Creating our own projects and producing them well doesn’t only depend on the sole act of producing and working on the project. If and when we gain a wider knowledge of the cultural politics and where we fit in the system – producing, and long-term planning will become much easier as well – you will have a better perspective, a better understanding of your environment and what can be done and how, so everything comes much more easily.
In Second Yugoslavia (socialist country on the territory where Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Montenegro and Macedonia now stand, existed from 1946 to 1992), the whole society functioned through the public sector which was the bearer of the society, and the state took care of the citizens in all areas and levels. The idea of socialist solidarity and aid was encouraged, and the responsibility was taken by the state, not the individual.
The private sector after World War II was undesirable, completely marginalized.
Civil society (where non-profits belong) did not exist. The system knew “groups of citizens” in certain areas, but formally and legally, there was no civil society under socialism.
In the early 1980s, the Croatian public began to encounter organizations such as Greenpeace, which fought for environmental goals, and the voice of individuals advocating for group rights grew stronger. In this group, for example, in Croatia, the bearers of feminist ideas stood out.
Although many citizens (roughly) know the differences between individual sectors, most are not familiar with the types of civil society organizations in which and through which they can operate and through their own participation influence changes in the system from the bottom up.
To make it easier to understand the functioning of society, I bring the basic features of each individual sector.
• The public sector includes institutions that are fundamental policymakers. They operate through highly branched structures. The public sector usually consists of parliament and government, ministries, their bodies and professional services, and public institutions. The latter are established for the permanent performance of activities of education, science, culture, information, technical culture, sports culture, child care, health, social care, care for people with disabilities and other activities that are not performed for profit (of course this depends from country to country, not everywhere is health care in public sector for example). The founders of institutions in the public sector can be local and regional self-government units.
• The private sector includes organizations established for profit. This type of organization includes companies and joint-stock companies.
Third sector (civil)
• The third sector (civil sector, non-profit sector, civil society organizations, non-governmental organizations or NGOs) emerged when citizens found that there were cracks in the system, that the public sector did not care enough about their needs at different levels.
Civil society organizations
Civil society organizations are divided into five (5) different types, depending on the type of common interest:
1. Associations dealing with the PERSONAL INTERESTS OF INDIVIDUALS. This group includes citizens’ associations through which individuals meet their personal needs (hobby associations)
2. Associations dealing with the COMMON INTEREST. In this group, veterans’ associations are the most numerous in Croatia for example, and there are also numerous associations for people suffering from certain diseases. There are also activist associations and social movements that defend the PUBLIC interest.
3. Professional, class organizations such as associations of artists, librarians, professors, doctors and so on. Membership in this type of association is limited to citizens who must meet certain conditions or criteria.
4. Associations that function as artistic organizations. In the Croatian system, these types of organizations, unlike other types of associations that are established for the purpose of protecting profits and protecting rights, PERFORM ACTIVITIES, and are registered under a special law. Three founders are needed to establish associations, and two artists who are members of some of the 30 certified professional art associations in the Republic of Croatia are needed to establish an art organization. How this
5. Foundations. There are 2 types of foundations. 1st one is where a foundation is an asset that itself, or the income it acquires, permanently serves the realization of some public benefit or charitable purpose. The 2nd type are established for a certain period of time, up to a maximum of 5 years.
By raising awareness of the importance of one’s own role in building society, it also strengthens civil society.
The civil sector guarantees, protects and enables the right of free association of people around common interests (Dragojević, 2006), and raises the overall quality of life.