Culture and regional development policy
The main goal of the Regional Development Policy of the Republic of Croatia is to contribute to economic growth and development of the Republic of Croatia, in accordance with the principles of sustainable development by creating conditions that will make possible for all the regions of the country to strengthen competitiveness and realize their development potential. The aforesaid goal is formulated in the 2009 Law on Regional Development stipulating the goals and principles of managing regional development of the Republic of Croatia, planning documents, bodies in charge of regional development management, assessment of the degree of development of local and regional self-government units and reporting on the implementation of the regional development policy. Planning documents of the regional development policy are the Regional Development Strategy of the Republic of Croatia and County development strategies, and the development strategy for the City of Zagreb. The Regional Development Strategy of the Republic of Croatia was adopted for the period 2011-2013 and includes three strategie objectives:
- development of the Counties and statistical regions;
- development of subsidised areas and;
- development of border regions.
The purpose under the strategic goal of development of the Counties and statistical regions is to better connect local and regional development needs to national development priorities, which will be achieved by development planning and management at the level of statistical regions (NUTS 2) and County level (NUTS 3).
Culture as a development priority in the Regional Development Strategy of the Republic of Croatia is acknowledged both at the level of statistical regions and at County level:
1. Priorities of statistical regions:
- North-western Croatia. - One of the five priorities is the Sustainable management of cultural assets and natural resources which includes two measures: Development of tourism and supporting infrastructure, and Valorisation and revitalization of cultural assets and natural values. As the measure Furthering the educational system of experts for sustainable management of cultural assets and natural values, culture is also recognized in the priority lncreasing competitiveness by strengthening regional capacities.
- Pannonian Croatia. - As a part of the priority the Development of regional infrastructure, culture is included in the measure Social, educational, cultural and medical infrastructure.
- The Adriatic Croatia - Sustainable management of natural and cultural assets in order to strengthen the competitiveness of the region is the first priority of development of the Adriatic Croatia, which includes these measures: development of selective forms of tourism, diversification of services and expansion of touristic offer as weill as improving the quality of existing facilities and construction of new accommodation capacities and supporting facilities; sustainable development of protected areas; sustainable management of natural resources; valorisation and revitalization of cultural and natural heritage.
2. County priorities - The main planning document for sustainable socio-economic development of each regional self-government unit defining the main development directions (goals and priorities) of regional self-government units is the County Development Strategy. lts main goal is to achieve a consensus between all relevant national, regional and local partners on the developmental needs of the County (related to economic development, employment and education, infrastructure, environment, local, urban and rural development, tackling poverty and social exclusion issues) and to serve as a basis for negotiations, coordination and financing of activities defined by the strategy. The Rulebook on mandatory content, development methodology and evaluation modality for County development strategies requires for each County development strategy to be based on status analysis/assessment containing the most important development characteristics, development trends, development problems and development needs of the County in the field of natural resources, public utility infrastructure, environmental protection, economy, business and technology infrastructure, labour market, social services (education, health, culture, sport, etc.) and development management. The result of the Regional Development Strategy of the Republic of Croatia is th at all 20 Croatian Counties have completed their 2011 to 2013 County development strategies for the period in which culture found its developmental space - its strategie goals and priorities, measures and activities and development indicators. When it cornes to the second strategie objective of the Regional Development Strategy of the Republic of Croatia - Development of subsidised areas - that strategie goal is aimed at providing support to all areas with socio-economic difficulties in the Republic of Croatia, in order to increase and optimally use their development potential by addressing the causes of their development problems. ln compliance with the Act on Areas of Special State Concern, the Act on Hill and Mountain Areas and the Islands Act, the state invests significant funds in the form of aid for local government budgets in subsidised areas. lt is estimated that the value of such grant aid in the areas of special state concern, mountain areas and islands amounts to approximately one billion Croatian Kuna annually. For example, in 2011 the Ministry of Culture financed 220 programmes of public needs in culture and nature conservation of islands (drama, musical and musical performing arts, information technology, investment support, literary events, library events, cultural movable and immovable assets, cultural and artistic amateurism, painting, visual and audio-visual arts, international cultural cooperation, museum and gallery activities, new media culture, book aid, nature protection) totalling 30 million Kuna, with an additional 1.5 million Kuna of investment in cultural infrastructure by the Ministry of Regional Development.