1. Cultural policy system
Last update: February, 2013
In the 1990s the issue of historical significance in the cultural field in Russia was a transition from the Soviet model of cultural policy to a new one.
Cultural policy in the Soviet Union was part of the "Marxist-Leninist" ideological policy of the Communist Party that also broadly used education and enlightenment for party purposes. This system was basically formed in the 1920s and the 1930s. In the 1940s, it evolved and emphasised the strengthening of historical identities. This system remained mostly unchanged until the late 1980s, despite several superficial alterations. Its basic components included:
- creation of a broad network of state cultural institutions with a strong educational component;
- formation of a strict, centralised administration and ideological control system;
- enactment of corresponding regulations; and
- support for classical or high culture that was perceived as loyal or neutral in content.
Priority was given to those cultural instruments with the greatest potential to disseminate information: radio, film, the press and, from the 1960s onwards, emphasis was placed more and more on television. The main task of a system of so-called "creative unions", covering the main art forms, was to control the artistic community and intelligentsia and organise their professional activities according to the needs of the Communist Party.
In 1953, the Ministry of Culture of the Soviet Union, and then those of each of the Soviet Republics, was established. The result was closed bureaucratic machinery for the administration of culture, which corresponded to the general system of government. Despite this system, national cultural life was multifarious and diverse because mass involvement in officially organised cultural activities was one of the political goals. As soon as control slackened, latent tendencies became visible. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Khruschev's reforms and the so-called "thaw" raised aspirations for liberalism, including in cultural life. However, the change that followed was Brezhnev's "zastoi" - with its slogan of creating a new identity – "the Soviet People".
In the mid-1980s, Gorbachev initiated real changes, decreasing ideological pressure on the mass media and administrative control over cultural and educational institutions. The intelligentsia, artists, and cultural workers became the most ardent supporters of "perestroika". In 1990, the Law on the Press and other Mass Media eliminated state censorship, thus proclaiming abolition of ideological control. By the early 1990s, the state had also curtailed its involvement in regulating cultural matters. As the economic and political crisis culminated, the state lost interest in cultural issues... and the Soviet Union collapsed.
In December 1991, the Russian Federation (RF) was established as a new independent state; the rule of the Communist Party was banished; the Soviets of People's Deputies were re-named Dumas (as in the twilight of the tsarist Russian Empire); but the complex federal structure of the former RSFSR(Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic)was maintained. A period of radical transformation in the political, social and economic systems began and recently it was described as "a decade that shocked culture".
At first, the main goal of federal cultural policy was to guarantee freedom of expression, to preserve cultural heritage and the network of state cultural institutions. In June 1993, the government of the Russian Federation approved these goals and they formed the basis of the Federal Programme for the Development and Preservation of Culture and the Arts, 1993‑1995. The state was also inclined to curtail its engagement in the cultural field, hoping for self-supporting activities of cultural institutions, market regulations and sponsorship. The latter was only to develop in Russia in the 1990s, when financial problems were deeply felt across the complete cultural landscape. The task to renew the total legal base of the culture sector emerged.
In the mid-1990s, the work undertaken to elaborate the National Cultural Policies Report helped to compare Russian priorities with those developed on the European level. The Federal Programme of cultural development for 1997-99 articulated social and political goals directed more towards development than preservation, but due to the ongoing political and economic crisis, those goals, especially that of development, have not been achieved. However, cultural life diversified, changing preferences and consumption patterns.
Public debates were focused on the contradiction between the high social status of culture and the under-funding of the cultural sector. The budget for culture was reduced several times and, therefore, was limited to salaries of those working in cultural institutions; that made the fight for resources the first priority. 1999 was the first year that the state cultural budget was achieved, which indicated a turn towards stability. However, public reverence for culture and the arts, particularly for high culture and artistic quality, diminished drastically. It was substituted by mass culture and entertainment, regarded primarily as commercial activities.
On the eve of the 21st century, it was widely acknowledged that withdrawal of ideological control and providing freedom of expression was not enough to support cultural development. Public discussions on cultural policies were centred on two opposite poles: expanding state support for cultural productions and for all types of cultural institutions that carried out important socio-cultural functions or shortening the list of institutions, monuments, etc. supported by the state and changing their legal status, including privatisation.
