Cultural legislation is prepared by the Ministry of Culture, but not all fields of culture are covered by this. The General Principles of Cultural Policy up to 2020 (see chapter 1.1) state that when drafting legislation in the field of culture, the state regards the development directions of the legal policy in order to avoid over-regulation of the field. However, there are several acts that define the establishment of institutions or operations, governing such institutions, structures and financing principles.
The Cultural Endowment of Estonia Act states that the endowment is a legal person in public law, the objective of the activities of which is to support the arts, folk culture, physical fitness and sport, and the construction and renovation of cultural buildings by the purposeful accumulation of funds and distribution thereof for specific purposes.
The Cultural Endowment shall pay benefits for projects, activities, creative work, life’s work, jubilees, medicinal products and funerals, awards and grants which shall be deemed to be state awards and grants paid from the state budget, i.e. these grants and awards are not subject to income or social tax (see also chapter 1.2.2).
The State Cultural Awards and Grants Act states the principles, number and types of the state cultural awards and grants. The cultural awards of Estonia are designated for outstanding creative achievements in the field of culture. The award shall be designated to a natural person. Each year, a day before Independency Day (23rd of February), three awards for long-term outstanding creative activity and five awards for outstanding works that have reached the public in the preceding calendar year will be solemnly delivered. In addition, the State F. J. Wiedemann Language Award is granted each year to one natural person for outstanding merits upon study, organisation, teaching, promotion or use of the Estonian language.
The cultural grants of the Republic of Estonia are designated to support the cultural projects and creative orders that are essential from the perspective of the national cultural policy or for study support in foreign higher educational or research institutions. The grant may be designated to a natural person, legal person or authority. Twenty grants shall be designated each year by the Minister of Culture (see also chapter 7.2.3).
Table 2: List of cultural legislation in Estonia
|Performing Art Institutions Act||2003|
|Creative Persons and Artistic Associations Act||2005|
|Commissioning of Artworks Act||2011|
|State Cultural Awards and Grants Act||1998|
|Act to Regulate Dissemination of Works which Contain Pornography or Promote Violence or Cruelty||1998|
|Public Libraries Act||1998|
|Legal Deposit Copy Act||1997/2017|
|Heritage Conservation Act||2002/2019|
|Act on the Return of Cultural Objects Unlawfully Removed from the Territory of a Member State of the European Union||2004|
|Intra-Community Transport, Export and Import of Cultural Objects Act||2008|
|National Minorities Cultural Autonomy Act||1993|
|Legal persons in public law|
|Cultural Endowment of Estonia Act||1994|
|Estonian Public Broadcasting Act||2007|
|National Opera Act||1998|
|National Library of Estonia Act||1998|
|Media and copyright|
|Media Services Act||2011|
Table 3: Conventions implemented by Estonia
|Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions||2006|
|Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage||2006|
|Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage||1996|
|Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property||1996|
|Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms Against Unauthorized Duplication of their Phonograms||2000|
|International Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organisations||2000|
|The Hague Convention of May 1954 for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict||1995|
|Protocol for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict||2005|
|Second Protocol to the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict||2005|
|Statutes for the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM)||2001|
|Agreement on the Importation of Educational, Scientific and Cultural Materials||2002|
|Protocol Annexed to the Agreement on the Importation of Educational, Scientific And Cultural Materials||2002|
|Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works||1994|
|WIPO Copyright Treaty||2010|
|WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty||2010|