other cultural; radio, TV, newspapers and public information; technical culture; legislation and administrative supervision.

The Ministry of Culture consists of 8 parts: 1. Ministerial Offices, 2. Secretariat Offices, 3. Archives, publishing, libraries, museums and fine arts administration, 4. Music, theatre and film administration, 5. Administration for international cultural cooperation, 6. Institute for Culture, 8. Administrative and legal section, 9. Financial section.

Other ministries relevant for the area of culture include: Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Building and Environmental Protection, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Communications.

The following National Councils, established at the recommendation of the ministries or government, Parliament and professionals, are charged with the task of planning development and designing cultural policies in different fields: Council for the Protection of Croatian Cultural Property, Museums Council, Archival Council, Library Council, Book Promotion Council, Croatian Radio and Television Council.

Many other cultural institutions in the government sphere are also funded from the budget: Croatian Cultural-Information Institute (responsibility: designing the image of Croatia and its promotion abroad), Croatian Information Centre (processing and publishing various kinds of general and special information /including cultural/ about Croatia), Hrvatska matica iseljenika (Emigrant Affairs Council) etc.

2.2 Facilities and institutions

Non-governmental organizations relevant for Croatian cultural life are, inter alia, Matica hrvatska (promoting Croatian national and cultural identity), Druzba 'Braca hrvatskog zmaja' (promoting Croatian cultural heritage and supporting the work of cultural institutions), Croatia nostra, and Croatian Artists' Association (promoting artistic activity and protecting the artists' social status and rights).


3.1 Financing of cultural activities

Basically, the financing of culture is regulated by the 1990 Law on Cultural Funds. Cultural funds as budgetary funds were established on the level of the state, of towns and municipalities. In 1993 cultural funds as budgetary funds were abolished, and the financing responsibility in accordance with the Law was transferred directly to the state, counties, towns and municipalities.

The rights, needs and interests of the community are established by a programme comprising all forms of stimulating, developing and enhancing the cultural sectors. Each administrative unit is obliged to establish such a programme of cultural development.

Tables 1 and 2 give an overview of the national budget outlays for the years between 1992 and 1996. The overview refers particularly to the activities of cultural institutions and associations, comprising expenditures for salaries and running costs (material expenses) and, separately, expenditures for the implementation of the Cultural Development Programme.

Table 1: Financing of institutions and associations in culture (salaries, current expenditures) in DEM

Activities in







in DEM

in DEM

in DEM

in DEM

in DEM







Protection of Cultural Property






Museums and Galleries






Central Libraries






Other Institutions


















Table 2: Financing of the Cultural Development Programme in DEM








in DEM

in DEM

in DEM

in DEM

in DEM

Visual Arts and Museums, Galleries






Music, Theatres






Publishing, Libraries






 Book Publishing












 Book Purchasing






 Actions and Events












Protection of Cultural Property






Protection of Archival Materials






International Cooperation






Information Technology












Individual (Self-Employed) Artists












Between 1992 and 1996, state budget outlays for culture were as follows:




Per cent of the state budget


2,975,062,691 HRD




41,311,094,985 HRD




110,715,851 KN 




183,051,503 KN 




235.342,473 KN 



The above figures include the state budget outlays for culture.

Integral data on expenditures for culture on town, municipality and county levels are not available. It is estimated that the state budget outlays for culture amount to about one third of the aggregate amount allocated for culture in the Republic of Croatia. The other two thirds are provided on the level of units of local self-government and administration (municipality, town, county). One third of that is allocated by the City of Zagreb and the other third by all the other units of local self-government and administration in the Republic of Croatia.

The Law on the Value-Added Tax (VAT) was passed in July 1995, but its implementation began in 1998 with a single tax rate on added value, at the level of 22%, providing only for tax exemption, but not for a reduced or a zero tax rate. The new tax increased the price of books, which were free from all tax levies.

3.2 Legislation

Almost all the activities of the Ministry of Culture are regulated by special laws. The co-ordination/harmonization of cultural legislation to bring it in line with the constitutional changes and the new legal order is now under way.

In the course of 1991, 12 laws, 6 decrees with the force of law, and 12 executive acts were promulgated, including the Law on Theatres, the Bill on Books, the Law on Library Activities, the Law on Museums, the Law on the Protection of Cultural Property, the Law on the Protection of Archival Material, the Law on Film, etc.

