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Despite assumptions that culture would be an important part of the Strategy for the Development of Slovenia 2014-2020, this sector remains on the fringes.

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Slovenia/ 3. Competence, decision-making and administration  

3.3 Inter-ministerial or intergovernmental co-operation

Responsibility for culture is divided among several governmental authorities. The main authority in charge of culture is the Ministry of Culture, which is also responsible for the media. Other ministries responsible for certain areas of cultural affairs include:

  • The Ministry of Education, Science and Sport, responsible for cultural and arts education in schools, for education in different cultural vocations at upper secondary and tertiary levels and for music schools;
  • The Ministry of Economic Development and Technology houses the Slovenian Intellectual Property Office;
  • The Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning plays an important role in the concept of the integrated conservation of cultural heritage and the cultural landscape through planning;
  • The Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities is responsible for co-financing conservation, restoration and erection of monuments and memorials to the victims of war;
  • The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food is active in the protection of the cultural landscape and the development of rural areas (cultural tourism and rural cultural heritage conservation);
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is in charge of drafting and concluding international umbrella agreements in the fields of culture, education, and science and the related inter-governmental protocols;
  • The Office for Slovenians Abroad, promoting cultural relations with the Slovene minority and emigrant organisations organising conferences, seminars, tenders, etc.

It must be explicitly mentioned that almost all ministries with different policies like public finances (national budget, rules for allocation of public money, tax regulation..), public administration (regulation of public servants and payment system), local self-government (local responsibilities for culture), interior affairs (visas, register of associations and foundations...), labour (working relations, pensions,..), social affairs (social cohesion issue, public works, unemployment benefit…) or the economy (the Slovene Enterprise Fund to help business investments of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have very strong implications for culture. Thus the Act Regulating the Realisation of the Public Interest in the Field of Culture 2002 explicitly states that other policies with implications for culture shall take cultural aspects into account. But the article has not yet been fully implemented in practise. According to this law the government, as a whole, is responsible for the National Programme for Culture, but in many ways this is still an aspiration. Neither the preparation of any existing strategic documents for the period 2004-2007, 2008-2011 and 2014-2017, nor the reports on their implementation, reflect any involvement of other ministries so far. The National Programme for Culture entirely preserves the sectoral nature of the document.

In some areas, it is usual to involve the Ministry of Culture in the process of the preparation of sectorial strategic documents that have a cultural dimension; for example, the Programme for Children and Youth 2006-2016, Resolution of the National Development Projects 2007-2023 etc. In the last few years, some general mechanisms have also been introduced to facilitate co-operation among the different ministries in order to develop a more holistic approach to policy making. It was assumed that culture should be an important part of the Strategy for the Development of Slovenia 2014-2020 and its supporting documents (Partnership Agreement; Operational Programme for usage of EU Funds 2014-2020; Strategy of Smart Specialisation). Yet culture is constantly being pushed outside of these documents despite attempts of (mostly) the NGO sector for culture to be included more broadly. The NGO sector even formed its own discussion groups under the guidance of CNVOS (Centre for Information Service, Co-operation and Development of NGOs), nevertheless the fate of culture in those documents remains highly uncertain and prospects are not good.

Cooperation between the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning and the Office of the Slovenian National Commission for UNESCO at the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports has been recognised as crucial for the implementation of the international conventions for the protection of cultural heritage and valuable natural features in the Republic of Slovenia. At first the adoption of a common strategy was envisaged by the National Programme for Culture 2008-2011 but it has not been realised. Therefore the current National Programme for Culture 2014-2017  postponed its adoption until 2015.

Chapter published: 11-02-2015

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