Since 2003, the Federal Government, in the spirit of better transparency and more effective budget spending:
- re-distributed responsibilities between the three administrative levels by passing more tasks to the regional and local ones;
- introduced performance budgeting, and enlarged competitive distribution of budget funds;
- created new juridical forms for NCOs (non-commercial organisations) to stimulate institutional restructuring of the culture sector (changing the status of the former state cultural, training and research institutions); and
- fostered development of state-private partnerships, desetatisation, and privatisation in the socio-cultural sector, including restitutions to religious organisations.
In 2004, the Russian Government system was re-organised within the framework of administrative reform. The federal executive bodies were arranged in three levels: political (ministry), controlling (supervising service), and administrative (agency).
The aim of better governance of the culture sector involved addressing its scope and related responsibilities. As regards the responsibilities, at different times the federal culture Ministry was also in charge of tourism or mass media; at the regional level, the agencies responsible for culture may be also in charge of youth policies, mass media, tourism, ethnic affairs, etc. On the other hand, the administrative reform mentioned above has re-distributed responsibilities between the levels of governance. The management of cultural institutions' networks was passed to the regional and municipal (local) levels and thus their funding was made dependent upon related budgets.
Main features of the current cultural policy model
According to the Basic Law on Culture (1992), state cultural policy (or state policy in the field of cultural development) means both principles and norms that the state follows in its actions to preserve, develop and disseminate culture and state activities in the field.
During the past decade, cultural policy priorities shifted from state administration of cultural institutions and funding, mainly heritage preservation, to more diverse principles of managing cultural affairs. Accordingly, the cultural policy model evolves from being centralised and based on state governance to a more complex and commercialised one. New cultural policy-makers emerged, including local self-governments, private actors; the cultural economy and cultural management became more sophisticated.
The measures of general political and administrative character deeply affect the cultural sector because the state remains the main cultural policy player. Decentralisation of responsibilities, an increase in cultural responsibilities of regional and local policy-makers, support for desetatisation of cultural institutions and heritage objects, together with the development of contemporary arts, media culture, cultural industries and entertainment, which are almost independent from state cultural policies, make the cultural landscape more diverse and uneven.
At the regional level, attempts were made to introduce an innovative cultural policy model oriented towards higher competitiveness of cultural institutions, wider access and participation in cultural life (e.g. see the Perm Krai profile). However, opinions divided and the change of the Perm Krai Governor (2012) was followed by winding down innovative projects and practices. Nevertheless, grant giving and competing for financial support are becoming more and more important for cultural policy making.
Cultural policy objectives
Cultural policy aims to exercise the constitutional rights of Russia's citizens (see chapter 4.1.1). Discussions that followed the National and European experts' reports on cultural policy in Russia, and its presentation to the Culture Committee of the Council of Europe (1996), favoured the development scenario, which was in accordance with the ideas and principles set out in the documents of the Council of Europe and UNESCO. Since then, the aims of cultural policy, as formulated in official documents, emphasise the importance of classical culture and national cultural traditions, creativity and protection activities, access to culture and artistic education.
In 2008, the Concept of the Long-term Social and Economic Development of the Russian Federation (2008-2020) or "Strategy 2020" was presented by the Minister of Economic Development. It states development and realisation of both personal and social cultural potential as the main cultural policy objective within the general transition to the innovative economy and describes its principal directions as follows:
- to provide for equal access to cultural goods and services, to cultural and artistic education for Russian citizens;
- to assert quality and accessibility of cultural services;
- to safeguard and promote the cultural heritage of Russia's peoples;
- to use cultural potential for promotion of the positive image of Russia abroad; and
- to improve administrative, economic, and juridical mechanisms in the cultural sector.
The governmental "Strategy 2020" links innovation to massive investment in human capital needed and relatively to the general development of education, science, and culture. It also proposes milestones and related indicators for the increase in the use of cultural institutions and in the quality of related facilities to modernise a network of state cultural institutions and to provide general and equal access to cultural goods and services.
The Culture of Russia (2012-2018) Federal Target Programme, which accumulates funding for the most important activities within routine culture management, states its targets as follows:
- preservation of Russian cultural identity and providing equal access to cultural goods and possibilities for personal cultural and spiritual development;
- providing for the quality and diversity of services within the culture and arts sector; modernisation of cultural institutions;
- informatisation of the sector;
- modernisation of arts education and training culture professionals with due regard to preservation of the Russian school and contemporary challenges;
- preservation and promotion of cultural heritage of the peoples of Russia; and
- creation of Russia's positive image for the world community.
