1. Cultural policy system
Last update: August, 2018
In the course of the twentieth century, Slovakia underwent a number of fundamental social and political changes. These changes always had a strong influence on the cultural development and the cultural policy in force in the territory of Slovakia. After the fall of the multi-ethnic Austro-Hungarian monarchy at the end of the First World War, Slovaks had the opportunity to become a state-forming nation. The establishment of the first Czechoslovak Republic on 28 October 1918 created the conditions for the existence of Slovakia in a historically new social and political context. Slovak political leaders approved the Czechoslovak state at the meeting of the Slovak National Council, which adopted the Declaration of the Slovak Nation on 30 October 1918.
The creation of Czechoslovakia was the first time in history that international recognition was given to Slovakia's borders and its capital city - Bratislava. Slovak became the official language of the state, education and the church on the territory of Slovakia. At this time, there was also great development in the institutional base and the value of Slovak culture, art and education - the first Slovak university (Comenius University in Bratislava) was established in 1919; in 1920 the Slovak National Theatre was established; there was also development in Slovak museums (the Slovak Museum was established in Bratislava in 1924) and a number of cultural, artistic and public education societies were established. The largest of them, the Matica Slovenská (Slovak Matica or cultural society), first established during the Slovak national revival in the nineteenth century (1863), renewed its cultural and education activities in 1919 and began the collection of a national library. From the beginning of its existence as a state, Slovakia had to address the issue of its Hungarian minority and their culture. Slovakia was the significantly less economically developed part of the new state and the Slovak economy returned to pre-war production levels only in 1937. Czechoslovakia managed to retain a democratic form of government. Its weakness was the unitary character of the state and the constitutionally-enshrined concept of a unified Czechoslovak nation. This political and cultural concept provoked several nationally-oriented political parties to seek to establish an autonomous status for Slovakia within the common state.
After the international political re-drawing of Czechoslovakia's borders (the Munich Agreement), Slovakia declared its autonomy in October 1938. The Vienna arbitration of 2 November 1938 re-drew the borders of Slovakia and Carpathian Ruthenia in favour of the Kingdom of Hungary. Thereafter, on 14 March 1939, the first independent Slovak Republic was established, albeit strongly dependent on Nazi Germany in both domestic and foreign policy. The nation state based its cultural policy on the national and revivalist trends of the nineteenth century. It emphasised the national dimension of culture and its role as a tool in creating and strengthening national and state identity. The wartime economic boom encouraged the development of the economy and allowed new cultural, scientific and educational institutions to be established. On 1 May 1941, the Slovak National Library was established as a part of the Matica Slovenská. On 2 July 1942, the Slovak parliament voted to establish the Slovak Academy of Sciences and Arts. The media were also developed in accordance with state propaganda - on 16 June 1939, Slovenský Rozhlas (Slovak Radio) was established as a separate broadcaster. The state encouraged the development of film production in Slovakia - on 7 November 1939, the Nástup corporation was established to produce, distribute and develop films. The cultural policy of the independent wartime state was influenced by national ideology and state propaganda, which largely defined the values of Slovak culture in this period.
A counterweight to the official state ideology was the anti-fascist resistance undertaken both within Slovakia and abroad during the Second World War. It led to the restoration of Czechoslovakia after the war as a common state with a parliamentary democracy and an equal social and political status for Slovaks. The Communist Party obtained a strong political position thanks to its role in the resistance and its relationship with the Soviet Union. The decisions of the great powers, after the Second World War, placed Czechoslovakia in the Soviet sphere of influence. The parliamentary elections of 1946 were won by the Communists in the Czech lands and the Democratic Party in Slovakia. Such political differences could not be sustained for long in the post-war environment. The Communist Party gradually radicalised the political scene and staged a coup to seize power in February 1948. The new political regime gradually liquidated civil rights, its political opponents and independent institutions. Czechoslovakia became dependent on the Soviet Union in both its foreign and internal policies. Private ownership of businesses and services in all sectors of the economy and agriculture was terminated. At this time, the basic organisational infrastructure of education and culture in Slovakia was completed. New national cultural institutions were established - the Slovak National Gallery (1948), the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra (1949) and the Slovak Monuments Board (1951). Film studios were gradually established in Bratislava from the 1950s onwards. Arts education also began to develop - in 1949, legislation established two arts academies in Bratislava (the Academy of Music and the Performing Arts, the Academy of Fine Arts) and a network of elementary art schools was gradually developed. Later, the Faculty of Arts of Comenius University undertook research and began to offer education in the theory and history of culture.
