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As part of its programme for Culture (2006-2010), the government is enacting a large number of legislation on: cultural financing; digital broadcasting; copyright; free press and the Press Agency; the audiovisual sector; museums and galleries; cultural heritage; import and export of cultural items; and the official language.

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Slovakia/ 2. General objectives and principles of cultural policy  

2.1 Main features of the current cultural policy model

The main principles of Slovak cultural policies are defined in the Programme Declaration of the Government of the Slovak Republic (Programové vyhlásenie Vlády Slovenskej republiky, PVV) and its detailing in the scope of the competence of the Ministry of Culture during the period between 2006 and 2010. The Programme Declaration of the Government of the SR advances the perception of culture in the general sense as an inevitable precondition for increasing the quality of life of citizens of the Slovak Republic. With regard to this fact, PVV unequivocally declares that the support of culture from public funds is right and, simultaneously, a direct political and ideological impact on culture is not permissible. The government document considers the protection and utilisation of cultural heritage, together with supporting new authentic artistic works and their presentation, to be one of the crucial pillars for the preservation and strengthening of the identity of Slovakia within the environment of the globalisation and commercialisation of culture.

In the Programme Declaration, it is emphasised that the government of the Slovak Republic, when operating in the area of culture and while applying a cultural policy, will observe three fundamental principles - continuity, communication and coordination: "a continuity with everything positive made within this sphere in the previous period, communication with the cultural community and other participating groups is an important element of the process of making basic essential decisions in the area of culture, and coordination with an objective in order to achieve a positive synergy in creating conditions for the effective utilisation of sources for the protection , creation and extension of culture".

The basic documents relating to a cultural policy in the Slovak Republic do not contain an expressly defined model of cultural policy that would form the initial framework for the defining of strategic plans, objectives and concrete steps of a cultural policy. The document Strategy of the state cultural policy (Stratégia štátnej kultúrnej politiky), issued in 2002, defines the so-called "hybrid" model of cultural policy, which combines the state-administrative approach (the state provides funds for the development of culture and art production, elaborates long-term conceptions and visions regarding artistic and cultural development; key role - cultural institutions managed by the state) with a decentralised model (the co-existence of the state and regional cultural policies; key role - regions, towns and their cultural institutions) and a liberal model (the market and private initiatives in the area of culture are the main regulators of relations in culture, key role - the cultural industry). Despite this, the cultural policy of recent years in Slovakia can be defined as a gradual transition from a centralised model to both an institutional and financial decentralisation (the passing of some competences in the area of culture and financial sources to bodies of public administration).

The main reason for the above process is to reform the public administration by the division of competences between the state administration and public administration bodies (autonomous regions, towns and villages). In the area of culture, the above process constitutes a natural displacement of a part of cultural activities into an environment in which specific local and regional cultural values and expressions exist as an expression of cultural diversity and cultural identity.

A further continuation of this process should be the gradual formation of an "arms-length model" of cultural policy, influenced less by any direct interventions of the state in the area of culture. From a strategic development point of view of culture, and the further formation of cultural policy in Slovakia, the formation of legislative and economic conditions for cultural development will also be important. It will also be important in the amalgamation of various financial sources for cultural activities and projects (elements of the entrepreneurship model).

One of the many long-term objectives of this process is to transfer gradually the management of public resources to independent entities established by the state, which cover individual basic areas of culture (cultural heritage, art, audio-visual). The first concrete step to achieve this model is the establishment of an audiovisual fund. The Ministry of Culture is preparing a draft bill to be issued in 2008.

Chapter published: 15-01-2008

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