The country’s cultural policy tasks focus on the following: Representation of the country as a whole, creation of a regulatory framework for the development of art and culture, promotion of cultural institutions and projects of national significance, preservation and protection of cultural heritage, foreign cultural policy, promotion of historical awareness.
The five members of the Liechtenstein Government are responsible for 15 ministries:
The Department of Education, which is part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Education and Sport, is responsible for the Liechtenstein education system from early education to adult education.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible for cultural events at the embassies in Bern, Vienna, Berlin, Strasbourg, Brussels, Washington and New York, as well as for its involvement in the UN.
The Ministry of Social Affairs and Culture (the Department of Culture has been part of this Ministry since 2021, previously it was part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) is responsible for the social, societal and cultural policies of the Principality of Liechtenstein.
Cultural policy in Liechtenstein bridges the past, the present and the future. This includes preserving the special characteristics of the small state. Thus, the state also bears responsibility for public institutions: for the Music School and School of Fine Arts, for the National Library, the Art Museum and the National Museum. According to Art. 78 para. 4 of the Constitution, the government has overall supervision of public enterprises. The Government relies on the 2010 Corporate Governance Act to control and supervise state-owned enterprises. The coordination office for control and supervision is the Finance Unit, which is part of the Ministry of General Government Affairs and Finance.
In 2008, Liechtenstein transferred state cultural promotion to the independent and autonomous Liechtenstein Cultural Foundation (see 1.3.3). It ensures artistic freedom and is committed to pluralism, diversity, quality, creativity, innovation, identity and internationalisation. The country has a strong tradition of folk culture. Thanks to the funding, the cultural scene has become much more diverse and richer.
Until 2011, the Cultural Affairs Unit coordinated the state tasks of Liechtenstein’s cultural life. It was integrated into the newly founded Office of Cultural Affairs (AKU) in 2012, which advises the Ministry of Culture, implements projects and works as an interface for the country’s regional and international engagement in the cultural commissions of the Council of Europe, EEA/EFTA and the International Lake Constance Conference (ILCC). Since 2017, the AKU has also been tasked with implementing comprehensive protection measures for Liechtenstein’s cultural heritage as well as its architectural heritage. The cultural departments of archaeology, monument preservation, national archives and cultural creation are integrated into the Office of Cultural Affairs, as well as the LIVE specialist unit, which is responsible for the digital records management of the national administration.
The Agency for International Educational Affairs (AIBA), as the national agency for Liechtenstein, oversees the education, youth and sports programmes of the EU Commission (see 1.3.3 and 1.4.2).
Since 1999, the Liechtenstein Adult Education Foundation has had the task of planning, promoting and coordinating adult education in the country, supporting the organisers financially, ensuring the quality of the courses, coordinating adult education with continuing vocational education and training, and closing any gaps in Liechtenstein’s adult education. One topic is the promotion of literacy so that all people can participate in the political, economic and cultural life of Liechtenstein. Another one is access to lifelong learning for people with disabilities.
The Office of Communications, which is part of the Ministry of Infrastructure, Economy and Sport, is the office of the Media Commission, which makes decisions regarding media subsidies. It also advises the Government on media-specific issues. Its responsibilities are regulated in the Media Promotion Act of 19 October 2005, (LGBl. 2005 No. 250) and in the Media Promotion Act of 21 September 2006 (LGBl. 2006 No. 223) (see 4.2.5).
According to the Liechtenstein Radio Act of 23 October 2003 (LGBl. 2003 No. 229), the Media Commission is also responsible for the legal oversight of broadcasting. The Media Commission is elected by Parliament and is under the legal supervision of the Government.
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