During the socialist period, 1948-1989, cultural policy in Czechoslovakia was based mainly on the use of culture as an ideological instrument. The implementation of cultural policy and policy instruments was determined by official government ideology and its need for propaganda. Censorship was applied and selected cultural values were enforced. The management of cultural activities, organisations and professional associations was controlled by the state and the bodies of the Communist Party. The highest authority of the state administration with responsibility for culture was the Ministry with responsibility for Slovakia. Like every other area (ministry) of state administration, culture had a political counterpart or "supervisor" in the corresponding department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party. Initially, the state administration managed culture in combination with other areas (schools, public education). An independent Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Socialist Republic was established in 1969. At the lower levels of the state administration, culture was the responsibility of the national commissions (local authorities of state administration). The Communist Party ascribed an important role to culture in the development of the "new society and person". The regime gave a special status to the audiovisual media (radio, television, film), traditional folk culture (with the establishment of many folklore groups and events) and public education activities (amateur organisations as an instrument for increasing the availability of culture to broad layers of the population). The national dimension of culture and cultural identity was suppressed and emphasis was placed on socialist internationalism, uniformity in the opinions and values of cultural expression and the educational function of culture. A positive consequence of the communist thesis of bringing culture to the masses was the development of a network of basic art schools, which remains even today an exceptional instrument of cultural policy in the area of arts education and cultural activities for young people.
The main instruments controlling the cultural policy of the socialist state were the resolutions and programming documents of the individual bodies of the Communist Party. Cultural policy was implemented by cultural organisations, leagues and associations controlled by communist censorship. Foreign cooperation in the area of culture focussed almost exclusively on countries in the socialist block or mainly left-oriented cultural expression in Western countries. Freedom of expression in art was suppressed, deforming the evolution of values in culture and its constituent disciplines. The result was an imbalance between the development of the cultural infrastructure and the growth in the state's investment in culture on the one hand, and the censorship and restriction of diversity in cultural values on the other.
The pressure of the ideological limitations led to the creation of various informal cultural associations and unofficial cultural activity. Cultural dissent was much less influential in Slovak society than in Czech lands, where communist repression was much more intensive after the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1968. Informal "alternative" cultural, social and political activities took place on the platform of associations for the protection of nature and landscape, cultural communities and independent art groups or within Christian fellowships. The significance of such activities was mainly the preservation of contact between Slovak cultural and artistic activities and the international (especially Western) cultural context and the creation and presentation of alternative cultural and artistic values.
The fall of the communist dictatorship in 1989 introduced new principles to the functioning of society. In the new social order, the first priority was to establish democratic political structures and state authorities, the transformation of the economy and legislation. In the new democracy, culture was to become an identifier of value that would balance economic and social development. The new status of culture was due to the active participation of some cultural personalities in the political and social changes (Slovak theatre artists and other artists played an important part in rousing the population in November 1989). In the area of cultural policy, the main effects were the lifting of censorship and ideological supervision, freedom in artistic creation, equal rights for a diversity of cultural creation and creators, the introduction of transparent financing for diverse cultural activities and the search for new partnerships through international cooperation. Many previously banned books and films could be distributed and there were many new festivals and cultural events. It became possible for private entrepreneurs to do business in the field of culture (book and music publishing, film, magazines, production and agency activities for culture) and the former state monopoly organisations in these areas were destined for privatisation. Change in the Copyright Act strengthened the rights of authors, performers and producers and brought these rights into line with European standards. In 1991, the state cultural fund Pro Slovakia was established as a new source of financing for cultural activities and projects. The fund was managed by the Ministry of Culture. Despite a number of steps in the right direction and positive decisions, cultural policy did not become a clearly elaborated or enacted priority of the new political elites after November 1989.