Cultural institutions show very large specific differences compared to other institutions. This particularly applies to the regime of management of public institutions in the field of culture, which cannot be run without the application of artistic or similar criteria. That is why the Law on the management of cultural institutions makes provision for the management of public institutions in culture by administrative councils which must comprise artists or other professional personnel; in theatres of national importance, some members of these councils are appointed by the Minister of Culture, who also plays an important role in the appointment of the director. The establishment and operation of individual institutions have been regulated by special laws. An example of such regulation are the Law on the "Museum-Gallery Centre", the Law on the Croatian Historical Museum, and the Law on the Croatian Museum of Naive Art.

Organizations of artists are specific legal entities for the conduct of cultural and artistic activities whose legal status is regulated by the Law on the rights of self-employed artists and on the promotion of cultural and artistic creativity.

Copyright protection has a long tradition in Croatia. The first copyright law valid in what is today the Republic of Croatia was the Hungarian-Croatian law of 1884. Since then, Croatia has had an uninterrupted history of copyright protection. After attaining independence, the Republic of Croatia enacted the Law on the adoption of federal regulations from the sphere of education and culture, thereby adopting also the Yugoslav Law on Copyright of 1978, with subsequent amendments and supplements from 1986 and 1990. This law was later amended and supplemented in 1993. New amendments and supplements to the Copyright Law are in preparation, introducing protection of producers of phonograms and videograms and of broadcasting organizations.


4.1 Cultural heritage

The term cultural heritage covers historic sites and archaeological monuments, museums, archival institutions, and libraries.

From 1996 the conservation services are under the care of the Ministry of Culture as the Administration for the Protection of Cultural and Natural Heritage, with a headquarters and nine Conservation Departments whose responsibilities lie nominally within the boundaries of the Counties. According to the same concept of centralizing the professional services, all restoration workshops will soon be brought together within the Croatian Restoration Institute.

The register of historic buildings at present lists 327 historical sites and 4,451 individual properties enjoying legal protection. The urban centres of Dubrovnik and Split appear in the List of World Cultural Heritage, as well as Trogir and the Euphrasia basilica in Porec, while the Episcopal complex in Zadar and the Amphitheatre in Pula are candidates for the List. Application will also be made for the town walls of Ston, the urban centre of Tvrdja in Osijek, the Baroque town of Varazdin, and Sibenik Cathedral. During the bombardments of 1991 - 1992 the historic centre of Dubrovnik was entered on the List of Endangered World Cultural Heritage.

The complexity of renovation work needed after the war of 1991 - 1995 is truly incalculable. It has been calculated that urgent restoration and conservation work is required to save 26,000 works of art in museums, galleries and private collections alone, and that the work would take 300 years at present levels of activity. Croatian experts have nevertheless been able to renovate certain sites, especially sacral ones including the Renaissance cupola of Sibenik Cathedral (shelled by the Yugoslav army in 1991), whose restoration work was extremely complex.

In 1990/1991 Croatia had 205 museums, permanent exhibitions, galleries and church collections with holdings of five million objects (Museums and Galleries of Croatia, 1993). Furthermore, of the five million objects in the Croatian museums, only 50 per cent were registered in the inventory registers. As regards the type of collections, the most numerous are town and regional collections (69), specialized collections (50), art galleries (40), collections of sacral art open to the public (20), archaeological (20), biographical (15), ethnographic (11), commemorative (7), maritime (6), natural science (6) historical (5), technological, industrial and agricultural collections (4) and miscellaneous collections (7). Some of these museums and collections did not meet the legal norms regarding staff qualifications, facilities, funding, etc. This problem is still present today. Therefore all the above figures cannot be considered fully reliable.

However, war damage was unavoidable: 47 museums , galleries and collections - some 20 per cent of the total number - suffered direct damage to the museum buildings and/or collections.

During the period between 1990 and 1993 all museum activities were financed according to the Law on the Funding of Culture. The Croatian History Museum was financed in this way from 1992 onwards and the Museum Documentation Centre and the Museum of Vukovar in exile from 1993. In 1994 a new system of funding was adopted (the Funding of Public Needs) and is now applied to the Archeological Museum of Istria, Pula, the Archeological Museum of Split, the Archeological Museum of Zadar, the Museum of Slavonia, Osijek, Castle Trakoscan and the Croatian Museum of Naive Art.

Archival activities are regulated under the Law on the Protection of Archival Material and Archives, adopted in 1962 and amended in 1965 and 1978.

