There are cultural administration bodies located at the central (state), provincial (Voivodship*), district (poviat) and municipal / communal (gmina) levels.
The central state administration is the main actor which sets cultural policy objectives and funding principles. The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage prepare a draft of state budget in part related to the activities of the Ministry and is also responsible for legislation, searching and securing new sources of non-public financing for culture, monitoring the implementation of cultural policy and keeping track of ongoing changes in the system. In other words, the main Ministerial tasks are to set the legal, financial and programme frameworks which facilitate the development of culture.
Local government administration (at all tiers: Provinces, Districts and Municipalities / Communes) and – to a certain degree – non-governmental organisations have acquired an important role in cultural policy whether it be according to state set objectives or creating their own development strategies. In the latter case, it is important to underline the autonomy and independence of local governments.
The institutional picture of Polish culture is changing gradually. The main changes deal with a shift from the state monopoly over cultural institutions towards diversification of ownership (including changes to their legal status to private organisations, foundations or associations) and the creation of third sector institutions. There is a lack of arm’s length culture institutions in Poland, which in other European countries play a key role in protecting the autonomy of decisions taken in the sphere of culture.
The Cultural Commissions located in two houses / chambers of the Parliament of the Republic of Poland – Sejm and Senat – are responsible for legislation in the field of culture. Their role is to:
- propose candidates for positions in the state cultural policy administration;
- amend, consider and present opinions for legalisation or legal acts;
- consider reports and communications of the Minister of Culture;
- analyse activities in the cultural field; and
- prepare responses on budget related requests.
The Commission of Culture and Mass Media of the Sejm specifically deals with issues arising in the following fields: creativity, dissemination of culture, protection of cultural heritage, press, radio and television, publishing houses, socio-cultural movement and cultural co-operation on the international forum / foreign cultural co-operation.
(* Voivodships (Provinces) were formerly part of the state. The new Voivodships (Provinces) are now part of both the state and local government (self-government) structure. Responsibility for culture is now in the hands of the self-governing Voivodships (Provinces)).