The central state administration is the main actor which sets cultural policy objectives and funding principles. The main policy-maker is the Minister of Culture and National Heritage. Nevertheless, other ministers also have the authority to establish cultural institutions (for example, the Polish Army Museum is subordinated to the Ministry of National Defence).
The main tasks of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage include:
- The preparation of the draft state budget in part at the Minister’s disposal;
- Taking care of the national fields of theatre, music, ballet, opera, stage art, fine arts, literature, museology, folk culture, cultural education, and the amateur art movement, and of the cultural exchange with foreign countries;
- Issuing opinions on draft legal acts and developing them in terms of formal and legal matters;
- The execution and coordination of the implementation of tasks resulting from government policy on the protection of monuments;
- Initiating activities to maintain and popularise the national and state traditions;
- The care and supervision of artistic education;
- Carrying out tasks in the field of audiovisual policy.
The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage includes the Minister’s Political Cabinet and the following organisational units:
- Department of Cultural Heritage
- Department of Finance
- Department of European Funds and Affairs
- Department of State Patronage
- Department of National Cultural Institutions
- Department of Monuments Protection
- Department of Artistic and Cultural Education
- Department of International Cooperation
- Department of Intellectual Property and Media
- Department of Legislation
- Department of Cultural Heritage Abroad and War Losses
- Department of Corporate Supervision
- General Director’s Office
- Internal Audit and Control Office
- Human Resources and Training Office
- Information Centre of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage
The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage is the founding body and co-owner (with local government units) of 64 cultural institutions. These institutions are located in all sixteen voivodeships (provinces) and consist of theatres, operas, philharmonics, orchestras, museums, as well as cultural and art centres. Among them are institutions of special importance for the Polish heritage, culture and art, such as the Grand Theatre, the National Opera, the National Museum and the National Library (see 1.3.3 for more information).
The Minister of Culture and National Heritage also appoints specific cultural institutions that support a given field of culture. These are, for example: the Institute of Music and Dance, the Book Institute, the Adam Mickiewicz Institute (responsible for the promotion of Polish culture abroad), the Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Institute, the National Heritage Board of Poland and the Fryderyk Chopin Institute. These institutes conduct regranting and research activities, organise festivals and competitions, cooperate with different stakeholders and international partners, etc.
The Minister’s programmes are aimed at co-financing project-related tasks in the field of culture, excluding the permanent cultural activity of entities. These programmes are meant for cultural institutions, non-governmental organisations, film institutions, schools and universities, local government units, business entities, churches and religious associations. Natural persons are not entitled to submit applications, except for the Monument Protection programme.
The programmes for 2021 covered four main areas: national heritage, education, cultural sectors, and creative sectors. There are 32 programmes, including art education, cultural infrastructure, literature, composing orders, protection of cultural heritage abroad, and film. The projected amount of expenditure in these grant programmes is PLN 225 977 500.00, which is about EUR 49 884 657,80.
Together with the Ministry of National Education and the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage is responsible for arts education at all levels of education.
At the turn of 2020/2021, changes in the structure of the Polish government are planned. The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and the Ministry of Sport will be formally merged. Sport matters will be handled by a dedicated office – the National Sports Centre – reporting to the Minister of Culture, National Heritage and Sport.
The Cultural Commissions that are 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.