The mechanism for its implementation is a network of archival institutions covering the whole of Croatia with responsibility for central governmental bodies (the Croatian National Archives) and regional institutions (historical archives as regional archives). This network is also responsible for the supervision of all other archives, such as church archives and collections of archival material defined as specialized archives in the draft legislation.

At the end of 1996 Croatia had 264 public libraries, of which 24 were independent and the rest were part of adult education centres and cultural centres. Croatian public libraries have 132 children’s departments and 79 playrooms. There are 17 traveling libraries in Croatia servicing about 500 places.

Despite the noticeable increase in the number of users and lending, library membership in Croatia still falls short of the declared objective, i.e.15 per cent of the total population: in 1995 it stood at 12 per cent (compared to 10 per cent in 1992). The world standard - 20 library members per 100 population - has been achieved in some urban areas, notably Zagreb. Moreover, the range of library services is expanding, especially in the area of information and documentation using modern technologies and new media.


Number of public libraries

Holdings (books, Periodicals newspapers)




Professional staff





























4.2 Cultural education and training

Since the establishment of the independent Croatian state in 1991, the Croatian educational system has gradually changed and transformed. Following a break of 16 years, the humanistic secondary school (Gymnasium) was re-introduced, subjects such as philosophy and sociology were re-established and some new ones were added: ethics (philosophy and religion).

Arts schools have again more hours for arts education and for out-of-school activities. But new problems have emerged, the most important among them being the already mentioned reduction of hours for arts education in primary education.

The Law on Secondary Education defines arts schools, such as musical, dance, fine arts schools, and others; they are to be more precisely determined by their curricula and programmes.

There are three Schools of Applied Arts and Design in Croatia - in Zagreb, Split and Rijeka.

In Croatia there are today 37 primary musical schools and 5 music departments within regular primary schools; also, music courses are run by adult education centres. Elementary as well as secondary musical education is offered at 16 musical schools.

The Music Academy, with 8 different departments, operates within the University of Zagreb. Extension courses are also organized in its branch departments in Dubrovnik, Osijek, Rijeka and Split.

The Academy of Fine Arts of the University of Zagreb had the departments of painting and sculpture as early as 1916. The course of study lasts four years, and graduate students can register for the fifth year for specialization and as a transfer to masters’ workshops in Croatia or to outstanding arts schools abroad.

The Academy of Dramatic Arts was established in Zagreb in 1861 by the act of the Croatian Parliament. Studies, artistic and research activity are carried out in its 6 departments: theatre directing and radiophony, film and TV directing, filming, editing, dramaturgy, and theory.

The Department for Textile and Clothing Design at the Faculty of Textile Technology teaches the following disciplines: design, marketing, social studies and management.

4.3 Performing arts

After many complaints from theatres, changes in the territorial organization of the Republic of Croatia, and new laws with which the Theatre Law had to be harmonized, the 1991 text was changed and amended in the Law on Amendments to the Theatre Law, passed the Sabor (Parliament) in January 1997.

According to the amended law, theatres in the Republic of Croatia are classified as "national, county, town, municipal and private", and "may be the property of the Republic of Croatia, counties, the City of Zagreb, towns, municipalities, and other Croatian legal and physical entities".

Professional actors’ companies, mostly stationed in Zagreb, also continued work without any longer break. These include the twenty-five year old Teatar u gostima (Guest Theatre) and the Histrion Actors’ Company, and the somewhat younger Teatar "Zar ptica" (Firebird Theatre, for children), the Komorni teatar klasike (Classical Chamber Theatre), Studio za suvremeni ples (Modern Dance Studio), Zagrebacki plesni ansambl (Zagreb Dance Company), and others.

Data published in the Statistical Yearbooks of the State Bureau of Statistics for the periods 1986/87 to 1990/91, and 1990/91 to 1994/95 (admittedly, they classify theatres in a different way) show a gradual, although not drastic, decrease of work in all areas. The number of professional theatres (14 according to Bureau criteria) remained unchanged. However, due to reconstruction, the number of seats kept decreasing - from 6,339 (1986/87), through 6,087 (1990/91) to 5,780 (1994/95). In the same seasons, attendance decreased from 804,000 people, through 698,000 to 681,000 people, capacity utilization dropped from 68.2% through 62.9% to 62.7%, and the total number of employees fell from 1,852 through 1,829 to 1,788 (the greatest relative decrease was in the number of administrative staff, somewhat smaller in artistic staff, and the number of technical staff actually increased). The number of performances varied and peaked (2,456) in the 1992/93 season.

