Since the late 1990s, a considerable amount of debate has emerged with respect to the need for structural and administrational changes regarding the status of cultural institutions; this related with such institutions as the International festival “Kypria”, the State Orchestra and the State Gallery for Contemporary Art. The fact that all the above institutions have been functioning in the structures of the Ministry of Education and Culture, gave rise to arguments in favour of a transformation of these institutions into independent legal entities, operating at arm’s length from the central government while at the same time being provided with adequate safeguards regarding state’s responsibility for retaining the institutions’ economic viability and financial and cultural sustainability. In 2007, only the Cyprus State Orchestra was transformed into an independent not for profit organisation subject to private Law.
In 2007 – in the context of the development of the first strategic plan for culture – the debate centred on the division of responsibilities amongst the tiers of government as well as on the need to apply bottom-up approach to cultural governance. Although there has not been a re-allocation of public responsibilities apart from the Cyprus Symphony Orchestra, there have been significant attempts to rationalise the funding system for providing state aid to cultural operators and cultural workers in order to manage more effectively the public funds for Culture and increase transparency and accountability. The current economic crisis has resulted in the indispensable need to re-establish priorities and reformulate policies.