COMPENDIUM CULTURAL POLICIES AND TRENDS IN EUROPE
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Austria/ 4. Current issues in cultural policy development and debate  

4.1 Main cultural policy issues and priorities

The points of emphasis in the art and culture support for the current legislative period are outlined in the government programme for the years 2013-2018.

The key aspects, objectives, challenges and mesasures are characterised as follows:

Objective: Secure art and culture in Austria long term

Challenge: Political commitment to the public funding of art and culture, to artistic freedom, to cultural diversity, and to gender equality in these areas.

Measures:

  • make basic needs-related payments to Federal museums, the Austrian National Library and "Bundestheater" or Federal Theatre (with overall politico-cultural objectives, and optimization of governance with associated monitoring); initiate an investment programme for Federal theatres and a "cultural investment account" for investing in publicly funded art and culture institutions (beyond Federal institutions) for the purposes of stimulating the economy; and examine the possibilities of extending Federal liability for permanent loans to Federal museums and of increasing the amount of liability;
  • make financial aid (donations, sponsoring) tax-deductible which is earmarked for preserving listed publicly accessible buildings, for publicly funded art and culture institutions, and for acquiring the artworks of living or contemporary artists (with a cap on the amount); and
  • modernise the protection of historic buildings and monuments (amend the Austrian Federal Act on the Conservation of Monuments/DMSG), and construct an underground storage facility for the Austrian National Library.

Objective: Priority contemporary art

Challenge: Create long-term financial parameters for artists, festivals and cultural institutions. Develop contemporary artistic creation, the art of today.

Measures:

  • fund contemporary art in a targeted way within the scope of public expenditure on art and culture;
  • prioritise regional cultural initiatives, literature, music, the visual and performing arts, film, architecture, young art, and the advancement of women in these areas; and
  • develop Austria as a film and music location: legally protect the Film-Television Agreement with at least the same amount of funding as at present; legally establish Film Location Austria (FISA); increase the proportion of Austrian film and TV productions relative to the overall production of the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF); increase the resources of the Television Fund; implement the ORF's self-commitment to supporting Austrian music; strengthen music production, music marketing, and music sales.

Objective: Develop cultural education

Challenge: Enable all people to access art and culture regardless of their social circumstances or position in society, and promote cultural participation as well as the opening-up of society.

Measures:

  • continue the policy of "Free Admission up to 19" to Federal museums and the Austrian National Library with educational initiatives for children and young people; formulate initiatives for increased cooperation between cultural and educational institutions;
  • work out an "Austrian library plan" for developing a modern nationwide library network, taking into account e-media, and push ahead withdigitalisation activities; and
  • promote educational activities on the occasion of the year of remembrance 2018 – "House of History Austria" project, and commit to restitution as well as an active culture of remembrance.

Objective: Fair pay for creative work

Challenge: Formulate an overall strategy regarding intellectual property, and improve the income situation of artists.

Measures:

  • exploit the full potential of intellectual property by developing and implementing a national strategy for intellectual property, consulting with all stakeholders and taking into account the entire range of intellectual property. Heighten the general public's awareness of copyright protection and the function of copyright. Reform copyright law and other legally relevant provisions, taking particular account of data protection as well as the interests of consumers of art and artistically creative companies operating in Austria. Bring film copyright law into line with European judicature; analyse the need for provisions relating to copyright contract law; review special provisions for digital publications of collection holdings; and
  • beef up scholarships and prizes, and make improvements in artists' social insurance.

Objective: Raise Austria's visibility internationally as a country of art and culture

Challenge: Strengthen and further develop Austria's reputation and international positioning as a country of art and culture.

Measures:

  • increase the mobility of artists and bolster cultural exchange at a European and global level; commit to better embedding art and culture in EU processes and EU programmes;
  • formulate an "Austria Country of Culture Strategy" within the framework of a broad stakeholder process and as part of the implementation of the project "Nation Brand Austria – Competitive Identity";
  • exploit synergies and increase efficiency with existing resources for presenting Austria abroad as a country of art and culture; and
  • in 2015, on the occasion of the anniversary "200 Years Vienna Congress", the Federal Government organised discussion events, involving particularly young people, on the future of the European continent.

Chapter published: 02-02-2016

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