The number of theatres for children, which the Statistical Yearbook treats as a separate category, decreased from 13, through 12 to 10, but the number of performances and attendance began to grow after the greatest decrease. Amateur theatres also showed an increase after the fall in 1990/91 and 1991/92.

4.4 Visual arts

There are three main professional associations of visual artists, namely, the Croatian Visual Artists’ Association (HDLU), the Applied Arts Visual Artists’ Association (ULUPUH), and the Croatian Naive Artists’ Association.

Based on the 1996 Law on the Rights of Free-Lance (self-employed) Artists and on the Promotion of Cultural and Artistic Creativity, the Rules were adopted on the procedure and conditions for the recognition of free-lance Artists’ right to contributions for pension, disability pension and health insurance to be covered from the budget of the Republic of Croatia. According to the data published by the Croatian Free-lance Artists’ Union 523 visual artists plus 24 naive artists are entitled to such rights; this includes 263 painters and graphic designers and 53 sculptors.

The Cultural Development Programme covers visual arts and galleries in three fields: 1. organization of exhibitions, 2. publishing programme (monographs), 3. protection of works of art. The Programme provides for 5.44 per cent of the funds to be spent for these activities, while 3.29 per cent is allocated from the total outlay. In relation to the outlays for the protection of cultural property, whose rate reaches 26.36 per cent, as well as in relation to the share of other activities, we can conclude that rather low subsidies are allocated from the Government’s budget for visual arts.

The Commission for museums, galleries and visual arts appointed by the Ministry of Culture allocates the budgetary funds for the following purposes: exhibitions, publication of visual arts monograph studies, purchase of historical and contemporary works of art, protection of movable cultural property within museums collections.

4.5 Literature and literary production

Statistics show that the following numbers of books and brochures belonging in the Language and Literary Science category were written in Croatian:

  • 352 (315 titles printed for the first time) in 1991
  • 419 (354 titles printed for the first time) in 1992
  • 448 (405 titles printed for the first time) in 1993
  • (An average of about 400 books was usual in Croatia before and after 1990.)

    Because of the difficult situation publishers are trying to bring out a certain number of commercial titles that would provide a reliable source of income and profit. (Most active publishers print one to twenty titles a year, only some exceed 50 titles a year.) The market is small and so are the printing runs. A sure source of profit are school set-books (books for children, cook books and various popular manuals also ensure a degree of profit - recently books about computers are especially in demand); some authors can be found every year in various editions and selections by different publishers. The Ministry of Education and Sports organizes public competitions for purchasing primary-school and secondary-school textbooks and set-books and helps with the distribution and sale of these books, which sell well in any case. The Ministry of Culture keeps announcing such assistance, especially to support the printing of important Croatian books and translations of key works of world literature. In 1997 the Ministry of Culture financed and co-financed, from its total budget, about three hundred of the approximately one thousand titles submitted for the Competition for Support in Publishing Books in 1997. It mostly finances manuscripts of first editions. Commercial societies and other legal persons that are registered for publishing have the right to compete.

    4.6 Music

    In 1995 the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia renewed the practice of providing incentives to composers. This now seems more democratic and more in accordance with the needs of Croatian composers.

    The war had an adverse effect on the making of sound recordings of Croatian music. During the war this was discontinued almost completely, primarily because the equipment of the Croatian Radio and Television suffered great war damage and had to be replaced. Renewal gradually began in 1995, but has still not acquired the form and number of minutes that would be effective for Croatian composers.

    All nine symphony orchestras in Croatia are institutionalized, either as independent institutions (Zagreb Philharmonic, Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra), or as parts of larger entities, like all the opera orchestras. The only institutionalized chamber orchestra is the Zagreb Soloists (founded in 1954), while others only work occasionally (most of their members also play in larger professional orchestras, so that the musicians are in fact the same).

    Concerts are most intense during various music events, which began to be organized in Croatia in the fifties with the original purpose of enriching the Adriatic summer tourist offer. After that music events became linked to some particular topic (Zagreb Music Biennale, Varazdin Baroque Evenings, Music Evenings in St. Donat’s, Zadar, and so on) or person (Dora Pejacevic Memorial, Nasice, Josip Stolcer Slavenski Memorial, Cakovec, and so on). They were organized for cultural reasons: to revive the community by reviving the neglected Croatian music heritage. The musically and culturally more important events are financially supported by the state through its ministries, and by the local authorities where they are held.