A special issue that the Ministry of Culture dealt with at that time was the relationship between the state and the churches and religious societies. The main task was to settle questions of ownership in relation to church real estate, the Act on the Freedom of Religious Belief, and the Act on the Registration of Churches and Religious Societies. The state grant to the activity of churches and religious societies remained part of the budget of the Ministry of Culture.
After the reorganisation of local state administrative authorities (the former national committees), it was necessary to address the question of the financing of local cultural organisations. In 1999, 157 such organisations were brought under the control of the Ministry of Culture and by the start of 1992, 230 cultural organisations had come under the direct management of the ministry. This situation was intended to ensure the preservation of local and regional culture until the transformation of public administration was completed and the tax system had been reformed. One result of this temporary centralisation of financial and organisational management was that transformation processes in culture took place without a systematic framework and sometimes with destructive consequences for culture (for example, the collapse of film production, the deformation of the book market, the stagnation of the public media). Cultural policy was directed towards quick solutions to specific problems; the ministry did not have a long-term development strategy or the necessary financial and human resources to transform the system.
After 1989, the term cultural policy fell out of use for a time in Slovak specialist and political discourse. The cause was mainly the association of this term with the policy of the previous regime and its political manipulation and ideological censorship of culture. The search for new meaning, content and means for cultural policy continues in Slovakia to the present day. In this area, it is also symptomatic that after 1989, very few political parties gave culture its own place in their election manifestos and mainly limited comment to a few general political phrases. Despite the continuing lack of a long term strategy for cultural development and long term priorities for cultural policies, there was a discussion in Slovakia after 1989 of the majority of fundamental issues that had been argued over in European countries in the 1980s and 1990s. This discussion also included differences of opinion which lead to the break up of several professional artistic associations and the establishment of many new interest groups in culture.
After a short period of spontaneous social freedom and enthusiasm for the rapid and peaceful change in the political regime, it was necessary to manage transformation processes and the new state organisation. A milestone in the development of Slovak culture was the adoption of the Constitution of the Slovak Republic (Act 490/1992). For the area of culture, the constitution primarily codified the Slovak language as the state language, guaranteed freedom of expression and the right to information, banned censorship, guaranteed the freedom of scientific research and the arts, gave legal protection to the results of creative intellectual activity and guaranteed the right of access to cultural heritage.
Politics in Czechia and Slovakia developed in different directions and after the elections in 1992, this resulted in the break-up of Czechoslovakia and the establishment of two independent states from 1 January 1993. In contrast to the civic principle of the common state, in independent Slovakia the priority was the national and state principle. This gradually led to increased administrative centralisation in the management of culture and the distribution of finances for cultural activities. The ministry established so-called national methodological centres for the individual areas of culture (theatre, music, galleries, monuments, museums, the audiovisual arts, public education, the media) at a national level and regional cultural centres were established to manage culture at a local level. The Ministry of Culture gave increased legislative attention to questions of the state language and its use (an Act on the State Language and related legislation were passed). The Matica Slovenská acquired an important status and state funding, under a separate law, making it a national public cultural institution. The result of this enhanced status was the gradual transfer of its activities into the political domain. This weakened the previous cultural traditions and values of this historic cultural and educational institution.
After the elections in 1998, there was a sharp change in Slovakia's political orientation. The new government aimed for Slovakia's faster entry into the European Union and NATO and faster transformation processes in the economy and certain other social systems (welfare and social services, health care, the military, and education). A national strategy for long-term sustainable development was adopted. Changes in the structure of cultural organisations took place as a result of the Strategy for the reform of public administration in the Slovak Republic. The Ministry of Culture prepared specific measures for the culture sector based on this strategy in 1999. This involved mainly the reorganisation of state administration related to the protection of monuments and the decentralisation of the ministry's management of 152 cultural organisations. The transfer of these powers to new territorial administrative authorities (self-governing regions - see chapter 1.2.3) was completed in 2002.
