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Russia/ 5.1 General legislation  

5.1.2 Division of jurisdiction

The breakdown of cultural competence in the Russian Federation is generally determined in the Constitution as follows.

  • basic federal policies and programming of social, cultural and ethnic development and regulations for intellectual property are within the competence of the Russian Federation; and
  • specially preserved natural territories, monuments of culture and history, general issues of education, training, science and culture, protection of the environment and traditional ways of life for ethnic groups are within the joint competence of the Russian Federation and its units.

According to the federal law On General Principles of Regional Governance and Local Self-Government (2003), cultural competences of regional and local authorities were re-distributed and stated in the Basic Law on Culture as follows:

  • to guarantee cultural rights and liberties in the cultural field, and to determine principles of national cultural policy;
  • to adopt federal laws and other regulations;
  • to develop federal cultural programmes;
  • to allocate funds for culture in the federal budget;
  • to co-ordinate foreign policy in cultural co-operation, including the import and export of objects of cultural value;
  • to maintain the national statistical system and background information on the cultural sector;
  • to set standards and policies for professional education, employment, social welfare, a minimum rate of remuneration and royalties in the cultural sector; and
  • to preserve historical and cultural monuments of federal importance and those of particular value.

At the regional level, the institutions and heritage of regional status are managed and:

  • library services are provided and funded;
  • folk arts and crafts and the National Cultural Autonomies and their activities are supported; and
  • the study of national languages and other disciplines concerned with ethnic and cultural issues are promoted.

Local level includes:

  • providing for library and other cultural services;
  • supporting leisure activities and local cultural institutions; and
  • preserving local monuments and cultural heritage.

The redistribution of responsibilities changed the situation of local cultural institutions and related state policies. At first, the related legislative base was poor, funds uncertain, all threatening the right to cultural access. In these circumstances, the Ministry of Culture had to search for the means to establish supervision over implementation of the state cultural policies in the regions. Since then, the regions have developed their own legislation on culture to establish related regional policies and provide for exercising responsibilities in the cultural field. However, at the local level, cultural responsibilities remain too heavy in many cases. 

Chapter published: 03-05-2013

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