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Armenia/ 2. General objectives and principles of cultural policy  

2.1 Main features of the current cultural policy model

In Armenia cultural policy was mainly directed to the preservation and presentation of material cultural heritage. 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).

During the first decades of independence, the state cultural policy of RA was mainly aimed at the physical preservation and presentation of the tangible cultural heritage, which was considered a priority. The legislative field has been more or less regulated and fixed (based on the Law on the Basis of Cultural Legislation, the Law on the Immovable Historical and Cultural Monuments and the Protection and Use of Historical Environment, the Law on Archives, and the Law on Export and Import of Cultural Property). There has since been a cultural policy shifts toward the intangible cultural heritage, its protection, development and promotion, which has become one of the most important areas of the cultural politics of Armenia.

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. To fill a number of gaps in the decentralisation policy, such as incomplete legislative field, poor management system, lack of internal policies (the laws that defined them – the Laws on Cultural Legislation and Law on Local Self-Government – were adopted in 2002), 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.

According to the report of the Ministry of Culture of RA the legal sector of cultural sphere is regulated on an annual basis. The cultural policy of RA is based on the principle of continuous improvement of the legal framework.

Chapter published: 22-05-2015

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