The Law on the Budget Structure (1990) (last edition in 2021) defines the contents of the state budget and municipal budgets of the Republic of Lithuania; establishes the legal grounds for the formation of revenue of these budgets and use of appropriations; also the basic provisions of and procedures for the drawing up, approving, implementing, assessing and controlling the budgets; and the duties, rights and responsibility of appropriation managers. According to the Law, 10 national cultural institutions (the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre, the Lithuanian National Drama Theatre, the National Kaunas Drama Theatre, the Lithuanian National Philharmonic Hall, the National Museum of Lithuania, the Lithuanian Art Museum, the Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis National Art Museum, the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania, the Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania, and the Lithuanian National Radio and Television are funded directly by the Seimas with a separate line in the state budget and they are appropriations managers. The following departments and organisations are financed in the same way: the Ministry of Culture, the Office of the Inspector of Journalist Ethics, the Radio and Television Commission, the National Broadcasting Company, the Press, Radio and Television Support Foundation, the National Commission for Cultural Heritage, the State Commission on the Lithuanian Language, and the Council for the Protection of Ethnic Culture (see Figure 1 in chapter 1.2.1). Other cultural institutions are funded through the Ministry of Culture, and/or municipalities.
The Law on the Approval of Financial Indicators of the State Budget and Municipal Budgets is adopted every year, defining the distribution of the state budget and transfers to municipal budgets for the corresponding year.
Cultural programmes are funded by the Press, Radio and Television Support Foundation, the Lithuanian Council for Culture, the Film Centre, and the Lithuanian Culture institute. Financial sources and mechanisms of these institutions are regulated by laws listed below.
The biggest share of public funds for cultural projects is distributed by the Lithuanian Council for Culture. The Law on the Council for Lithuanian Culture (2012) (last edition in 2021) defines the status, financing, operational objectives, functions and organisation of activities of the Lithuanian Council for Culture. The functions of the Council are to finance culture and art programmes, projects, and other measures, award individual grants to artists, and to perform culture and arts research. The share of funds allocated for the implementation of cultural and artistic research, administration of the activities of the Council and other expenses related to the activities of the Council may not exceed 10 per cent of the budget of the Council for the current year (see chapters 1.1 and 1.2.2 for more about the Council).
The Law on Cinema (2002) (last edition in 2019) establishes the sources of funding for cinema. According to the Law, cinema shall be funded from the following sources: 1) State budget funds, taking into consideration the programmes prepared by the Lithuanian Film Centre; and 2) 60% of the actual income from value added tax for distribution and exhibition of films in cinema theatres of the previous year. The amount shall be calculated in accordance with the data published by the Lithuanian Department of Statistics; 3) income received by the state under licensing agreements for the granted copyright and related property rights of audiovisual works at the disposal of the Lithuanian Cinema Centre; 4) 10% per cent of the previous year’s actual revenue from value added tax paid by Internet service providers; 5) targeted state funding for cinema, which is allocated by the Government for the performance of a state order; and 6) returned or recovered finance after the termination of the cinema state financing agreement concluded with the legal or natural person by the Lithuanian Film Centre. The Law on the Provision of Information to the Public (1996) (last edition in 2021) establishes the sources of funding of the Press, Radio and Television Support Foundation: 1) state grants (subsidies); 2) funds contributed by legal or natural persons; 3) interest on the funds of the Foundation kept in banks; and 4) other lawfully acquired funds.