The “Strategy of Cultural Development – Croatia in the 21st Century”, drawn up in co-operation between the Ministry of Culture and a team of independent experts and accepted in the Croatian Parliament in early 2002, gave a detailed presentation of these goals and the necessary instruments to achieve them. One of the key goals of the Cultural Development Strategy has been the democratisation of culture, intended to increase active participation in culture and to popularise art and culture in schools and through the media. However, since then no action plans were made in order to implement the adopted strategy. The Cultural Development Strategy (Cvjetičanin and Katunarić (eds) 2001) defines culture as follows: “All forms of intellectual and artistic expression of symbolic social identity, belonging, behaviour and customs, and such industrial products, including the media, produced for spending leisure and shaping people’s attitudes”.
This strategy emphasises the importance of culture for Croatia and elaborates 14 different concepts, all focusing on “culturally sustainable development”. In other words, the “development of human interests and activities that will progressively decrease the drain on natural reserves and the existing capacities of the infrastructure and settled areas, and will at the same time use art, science, education, and cultural games and customs to encourage the enjoyment of values that stimulate closeness among people”.
A new cultural development strategy is currently in preparation by the Ministry of Culture and Media that needs to be in line with the overall National Development Strategy 2030, which was presented by the government in 2020. The Cultural Strategy will be based on a detailed analysis of the conditions of the cultural sector that is executed by over twenty cultural professionals and researchers and is currently being finalised within the auspices of the Ministry of Culture and Media. This will then be the basis for opening up discussion on the issue of cultural sustainability in the wider professional community and general public that has been rather neglected in the last twenty years.