    5.1 Book publishing

    Statistics show that new publishers appeared in Croatia as follows:

    1990 56 new publishers
    1991 57 new publishers
    1992 63 new publishers
    1993 368 new publishers
    1994 391 new publishers
    1995 421 new publishers
    1996 297 new publishers

    The new surge of publishing was especially important in reviving the work of Matica hrvatska (MH was founded in 1842, its work was suspended in 1972, in 1980 it was formally banned, and in 1990 it was renewed). For two decades the Nakladni Zavod Matice Hrvatske (Matica Hrvatska Publishing Institute) took over the Matica’s publishing activity. Although it had incurred great losses by 1990, the NZMH continued to work independently even after 1990 and became a separate publisher that brings out several series of books. Since the Matica has other sources of income besides subsidies, it is more independent than other publishers, so that it does not necessarily have to publish profitable books and can thus bring out important, expensive and long-term publications like the Centuries of Croatian Literature (formerly the Five Centuries of Croatian Literature) or its plan for the next decade: a critical publication of Krleza’s works. Its more than 130 branches are also important in increasing the number of Croatian publishers.

    At the beginning of the century Zagreb had more bookshops than it has today. Selling books was cut back for the first time after the Second World War, and the 327 bookshops in Croatia in 1947 decreased to 94 in 1954. Later, even this number was almost halved. After that it gradually increased for decades, but the recent war and the transformation of the Croatian economy again adversely affected the sale of books.

    In 1996 the Association of Publishers and Booksellers of Croatia was founded in the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, partly to combat the difficult distribution conditions. The associated publishers and booksellers work to improve their status, make joint efforts to solve questions important for the survival of the book and bookshops, organize book fairs and similar professional events in Croatia, and participate in the preparation of new legislation.

    5.2 Press

    In 1989 there were 8 dailies, and 602 other newspapers, weeklies, magazines, etc. in Croatia. In 1990 the total number of newspapers amounted to 572, with a total print-run of 341,702. After 1990, a large number of new publications appeared, especially independent/commercial political weeklies, as well as various specialized magazines. The main shortcoming of the printed media was the lack of new independent daily papers. Although some of the existing dailies have grown into independent and opposition papers (Novi List), none of the dailies have managed to become papers of true nation-wide significance.

    There are as yet no serious foreign buyers on the Croatian press market, although there was a brief period of interest in 1990-91, which died out when the war began. In the future this might prove useful, since it will enable the domestic investors to develop media companies in a small, underdeveloped market (such a trend is already observable in the case of "Europa Press Holding"). In any case, in the initial stage of development the media market probably does not have the capacity for several large parallel projects. The government must ensure fair market competition, i.e. all tendencies leading to greater concentration of media ownership must be carefully supervised.

    5.3 Broadcasting and sound recording industry

    In the past decade the number of broadcasting hours on Croatian radio has increased by more than 4 times, while the number of radio stations has practically doubled, i.e. from 45 local stations in 1985 the number increased to 82 in 1995, or from a total of 52 radio stations to 89. In 1996, the number of local stations increased even further, so that there are presently 100 radio stations broadcasting in Croatia.

    At the beginning of 1997 the first three licenses for radio broadcasting at a national level were awarded.

    Croatian radio (HR) broadcasts on three channels at the national level and there are three regional radio stations with their own programmes. HR is part of the public enterprise, the Croatian Radio and Television, and the Law on Croatian Radio and Television also applies to it. It , therefore, has certain programming obligations as a public radio. Croatian Radio mostly broadcasts music (the share in the programme increased from 57% in 1992 to 61% in 1995). The share of daily news and current affairs programmes (news) in the overall programme dropped between 1992 and 1995 from 15% to 8%. Programmes in the category science, arts and culture have a constant 4% share in the total broadcasting time, while drama programming during the years covered by this study has been maintained at a level of about 1%. The educational and the children’s programme also has a low share in the overall programming, ranging between 4% in 1992 to 3% in 1995.

    In 1985, there were 1,070,964 registered radio subscribers, and 975,719 TV subscribers. The statistics on the number of radios and TV sets have been drawn up on the basis of radio and TV subscriptions, so it can be presumed that the actual number of radios and TV sets is higher. In 1994, the number of registered radio subscribers was 955,096, and TV subscribers 890,425.

    HTV (national television) broadcasts on three channels with a nation-wide coverage (in 1995, Channel I covered 98% of the population, Channel II 96%, and Channel III 90%). In 1995, HTV had altogether 13,870 broadcasting hours (not counting the satellite programme).

