Since its independence, Croatia has been a member of the Council of Europe, and has participated in its numerous activities and projects.
The country became a full member of the EU in July 2013.
EU pre-accession instruments of financial assistance (IPA; CARDS and PHARE) were and are used for projects with a cultural component and carried out by local organisations. These projects were primarily oriented towards cultural heritage and cultural tourism (such as CRAFTATTRACT, Tourist Cultural Centre-TCIC, Pannonian palette, etc.).
In June 2007, the Memorandum of Understanding with European Communities was signed, which made Croatia a full member of the EU Culture 2007-2013 programme. The Ministry of Culture published by-laws, introducing rules for co-financing of Croatian participants in the Culture 2007-2013 programme (last amendments in 2014), with the aim to stimulate applications in the first period of the Croatian participation in the Programme. In addition, the Cultural Contact Point (CCP) Department (now Service) has been established and hosted by the Ministry of Culture. Due to the change of the Programme and the part of its purview it is now called Service for Cultural and Creative Industries-Creative Europe Desk – Culture Sub-programme. Croatia has been rather successful in drawing funding in the field of culture since its’ first application; in 2009 Croatia drew 1.71 times more funding than membership paid while in 2010 this amount increased 6 times the membership paid, and this trend remained in 2011. According to the partial data from the Ministry of Culture in 2012, Croatia drew 1 193 409 EUR funding from the Culture Programme. Until September 2013 this funding amounted to 612 058 EUR, while in 2014 the amount was between 1 300 000 and 1 500 000 EUR funding for the projects running in the following two to four years. This trend continued in 2015 with the results from the October 2015 Call showing the funding secured for Croatian partners in the amount of 361 211 EUR for smaller projects and 511 112 EUR for bigger projects.
In 2008, the Memorandum of Understanding with European Communities on the Croatian participation in the MEDIA 2007 Programme has been signed and Croatia has established a Media Desk within the Croatian Audiovisual Centre (see chapter 1.2.2), that is now called Creative Europe Desk – MEDIA Sub-programme. A number of projects and cultural organisations (e.g. Motovun film festival, Animafest, ZagrebDOX, Živa d.o.o., Studio dim d.o.o. etc.), have received funding through the MEDIA programme. Croatia was also very successful in the MEDIA 2007 programme; according to data from the MEDIA Desk, from 2008-2015, Croatian organizations drew 3,3 million EUR of funding.
Croatia is an active member of UNESCO and participates in a number of projects initiated and supported by this organisation. In accordance with the international agreement signed between UNESCO and the Republic of Croatia, the International Centre for Underwater Archaeology was founded in Zadar in 2007 with the aim to enhance cooperation in preservation and promotion of the underwater cultural heritage of Croatia, South East Europe and the Mediterranean. The Service for UNESCO at the Ministry of Culture coordinates the work of the National Commission for UNESCO; cooperates with responsible ministries in implementing normative instruments, regularly manages calls for UNESCO Participation programme, awards stipends for Women in Science etc.
The Ministry of Culture actively participates in the work of different international networks such as the International Federation of Arts Councils and Agencies (IFACCA), Forum of Slavic Cultures and others.