At the initiative and the organization of the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, a meeting between the presidents and secretaries of the County Assemblies was held in Novi Vinodolski on 7th April 2001. The impetus for this meeting was the need to consider the establishment of an institutional cooperation between Croatian counties, especially in light of the new legal provisions that refer to the establishment of a National Association of Counties.
The meeting reviewed the draft founding document – Agreement for the Establishment of a National Association of Croatian Counties – prepared by the Secretariat of the Osijek-Baranja County. Based on this initiative, it was agreed that in the period after the elections for representative bodies, consultations would continue in order to complete the preparation for and the establishment of this association. The function of Steering Committee was entrusted to the representatives of the host county of the meeting in Novi Vinodolski (Primorje-Gorski kotar County) and to the county representatives of Osijek (Osijek-Baranja County).
Based on this conclusion/outcome, the necessary documents for the establishment of the National Association of Counties of the Republic of Croatia were drawn up. /finalized/prepared. The impetus for this initiative was provided by the newly introduced Local and Regional Self-Government Act. Consequently, procedures for reviewing and harmonizing the standpoints of potential members were established. A draft agreement on the establishment of the association was accepted. Once the agreement had been accepted, it was distributed to all Croatian counties for adoption.
According to Article 7, this Agreement shall be deemed concluded when it is accepted by more than half the counties in the Republic of Croatia, that is 11 of the 20 counties. Having confirmed this fact, the Steering Committee for the Establishment of the Association, as stated within Article 9 of the Agreement, is authorized to convene a constituent session of the Association’s Assembly.
By the time the constitutive session of the Assembly was convened, the decision to accept the Agreement on the Establishment of the Croatian County Association was issued by a total of eleven counties, namely the Counties of:
1. Dubrovnik-Neretva County,
2. Istria County,
3. Karlovac County,
4. Lika-Senj County,
5. Međimurje County,
6. Osijek-Baranja County,
7. Požega-Slavonia County,
8. Primorje-Gorski kotar County,
9. Virovitica-Podravina County,
10. Vukovar-Srijem County and
11. Zadar County.
Upon fulfillment of the conditions of the stipulated Agreement, the Steering Committee convened a constituent session of the Association’s Assembly, which took place in Osijek on 16th May 2003.
The inaugural session of the Assembly was preceded by a ceremony of signing the Agreement on the Establishment of the Croatian County Association. By signing the agreement, the signatories confirmed their acceptance, which fulfilled the condition in Article 7. During the inaugural session, the guidelines for the Croatian County Association’s programme of work were discussed as were those for a plan of action pertaining to the establishment of the Croatian County Association. Thereafter, the president and members of the Executive Board of the Croatian County Association were elected.
Subsequently, the following counties also joined the Association:
1. Krapina-Zagorje County,
2. Split-Dalmatia County,
3. Zagreb County.
On 29th May 2004, the first regular sitting of the Assembly of the Croatian County Association was held, starting at 9:30am in the Congress Hall of Hotel Ambasador. The sitting was attended by representatives of all fourteen-member counties of the Association, that is 31 of the 42 members of the Association’s Assembly. The session adopted the Statute of the Croatian County Association and other by-laws. With the adoption the Statute of the Association, the Association is expected to become a legal entity by the end of this year, by being registered as an association.
After the Assembly’s session in May 2004, on decision of its County Assemblies, the following counties became members of the Association:
1. Bjelovar-Bilogora County,
2. Brod-Posavina County,
3. Koprivnica-Križevci County and
4. Varaždin County.
In 2005, the following counties also joined the Association:
1. Sisak-Moslavina County and
2. Šibenik-Knin County.
In 2015, The City of Zagreb became 21st member of Croatian County Association.