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Hungary/ 6. Financing of culture  

6.1 Short overview

As in other former communist countries, the process of transition has caused a crisis in the system of financing for culture. In addition to the decreasing GDP and reduced state budget, the population showed less interest in culture and the arts during these years of reorientation. The main channels of financing had, however, become more stable and in some fields there was a certain increase of resources. The first decade of the new millennium, however, brought about stagnation, including in cultural funding. This was exacerbated by the global economic crisis. Penury of public funds is not counterbalanced by the sizable influx from the European Structural Funds, which can be used for running costs only if justified as development, e.g. human capacity building, regional (urban, rural) development etc.

Important features of the cultural finances of the actual administration (after 2010) have been

  • centralisation: functions taken over by the state from local governments;
  • concentration of resources in MMA (Hungarian Academy of Arts);
  • strict financial planning in the field versus large scale central investment projects; and
  • frequent ad hoc interventions of scales that significantly alter final balances from initial annual budgets

Chapter published: 22-11-2016

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