COMPENDIUM CULTURAL POLICIES AND TRENDS IN EUROPE
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Hungary/ 4.2 Specific policy issues and recent debates  

4.2.3 Cultural/creative industries: policies and programmes

The Design Terminal is the national centre for creative industries in Budapest, Hungary. With the stimulation of digital economy, industrial design and urban planning, it aims to support value-added local enterprises reaching the global marketplace. It offers incubation services among them business consultation and mentoring, local and international trade show presence as well as early stage investment mediation.

The Hungarian Intellectual Property Office has been regularly publishing the analysis of the economic contribution of copyright-based industries in Hungary. After 2002, 2006 and 2011, the fourth volume was published in 2014 based on national statistical data of 2011 (A szerzői jogi ágazatok gazdasági súlya Magyarországon 4), following the international methodology developed by WIPO. The surveys interpret the copyright industry in the broadest sense; they take into consideration all the activities relating to the creation, distribution, communication to the public, etc. of works protected under Copyright Law, or which constitute the technical background necessary for the "consumption" of copyrighted creations, as well as which serve them in any other manner. According to the findings of the survey, the gross added value of the broadly defined copyright-based industries represented 7.4% of the national economy's gross added value in 2011, about one per cent above the 2002 value; furthermore over 7% of the total employment rate was from this sector in both years. The contribution of core copyright industries was 4.2% of national GDP, representing the same share of total employment in Hungary.

Another team has carried out the mapping of the "creative class" as defined in the best cited relevant international literature, using the standard classification of occupations in Hungary (FEOR): Ságvári-Lengyel: Kreatív_atlasz 2008. A study explored the geographical aspects of creative economy in Hungary 2011 (Kovács, Egedy, Szabó in Tér és Társadalom / Space and Society), and an article discussed the international context of the topic on the basis of the Compendium country profiles (Emese Pupek in Creatio, 2014).

Table 1:    Sales in the cultural industries, 2003-2013

 

Million units

Domestic share

Classical share

Billion HUF

Domestic share

Classical share

 

2003

Audio

5.91

45.1%

11.7%

13.93

38.1%

11.4%

Video

6.04

44.7%

11.6%

14.67

37.2%

11.2%

Digital

..

..

..

..

..

..

Books

32.63

..

..

56.87

..

..

2008

Audio

3.37

32.7%

7.7%

6.25

40.4%

10.97%

Video

0.14

41.51%

87.0%

0.51

36. 6%

11.69%

Digital

41.59

..

..

0.20

..

..

Books

42.51

..

..

67.61

..

..

2012

Audio

2.04

64.9%

7.3%

3.35

49.5%

10.2%

Video

0.06

51.7%

13.3%

0.18

46.2%

18.6%

Digital

354.67

..

..

0.32

..

..

Books

29.70

..

..

58.03

94.1%

..

2014

Audio

1.38

59.9%

10.1%

2.37

48.9%

12.2%

Video

0.05

44.8%

21.9%

0.16

29.8%

35.7%

Digital

..

..

..

0.50

..

..

Books

17.95*

..

..

44.39*

92.3%

..

Sources:   http://www.mahasz.hu/, http://www.mkke.hu/.

Notes:      Both audio and video include all forms: DVD, CD, cassettes etc. Domestic means not imported. Digital units refer to audio and video downloads and music streaming.
*From 2014 school textbooks are not included.

In the field of book publishing, after the reduction of VAT from 12% to 5% in 2004, the 1% cultural levy was also removed from January 2010. The average print-run has been decreasing, from about 10 000 at the time of the regime change in the early 1990s, to 1 737 in 2014. The share of foreign owned publishing houses in sales stood at 7.3% in 2015 (against 30.9% in 2009). Interest in children and youth books has further increased, which became the most dynamic branch of the book industry.

Table 2:    Number of published titles, 1990-2014

 

Number of titles

From this textbooks

Million copies

From this textbooks

1990

8 322

1 230

125.7

22 219

2000

9 592

1 595

36.9

11 090

2010

12 997

2 135

34.4

11 834

2012

12 080

2 007

30.6

9 605

2014

11998

1910

28.3

10333

Source:    Central Statistical Office.

Independent presses are fairly represented: the 39 largest publishers produce 81% of the sales, which shows a smaller degree of concentration than in most of the European markets. There is a greater concentration in bookselling, where the Alexandra chain was becoming more dominant year by year until it reported insolvency in 2015, while another major publisher and bookseller, Ulpius got bankrupt.

In the book sector, a scheme of reduced interest rates on loans has been functioning for over two decades now (50% of the interest is covered by the ministry), which is jointly managed by the ministry and a private bank selected through a tendering process.

By the amendment of the Law on the Textbook Market (Act XXXVII/2001) a state owned Ltd. Company (Könyvtárellátó) became a monopoly supplier of the entire public education system. With this act, the government reduced the Hungarian book market by over 25%. New school text books are produced by a pedagogical institute and distributed by Könyvtárellátó.

