The main measure related to supporting artistic production is defined through providing the social security measures for freelance artists. In comparison with other workers they have the right to retirement and disability insurance and to health insurance according to relevant legislation (see chapter 4.1.3). The status of independent artist entitled to support from the budget remains one of the burning issues in Croatia where an overall reform of the system is needed, especially taking into account that the existing system is not harmonised with the relevant Croatian legislation (especially labour and pension laws as well as with strengthened rules on fiscal and financial discipline). This has continued to be a hot issue of discussion and the changes in the legislation were announced several times in the last couple of years but are still not agreed between the professional community and the legislator.
Research data shows that the position of artists as well as other cultural workers is still rather precarious in Croatia, whether we are talking about those working in cultural industries or those working in civil society organisations in arts and culture (Primorac et al 2020). The situation differs from subsector to subsector, but the fragility of the professional life of artists and cultural workers due to the project-to-project type of work has proven to be a crucial problem. The Ministry of Culture and Media has tried to bridge this problem in the last couple of years by introducing additional measures in the form of special calls oriented to supporting the work of writers, translators and visual artists (see chapter 7.2.2). In addition, within the Programme for Cultural Entrepreneurship (now: Programme for Cultural and Creative Industries) it provides support for stimulating employment in this sector (see chapter 3.5). The Kultura nova Foundation, dedicated to civil society organisations in culture and arts, provides support for organisations and their workers and also has special measures that support artistic research. The Foundation has also executed research on the position of workers in its sector in 2016 that showed the precarious working conditions, which was the stimulus for some of their, above mentioned, policy measures (Barada et al 2016).
The union of workers employed in the cultural sector (HSDK) covers workers in cultural institutions and the Ministry of Culture and Media, while including freelance artists as well. However, there is a division between them and workers in cultural industries and civil society organisations in arts and culture that do not have unionised representation. Selected sector-specific professional associations cover some labour- rights related issues but this is still not enough to create an adequate framework for enhancing a better social situation for artists and cultural professionals. New actors and initiatives have emerged in the last couple of years that explicitly advocate around the issues of social and economic rights of artists and cultural workers (see chapter 4.1.5), but there is still a lot work to be done.
The mobility of artists and cultural professionals around the world is encouraged through the financing of international cultural cooperation throughout the years (see chapter 1.4). During the course of the years through different private initiatives and international projects a number of residencies have been developed within the country for foreign and domestic artists as well.