In cultural policy, there began to be greater approximation of legislation and instruments of cultural policy with European documents and programmes (especially in relation to the audiovisual arts and the media, the protection of cultural heritage and cultural diversity). In 2000, Slovakia joined the European Programme on National Cultural Policy Reviews. The Ministry of Culture prepared a National Report on Cultural Policy, which it officially submitted to the Council of Europe in February 2003. On the basis of this report, the ministry submitted the Strategy for state cultural policy and the action plan for its implementation for discussion to the government in 2004. The rationale for the document states that in the period from 1989 "culture in Slovakia has undergone - in the context of other social changes - continuous changes in the institutional system and gradual stagnation of financial resources, but has not yet produced an overall, formalised vision of the strategy for the development of the cultural sector". The government approved the submitted material in November 2004 as a general framework for long-term cultural development and for further practical measures in the area of cultural policy.
Despite the fact that the main part of the document (the strategy) contained mainly general declarations and opinions, it was the first time that the government of the Slovak Republic had considered material on its cultural strategy. A new definition of cultural policy was added to the political and social context. This emphasised its recognition of responsibility for continuous state support for the cultural development of the country and its population. Terms such as cultural diversity, instruments of cultural policy, monitoring of cultural policy, cultural infrastructure and many others became part of political and academic discussion. The practical implementation of cultural policy was expected, thereby, to produce a long term framework for strategy and promising directions for the development of culture in Slovakia. The adoption of this document allowed the basic objective of cultural policy, which is to change the relationship of society and political structures to culture, to progress in the direction of the reform of the institutional and financial framework of cultural policy in Slovakia.
Main features of the current cultural policy model
The main principles of Slovak cultural policies are defined in the Programme Declaration of the Government of the Slovak Republic (Programové vyhlásenie Vlády Slovenskej republiky, PVV) and its detailing in the scope of the competence of the Ministry of Culture during the period between 2006 and 2010. The Programme Declaration of the Government of the SR advances the perception of culture in the general sense as an inevitable precondition for increasing the quality of life of citizens of the Slovak Republic. With regard to this fact, PVV unequivocally declares that the support of culture from public funds is right and, simultaneously, a direct political and ideological impact on culture is not permissible. The government document considers the protection and utilisation of cultural heritage, together with supporting new authentic artistic works and their presentation, to be one of the crucial pillars for the preservation and strengthening of the identity of Slovakia within the environment of the globalisation and commercialisation of culture.
In the Programme Declaration, it is emphasised that the government of the Slovak Republic, when operating in the area of culture and while applying a cultural policy, will observe three fundamental principles - continuity, communication and coordination: "a continuity with everything positive made within this sphere in the previous period, communication with the cultural community and other participating groups is an important element of the process of making basic essential decisions in the area of culture, and coordination with an objective in order to achieve a positive synergy in creating conditions for the effective utilisation of sources for the protection , creation and extension of culture".
The basic documents relating to a cultural policy in the Slovak Republic do not contain an expressly defined model of cultural policy that would form the initial framework for the defining of strategic plans, objectives and concrete steps of a cultural policy. The document Strategy of the state cultural policy (Stratégia štátnej kultúrnej politiky), issued in 2002, defines the so-called "hybrid" model of cultural policy, which combines the state-administrative approach (the state provides funds for the development of culture and art production, elaborates long-term conceptions and visions regarding artistic and cultural development; key role - cultural institutions managed by the state) with a decentralised model (the co-existence of the state and regional cultural policies; key role - regions, towns and their cultural institutions) and a liberal model (the market and private initiatives in the area of culture are the main regulators of relations in culture, key role - the cultural industry). Despite this, the cultural policy of recent years in Slovakia can be defined as a gradual transition from a centralised model to both an institutional and financial decentralisation (the passing of some competences in the area of culture and financial sources to bodies of public administration).
