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Croatia/ 7. Public institutions in cultural infrastructure  

7.3 Status and partnerships of public cultural institutions

In 2000, several laws were changed and amended to reflect the intentions (of the then new government) to embark on a process of decentralising responsibility for culture. The right to appoint and approve directors and to found a public institution has been transferred from the state to the counties, towns and municipalities. Public cultural institutions are now usually founded by the state, towns, more rarely by counties, and sometimes by the wealthier municipalities.

The status and number of state-owned institutions has remained almost unchanged. The legislation in force prescribes that every decision to close an institution must be approved by the Ministry of Culture; a provision to preserve the existing level of cultural infrastructure.

Since November 2006, income tax is no longer collected in the cities where companies have their headquarters (mostly in the capital city of Zagreb) but rather in the cities where the income is being made. The announcement of the lowering of income tax in 2015 could further influence the decrease of funding for local government, but there is not enough data to assess the current situation.

An interesting example of a hybrid cultural institution is POGON – Centre for Independent Culture and Youth, Zagreb, which is based on a new model of public-civil partnership. Pogon's founders are the Alliance Operation City and the City of Zagreb which is the main funder of the institution. In collaboration with the network of NGOs and the Foundation ‘Kultura Nova’ the Ministry of Culture has applied to the European Social Fund with the project of the development of socio-cultural centres in several Croatian cities inspired partly by the successful example of POGON.

A more significant contribution to recent culture funding comes from donations and sponsorship, particularly of large companies such as Adris, T-HT, VIPnet, B-net, and banks (e.g. ERSTE Bank Croatia, Zagreba─Źka banka, etc.). The precise amounts and / or indication of trends cannot, however, be given due to the lack of statistical data. These contributions are given mostly on a project basis and in many cases in-kind. It has to be noted that since 2010 the funds have narrowed down, as a consequence of the global recession and the same trend persists in 2013 and 2014.

There was a significant increase in the number of cultural festivals and manifestations in the last two decades. Alongside traditional festivals and events new partnerships emerged. Several large international cultural events that have a long tradition are: Dubrovnik Summer Festival; Animafest – festival of animation (established over 40 years ago as a biennale, and since 2005 is functioning as an annual event); International Children's Festival Šibenik that celebrated its 55th anniversary in 2015; Vinkovci Autumn folklore event established in 1974, the International Festival of New Theatre – EUROKAZ (since 1987 until 2013), Dance Week Festival (since 1984), Music Biennale since 1961, etc. Some of these traditional events established themselves as cultural institutions. New partnerships forged from private and public funds have resulted in important new cultural events that have established themselves on the international scene, such as: Motovun film festival, Zagreb film festival, Dance and Non-verbal Festival San Vincenti, Split Film festival, Urban Festival.

Chapter published: 04-05-2017

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