There are no QUANGO-type organisations in Poland. However, civil society organisations are involved in creating cultural policy.
The Council of Non-governmental Culture Organisations
In March 2007, the Minister of Culture and National Heritage established the Council of Non-governmental Culture Organisations. The Council is a consultative and advisory body for the Minister. The main aims of the Council are to submit proposals and opinions on collaboration forms between the Ministry and the NGOs as well as judgement of legal acts important for NGOs operating in the cultural sector. The Council also prepares the proposals for the use of European Funds in the culture sector. However, many NGO workers are disappointed as this body is composed of representatives of big associations representing the interests of particular creative disciplines and artistic unions. Research organisations and innovative non-governmental projects were neglected within the process of the Council’s establishment. The Council’s activity is not transparent at all and and no comprehensive information on its actions is presented by the ministerial sources.
Many non-governmental organisations and institutions act for the benefit of local societies. They aim at increasing the level of participation in culture and activation of citizens through raising awareness and knowledge as well as supporting creativity. The examples below show the diversity of the actions.
There are multiple advocacy groups functioning in Poland, e.g.: Polish Filmmakers’ Association; Polish Music Council; Polish Composers’ Union; Polish Performing Artists’ Union; Polish Visual Artists’ Union; Polish Folk Artists’ Association; Polish Writers’ Union; The Authors’ Society; Music Export Poland; and the Coalition of the Summer Literary Festivals. Their main purpose is to associate artists, authors and creators of different professions, to take care of their interests, promote their branches and manage copyright issues.
Social Dialogue Commissions for Culture at the municipal/communal (gmina) levels
The Social Dialogue or Culture Commissions are created by non-governmental organisations and the local authorities as part of the “Cooperation Programme”. The role of the Commissions is to act as an initiating and advisory body for local authorities as well as opinion making for major legal acts considering the functioning of NGOs, setting up action programme priorities of collaboration between the NGOs and the local authorities and nomination of councils’ experts responsible for decisions of grants giving bodies on the local level.