After 1990, despite certain laws (Law on Culture, Law on Local Self Government), there was no actual division of jurisdiction between national and local levels of government. The Ministry of Culture was in fact responsible for all the cultural institutions in the country (appointing directors of the institutions, providing funds for salaries, running costs and programmes etc.).
In December 2003, the government passed the Decision on the Network of National Institutions in the Field of Culture. According to this Decision, only 64 (from the previous 115) institutions gained the status of national institutions completely financed by the Ministry of Culture. All other cultural institutions were considered local and should be financed by the local governments (running costs etc.) but, on the other hand, the salaries were still subsidized from the Ministry of Culture. The local institutions can also apply for annual funding from the Ministry of Culture for programmes and specific projects. Since June 2005 this division of jurisdiction has been put into practice.
Municipalities, within the legal framework, independently regulate and perform activities of local importance determined by law and are responsible for their performance. In the field of culture the municipalities are responsible for institutional and financial support to cultural institutions and projects, preservation of the folklore customs, traditional handcrafts and similar cultural heritage, organisation of cultural events, encouraging various specific forms of artistic work etc.
It is important to stress that in 2012 the City of Skopje, for the first, time adopted a Strategy with an Action Plan for the Development of Culture in the City of Skopje for 2012-2015. The document contained several strategic goals (development of plural and democratic model of cultural policy, transparency, expertise and efficiency in cultural actions; cooperation between all cultural actors; educational programmes, development of creative industries etc.), an action plan with a time frame, methodology and procedures etc. Since then the Skopje administration announces a public call for cultural projects of importance for the City of Skopje.
According to the Law on the City of Skopje, the City of Skopje is responsible for:
- institutional and financial support of the cultural institutions and projects of importance for the City of Skopje
- fostering the folklore, tradition, old craftsmanship and similar cultural values
- organising cultural events, encouragement of various specific forms of creativity and
- recognising events and persons of importance for the City of Skopje
The National Strategy for Cultural Development 2018-2022 foresaw rapid decentralisation in the past several years. However, so far nothing has been done in this direction.
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