For many years, the City of Rijeka has been continuously encouraging the development of civil society, namely cooperation with non-governmental organisations and other forms of free citizen association.
To that end, the City Office, on the initiative of the associations Ri-centar, the youth association “Korak ispred”, SMART, Gong, and Spirit, with professional support from USAID – Urban Institute, based on the Cooperation Programme of the Government of the Republic of Croatia and the non-governmental and non-profit sector, has drawn up the Cooperation Charter signed between the City of Rijeka and the non-governmental and non-profit sector (Official Gazette of the Primorje – Gorski Kotar County No 37/04).
The key goal of the Cooperation Chapter signed between the City of Rijeka and the non-governmental and non-profit sector envisages providing further support to the non-profit sector as a necessary presumption for society democratisation and improving civil society by setting up a cooperation framework between the City of Rijeka and associations as well a framework for financing the associations’ activities, projects and programmes.
For its Cooperation Charter relating to cooperation between the City of Rijeka and the non-governmental and non-profit sector, the City of Rijeka was awarded a prize by the Civil Society Development Foundation as an example of good practice in cooperation between the public and non-profit sectors.
The Foundation of the University of Rijeka , established in 2003, also operates in Rijeka as an independent non-profit organisation, separated from the University of Rijeka, and yet integrated in its goals and programmes and responsible for their realisation – primarily for the development of the University of Rijeka. The founders of the Foundation are the University of Rijeka, the City of Rijeka and the Primorje – Gorski Kotar County.
The City of Rijeka publishes annually many tenders in which civil society organisations can take part. Pursuant to law, tenders are published with the aim of satisfying the public needs of citizens in the fields of culture, sports and technical culture, albeit the fact that there is no legal obligation for this, the City of Rijeka publishes tenders based on which it assigns small subsidies to associations (City Office), it finances projects in the fields of health protection and social welfare (Department of Health and Social Welfare) and puts in order smaller public spaces (Local Partnership Programme of the City of Rijeka).
Apart from financial assistance, the City of Rijeka, through its competent departments of municipal administration provides also technical support to associations, in terms of letting the associations the premises owned by the City of Rijeka free of charge (e.g. the City Hall, sports facilities etc.), and allowing them to use sports accessories, IT equipment or a car owned by the City of Rijeka for transport needs etc.