The main reason for the above process is to reform the public administration by the division of competences between the state administration and public administration bodies (autonomous regions, towns and villages). In the area of culture, the above process constitutes a natural displacement of a part of cultural activities into an environment in which specific local and regional cultural values and expressions exist as an expression of cultural diversity and cultural identity.
A further continuation of this process should be the gradual formation of an "arms-length model" of cultural policy, influenced less by any direct interventions of the state in the area of culture. From a strategic development point of view of culture, and the further formation of cultural policy in Slovakia, the formation of legislative and economic conditions for cultural development will also be important. It will also be important in the amalgamation of various financial sources for cultural activities and projects (elements of the entrepreneurship model).
One of the many long-term objectives of this process is to transfer gradually the management of public resources to independent entities established by the state, which cover individual basic areas of culture (cultural heritage, art, audio-visual). The first concrete step to achieve this model is the establishment of an audiovisual fund. The Ministry of Culture is preparing a draft bill to be issued in 2008.
Cultural policy objectives
One of the basic objectives of this government is the gradual increase of state subsidies for culture, in order that the share of public resources equals the usual value in other EU member states. The broadening of possibilities for a multi-resource financing of culture is a related priority, so that culture does not depend on public resources for the major part of its maintenance. In connection with the above priorities, the government of the Slovak Republic pledged, in its Programme Declaration for the period 2006 - 2010, to prepare an "Act on Financing Culture". This Act specifies the main directions and types of resources for the financing of cultural activities, as well as mechanisms of distribution, control and for the monitoring of the usefulness of public resources.
The main objectives of the Programme Declaration of the Government of the Slovak Republic have been elaborated by the Ministry of Culture for the period 2006 -2010:
- to create a new legislative, financial and organisational framework for the functioning of statutory media;
- to form legislative and institutional preconditions for the development of facilities for mass communication (Act on Digital Broadcasting, amendment to Copyright Act, new Act on Press, Act on Press Agency of the Slovak Republic);
- to create conditions for the revival of an audiovisual culture by supporting and sponsoring both authentic Slovak productions and European co-productions (Act on Audiovisual Fund) and by enlarging the share of Slovak dubbing broadcasts;
- to process the conception of media teaching;
- to create conditions for the constant preservation of ancient monuments, the protection of preservation areas and national cultural monuments;
- to create a financial reserve for the purchase of objects for museums and galleries at foreign auctions;
- to support and develop the local and regional culture and traditional / folk culture;
- to adopt legislative solutions for the possibility of providing state guarantees in connection with the import of collections of great artistic value in order to arrange exhibitions of a European calibre;
- to support and develop the culture of ethnic minorities and the disadvantaged groups of our citizens;
- to provide assistance with solving the problems of national cultural institutions (the modernisation of facilities, the overall economic stabilisation and content development);
- to place emphasis on the increase in the access to culture as a tool for enlarging the value of human life;
- to develop and protect the Slovak language;
- to develop authentic Slovak art - literature, theatre, film, television, radio art, music and creative art;
- to preserve the harmonic relationship with religions and religious groups, and to support their social, cultural, educational and other public activities.
These general objectives have been developed into concrete legislative, economic and organisational tasks. A great number of them are realised by the Ministry of Culture in co-operation with other bodies of state administration (The Ministry of Finance / Treasury Department, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Education, The Ministry of Justice, the National Economic Development Office, the Office of Industry Ownership of the Slovak Republic) and public organisations (Slovak Television, Slovak Radio, the Slovak Academy of Science).