After several years' preparation, in 2011 the National Cultural Fund launched the Márai Programme, bearing the name of a 20th century Hungarian novelist. The programme supports selected libraries and educational institutions and allows them to choose and order books from a list. Publishing houses support the action by offering titles for the programme. By 2015, the 5th year of the programme, altogether 2700 titles (50% of which were non-fiction) have been selected. At least 100 copies of each title were offered to libraries by the Fund free of charge. From 2016, however, the programme continues without the Márai label at a lower scale.

The shrinking sales revenues in recorded music reflect the global crisis in this sector . – see Table 1. The latest report of Mahasz, the Association of Music Publishers establishes that by 2016 digital sales have surpassed physical ones also in Hungary. The turnover of streaming practically doubled in 2015, reaching half a billion forint.  

The Law on Motion Pictures, commonly called the Film Law, Act II/2004, altered the environment of film making by introducing tax credits (see chapter 5.1.5) and establishing complex regulation of state supports. The Law introduced the registration of organisations involved in film-making. This role, together with delivering certificates for tax credits as well as rating films suitable for children is done by the National Film Office. As a result, money invested in shooting films grew significantly – especially in foreign co-productions, but a considerable amount went to fully or partially Hungarian productions. As of 2016 French and Israeli co-productions have been prioritized; these bilateral inter-governmental agreements (see chapter 3.4.1) are based on the 2005 UNESCO Convention (see chapter 3.4.3) and on the Hungarian-Israeli cultural-scientific agreement of 1990 respectively.

The system of state subsidies was partly based on post-financing and the Hungarian Motion Picture Public Foundation had accumulated promises of several billion HUF by 2010. In 2011 this quango was dissolved and most of the subsidies and grants to the entire scope of the sector, from script writing to distribution, were re-channelled to a new state owned limited company, the National Film Fund (http://www.filmalap.hu). In 2011 Andrew G. Vajna, a former Hollywood producer, was appointed as government commissioner "responsible for renewing the film industry".

The promotion agency Magyar Filmunió is also affiliated to this new entity: among others, it is instrumental in securing financial contributions from the Eurimage and Media Plus programmes, which has come close to 1 billion HUF (about 3.8 million EUR) over the period since Hungary has been involved. From 2012, 80% of the revenue from one game of the National Lottery ("6 from 45") shall be the main source of the Film Fund, about 4 billion HUF in 2012 (ca 14 million EUR). TheNational Film Officewas transferred from the cultural sector to the National Media and Infocommunication Authority. The Film Office controls film production and audit jointly with the Film Fund, providing one shop services for producers. The Film Fund distributes abroad all those films that are stored in MaNDA (see chapter 4.2.11).

The fundamental overhaul of the system resulted in a sharp decline in actual film-making. Setting up the new assessment system of applications took considerable time and the evaluation process became more substantial, too. By 2016, however, more than forty films received over 100 million HUF (ca. 330 000 EUR). Son of Saul (Saul fia), directed by László Nemes, was supported with 321 million HUF by the Film Fund and in 2016 won Oscar as the best foreign-language film.. The Notebook (A nagy füzet), directed by János Szász, won the Grand Prix in 2013, and  The Wednesday Child (Szerdai gyerek), directed by Lili Horváth, won the East of West award in 2015, both at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival. In 2014, at the same festival, Hungarian film makers György Pálfi (director) and Ferenc Pusztai (producer) won the award for Best Director, Best Actress, and the Europa Cinema Label with their film Free Fall (Szabadesés).

Festivals represent an increasingly important sector of the cultural industries. The 319 registered festivals (see chapter 4.3) had an accumulated annual turnover of about 22.7 billion HUF (ca. EUR 75 million), serving 1.42 million paying members of the public in 2011 (http://www.fesztivalregisztracio.hu). These figures do not include the two outstanding events in the country: the Budapest Spring Festival and Sziget (Island). This latter is a rock festival on an island in the Danube, in Budapest, established in 1993, held during one week in August each year. Besides being a profit-making undertaking, the programme offers diversity, with a large number of non-profit causes represented with tents and desks; also there are stages for contemprary music and dance productions etc. Sziget Festival was voted best major European festival by Festival Awards Europe in 2011. The last couple of years have been hit in terms of number of visitors:  in 2015 there were 441 000 visitors. Both Sziget and VOLT, another large Hungarian pop music festival, received European Festival Awards in 2016 in Groningen. Moreover, 25 Hungarian festivals received the European festival label from the European Festivals Association in the frame of the two-year-long EU project EFFE – Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe.

No data is available on the turnover of other cultural industries like art trade, applied arts, folk art, postcards etc.


Chapter published: 08-11-2016

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