3.4.2 Public actors and cultural diplomacy
The main institutional actors in the promotion of Polish culture abroad are the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Other ministries and agencies that also play an important role in this field are the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of the Economy and other public or private institutions and organisations such as the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, the International Centre of Culture, the Book Institute, the Polish National Tourist Office, the Polish Film Institute, and the Polish Information and Foreign Investments Agency.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs realises its tasks in the field of international cultural cooperation chiefly through the Polish Institutes based in other countries, among others: Germany (Berlin, Düsseldorf, Lipsk), France (Paris), Bulgaria (Sofia), Sweden (Stockholm), Israel (Tel Aviv), Russia (Moscow, St. Petersburg), and the United States of America (New York). Co-operation is also undertaken through Polish embassies and attachés (cultural and science attachés) and the departments of the Polish Academy of Science in Berlin, Paris, Rome and Vienna.
The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are responsible for working out the priorities of foreign state cultural policy. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs ratifies the cultural agreements on the government level. Poland has many bilateral agreements with countries from all over the world (in October 2006 there were 68 binding agreements). The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage supervises the application of these agreements and the implementation of cultural cooperation programmes.
In the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, international cultural cooperation is the responsibility of the Department of International Relations. The main task of the Department is to coordinate international cooperation in the field of culture. It also has the role of cooperating with Polish organisations abroad and of realising international agreements. The Department also supervises the work of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute and the International Cultural Centre in Krakow.
In recent years, an increasing role in cultural relations has been carried out by cultural institutions founded by local government administrations as well as NGOs. Many of these institutions help to influence and shape Polish cultural relations with other countries e.g. NadbaÅ‚tyckie Centrum Kultury in GdaÅ„sk and OÅ›rodek Pogranicze in Sejny (see also chapter 3.4.5).
Foreign cultural institutes such as the British Council and the Institute Français no longer play a major role as cultural operators, although they do organise a series of cultural projects which are the outcome of co-operation with Polish private and public institutions.
Some of the bilateral agreements with other countries include the promotion of film co-production. This enables film-makers, who apply for funding in the framework of bilateral co-production, to receive state support. Poland is also a party to the European Convention on Cinematographic Co-production (1994) and to the EURIMAGES FUND (1988) - the Council of Europe fund for the co-production, distribution and exhibition of European cinematographic works, which has currently 32 Member States. EURIMAGES aims to promote the European film industry by encouraging the production and distribution of films and fostering co-operation between professionals.
There are no official statistics in Poland for public spending on intercultural co-operation.
Since 2006 a new operational programme established by The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage called Promotion of Polish Culture Abroad (currently Polish Culture Abroad) gives various institutions and organisations an opportunity to gain financial support for projects aimed at popularising Polish culture in other countries. In 2010, according to the Polish Presidency of the EU for 2011, the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage established a new programme entitled Polish Presidency – Promesa for projects dedicated to promotion of Polish culture abroad. The Minister of Culture allocated a budget of 20 million PLN for this purpose.