The legislation has acknowledged the special status of freelance artists in comparison with other workers. They have the right to retirement and disability insurance and to health insurance. Contributions are paid from the state budget (see also chapter 4.3). The Croatian Freelance Artists Association (HZSU) encourages and promotes creative work and public activity in culture and the arts, and it represents freelance artists’ common interests, so as to help them achieve their goals and to protect their rights. A freelance artist becomes a member of the Association on the basis of his or her creative work and so can apply to have his or her contributions paid from the National Budget, as long as he or she meets the criteria laid down in the Regulations about the procedures and conditions for the recognition of the rights of artists to have their retirement, disability and medical insurance paid out of the national budget of the Republic of Croatia. Applications by the artists are considered by the Expert Commission, and decisions are subsequently confirmed by the Minister of Culture. When the Expert Commission has made a favourable decision, the Croatian Association of Freelance Artists registers the freelance artist with the Croatian Institute for Retirement Insurance and the Croatian Institute for Health Insurance according to an artist’s place of residence. There are 30 arts associations which appoint their members to the expert commissions (list available at: http://hr.hzsu.hr/Struktura-WEB-a/Glavna-navigacija/Umjetnicke-udruge).
According to the data provided by the Ministry and the Croatian Freelance Artists’ Association (HZSU), through the implementation of the measure approx. 1 200-1 300 freelance artists are supported on a yearly basis. The fund for this measure is approx. 5 468 750 USD yearly.