The position of cultural ambassador has been legalized in new legislation.
3.4.2 Public actors and cultural diplomacy
The Ministry of Culture (in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) is the main body responsible for international, bilateral and multilateral cultural co-operation, which is realised through international conventions, other international agreements, bilateral agreements and programmes for co-operation. Bilateral cultural co-operation agreements include educational and scientific programmes as part of framework agreements that are signed for 1-3 years. Therefore, these agreements are the major but not the only instrument in international cooperation. The latest document of this kind is the 2009-2011 Programme for Cultural Cooperation between the cultural ministries of Poland and Macedonia. Other instruments such as cooperation treaties, co-production agreements or state guarantees are also used.
On the other hand, local authorities are also independent in establishing and realising international cultural cooperation. At the same time, a significant part of international cultural co-operation is realised through direct co-operation between institutions and individuals and is frequently endorsed and financed by the Ministry of Culture.
The financial support for international cultural co-operation varies each year, depending on the annual budget of the Ministry of Culture and the programmed activities. However, the usual estimation is 2-3% of the annual budget of the Ministry for the programmes and activities in the field of international cultural co-operation.
In 2006 the government announced the idea of appointing recognised artists, writers, and musicians etc., as cultural ambassadors abroad. Following this Decision, 10 cultural ambassadors have been appointed in the past several years. They do not have full diplomatic status but still are treated as ambassadors. On the other hand, there is no official review of the actual benefits of this practise yet.
The latest inquiry of the Macedonian CCP (Cultural Contact Point) showed that the national institutions are less interested in European programmes, funding and cooperation than the non-governmental organisations. In the past five years only 40 projects were supported, out of which 17 were literary translations.