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Hungary/ 5.1 General legislation  

5.1.3 Allocation of public funds

The cultural budget of the government, however, traditionally lacks transparency, which renders international comparisons impossible without additional research. In fact, due to the dispersed nature of competences for culture presented in Chapter 3, one cannot talk about one "cultural budget". The budget section under the charge of the state secretary for culture contains furthermore aggregations like "public collections" (i.e. libraries, museums, archives directly supervised by the ministry) to which considerable amounts are earmarked without specification or listing. As another area of opacity, a quarter of the budget of the National Cultural Fund is at the discretion of the minister: these grants, about 7-8 million EUR a year, are subsequently disclosed on the website of the Fund.

A traditional feature of the Hungarian system of cultural finances is the contribution from the central budget to the "cultural tasks" of the local governments. This does not appear in the chapter of the Ministry for Culture but in that of the Ministry of the Interior; in 2014, 29.2 billion HUF was earmarked; in 2015 it was increased by 1.2 billion. In 2015 the minimum amount of the cultural normative support for towns was introduced. This means that a village or town – regardless to its population – would receive a minimum of 1.2 million HUF (ca. 4000 EUR) contribution for culture. Nevertheless the majority of municipalities spend several times more on culture than the "per capita" central redistribution.

Chapter published: 18-11-2016

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