The new State Programme of the Russian Federation on Development of Culture and Tourism for the period of 2013-2020 is under discussion. It states its main goal as follows: to implement the strategic role of culture as the spiritual and moral foundation for development of an individual and the state, for the integrity of Russian society. The three tasks are to be fulfilled to achieve this goal, which are as follows:
- preservation of cultural and historical heritage, provisions for access to cultural goods and participation in cultural life, actualisation of the national creative and innovative potential;
- increase in quality and accessibility of tourist services of both domestic and foreign tourism, development of tourism as an efficient tool for promotion of national cultural and natural heritage and its exposure; and
- provisions for sustainable development of culture and the arts sector.
Last update: February, 2013
Last update: February, 2013
The state is still the main actor in cultural policies in Russia, while executive authorities maintain their key role in the cultural governance structures. The President of the Russian Federation, as the Head of State, appoints the Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation and formulates principles and priorities of national policies in addresses to the Parliament.
He has an advisory body called the Council on Culture and the Arts of the Russian President, established in 1996. Its members are appointed by the Russian President and include prominent cultural administrators, artists and representatives of artists' unions. The Council is to inform the head of the state on cultural and artistic affairs, to provide for interaction with the creative community and cultural organisations, and to assist in the elaboration of the state policy in culture and the arts. The Council also proposes nominees for state awards in literature and the arts, and in humane activities; in 2012, it was also authorised as the Trustee Council for the state TV channel "Kultura". The Council's session of 2012 was dedicated to the issues of contemporary cultural policy, support for innovative initiatives, preservation and use of cultural and historical heritage, prospects for humane and creative development of the younger generations, and advance in the international cultural co-operation. The four inter-governmental commissions were established by the Council, namely for cultural policies, education, heritage, and international co-operation.
The State Duma and the Council of Federation constitute the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation (legislature) that influences federal cultural policy by:
- elaborating and passing federal legislation, both general (on the market economy, labour, social welfare, etc.) and specific to cultural sector; and
- adopting the federal budget drafted by the government, including allocations for culture.
There is an advisory Council for State Cultural Policies of the Chairman of the Federal Assembly, designed for analysing policy issues and prospects for its development, together with proposing amendments to legislation on the preservation of the cultures of the peoples in the Russian Federation, on levelling cultural development of different territories and on supporting maecenat activities and sponsorship.
The State Duma members, in co-operation with the Ministry, lobby interests and needs of the cultural sector, its professionals and institutions. There are special Committees for culture, for ethnic relations and for information policy, where laws are prepared for parliamentary discussion. Recently, the working group of the Committee for Culture proposed a "Road Map" for cultural policies, which is to use state-private partnerships to resolve existing problems of the sector’s modernisation. In the summer of 2012, the Culture Council was established by the President of the State Duma; the Council aims to support elaboration of legislation in the cultural field.
The Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federationis to provide regulations, to manage state property and to deliver state services concerned with culture, arts, cultural heritage, film, archives, authors' rights and neighbouring rights, and tourism. The Ministry is commissioned to submit draft legal acts for the cultural sector to the government, to put forward a sector proposal for the federal budget, to keep national Registers, Codes and Catalogues, and to analyse juridical practices and the efficiency of cultural policies. It is also responsible for the implementation of the Culture of Russia (2012–2018) Federal Target Programme.
In 2012, the Federal Service for Legal Supervision of Cultural Heritage Preservation was abolished and its functions in heritage protection, supervision of library, archive, and museum collections, control over export, import and circulation of cultural goods, and protection of authors' rights and neighbouring rights have passed to the culture Ministry. The same year, the Ministry was charged with responsibilities in the field of tourism and the Federal Agency for Tourism was passed to Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation. The Agency is to manage state property and deliver state services in the field, to keep the Register of domestic tourist companies and promote tourist products in domestic and foreign markets, to develop state programmes in the field and support small and medium enterprises.
The Coordinating Council for Culture and Arts is a consultative body presided by the culture Minister and provides matching actions of executive authorities at both federal and regional levels. The Council unites federal and regional decision-makers of the cultural sector. Besides, there is the Public Council of the Ministry, which is an advisory body for discussion and expertise on issues that appear on the agenda. The current discussion is dedicated to optimising a structure and activities of the five research institutions that operate under the culture Ministry.
