4.1 Main cultural policy issues and priorities
The main issue in cultural policy over the past several years was the question of decentralisation and the re-allocation of the responsibilities (not only in the field of culture) to the municipalities and to the City of Skopje.
The proposal of the Ministry of Culture for a new (decentralised) reorganisation of the network of cultural institutions (on national and local levels) was followed by a wide (positive) public debate. It ended with the government's Decision on the Network of National Institutions in the Field of Culture passed in December 2003. According to this Decision, only 51 (from the previous 115) institutions gained the status of national institutions. It also included a major change in the re-allocation of the responsibilities for culture. Since June 2005 this decentralisation model has been put into practice.
The new government (July 2011) has announced its main cultural priorities as:
There has been no serious public debate in recent years on the necessity for having a clear concept of the cultural policy system, or following any particular model, etc. On the other hand, the chance for a serious cultural debate in December 2012 provided by the draft of the National Strategy for Culture 2012-2017 was lost because the opposition was forced out of the Parliament and stayed out until June 2013. Meanwhile the Strategy was adopted by the Parliament without the presence of the Macedonian opposition parties.
See also chapter 2.3.