The policy instruments for the book industry are engrained within the yearly public calls of the Ministry of Culture and Media, which are oriented to supporting programmes and projects in book production, distribution and consumption. The Ministry also opens yearly public calls oriented to enhancing literary creativity in the forms of stipends for writers as well as financial stimulation in the form of grants for authors of lauded published works in literature. It also secures funding so that the public lending rights for authors (including writers, translators and illustrations) can be met on a yearly basis, which are enforced through the HDS-ZAMP service since 2015 (see chapter 7.2.2.)
The main strategic document in this field is the National Strategy for Promotion of Reading (2017-2022) that was adopted in November 2017. The thee key strategic goals are: (1) establishing an effective social framework to support reading; (2) developing reading literacy and encouraging readers to read actively and critically and (3) increasing the availability of books and other reading materials. The Strategy is currently being implemented through its adjacent Action Plan (2017-2022), which is supported through the work and financing of the Ministry of Culture and Media, Ministry of Science and Education but also through additional planned funding through projects financed by the European Social Fund (ESF). During 2020, a new ESF call was prepared and opened in December, entitled ‘Through Reading to Social Inclusion’ with a total fund of 41 million HRK (5 466 666 EUR). However, there are critiques from the cultural sector on the inadequately developed measures and slow implementation of the Strategy.
One of the major recent developments and discussions on the policy instruments in the book sector occurred during 2018 when the Ministry of Culture and Media opened public discussion on the new model of support for the publishing industry. The new support model is oriented to supporting programmes of the applicant publishing houses rather than supporting specific book titles. Following the public discussion, amendments to the new model have been implemented in the public call. During 2020 the main discussions in the sector were related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the measures that are necessary for the survival of the sector that has been severely influenced by the crisis. Following the epidemiological measures, libraries and bookstores remained opened most of the year, while a number of publishers, as well as bookstores, have enhanced their online web stores. Most of the activities of different book festivals and manifestations (even the biggest publishing fair Interliber) shifted online during 2020.