The Federal Archives Agency under the Ministry of Culture provides related state services based on the archive collections and responds to requests of citizens. It is in charge of maintaining national Archives and publication of documents; it keeps a State Register of unique archive items; supervises disclosures and deals with acquisitions. The Federal Agency directly supervises Federal Archives and the bulk of its finance is spent on technical provisions for preservation of its collections (rooms, facilities, copying, etc.). The Council on Archive Affairs of the Federal Service co-ordinates the functioning of the related federal and regional agencies.
In 2008,the Federal Agency for Print and Mass Communications (FAPMC) was withdrawn from the culture Ministry and placed under the Ministry of Connectivity and Mass Communications. The latter shapes state policies in the fields of information and communication, mass media, print, and personal data processing. The FAPMC is in charge of publishing, press, printing, and all types of media. The Federal Agency is responsible for organising e-media audience measurements, for analysing print media circulation, for reviewing sector developments, for providing the statutory deposit of printed materials and supporting socially important productions. The FAPMC manages collections of national audiovisual (films excluded) and broadcasting productions. It also collaborates with powerful organisations of broadcasters, publishers, and other media actors.
The Federal Service for Supervision in Connectivity and Mass Communications acts under the same Ministry and implements state protection and control in the fields of mass media (e-media included), information technologies and personal data. It licenses broadcasting and audiovisual productions, keeps the national media and related licensing Registers, provides frequency ranging services and give permission on disseminating foreign print media in Russia.
Last update: February, 2013
The Ministry for Regional Development was established in 2004 and acquired responsibility for social and cultural issues in the units of the Russian Federation. It is in charge of implementing state policies concerned with national (read inter-ethnic) relations, territorial development, and cross-border co-operation. Its Department for Inter-ethnic Relations supervises issues of ethnic cultural development, inter-ethnic and inter-confessional relations, and Kazak (a particular ethnic and cultural group) affairs. The department provides support for research and sociological reviews on ethnic interactions, for conferences, festivals and forums concerned with ethnic cultures, cultural dialogue and tolerance, for related mass media including e.g. establishment of a special web portal in the languages of the peoples of the Russian Federation.
The Russian Federation incorporates 83 administrative and territorial units (some of which are based on ethnicity), with different political status: Republics, Krais (Provinces), Oblasts (Regions), Autonomous Oblasts, Autonomous Districts and the cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg. Since 2000, these units are additionally clustered into 7 Federal Districts that on occasion provide a framework for bigger cultural projects, e.g. the Competition in Culture and Arts within the Central Federal District. The state structures in the regions generally mirror federal ones and are of primary importance for regional cultural governance. Regional cultural policies differ a lot as regards priorities and resources. The heads of regional cultural administrations are members of the Coordinating Council for Culture presided by the culture Minister. This Council joins federal and regional decision-makers to improve and develop the national policy-making process.
Last update: February, 2013
In 2005, the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation was established to fill the gap between government, local self-governments, public associations, etc. and to involve them in the decision-making process. Its work is organised within specialised Committees and Commissions, some of which concern cultural matters, namely cultural policies, communication, freedom of speech, cultural and spiritual heritage, inter-ethnic relations, etc. The most effective instruments of its influence are the ability to intervene directly in conflict situations and to advise when developing legislation. Public Chambers were also established in the regions.
Last update: February, 2013
Authorities support traditional amateur arts, especially folk arts and crafts. However, since the 1990s, the variety of new amateur cultural activities expanded to include e.g. Viking or ancient Russian battle art and production of relevant armaments, exotic ceremonies like the Japanese tea ceremony and others. Participants involved establish formal (e.g. military history) and informal associations that access cultural institutions (museums, libraries, clubs) and the Internet. For example, the Yandex Fotki (http://fotki.yandex.ru/) as a free photo hosting provided by the Yandex – the largest Russian search engine also plays a role of a "platform" for informal associations of amateur photographers.
Last update: February, 2013
Intergovernmental co-operation is among the basic principles of state governance. According to its statutes, the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation is to act directly or via its territorial units, in co-operation with the other federal bodies, regional and municipal authorities. Its interaction e.g. with the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation is determined by the tasks of elaborating policies and regulations in the field of arts education as the mass educational institutions are within the responsibilities of the latter.
