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

4.3 Other relevant issues and debates

The decision taken in 2005 to nominate Pécs for the European Capital of Culture in 2010 very soon became the subject of widespread debates in the press. Key personalities of the project stepped down from their office one by one, and the main investments suffered serious delays and were modified consequently. The malaise was largely due to the disproportional role of capital investment (and the gaining of European Union resources) in the communication and in the actual planning, which has characterised preparations for Pécs 2010 almost till the end, at the expense of cultural programming. In the end, in the absence of most of the planned new infrastructure, and with an accent on the variety of offer, and the increased number of visitors to Pécs, the season is considered a relative success and satisfaction to the city (two-thirds of inhabitants of Pécs found the event successful). Studies about the assessment of the various dimensions of the impact of investments connected to 2014 Pécs European Capital of Culture were published in 2014[1].

Monitoring of culture had reasonable developments in the last few years, especially in a specific field. Five professional associations established a joint project for the registration of festivals, in conjunction with the ministries in charge of culture and tourism. In the course of the past four years over 400 – art, heritage, folklore, gastronomy etc. festivals – entered detailed information into the online database. Besides providing information and gaining visibility, the intention is to offer guidance for public and private sponsors. The next phase was to work out a complex rating scheme of Hungarian festivals, based on visits realised by monitors. In the past four years over 150 festivals received detailed assessment and qualification. (A report on the rating system of Hungarian festivals is available at The Hungarian system was one of the models for the current pilot project of the European Festival Association (EFFE – Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe).

[1]    Tuka-Glied (eds): Pécs a többszint┼▒ kormányzás csapdájában (Pécs in the pitfall of multilevel governance)

Chapter published: 18-11-2016

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