4.2.3 Cultural/creative industries: policies and programmes
There is no overall legal framework to specifically promote and develop the cultural / creative industries. The legal provisions that affect cultural industries refer to specific cultural sectors (book production, music, films, etc.) and to economic sectors, e.g., small entrepreneurship, activities of transnational media corporations in Croatia, etc.
The cultural industries in Croatia have not been recognised as a specialised field of cultural development. They are identified within the established cultural creativity areas like music, film, audiovisual, etc. and supported through regular subsidies of the Ministry of Culture and local communities. In October 2008 the first attempt to support cultural industries as a specialised field of cultural production was launched by the Ministry of Culture, in cooperation with the former Ministry of Economy, Labour and Entrepreneurship. The competition for funds to cover the costs of technological equipment, administrative and office expenses etc. was opened and over 450 cultural entrepreneurs applied to the call. Two million HRK (approx. 280 000 EUR) were distributed to over 70 cultural companies, organisations and freelance artists in the first year of the project and four million HRK (approx. 560 000 EUR) in 2009. The same amount was allocated in 2010 (136 projects supported), in 2011 (128 projects selected for this year) and in 2012 (90 projects selected).
The government, and in some cases local and regional authorities, are subsidising book production, music production and the recording and film industries (see chapter 5.3.6). The former government introduced several innovations as a consequence of this proposed 2004 reform, such as bursaries for writers and translators and fixed book price regulations in the form of an Agreement between publishers and relevant ministries. New legislation regarding audiovisual activities was put into force in 2007 and 2011.
The cultural industries are statistically not transparent nor are they perceived, by the public, as a profit-driven sector. However, some sectors such as publishing or film and music distribution and production are almost entirely privatised and generate funds from a variety of sources including public funding, sponsorship but also direct investment and their own income. The products of domestic cultural industries are mostly distributed and consumed in the domestic market with the exception of pop-music and soap-operas, which are successfully exported throughout the region. Films also find their way to international audiences (mainly through festivals) and there are a few writers whose works are translated and distributed internationally. Liberalisation of the audio-visual market and the presence of private broadcasters on the Croatian market will, to a certain extent, boost the domestic audio-visual production which includes both the advertising sector but also independent productions (mostly entertainment programmes).
Lack of appropriate statistics for this sector makes it impossible to assess the turnover or employment figures for most culture industries in Croatia, but it is evident that employment in the sector has been growing constantly in the period 1998-2008, as shown in Jurlin (2008: 127-128) (see chapter 9.1).
The new government announced stronger support for cultural and creative industries in its mandate. New legislation regarding book policy and audiovisual activities have been announced.