    As regards the programme that could be designated as "culture" in the narrow sense of the word, the situation is as follows: the graph shows different kinds of music programmes (folk music, popular music, jazz, light orchestral music, classical music), opera and ballet music, as well as plays. Apart from the fiction programme categories, these are the only programmes in this field that could be broken down into categories. Namely, HTV has been broadcasting different kinds of documentary programmes on cultural topics, including visual, plastic and other arts, but they have all been included in the category "education, science and culture".

    There are five local televisions broadcasting in Croatia. The programme of these stations is published in the papers. These include: OTV (Open Television) which covers the Zagreb area, TV Marjan in the Split-Dalmacija County, Slavonska televizija covering the Osijek-Baranja County, and Vinkovacka televizija covering the Vukovar-Srijem County.

    Since the beginning of the transformation process from social to private property, the number of private record labels has rapidly increased, and today there are more than 50 of them paying royalties and other legal obligations. (In 1997 ten of Croatian record labels presented their editions to the international market at the International Music Fair MIDEM). Only two of those companies more essentially contribute to cultural policy in this field, with the exception of the Croatian Composers’ Association having its own label, these are "Orfej" owned by Croatian Radio-Television and Croatian sound and video record company "Croatia Records".

    Annual surveys for 1996 of the mentioned companies are used as the most objective sources of the data.

    "Orfej" published 54 titles in 1996, out of which were: 8 programmes of classical music, 3 programmes of jazz, 19 programmes of pop-music, 3 children editions, and 14 patriotic, religious and other editions.

    "Croatia Records" published 181 titles, out of which were: 13 programmes of classical music, 2 programmes of jazz, 135 programmes of entertainment, pop and rock music, 22 programmes of traditional pop music, 8 children editions and 1 talk edition.

    "Croatia Records", Ltd., Croatian sound and video record company, published 11 video programmes in 1996 and "Orfej" published 8 programmes due to the fact that music video production is an expensive process accessible only to big record productions. The deficiency of industrial production (vinyl records and CD-s) accelerated music cassettes editing by small private enterprises. So a number of illegal record companies appeared at the market disregarding the copyright laws and other legal (tax) obligations.

    5.4 Cinema and film industry

    About 5 feature films a year are made in Croatia. This production decreased during the Patriotic Defense War and at present the planned 6 feature-length films, 20 art documentary films, and 100 minutes of animated films are not being achieved.

    Membership in the Society of Film Workers (Drustvo Filmskih Djelatinika), the trade union through which pension and health rights are realized, has dropped to 80 members from the earlier 320. This is also partly because, like in other European countries, two new associations on the art level have been established with members that earlier belonged to the Society - the Association of Film Directors (Udruga Filmskih Redatelja) and the Association of Cinematographers (Udruga Filmskih Snimatelja).

    Since the mid-fifties, the Zagreb Film has been the leading producer of short films, making over 90% of all short art films, and 100% animated films. The City of Zagreb, which is the majority owner of this firm (with considerable world renown thanks to the Zagreb Animated Film School), is trying to resolve its present crisis which started when authors began to leave, because of mistaken co-production projects and losses, and because it did not turn to making commercial animated series in time.

    The number of cinemas decreased drastically during the Patriotic Defense War - from 250 to 130. Some were later renewed and there are now 151 cinemas (this does not include cinemas in Eastern Slavonia). Only 52 cinemas show films every day, 17 show films 6 days a week, 36 show films 2 days a week, and 17 show films once a week.


    The survey carried out in 1996, on a representative sample of Croatian households, showed that participation in cultural life has decreased in relation to the period before 1990. This tendency does not apply to watching television and home-video, listening to the radio and to reading newspapers. It can be noted that cultural consumption does not follow a certain growth of the standard of living registered according to economic criteria during the recent years.

    Centres for Culture, especially Popular and Open Universities, have not yet managed to resolve the problem of their two-fold, and for now still mixed, basic functions: education and culture. Centres for Culture are generally of a polyvalent, hybrid and difficult to recognize character, which holds to an even greater degree for popular and open universities. All this has had as resulted in misunderstanding on the part of the social environment as to the forms and contents of their work and the ultimate purpose of their existence. Nevertheless, these institutions do have an influence on cultural policy in the territorial communities in which they are located. The professionals who work in them - most often promoters and leaders of cultural activities - work also on the drafting of yearly cultural programmes for individual cities, city sections or communes, for individual business firms, and for a certain number of communal departments of culture. Some of these institutions also carry out questionnaire surveys to monitor the cultural needs of the population in their communes.

