2.1 Main features of the current cultural policy model
In Armenia, cultural policy is directed at the preservation, presentation, and spreading of the national traditional system of values; at the development of citizens in the newly independent state and the cultural environment; at the enhancement of the social-psychological atmosphere of society; and is also aimed at ensuring the national security of the state. The main goal of the state in this field is to ensure the rights of its citizens to carry out cultural activities, to enjoy cultural services and cultural fruits, to ensure their availability, as well as the recreation and development of the cultural potential of the society. Today, cultural policy in Armenia is being adjusted to consider new economic relations; a culture management model, a balance of market mechanisms and state guarantees is being formed. However, cultural policy still remains fairly centralised even though in 1995, after the adoption of the Constitution, the process of decentralisation in the cultural field was started (see chapter 7.1 for more details).
As a result of decentralisation, 1 586 cultural organisations (cultural houses, libraries, music and art schools, and theatre and concert organisations) have fallen under the jurisdiction of local-self-government bodies. However, there are a number of gaps in the decentralisation policy that was implemented: the legislative field was incomplete, the framework of authorities of bodies and officials in the management system was not specified, there was no general personnel policy (the laws that defined it – the Laws on Cultural Legislation and Law on Local Self-Government – were adopted in 2002), as a result of which the communities faced difficulties in the organisation of the activities of the cultural organisations. With this in mind, the Ministry of Culture implemented a number of programmes providing state assistance to the Marzes and communities and conducted a number of activities that were aimed at, by continuing the decentralisation policy, ensuring the necessary legislative framework and at providing organisational assistance. The Government Programme on Culture Development in the Marzes aimed to provide solutions for the main concerns (improvement of the management system, the availability of cultural services, the possibility to carry out cultural activities, the ability to receive a cultural education etc.). Today's main issue is to help the local self-government authorities to implement their plans in the cultural field, bearing in mind the importance of direct participation of communities in the organisation process of cultural life. Major changes in the cultural policy of the Marzes are not envisaged.