Public cultural expenditure per capita in Serbia was 23,5 EUR (2773 CSD) in 2017, while in 2001 the figure was 16,2 EUR. At present about 524 cultural organisations have the status of budget users, out of which 167 are located in the territory of AP Vojvodina, and 359 in the territory of Central Serbia. This fact indicates that the cultural system still creates great pressure on the state budget. On the other hand, the current situation indicates that there is no public awareness or will to introduce the principles of efficiency and management practice in cultural institutions / organisation, or political interest to start cultural financial reforms.
Increasing per capita expenditure at the local level (see Table 8a) is a result of a shift in emphasis towards supporting festivals as a part of local cultural life, which supported about 1 250 local events and festivals in Serbian municipalities. The “festivalisation” of culture has caused disapproval among cultural actors: e.g. “Exit” and “Cinema City” events receive 1/3 of all financial support granted by the open competition system in Novi Sad (630 000 EUR in 2009 and 300 000 EUR in 2010).
In 2017, the total public cultural expenditure is estimated to be 172,3 million EUR (all levels of government). This corresponds to 1.05% of total public expenses in Serbia at all levels of government.
Table 8: Public cultural expenditure per capita in Serbia, in EUR, 2001-2016
|Per capita cultural expenditure (all government levels)||16.5||15.7||20.1||19.6||20.4||22.6||24.0||18*||15*||23*||23,5*|
|Per capita cultural expenditure (the central level -Republic)||3.0||3.0||6.2||11.0||11.1||11.6||10.1||7.2||7.7||9*||9,2*|
|Per capita cultural expenditure (provincial level / AP Vojvodina)||1.5||2.35||2.9||3.10||3.6||5.1||5.8||5.7||n.a.||6*||n.a.|
|Per capita cultural expenditure (city of Belgrade)||22.5||24||20.1||17.5||25.4||22.7||19.2||17.1||16.1||15.5*||n.a.|
Mikić H. (2011) Cultural policy and contemporary challenges of Financing culture: international experiences and Serbia, Culture No. 130, pp. 75-104;
Mikić H. (2013) Cultural industries and diversity of cultural expression in Serbia, Belgrade: Creative Economy Group
* Estimate; per capita expenditure includes expenditure for Diaspora cultural projects allocated by the Ministry of Diaspora, expenditure for preservation and conservation of religious cultural objects allocated by the Ministry of religion, expenditure for cultural-tourism project allocated by the Ministry of economy and tourism.
Table 8a: Public cultural expenditure per capita in some Serbian cities
|Amount||In EUR||In EUR||In EUR||In EUR|
Source: Local cultural policies (2010), Institute for Cultural Development, Belgrade; Author’s calculation based on Budget Decision of Novi Sad and Belgrade, 2007-2009. Data for 2017 has been taken from the research Đukić et al. 2018.