Inter-ministerial co-operation in culture is also a result of an overlap of functions and institutions. For example, the Ministry of Finance sets budget regulations and delivers funding, thus defining the forms and extent of state support to culture and the mass media, while the Federal Customs Service regulates trans-border circulation of cultural goods. Many Ministries have also preserved their own networks of cultural institutions (e.g. clubs, museums, libraries, orchestras, theatres, etc.), while the Ministry of Education and Science manages the art education network for children and youth.
The Federal Target Programmes (FTPs), including those for sector, regional or ethnic cultural development, are budget instruments helping to organise inter-sector activities and some of them include a cultural component. The Ministry of Culture is a state commissioner-coordinator of the Culture of Russia (2012-2018) Federal Target Programme, which was elaborated by the culture Ministry and its Agencies and by the Federal Agency for Print and Mass Communications. The culture Ministry also participates in other FTPs including those for Development of Kaliningrad Region until 2014, Social and Economic Development of the Far East and Transbaikalia until 2013, etc.
Last update: February, 2013
The legacy of the Soviet institutional network remains the backbone of the contemporary cultural infrastructure. The multiplicity of institutional affiliations remains the principle character of the cultural networks. For example, the library network in the Tatarstan Republic includes 1 570 institutions related to the republican Ministry of Culture, 1 470 are under the Ministry of Education and Science, 97 are those under the Labour Ministry, while 21 belong to the Health Ministry.
From the 1990s, the general crisis and legal constraints for entrepreneur activities within the state-owned institutions produced new and independent cultural actors; most institutions have preserved their status and the general idea to push those effective enough out into the marketplace and away from the "budget" sphere was not implemented. Since then revising public responsibilities in the cultural sector and converting state cultural institutions into non-commercial NGOs, or even commercially oriented ones, is seen by the government as a means to progress their development. 2011 was the year when state cultural institutions were due to choose their legal status according to the implementation of the law On Introduction of Improvements into Particular Legal Acts of the Russian Federation in View of Advancing the Legal Status of the State (Municipal) Institutions (see chapter 4.1.9). Many of the regional institutions have chosen the form of an autonomous organisation.
Private or independent institutions also emerged in the l990s when new art dealers, agents, show business producers, antiquarians, etc. entered the forming cultural and artistic market. In the 2000s, well established companies founded their archives and museums, and invested in art collections and artistic productions. The non-state section of the cultural infrastructure includes art galleries, privatised cinemas, publishing houses, new cultural industries' units, etc. However, state cultural policies are still oriented on managing property and institutional networks without regulating the cultural sector in general.
Last update: February, 2013
State and municipal cultural institutions delivering cultural services (libraries, museums, arts schools) remain the base of the national cultural infrastructure. The bulk of the organisations in performing arts are also state-budgeted. Statistics on cultural institutions provided by the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation concerns only public units.
Table 8: Cultural institutions financed by public authorities, by domain
|Domain||Cultural institutions (subdomains)||Number (2009)||Trend (to 2008)|
|Cultural heritage||Cultural heritage sites (recognised)||142 500 (2009)||
|Museums (organisations)||2 578 (2010)||+39 (to 2009)|
|Archives (of public authorities)||2 559||No trend|
|Visual arts||Public art galleries / exhibition halls*||…||…|
|Art academies (or universities)||55||No trend|
|Performing arts||Symphonic orchestras**||71||No trend|
|Music schools***||1 677 (2010)||-117 (to 2009)|
Music / theatre academies |
|Music theatres, opera houses||93||+5|
|Dance and ballet companies****||47||No trend|
|Libraries||Libraries||46 065 (2010)||-632 (to 2009)|
|Interdisciplinary||Socio-cultural centres / cultural houses||46 555 (2010)||-829 (to 2009)|
|Other (please explain)||Recreation Parks (within the Ministry of Culture responsibilities)||388 (2010)||+3 (to 2009)|
Gosudarstvenny komitet RF po statistike: Rossijsky statistichesky yyezhegodnik, 2009. (State Committee of the RF for Statistics: Russian Statistical Yearbook, 2009, Moscow, 2010). Moskva, 2010, p. 284; statistical publications of the Ministry of Culture, 2009-2010.
* Galleries mainly belong to the private or NGO sector, or exist within museums, or are part of the multifunctional cultural centres e.g. the "Gubernsky" Concert and Exhibition Centre in Kostroma Region.
** Within the Ministry of Culture system.
*** Within the Ministry of Culture system, arts schools (3 089 in 2010, + 94 from 2009) that often have a music department are not included.
