One of the burning public dilemmas in the field of culture during the period 2002-2010 has been whether there is a cultural market in the country, and whether culture could exist under market conditions.
One of the arguments on the deficit of a private market for culture is the small size of the territory and the modest population, as well as the small language market (for example in the field of publishing). Together they limit the conditions required to develop a fully functioning cultural industry.
Initial mapping of the creative industries in Macedonia was done between 2006 and 2009, and again in 2012 in cooperation of the Ministry of Culture and the British Council.
However, these initiatives were far from any real practice. For
example, the British Council and the Ministry of Culture have “…
expected 180.000 creative businesses to be opened in 2013 generating new
150.000 jobs” (https://creativeconomy.britishcouncil.org/blog/13/03/22/
creative-industries-development-macedonia/). This was unrealistic because it would mean to employ almost half of the unemployed persons in Macedonia. Of course, nothing of this happened. On the other hand, the open competitions for cultural industries projects in 2013 and 2014 showed that there still was a big misunderstanding about the real meaning of the cultural industries: a lot of the projects came from the national and local institutions; most of the others had nothing to do with culture or industry, etc. Some of the financed projects as cultural creative industry projects (“Creative catering”, “Food Festival”, Music instruments made of everyday rubbish”, “Producing almond milk and cheese products”, educational workshops etc.) showed complete lack of understanding the essence and the role of cultural industries.
The National Strategy for Cultural Development 2018-2022 foresees a new mapping of the potential resources for creative and cultural industries on national, local and urban level along with an integrated strategy for the development of creative and cultural industries and its inclusion in the cultural politics on national and local levels.