NEWSLETTER No. 26 / January 2014 

Dear Compendium friends / chers amis du Compendium / Liebe Compendium-Freunde,

As customary, our Newsletter presents new content, elements and features of the "Compendium" Edited by the Council of Europe Secretariat and the European Institute for Comparative Cultural Research (ERICarts), this information and monitoring system provides key facts about cultural governance issues and trends in Europe – now operable in three languages (English, français, deutsch).

Many thanks especially to our long term supporters who continue to encourage us with feedback and through using the Compendium as their preferred information and research tool!
Your / votre / Ihr Compendium Team!

 Culture and Democracy in the Digital Era Assembly of Compendium Experts in Vienna

The Compendium community and the Council of Europe thanked the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture as a host and the Österreichische Kulturdokumentation for its wonderful organisation of the 12th Assembly of Compendium Experts which provided an opportunity to celebrate the 15th Compendium anniversary.

Thanks went also to all panellists and participants for their active and vitalising contributions and insights during the meetings held on the 12-13 December 2013.

A Public Forum regrouping around 100 cultural policy makers, experts and practitioners from all over Europe was devoted to the topic "Culture and Democracy in the Digital Era - Hopes and Threats" which highlighted the importance of appropriate conditions for cultural creation, innovation, and dissemination in the digital era, while considering the largest possible cultural access and participation.

The results of the seminar and public forum will be fed back into the work process on the implementation of the Moscow Action Plan.

In this context and as a next step, the Compendium community will develop a new Themes! section on Culture in the digital era in the Compendium in order to motivate experts, governments and users of the platform to be active in this respect.  

More information is available on the Compendium homepage as well as on its Facebook / LinkedIn extensions.

 Compendium welcomes Cyprus!

In December 2013 a national cultural policy profile of Cyprus was submitted to the Compendium editors which should soon be available on the Compendium website. Cyprus is the 43rd country which is represented in the Compendium with a national cultural policy profile.

Bosnia and Herzegovina also plans to deliver their first national cultural policy profile and preparations for new profiles are to start in 2014 in Turkey, Belarus and Luxembourg.
The number of country profiles will then grow to 46.

 New Cultural Policy Actor

The cultural policy and creative industries expert, Ragnar Siil, who has experience in both national policymaking and international cooperation has been nominated as the new “Cultural Policy Actor in Focus” on the Compendium homepage.

 Comparative table analysing policies regarding Intercultural Dialogue

In the context of a task for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Compendium editor Andreas Wiesand has developed two updated comparative tables which concentrates on "Selected Cultural Diversity and Intercultural Dialogue Policies in Different Sectors" and on "Challenges to Cultural Diversity and Intercultural Dialogue Policies" which underline the importance as well as the challenges of this field in cultural policy.
Comments are most welcome!

 New Table on Cultural Participation

In the context of our Themes section on Cultural Access & Participation, a new comparative Compendium table has been created.
The table on Cultural Participation Surveys in Selected European Countries (2000-2012) listing representative, interview-based surveys was developed in order to provide answers to the question, whether European countries have an appropriate survey basis for adequate collection of cultural participation data.

The National Profiles of Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Monaco and the "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" were recently updated.  Selected highlights:

A "Law on Architectural Activities" was developed in 2012 and currently is going through the consultation process prior to being sent to the National Assembly.
State expenditure for culture, leisure and religion has increased in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
In recent years, civil society in Armenia has become much more active in the form of citizens' initiatives and public advocacy groups which are influencing cultural development.
An artists' guide on mobility issues for foreign creators of culture and event organisers in Austria was published in 2013.
Austria is involved in the strategy to develop the Danube region including culture and tourism.
Target standards for public libraries have been developed and the libraries' subsidy more than tripled.
Investment in federal museums up until 2013 will see investment of EUR 51.5 million.
New pilot programme funds innovative projects between SMEs and partner creative industries.
Copyright "content duties" or a "cultural flat-rate" as a duty on Internet connections are under discussion.
The Ministry of Culture and Tourism has declared its cultural objectives as: heritage, library and museum systems, supporting creativity in the theatre, music and fine arts fields, national cinematography and book publishing.
A new Law on Culture considers culture as "a set of features that defines material, moral, intellectual and emotional peculiarities, including literature and arts, of society or social groups, covers the people lifestyle, the co-existence rules and a system of moral values".
The Eighth session of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage was held in Baku in December 2013.
The Second Baku World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue on the subject of "Living Together Peacefully in a Diverse World" was held in June 2013.
Amendments to the Law of Cultural Councils introduced changes to the jurisdiction and the number of councils and may allow municipalities with more than 20 000 inhabitants to establish cultural councils.
New changes to the Draft Law on Retirement Benefits and Health Insurance in the Cultural Sector are expected at the end of 2013.
The Theatre Law came into force in September 2013, introducing changes in appointing the commissary of the National Theatre in Zagreb and in the establishment of the new National Theatre in Varaždin.
The tax rate on books and cinema tickets changed from 0% to 5% when Croatia joined the EU in July 2013
Cooperation between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities will be enhanced with the publication of a bilingual anthology of short stories written by Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot writers, forthcoming in 2013 through the initiative of the Letters section of the Ministry.
Formulation of a five-year action plan for cultural development is among the policy objectives of the current government.
For 2014 the completion of a study for the Creation of a Unified Authority for Culture is foreseen which also proposes the implementation of structural reforms.
A separate Ministry of Culture and Sport was created in 2012, with a trend towards mainstreaming and rationalisation in public investments in the arts and culture.
The New Greek Radio, Internet and Television state corporation started operating in 2013 after long-standing failure of reform by its predecessor.
Visitors numbers to museums and sites in Greece have taken a favourable turn in 2012 and 2013 due to increased tourism.

The whole media sector in Greece is undergoing a significant crisis leading to closure of newspapers, magazines and TV and radio stations, redundancies, and a decrease in the cultural content and quality of productions.

Answering Your Questions

Contact the Compendium Editors for general editorial questions and comments:

Kathrin Merkle, Council of Europe
Andreas Wiesand, ERICarts Institute

Contact the Coordinators for specific content questions and comments:
Giuliana de Francesco, Council of Europe
Olivier Göbel, ERICarts Institute

Contact the Web Master with your technical questions:
Joerg Torkler, Medianale Group

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