**** Autonomous (not a member of philharmonic organisations) within the Ministry of Culture system.
***** It is problematic to distinguish the registered and acting broadcasters; moreover, this sector has a very sophisticated institutional structure.
In the 1990s, despite numerous declarations outlining new priorities, the preservation of monuments and survival of the traditional cultural institutions network remained most important. Support for these institutions drained the largest part of the public budget for culture, even when financing was reduced to the payment of salaries. At the same time, state cultural institutions were given a certain degree of economic freedom that helped their survival in the most difficult years.
The scarcity of resources and decline effectual in demand of the 1990s drastically decreased the number of cinemas, cultural houses, and public libraries and dictated a system of preference for certain kinds of institutions. Those holding a special legal status of "particularly valuable" have obtained the highest priority from the state and have been excluded from privatisation (renowned museums, theatres, higher schools, archives, collections, etc.). Among them are the Hermitage, the Bolshoi, the State Film Fund of the Russian Federation (Gosfilmofond), the Russian Academies of Fine Arts, and of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, which are presented in the federal budget with a separate entry.
Since 2000, the income of the cultural sector institutions has grown about 5 times, though its increase was permanently limited by the low purchasing power of the population. The experts estimate that the share of non-budget funding increased in some institutions (especially federal ones) by 30% mainly due to the growth of ticket prices and entrance fees, the substitution of free cultural services by paid ones, sub-leasing, touring abroad, or participating in particular funded events.
The trend of decreasing numbers is characteristic for concert organisations, independent companies, libraries, clubs, and others. Most of the cultural institutions located in the regional centres and municipalities need reconstruction and modernisation to attract the younger generation. However, museums, clubs and libraries remain focal points of cultural activities and provide spaces for amateurs, students and trainees of every age.
Last update: February, 2013
Re-allocation of public responsibilities for cultural institutions was a result of both the general privatisation trend and of the federal government's wish to curtail the number of state institutions and organisations. In 2003, the general administrative reform at regional and local levels began, which immediately influenced all related cultural institutions making them dependent on related budgets in a situation where municipal budgets had very poor sources. Joint responsibilities of different administrative levels concerned with cultural institutions in some cases led to confusion, which was to be cleared up.
In 2006, the introduction of the new legal form of autonomous organisation also targeted the cultural sector supporting its desetatisation and encouraging entrepreneurial activities. It provides for limiting responsibilities of the founder (in the social sphere that means of the state) and giving more economic freedom. The legal status is to be changed voluntarily, but the bulk of cultural institutions do not seek this change. The same year, endowments were legally introduced, making available a new funding mechanism for non-commercial organisations. On the other hand, legal limitations on economic activities of budget funded institutions were permanently extended and since 2008, the latter were refused the right to administer funds from non-budget sources. The crisis became another impetus to reshape public cultural infrastructure, and revision of the federal cultural institutions' legal status began. The global restructuring of the public sector infrastructure is the task for the near future.
Traditional cultural institutions have limited possibilities for co-operation even within the public sector though the professional potential is concentrated exactly there. That is why it is very important to establish professional links e.g. with private museums or libraries to extend professional operational standards, to widen public access or to include the most valuable collections in the national Museum Collection. Cultural institutions disposing of huge resources also co-operate with NGOs competing for grants and support in realisation of social programmes, e.g. in 2010, five cultural organisations became laureates of the "SoDeistvie" All-Russia Festival of Social Programmes.
Partnerships arising between public cultural institutions and private sponsors or foundations gradually expand, though economic incentives for sponsors (tax shelters) and charities, and even understanding the importance of supporting culture on behalf of private actors, are not enough to intensify the process. In 2004, the Russian President fostered public discussion on the social obligations of business, which demonstrated their very limited understanding within the private sector and reduction to providing good working conditions for their employees. (Lately, those attitudes were borne out by the national sociological survey of 2007 and related international comparative review (e.g. see http://old.wciom.ru/arkhiv/tematicheskii-arkhiv/item/single/8521.html). Therefore, image making, prestige and advertising are the most important motivation in fostering partnerships and sponsoring greater cultural institutions and companies, e.g. the Hermitage and the Russian Museum, the Bolshoi Theatre, the Russian National Symphony Orchestra or "Berezka" dance company, etc.
