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Latvia/ 4.2 Specific policy issues and debates  

4.2.1 Conceptual issues of policies for the arts

Policy documents

The main cultural policy document "Creative Latvia 2014-2020" states that culture can play a significant role in personal development of an individual, in the integrated development of a society, the country's economy and in sustainable development. The document sets four priorities:

  • maintaining and developing cultural capital with active participation of society members in cultural activities;
  • creativity in long life education and cultural education adapted to the needs of labour employment;
  • culture and creative industries with export potential; and
  • creative territories and accessibility of cultural services.

It calls for an integrated approach to the planning and implementation of cultural policy, creating a coordinated state policy in the following groups of sectors: art and literature, culture heritage, audio visual and the media sphere. Apart from that, in the strategies for policy implementation, the emphasis will be placed on intersectoral / horizontal issues, which expand the functions and the field of activities of all the aforementioned sectors of culture, placing them in a broader context. These issues include cultural education; cultural policy for children and adolescents; creative and culture industries, including the small and micro culture enterprises; cultural tourism; regional cultural policy; foreign cultural policy; cultural environment and cultural infrastructure; culture for the promotion of social participation and integration; research and criticism of culture; protection of intellectual property rights in the field of culture and the creative industries (see also chapter 2.3).

Since 2011, the Ministry of Culture is responsible for integration policy (see chapter 4.2.4).

Priorities and orientations

The majority of the budget of the Ministry of Culture is allocated to public culture institutions which are under the responsibility of the Ministry. Only a tiny proportion of the allocations are meant for non-state established and non-governmental institutions.

Meanwhile, the budget of the grant giving body - the State Culture Capital Foundation - is supporting diverse types of culture and art organisations, and individuals. The Council of the foundation endorses annual priorities which are published on the foundation website.

Organisational issues

The Ministry of Culture has started developments to switch to an output based system of public subsidy allocation. There is a long way to go to introduce this system in all sectors. Moreover, this does not affect the issue of equal opportunities of non-governmental organisations applying for public funding.

Gradually, the Ministry of Culture is giving over the responsibility for professional art institutions located in the regions to municipalities. Since 2010, Liepāja Theatre is under the responsibility of Liepāja City Council. The Ministry of Culture is signing annual contracts with municipalities about distribution of professional art in the regions. Moreover, contracts between the Ministry and state established professional art institutions stipulate a certain share of performances to be presented outside their main venue. See chapter 7.2 about the governance of cultural institutions.

See  chapter 4.3.

Chapter published: 08-10-2014

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