5.1.2 Division of jurisdiction
After 1990, despite certain laws (Law on Culture, Law on Local Self Government), there was no actual division of jurisdiction between national and local levels of government. The Ministry of Culture was in fact responsible for all the cultural institutions in the country (appointing directors of the institutions, providing funds for salaries, running costs and programmes etc.).
In December 200 3, the government passed the Decision on the Network of National Institutions in the Field of Culture. According to this Decision, only 51 (from the previous 115) institutions gained the status of national institutions that are completely financed by the Ministry of Culture. All other cultural institutions are considered local and should be financed by the local governments (salaries, running costs etc.). The local institutions can still apply for annual funding from the Ministry of Culture for programmes and specific projects. Since June 2005 this division of jurisdiction has been put into practice.
However, there is still a lack of clarity between the central (Ministry of Culture) and local government in implementing some laws, for example the Law on Monuments and Commemorative Sites (2004). Monuments are being built without sufficient documentation or permission from the Ministry of Culture (or the Cultural Heritage Protection Office), even in the strictly forbidden / protected areas.
The decentralisation problem was also the main issue in the 2009 debate between Macedonian and French representatives. The Conference on "The Decentralisation of Culture in the Republic of Macedonia and France / Lower Normandy Region", organised by the NGOs "Locomotiva" and "Arcis", gathered official representatives and cultural workers on a two-day debate over decentralisation problems in both countries.
It is important to stress that for the first time the City of Skopje adopted a Strategy with an Action Plan for the Development of Culture in the City of Skopje for 2012-2015. The document contains several strategic goals (development of plural and democratic model of cultural policy; transparency, expertise and efficiency in cultural actions; cooperation between all cultural actors, educational programmes; development of creative industries etc.), an action plan with time frame, methodology and procedures etc. The opposition had a lot of comments on this document: that the document was not prepared by the city’s administration, it is unrealistic and antipode to the current cultural reality and that it is not based on a broader public debate and expertise, etc.