With reference to the central cultural administration in Italy, a more detailed breakdown of expenditure can only be provided by examining the budget of the Ministry of Culture (final allocation).
The following table shows the amount and trend of the Ministry’s final allocations in 2016, 2019 and 2020. The elaboration was carried out by reclassifying the investments by “expenditure programmes” in 8 domains: Heritage, Research, Education and Training, Contemporary Art and Architecture, Libraries and Archives, Performing Arts, Film and Audiovisual, Tourism, and Administration and Interdisciplinary. It should be noted that Tourism has been the responsibility of the Ministry of Culture in two periods: from June 2013 to July 2018 and from September 2019 to March 2021.
From 2008 to 2015, allocations from the budget to the Ministry with primary responsibility for culture were increasingly reduced, both in absolute terms and as a percentage of total State budget expenditure. These allocations dropped from 0.28% to 0.19%, highlighting a constant underestimation by governments of the role of the cultural sector for the national economy and social cohesion. In the same period, however, the sector partly compensates for this condition, showing a greater capacity to obtain resources from the European structural funds.
Progressive reductions stopped in 2015 and since 2016 the annual allocations in the Ministry budget have always exceeded 2 billion euro and in 2019 they represent 0.33 of the State budget. In 2020, the budget faced again a significant decrease (-8%) but, in the final balance, due to the measures taken to counter the effects of the pandemic, there was an increase of 67% over 2019, corresponding in absolute terms to a final allocation of EUR 4.7 billion.
The total current transfers to households and social institutions, businesses and public administrations in 2016 and 2019 are unchanged in absolute terms and correspond to 0.26% of the 2019 Ministry’s budget; the largest share is taken up by the Performing Arts (54%), followed by the Heritage sector (37%).
Expenditure of the Ministry of Culture by domain, 2016, 2019,2020 – Budget, final allocation (million euro)
Source: Elaborations on general government database (Openbdap); Ministry of Culture budget statement 2016, 2019, 2020
Expenditure of the Ministry of Culture by domain 2020 – Initial and final allocation
The initial 2020 distribution of expenditure, almost in line with previous years, sees the largest allocations in favour of Heritage (archaeological, historical-architectural, demo-ethno-anthropological heritage, museums) showing a large gap with respect to the Performing Arts and Film. A strong increase compared to 2019 (+178%) is recorded in the allocations to the Research, education and training sector. The allocations for Tourism, which as of 2019 is part of the Ministry’s competences, and for Contemporary Arts and Architecture are undersized in relation to needs.
Starting from March 2020, the Government launched a series of economic measures of an extraordinary nature aimed to counter the negative effects of the emergency on the cultural and tourism sector, measures that will be extended and supplemented by other measures in 2021 due to the continuation of the pandemic crisis.
The following is an overview of the additional funds for managing the effects of the epidemiological emergency in the year 2020.
Additional funds allocated by General Directorates of the Ministry of Culture to manage the effects of the epidemiological emergency in the year 2020 (million euro)
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