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FYR of Macedonia/ 4.2 Specific policy issues and debates  

4.2.1 Conceptual issues of policies for the arts

Lack of any recognizable concept for the cultural policy system often initiated superficial ad hoc debates and polemics in the past several years about the real national interest / priorities in the field of culture; whether the focus should be on the so called "living culture" (art, theatre, film etc.) or cultural heritage, etc. These two "concepts" (combined with more or less old fashioned details), in some broader meaning, also represent the general cultural interests and priorities of the two major political parties that have been in power for the past 20 years.

A lot of conceptual differences were evident in several public debates in 2010 and 2011. Some experts and members of the opposition have openly criticised the Ministry of Culture (and the Minister) for spending a lot of funds on memorial monuments, ceremonies and other political and party member projects. The critics have also stated that the Ministry abandoned the developing and contemporary processes in culture and has turned more to a provincial cultural agenda.   

There has been no serious political / public debate in recent years on any of the important conceptual issues and policies in the field of culture, such as: the necessity of having a clear concept of the cultural policy system or following any particular model, financing culture, the independent cultural sector etc. The Draft of the National Strategy for Culture 2013-2017 was a good chance for a political and public debate because the opposition had contributed serious conceptual and other comments on the document. But since the opposition was forced out of the Parliament (December 24, 2012) and stayed out until June 2013, there was practically no debate and the Strategy was adopted by the Parliament in the absence of the Macedonian opposition parties.

Chapter published: 06-10-2015

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