National Dialogue on Culture
Considering the specificity of the Swiss system in matters of cultural policy-making, on the 25 October 2011, the federal government, cantons, cities, and communes signed a Convention for a National Dialogue on Culture. It has both a political and operational level, both meeting twice per year. It reunites the representatives of different political authorities – Cantons, Cities, Communes and the Confederation. The Convention marks a first step toward the implementation of the Culture Dispatch and is aimed at establishing closer cooperation between the various levels of the state in the future.
The National Cultural Dialogue is the common platform for discussion and cooperation. As an example, the Culture Dispatch 2016–2020 points out “Cultural Participation” as an essential topic and strategy, to which the National Dialogue on Culture gathered different partners and published the first strategic manual to reinforce cultural participation. This document reflects on strategies and challenges regarding cultural participation from different perspectives.
The National Dialogue on Culture also creates the working plan for the period to come corresponding to the Culture Dispatch and has proven to not only produce recommendations, but also to be a transversal voice to raise both solutions and challenges to come. The stirring partners of this Dialogue are the chief of the Federal Department of Home Affairs (FDHA), the representatives of the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education, the Union of Swiss Cities, and the Association of Swiss Communes. With the 2021-2024 work programme the topics “National Strategy on Cultural Heritage”, “Adequate Compensation for Cultural Producers” and “Sustainability in cultural production” will be addressed.
Inter-ministerial or intergovernmental cooperation
The Conference of Cantonal Directors of Culture (CCDC) and the Municipalities’ culture conference (SKK) were established more as discussion forums than horizontal coordination bodies. Both meet biannually and invite representatives of the Swiss Federal Office of Culture and the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia to attend as observers. There is little cooperation between the two conferences.
The FOC, the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, PRS and the SADC meet regularly to exchange information, and coordinate and cooperate on projects, programmes, mandates and international collaborative ventures.