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Poland/ 6.2 Public cultural expenditure  

6.2.2 Public cultural expenditure broken down by level of government

Table 8:    Public cultural expenditure: by level of government, in PLN and EUR, 2013

Level of government

Total expenditure in PLN

Total expenditure in EUR

% share of total

State (1)

1 632 800 000

393 711 000


Local administration (2)

6 887 800 000

1 660 831 000


a) Provinces




b) Districts (3)




c) Local (municipalities and communes)

2 979 300 000

718 388 000



8 520 600 000

2 054 542 000


Source:    Central Statistical Office, Expenditure on Culture in 2013 and Culture in 2013. Amounts in EUR given according to the National Bank of Poland average exchange rates of 2011(1 EUR = 4.1472 PLN)
(1)           Excluding transfers to local administration.
(2)           Excluding transfers between different levels of local administration.
(3)           Including cities with the status of district.

City of Warsaw

Warsaw as the capital and biggest city In Poland Has also the biggest budget for cultural activities. The city supports yearly 19 municipal theatres and numerous other municipal institutions. According to agreements with the Mazovia region significant subsidies are also transferred to regional cultural institutions based in Warsaw. There are also 3 co-led with the Ministry of Culture institutions seated in Warsaw. The NGOs acting in the field of culture (1 500 foundations and associations according to Klon / Jawor reports) are an important power, most of them co-finances their activity with the support of city grants. There are also numerous private organisers of cultural life, especially clubs, cafes and private theatres.

The city's expenditure on culture noted steady and significant raise in the last 6 years, this was partially due to the preparations to the ECoC 2016 competition, but also due to huge investments in infrastructure. In 2008 the overall expenditure on culture equalled 551.9 million PLN (5% of the total budget) among which over 26 million PLN were earmarked on NGOs activities. The financial crisis did not have a significant influence on the cultural expenditure in years 2009 and 2010. A slight decrease has been noted in 2011 (- 8% in comparison to the previous year) and further cuts for 2012 (-10.6 % in comparison to the previous year). The cuts concern mostly subsidies for the municipal theatres activities and grants for NGOs. The investments seem to be unthreatened.

A widely discussed issue was Warsaw's expenditure related to the ECoC 2016 competition. In years 2008 – 2011 the city has spent for the preparations over 15.9 million PLN. Since Warsaw did not succeed in the pursuit for the ECoC title, the cultural activists and journalists demanded an external assessment of the spending and detailed evaluation report, yet this has not been done.

Chapter published: 20-08-2015

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