    The development of cultural tourism may have an important influence on decentralization of the total cultural life of the country. Its development contributes to a greater financial and organizational independence of cultural institutions and organizations, due to a direct and indirect increase in their income. It furthermore helps because an increase in the cultural demand produced by tourist visits (especially culturally directed ones) generally results in broader, more inventive and more diverse cultural production and supply. Cultural tourism eliminates the sharp demarcation between the culture of the centre and the culture of the periphery. Similarly, it expands the awareness in individual (especially local) communities of the significance culture has for the quality of their total social life. Finally, cultural tourism strengthens awareness of culture as one of the fundamental development resources on all levels of the country.

    The preparation of the Cultural Development Strategy for the Republic of Croatia was emphasized as a primary objective of the National Cultural Programme of the Republic of Croatia in 1996. This implies, among other things, finishing touches to legislation; increasing the budgetary share of culture to 1% (in 1994 it was only .46%, in 1997 it was .85% ); defining priorities in the development of particular cultural activities (e.g. books and films) and in the cultural life in some (newly liberated and war ravaged) areas of Croatia.


    Following the restructuring of the Ministry of Culture and Education in 1990, the Department for International Cultural and Educational Cooperation was responsible for both sectors – culture and education. This meant having the responsibility also for cooperation in higher education (scholarships and language instructors/Lectors). When the new Law on Higher Education was enacted in 1993, this responsibility was transferred to the Ministry of Science and Technology. Starting in 1995, the administration of international cultural cooperation became the responsibility of the Administration for International Cultural Cooperation within the Ministry of Culture.

    Croatia’s international cultural cooperation proceeds as an organized inter-state activity based on bilateral and multilateral agreements. It takes the form of broadly based and diversified exchanges and communication involving various non-governmental organizations, institutions and individuals.

    By the end of 1997, 22 bilateral agreements had been signed.

    The total number of cooperative actions in 1996 was 223, with the first three forms (guest performances, exhibitions, festivals and competitions) accounting for 70 per cent of the overall cooperation.

    Among the European countries, cooperation was most frequent with Italy (23), Germany (15), France (10), and Great Britain (10), but mention ought to be made of more intensive cooperation with Slovenia, Poland, and Hungary. Outside Europe, there was cooperation with the United States (9), China (5), Israel (4), Japan (3), Australia (3), Brazil (3), Argentina (2), Canada (2), Iran (1), and Egypt (1). International governmental organizations accounted for 10 actions and non-governmental organizations for 28.

    Participation in international meetings was particularly intensive between 1991 and 1994, when an effort was made to acquaint the international public opinion with the scale of destruction of Croatia, particularly the devastation of its cultural heritage. The two years of war were hardly conducive to the preparation and realization of major projects, while the first-hand professional reports could greatly help to bring the consequences of the war in Croatia to the attention of international audiences. Other forms of cooperation were much less represented and accounted for no more than 25-30 per cent of the overall cooperation.

    Multilateral cooperation included international governmental organizations (UNESCO and the Council of Europe) and international non-governmental organizations with growing Croatian membership (ICOM, ICOMOS, AICA, ITI, UNIMA, IFLA, etc.).

    From the very beginning of the war, UNESCO and the Council of Europe provided assistance with the restoration of Croatia’s war-damaged cultural heritage (for instance, UNESCO was involved in the reconstruction of Dubrovnik).

    The Croatian Commission for UNESCO was established by the Government in 1992. The Commission is attached to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A number of projects have been realized or are under way as part of the cooperation with UNESCO. As part of Croatia’s cooperation with the Council of Europe (whose member Croatia became in 1996), a number of major projects have been realized or are currently under way, such as projects for the restoration of cultural heritage (reconstruction and revitalization of the Fort in Osijek), dancing coproductions, theatrical projects, the Culture, Creativity and Youth project (in connection with which a seminar was held at Varazdin in 1966), the European Cultural Pathways project (within whose scope an exhibition of the Croatian Baroque Art has been shown in about a dozen European cities), the Culture, Communication and New Technologies project, and the Cultural Policy Resource Centre.


