COMPENDIUM CULTURAL POLICIES AND TRENDS IN EUROPE
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The National programme for culture 2014-17 introduced new areas of cultural and creative industries, cultural market discourses and explicit mention of the labour market in the cultural sector.

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Slovenia/ 2. General objectives and principles of cultural policy  

2.3 Cultural policy objectives

The general objectives of Slovene cultural policy are determined by the Act Regulating the Realisation of the Public Interest in the Field of Culture (2002). They are: supporting cultural creativity, access to culture, active participation in cultural life, cultural diversity, cultural heritage conservation and development of Slovene cultural identity together with the development of so the called Common Slovenian Cultural Space, which includes Slovenian minorities living in neighbouring countries: Italy, Austria, Hungary and Croatia. According to this Law, further policy elaboration is left to the National Programme for Culture, defined as a strategic document for the permanent and integral development of Slovenian culture.

The first one was adopted for the period 2004-2007 followed by the second one for the period 2008-2011. The main characteristic of both documents are the abundance of objectives (more than 40) and a lack of priorities and feasible indicators to measure their realisation. More radical changes were promoted in the introductory notes of the National Programme for Culture 2008–2011, which it was hoped would bring about reform of cultural policy and provide more opportunities for creativity in the four year period.

The unstable political situation from 2010 on and related frequent changes of the minister of culture made it impossible to adopt the national programme for culture on time by 2011. One illustrative comment was that in spite of this political handicap the cultural sector did not stop functioning normally. Finally, the Minister of Culture (March 2013 to August 2014) succeeded in finishing the legislative procedure and a new National programme for culture for the period 2014-2017 was adopted in 2013. The programme had the following objectives;

to preserve and develop the Slovenian language; to promote cultural diversity; to ensure access to cultural goods and services; to support artistic creativity and artists; to encourage and promote cultural education in schools; to educate young people for cultural professions; to encourage the culture industries and major investments from business to culture; to encourage the process of digitalisation; to modernise the public cultural sector in terms of better efficiency, openness and autonomy; and to improve the situation of NGOs.

The programme underlines three leading principles, namely excellence, diversity and accessibility, yet all three are of course very loose names for the general cultural policy principles and cannot serve as direction-serving concepts. The main novelties are therefore the introduction of the cultural and creative industries and cultural market discourses and the explicit mention of the labour market in the cultural sector (as a crossover topic covering the public sector, the NGO sector, those self-employed and private companies in culture). It defines the objectives of an increase in employment in NGOs, the private sector and self-employment.

In promoting the new programme, the Minister said it would provide "a compass and a new model for Slovenian culture". Other main differences between the old and new programmes are the lack of a preamble (the programme for 2014-2017 is based purely on concrete sectorial, intersectorial and crossover measures while the programme of 2008-2011 starts with a longer preamble explaining the main conceptual issues in cultural policy); the lack of a financial plan (the programme for 2014-2017 features only calculations for individual measures and lacks a complete picture); a special final chapter in the programme for 2014-2017 is dedicated to the EU Structural Funds a with short description of the sectors where the funds should be used; and a change in buzzwords, characterising the programmes – while the programme for 2008-2011 was based on syntaxes, such as "intercultural dialogue" and "public-private partnerships", the programme for 2014-2017 is based on different, "catchy" buzzwords, such as "markets in culture" and "cultural and creative industries". While it is still too early to judge the success of the 2014-2017 programme, one can easily observe that almost nothing has changed in the field of public-private partnerships in culture (the only really publicly acclaimed project, the renovation of Ljubljana's old Rog Factory, didn't manage to get any private partner at all, to be finally supported purely by public resources). Another interesting thing is that the accepted programme for 2014-2017 doesn't mention the consequences of the financial crisis which echoes the (non-)response to the crisis of past governments.

The envisaged support for the new topics in the programme for 2014-2017 will depend on European cohesion policy funds. The data for 2013 shows that the national funding of the public institutions was, in the time of crisis, on the increase, while the ‘third’ sector remained level. This indicates that it has not been possible to accomplish the Minister’s mandate to fulfil the promise of a "new compass" or new model. The next Minister took office in September 2014 after a premature election.


Chapter published: 11-02-2015

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