Most important legislative tasks to be undertaken in the period of 2006 -2010 are:
- Act on Financing Culture (to 31 December 2008);
- Act on Fees for "Public Service Broadcasting" (draft bill submitted in May 2007);
- Act on Digital Broadcasting (approved on 29 March 2007);
- Amendment to the Copyright Act (approved on 6 February 2007);
- Act on a Free Press (draft bill submitted in June 2007);
- Act on the Press Agency of the Slovak Republic (till 31 December 2007);
- Audiovisual Act (approved on 20 June 2007);
- European Agreement on the Protection of an Audiovisual Heritage and the Protocol on the Protection of Television Production (ratified on 10 May 2007);
- Act on the Audiovisual Fund (under preparation in December 2007);
- UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (approved by the National Council of the Slovak Republic on 18 December 2006);
- Amendment to the Act on Museums and Galleries and on the Protection of Objects of Museum and Gallery Value (draft bill submitted in August 2007);
- Act on the Protection of Intangible Cultural Heritage (till 31.12.2007);
- Amendment to the Act on the Protection of a Cultural Monuments (till 30.9.2008);
- Act on the Provision of State Guarantees in connection with the import and export on collections of objects of high artistic value (till 31.3.2008);
- Amendment to the Act on Official Language (till 31.12.2007); and
- Amendment to the Act on Freedom of Religion and the Position of Church and Religious Societies.
The most important strategic and conceptual tasks of the period 2006 -2010 are:
- the proposal for an optimisation of the infrastructure for public service media under broadcasting digitalisation (Resolution dated 23 May 2007);
- draft agreement between the state, Slovak Television and Slovak Radio regarding the contents and the financial guarantee for the operation of public service media (till 30 June 2008);
- strategy of digitalisation of audiovisual heritage (till 31.12.2007);
- a concept of media education (till 31 December 2009);
- a strategy on the development of museums and galleries till 2011 (approved by the government of the Slovak Republic on 20 December 2006);
- the strategy on the development of Slovak librarianship for the time period between 2008 -2013 (approved by the government of the Slovak Republic on 7 November 2007);
- the strategy on the purchase of objects of museum and gallery value (till 31.3.2008);
- a concept on the care and maintenance of traditional culture (approved by the government of the Slovak Republic on 8 August 2007);
- a concept on the development of local and regional culture (draft plan made in 2007);
- a concept on ensuring the presentation of Slovak culture and art abroad (draft conception submitted in June 2007); and
- a conception on the protection of cultural monuments (2008).
Last update: August, 2018
Last update: August, 2018
The government of the Slovak Republic defines the principles for the implementation of state policy in cultural matters and coordinates the activities of central state administrative authorities. State administration is carried out though the preparation of legislation and standards, the issuing of general regulations and internal regulations. National cultural monuments are declared by government regulation. The government of the Slovak Republic approves documents on strategies and concepts for cultural policies (see also chapter 1.1 and chapter 2.1).
The central state administrative authority for the cultural sector in Slovakia is the Ministry of Culture. The powers and responsibilities of the ministry have developed and gradually changed since it was established. In the course of its development, its responsibilities have included not only cultural and public education activities, the arts and cultural heritage monuments, but also nature conservation, the publication of non-periodical publications, the enforcement of copyright and production and sales in the field of culture.
The current responsibilities of the Ministry of Culture are defined in Section 18 of Act 575/2001 on the organisation of the government of the Slovak Republic and the organisation of the central state administration of the Slovak Republic. Under this Act, the Ministry of Culture is the central state administrative authority in the Slovak Republic for the following areas of culture:
- the state language;
- protection of monuments;
- cultural heritage and libraries;
- copyright and related rights;
- public education and folk arts and crafts;
- support for the culture of national minorities;
- the presentation of Slovak culture abroad;
- relations with churches and religious societies; and
- media and audiovisual arts.
The Ministry of Culture defines the methodology of the activity of Slovak institutes abroad with regard to their cultural responsibilities and activities.
