The importance of civil society development was well known in Greece, and today it is one of the main cornerstones of the preservation of democratic societies. How much citizen can actively and freely interfere with certain spheres of social activity best describes the development of a network of NGOs and foundations.
In Croatia, this number is quite high, and boasts of more than 50,000 non-governmental organisations (NGOs). According to the analysis of the NGOs in 2014, this was mostly related to sports organisations. By number, they were followed by cultural and economic NGOs.
Associations contribute to the implementation of public policies to a great extent. In Croatia, this shows a great deal in areas such as the protection of human rights and the rights of national minorities, environmental protection and nature, youth and youth activities, as well as in health policy and work with children.
There are also associations that have quite specific partnerships with the authorities. Examples are voluntary fire fighters’ organisations, which in Croatia are more than 1700, and gather about 150,000 members.
The Red Cross is still a national society with a long-standing tradition, and its purpose is to promote and realize humanitarian goals.
A national, non-profit and non-partisan association is also the Croatian Automobile Club, which includes 70 automobile clubs and more than 220,000 members. Among the activities of the Croatian Automobile Club are the information about the state of the road and technical assistance to the drivers.
When talking about national associations in Croatia, it is almost impossible not to mention the Croatian mountain rescue service, which rescues yearly domestic and foreign tourists from inaccessible mountain areas.
The number of registered foundations in Croatia is far smaller than the number of NGOs, but they are by no means negligible for the maintenance of civil society. Many important foundations contribute to education. Yet one of the most popular is the Ana Rukavina Foundation, which, after the death of journalist Ana Rukavina journalist, collects funds for the development of the Croatian Bone Marrow Donor Registry and the Public Cord Blood Bank.