Association of Cities is the national organization of local authorities in Croatia, gathering 125 out of 128 cities of all sizes (and representing more than 2/3 of total Croatian population) with the purpose of strengthening the position and quality of local government. It was established in 2002. in Zagreb with the objective of advocating for joint interests of cities and further decentralization of authorities and finances; and encouraging cooperation among local governments. Main activities of the Association of Cities include assessment of effects of laws and bylaws on local government; drafting proposals of new laws and lobbying for legislative changes of importance for cities; counseling of members; monitoring work of Croatian Parliament, Croatian Government and all respective ministries; organizing public discussions on topics of joint interest for the cities; and promoting cooperation among cities in Croatia as well as with their international counterparts.
ACRC conducts various researches and analyses related to the local self-government while closely cooperating with administration in all cities. On yearly basis, the Association organizes conferences, seminars and workshops for local officials and administration to exchange their experiences and receive contemporary knowledge and trends (Meeting of Mayors and Entrepreneurs, EU funding opportunities).
In order to encourage networking of its members with European peers, ACRC cooperates with European institutions of local and regional authorities, national associations of local governments in other countries and other CSO and developing partners. From 2012 the ACRC’s office is tasked with coordinating Croatian national delegation to the European Committee of the Regions.
ACRC is involved in establishing a functional database on different and broad aspects of Croatian local self-government system: local budgets, financial management, demographic, spatial and geographic information.