Since the 2000s, the culture Ministry signed partner agreements with private corporations and supported establishing Boards of Trustees and societies. Struggling for independence in decision-making, smaller benefactors generally preferred private contacts and direct anonymous funding of particular needs, whereas only several large companies (e.g. Interros) openly became players in the field: the Vladimir Potanin's Charity Fund supports i.a. A Changing Museum in the Changing World annual competition and award winners. To advance the situation in general, experts propose to develop mediation between culture and business.
Last update: February, 2013
The Russian President determines foreign policies as the head of state and initiates international cultural actions assisted by the Directorate for Interregional and Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries within the Presidential Executive Office. The Federal Council provides for the legal background of international co-operation and for carrying out related agreements. Its members work in the Commissions for inter-parliamentary co-operation.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) elaborates general strategies, carries out diplomatic activities, providing a framework for development of international cultural co-operation, represents Russia in the international organisations (UNESCO, Council of Europe, etc), and coordinates external relations of other federal Ministries. The MFA and its institutions abroad take part in national cultural programmes, supports development of the Alliance of Civilisations established under the UN aegis, promotion of inter-religious dialogue, activities of the "Russky Mir" Foundation, etc.
In 2002, the Russian Centre for International Scientific and Cultural Co-operation was placed under the MFA. The Centre managed the institutional network in foreign countries, which offered general information and training courses in the Russian language, and promoted Russia's literature and culture abroad. Its representatives also supported links between Russian and foreign NGOs, supported the Russian-speaking communities abroad, offered Russian scholarships and organised education programmes in Russia for foreign students. etc. In 2008, the Centre was included in the newly established Federal Agency for CIS Affairs, Compatriots Living Abroad and International Humanitarian Cooperation (Rossotrudnichestvo) under the MFA; cultural interaction within the CIS is among the main concerns of the Agency. In 2012, the head of the Agency proposed to develop and reinforce the Agency managing the offices and Russian Science and Culture Centres abroad as an instrument of "soft power".
The Ministry of Culture negotiates and realises bilateral inter-ministerial agreements on cultural co-operation, discusses restitution issues, adopts plans of cultural collaboration, "exports" Russian culture and arts, manages international cultural events in Russia, organises cultural exchanges and supports Russian participation in international artistic competitions, festivals, forums, exhibitions, stages, etc. The Minister is a permanent member of conferences of culture Ministers within the Barents Euro-Arctic and Baltic Regions, and presides over the Council for Cultural Co-operation of the CIS Member States.
The Ministry for Regional Development collaborates with international organisations in such fields as development of ethnic cultures, languages, folk arts and identity preservation and supervises regional and cross-border cultural co-operation. In 2009–2010, the Ministry together with the Council of Europe called for applications within the Council of Europe / European Commission / Ministry for Regional Development joint Programme on "Ethnic Minorities in Russia – development of languages, cultures, mass media, and civil society". The Ministry also organises activities within the Second International Decade of the World's Indigenous People in the Russian Federation. Representatives of the Ministry take part in the Lithuania-Poland-Russia Cross-Border Cooperation Programme 2007-2013, which is conducted within the framework of the Lithuania-Poland-Kaliningrad Region of the Russian Federation Neighbourhood Programme.
Last update: February, 2013
Within UNESCO co-operation, emphasis is placed on the "Information for All" programme, developing information technologies in culture, library services and e-culture in general. Within that programme, the Ministry of Culture supported dissemination of UNESCO and UN documents on shaping the information and knowledge based society in Russia. UNESCO's General Conference (2009) adopted the resolution proposed by the Russian Federation on cultural objects that were displaced during the Second World War and supported the Russian initiative on establishing, under the aegis of UNESCO, the Regional Museum Centre for reinforcing potential in museum affairs.
Joining the UNESCO Conventions and other agreements, together with discussions on the related norms and issues, introduces wider understanding of modern cultural processes. However, Russia is not a member of the latest cultural conventions and the Ministry of Culture is preparing for ratification of the Conventions on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, theConvention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage, andthe Convention for Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.