    8.1 Ministries, authorities and academies

    Croatian Academy of Arts and Sciences
    (Hrvatska akademija znanosti i umjetnosti)
    Zrinjski trg 11
    10000 Zagreb
    Tel. (3851) 433-444, fax: (3851) 433-383

    Institute for Culture
    (Zavod za kulturu)
    Kneza Mislava 18
    10000 Zagreb
    Tel. (3851) 4611-812, fax: (3851) 4611-805

    Institute for International Relations
    (Institut za medjunarodne odnose, IMO)
    Ljudevita Farkasa Vukotinovica 2
    10000 Zagreb
    Tel. (3851) 4554-522, fax: (3851) 4828-361

    Institute for the Protection of Cultural Property
    (Zavod za zastitu spomenika kulture)
    Ilica 44
    10000 Zagreb
    Tel. (3851) 427-200, fax: (3851) 426-386

    Institute for Urban Development of the Republic of Croatia
    (Urbanisticki institut Republike Hrvatske)
    Marinkoviceva 4
    10000 Zagreb
    Tel. (3851) 428-040, fax: (3851) 425-143

    Ministry of Culture
    (Ministarstvo kulture)
    Trg burze 6
    10000 Zagreb
    Tel. (3851) 4569-000; fax: (3851) 4569-095

    8.2 Central cultural institutions

    Croatian State Archives
    (Hrvatski drzavni arhiv)
    Marulicev trg 21
    10000 Zagreb
    Tel/fax: (3851) 424-144

    Matica Hrvatska Croatian Cultural Society
    (Matica Hvatska)
    Maticina 2
    10000 Zagreb
    Tel. (3851) 278-181, fax: (3851) 425-475

    Croatian National Theatre Zagreb
    (Hrvatsko narodno kazaliste u Zagrebu)
    Trg Marsala Tita 15
    10000 Zagreb
    Tel. (3851) 449-311, fax: (3851) 446-488

    Croatian Radio and Television
    (Hrvatska radio televizija)
    Prisavlje 3
    10000 Zagreb
    Tel. (3851) 515-425, fax: (3851) 510-093

    Miroslav Krleza Lexicographic Institute
    (Leksikografski zavod 'Miroslav Krleza')
    Frankopanska 26
    10000 Zagreb
    Tel. (3851) 456-244, fax: (3851) 434-948

    Museum Documentation Centre
    (Muzejsko dokumentacioni centar)
    Mesnicka 5
    10000 Zagreb
    Tel. (3851) 426-534, fax: (3851) 430-851

    National and University Library
    (Nacionalna i sveucilisna biblioteka)
    Hrvatske bratske zajednice bb
    10000 Zagreb
    Tel. (3851) 6164-002, fax: (3851) 426-676

    8.3 Associations

    Croatian Artists' Association
    (Zajednica umjetnika Hrvatske)
    Ilica 42
    10000 Zagreb
    Tel. (3851) 426-509

    Croatian Association of People's and Open Universities
    (Hrvatska zajednica narodnih i otvorenih sveucilista)
    Vojnoviceva 42
    10000 Zagreb
    Tel/fax: (3851) 412-539

    Croatian Filmmakers' Society
    (Drustvo hrvatskih filmskih radnika)
    Britanski trg 12
    10000 Zagreb
    Tel. (3851) 426-428

    Croatian Musicians Society
    (Hrvatsko drustvo glazbenih umjetnika)
    Ilica 42
    10000 Zagreb
    Tel. (3851) 430-709

    Croatian Composers' Society
    (Hrvatsko drustvo skladatelja)
    Berislaviceva 9
    10000 Zagreb
    Tel. (3851) 422-850

    Croatian Writers Union
    (Drustvo hrvatskih knjizevnika)
    Trg bana Josipa Jelacica 7
    10000 Zagreb
    Tel. (3851) 274-211, fax: (38541) 434-790

    Trade Association of Croatian Publishers and Booksellers
    (Poslovna zajednica izdavaca i knjizara Hrvatske)
    Klaiceva 7
    10000 Zagreb
    Tel. (3851) 171-367, fax: (3851) 171-624

    9. SOURCES

    Cultural Policy of the Republic of Croatia - National Report, eds. Biserka Cvjeticanin and Vjeran Katunaric, IMO/Council of Europe, Strasbourg, 1997, 294 pp.


    * This monograph was compiled by Pavle Schramadei in 1998, from the materials presented in the study 'Cultural Policy of the Republic of Croatia - National Report', written for Council of Europe's Cultural Committee: European Programme of National Cultural Policy Reviews.