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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.

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Greece/ 2. General objectives and principles of cultural policy  

2.1 Main features of the current cultural policy model

Greece follows a mixed cultural policy model. The government has traditionally had a privileged interventionist role in establishing and enforcing policy priorities for culture, especially in the field of cultural heritage, but also now increasingly in supporting creativity, access and financial exploitation of the arts. However, the task of developing and implementing specific programmes has gradually become the responsibility of sectoral or local organisations, and, with the exception of cultural heritage protection and national arts organisations, funding for operational programmes has gradually shifted from central to regional and local government. A previous tentative trend (since the mid-1980s) towards an arms-length governance system was recently reversed towards re-centralisation, and many responsibilities are now back within the responsibility of the Ministry of Culture's departments. Further possible changes, proposed in a cultural policy White Paper published in March 2012, may include the establishment of an Arts Council with strong consultative mandate on issues of policy, to work in tandem with a General Directorate for Contemporary Culture restructured into a process-based organisation chart.

After the 2009 elections, a joint Ministry of Culture and Tourism was established, having responsibility for policies for the two fields together with sport, and for a brief period the field of media and information. A trend towards mainstreaming within the scope of regional development, employment and tourism policies, as well as towards rationalisation in public investment in the arts and culture, is manifest. While local and regional government has increasing access to funds, both from the national budget and from EU structural funds, there are no indications so far of governance structures or coherent policies at the regional and local level directed specifically to culture and the arts.

Chapter published: 14-08-2015

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