That is also true for the Council of Europe documents, some of which are going through preparatory works for ratification by the Russian Federation (e.g. see chapter 4.1.8). The Russian Federation has signed and ratified the Granada Convention on Architectural Heritage; the Ministry of Culture is doing groundwork for ratification of the signed European Convention on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage (1992). Russia – EU cultural cooperation is based on the road maps for development of the Four Common Spaces including the Culture Road-Map (2005) that states its objectives as follows:
- to promote a structured approach to cultural cooperation between the enlarged EU and Russia;
- to foster creativity and mobility of artists;
- to develop inter-cultural dialogue, knowledge of the history and cultural heritage of the peoples of Europe, and public access to culture;
- to strengthen and enhance the European identity on the basis of common values, cultural and linguistic diversity "in Europe without dividing lines"; and
- to develop cooperation between the cultural industries in order to increase both their cultural and economic impact.
The Framework Programme for Co-operation in Culture and Cultural Heritage between the Ministry of Culture and the Council of Europe Directorate of Culture and Cultural and Natural Heritage (2009–2011) aims to strengthen and develop cultural and heritage policies and activities. The main strands of the Framework Programme include a Review of National Cultural Policy and participation in the present Compendium project, Russia joining the European Heritage Network (HEREIN) and the "Intercultural Cities" Joint Action of the Council of Europe and the European Commission, the Regional Programme for the Yaroslavl Region considered as a model project, etc.
At the regional level, the Northern dimension is very productive. The Russian Federation dynamically participates in cultural activities within the Barents Region. Since 1993, effective links and modern patterns of regional co-operation were developed in the Karelia Republic, Murmansk and Archangel Oblasts and Nenets Autonomous District. In January 2006, the first meeting of the culture Ministers within the Arctic Council was held in Khanty-Mansiisk concerned with preserving traditional cultures of the indigenous peoples. Practical steps were taken in establishing the "Electronic Memory of the Arctic" which is a type of open e-library concerned with regional history, culture, science and research.
A high priority was also given to the 1st International Finno-Ugric Festival (2007) opened by the Finnish, Hungarian and Russian heads of state in the city of Saransk and to the 5th World Finno-Ugric Congresses (2008) held in Russia. Since then, international cooperation within the Finno-Ugric cultural projects is very popular, especially in the regions where representatives of those peoples live.
Development of bilateral and multilateral cultural co-operation within the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) remains a priority and there are specialised institutional structures. In 2006, the Council for Humane Co-operation and the related Intergovernmental Foundation for Educational, Scientific and Cultural Cooperation (IFESCCO) were established to provide for multilateral projects in the fields of culture, education, science, etc. Since 2008, IFESCCO and UNESCO co-operate on the development of cultural projects. These include the 1st (2009) and the 2nd (2012) Regional Conferences of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) with participation of international experts on Cultural Policy and Policy for Culture held in Yerevan (Armenia, see http://www.policyforculture.org/), a project on Arts Education in the CIS Countries: Development of Creative Potential in the 21st Century (2010), etc.
Last update: February, 2013
Direct co-operation of culture professionals is supported by the state and includes stages, exchange of exhibitions and collections, participation in conferences and international projects, festivals, competitions, and other cultural events. A long-term music and performing arts project is the annual "Slavyanski Bazaar in Vitebsk" International Festival initiated by the Union State of Russia and Belarus (http://festival.vitebsk.by/en/index.html) as a co-production.
The best theatre companies and orchestras are involved in cultural events abroad, organised via the Ministry of Culture, while many artists act independently taking all the risks or approach private tour agencies. The Russian Government lobbies for the removal of visa barriers for Russian artists and cultural workers in Europe to facilitate their international mobility but this has not yet been successful.
Within the CIS, direct cooperation also develops under the umbrella professional unions, e.g. the Confederation of Filmmakers' Unions bring together those of the CIS and the Baltic States (http://www.kinoconfederacia.ru/index.php). The International Confederation of Visual Artists' Unions (see http://confederation-art.ru/en/) pull together Unions from Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Kiev, Moscow and St. Petersburg; it also has bilateral agreements with unions from Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. The Confederation aims at preservation of a joint space in visual arts and interpersonal relations between artists.
Since 2006, once a year the Intergovernmental Foundation for Educational, Scientific and Cultural Cooperation (IFESCCO) holds the CIS Forums of Artistic and Scientific Intelligentsia promoting direct collaboration of artists and intellectuals within the former Soviet space. The 7th Forum (Ashgabat, 2012) dealt with the strategy of developing humane co-operation challenging progress in all other spheres of co-operation. IFESCCO also initiated the organisation of the CIS Youth Symphony Orchestra (see http://youth-orchestra.su) which performed in Moscow and tours around the CIS countries.