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Cyprus/ 4. Current issues in cultural policy development and debate  

4.1 Main cultural policy issues and priorities

Cultural policy priorities, as derived from policy documents and budget allocation priorities during the last five years, are:

  • completion of the study for the Creation of a Unified Authority for Culture and implementation of the proposed structural reforms;
  • formulation of joined bi-communal programmes in the field of arts in order to promote the common and shared cultural heritage of the two Communities (Turkish and Cypriot);
  • formulation of certain policy measures in order to bolster and promote cultural development;
  • bolstering of cultural education; and
  • promotion of Cypriot culture abroad.

Moreover during the Cyprus Presidency of the EU, an important priority area had been the promotion of cultural governance as a part of public policy in order to promote effective and evidence based cultural policy by focusing on the public value of culture and by adopting holistic approaches to cultural governance (see chapter 3.4.3).

An attempt to rationalise certain procedures in the context of long-term planning strategies instead of micro-management occurred in 2007 when the Minister at that time (Akis Kleanthous) took the initiative to formulate for the first time a Strategic Plan for Culture which aimed at encountering culture in an all-encompassing way.  The main pillars of this strategic plan were as follows:

  • modernisation of cultural governance;
  • enhancement of cultural institutions and further development of national cultural infrastructure;
  • protection and promotion of the Cypriot Culture (contemporary / traditional / cultural heritage) in everyday life;
  • promoting synergies between Education and Culture;
  • support and promotion of contemporary cultural creativity in Cyprus; and
  • promotion and dissemination of contemporary Cypriot culture abroad.

In this context the former Minister opened up a dialogue and consultation with the civil society in order to formulate the final version of this strategic plan for the years 2008-2011.  With the change of government in 2008 a new initiative was introduced which related to a proposal for the establishment of a Unified Authority for Culture in order to encounter certain limitations resulting from the fact that culture is dispersed in a number of Ministries.  Nevertheless, this proposal did not proceed any further, as with the change of government in 2013 another proposal has been introduced which relates to the appointment of Secretaries for Culture for a number of policy areas and Culture is amongst one of them.

Chapter published: 05-10-2015

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