Legislation in the area of culture in Slovakia began after the change of the political regime in 1989. Acts adopted in the former period were gradually replaced by new legal regulations – in respect of an entire transformation of the political, social and economic system of the Slovak Republic. Only two Acts adopted before 1989 are presently in force – Act No. 4/1958 Coll. on Folk Art Production and Arts and Crafts and Act No. 81/1966 Coll. on Periodicals and other Public Informative Mediums. During the time period between 1990 and 2000, this Act was amended many times, adapting it to changing legal and social conditions. In 2007, the Ministry of Culture submitted a new Press Act into the legal process, which should replace the present legal regulations, dating from1966.
Acts governing the area of media (new Acts on State Media – Slovak Television and Slovak Radio, the Act on Television and Radio Licence Fees and Television and Radio Broadcasting) and Acts governing the area of relations between the state and the Church (Act on Freedom of Worship and the Position of Church and Religious Societies) were the first legal regulations adopted after 1989. With regard to the area of media, the legislative regulation regarding the division of competences and property between the two republics forming the Czech-Slovak Federative Republic was also important. In order to ensure the free organisation of cultural life and artistic work, an Act on Funds for the Support of the Arts and an Act on the Grouping of Persons (enabled the creation of new Art Associations and Cultural Associations) was also important. The realisation of public cultural undertakings is regulated by Act No. 96/1991 Coll. on Public Cultural Events.
Basic legislation covering other areas of culture was also formed- cultural heritage and the preservation and care of historical monuments, audiovisual broadcasting, libraries, museums and galleries, theatre activities, official language etc. Acts on major national cultural institutes – the Slovak National Theatre, the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra and the League for the Advancement of the Slovak Nation were also adopted. In 2000, Act No. 308/2000 Coll. on Broadcasting and Retransmission, governing the area of electronic media, was adopted; the adoption of this Act formed an integral part of the process of access of the Slovak Republic to the European Union.
Presently, the legal system of the Slovak Republic covering the area of culture consists of a set of several laws focused on the legal regulations of individual areas of culture. A general Act on Culture does not exist in Slovakia. The government, in its Programme Declaration for the time period of 2006 – 2010, intends to adopt an Act on the Financing of Culture, which would specify the general directions, types of resources for the financing of cultural activities, and also the mechanism of distribution, control and monitoring of the effectiveness of spending public resources. The legislative regulation covering the financing of development and spreading of the culture of national minorities and ethnic groups shall form an integral part of the Act. The Act should also stipulate the basic conditions of multi-source financing of culture, and specify the possibilities for increasing the share of non-state investment in culture.