At a parliamentary level (National Council of the Slovak Republic), in the current electoral period, culture is overseen by the Committee on Culture and Media, which was established on 4 July 2006. 11 members of the Slovak parliament sit on this committee (out of a total of 150). The responsibilities of the committee include:
- monitoring of the implementation of the government manifesto as related to culture and media;
- discussing, adopting an opinion and making recommendations on government and parliamentary draft acts, international treaties, conventions and other documents;
- cooperation with the Ministry of Culture, high level state authorities and public institutions falling under the supervision of the committee (Slovak Television (Slovenská televízia), Slovak Radio (Slovenský rozhlas), the Press Agency of the Slovak Republic (TlaÄová agentúra Slovenskej republiky - Slovakia); the board of Slovak Television, the radio board, and the Council for Broadcasting and Re-transmission);
- cooperation with experts, particularly making use of its proposals and requests; and
- convening out-of-Parliament sessions and Members' reviews.
The powers of the National Council of the Slovak Republic relating to culture include the election of members of the management and supervisory bodies of the public media. Parliament elects the members of the Board of Slovak Television, the Board of Slovak Radio, one member each of the Supervisory Commission of Slovak Television and the Supervisory Commission of Slovak Radio and members of the regulatory body for television and radio broadcasting (the Council for Broadcasting and Retransmission).
The main roles of the Ministry of Culture are to prepare and submit legislation relating to culture, issuing related regulations (decrees and regulations), carrying out state administration in the area of culture and cultural heritage, ensuring the preservation of monuments and carrying out inspection of monuments, conceptual activities in relation to culture and media, collection of statistical data and information on individual areas of culture, carrying out tasks related to international cooperation and the membership of international organisations for culture and media. An important function of the ministry is the management of public finances designated for culture in the Slovak budget. The ministry also operates grant programmes (schemes) for individual areas of culture and cultural heritage.
To provide for the technical and conceptual aspects of its main activities, the ministry establishes specialised advisory bodies, including:
- the Council of the Minister of Culture for Mass Media;
- the Council of the Minister of Culture for applying Information Technology in Culture;
- the Commission for the Preservation of Moveable Items of Cultural Heritage;
- the Central Language Council;
- the Central Library Council;
- the Council for the Preservation of Intangible Cultural Heritage;
- the Monument Council;
- the Archaeological Council;
- the Commission for the Verification of Special Professional Qualifications for Carrying Out Research on Monuments and Historic Sites;
- the Commission for the Preservation of Elements of Cultural Heritage; and
- the Commission for Research and Development.
The Ministry of Culture directly manages 32 national cultural institutions operating in individual areas of the cultural sector based in a number of Slovak towns (see chapter 1.3.1). The ministry finances their activities from its budget or contributes towards their activities.
The process of organisational and institutional reform of the state cultural sector has been defined as an initial requirement in previous concepts of cultural policy. There has been no detailed definition of individual instruments, procedures and possible effects of organisational changes on relations between the ministry and the organisations that it oversees. In 2007, the Ministry of Culture prepared for an audit of processes and personnel in all the stated organisations, including the administrative systems within its own organisation. The results of the audit and proposals for further measures will become known in 2008.
Last update: August, 2018
At the lower levels of public administration, the distribution of public financial resources and the management of cultural organisations has been the responsibility of self-governing regions (VUC - higher territorial units) since 2002. Slovakia is divided into 8 self-governing regions. Their assemblies (regional parliaments) are elected by the inhabitants of the governed region for terms of four years.
The powers of regional governments in the area of culture are governed by Act 302/2001, Act 416/2001 and other regulations relating to culture. The powers of the higher territorial units are:
- the establishment of regional libraries, regional public education centres, including the establishment of observatories and planetariums, galleries and theatres;
- the creation of conditions for the creation, presentation and development of cultural values and cultural activities within the region; and
- support for the preservation of monuments and cultural heritage within the region.
The duties of the state administration are carried out by offices in each self-governing region. Their area of responsibility includes organisations of regional or greater importance - museums, galleries, theatres, libraries, public education centres and observatories. Five self-governing regions have a specific culture section in their organisational structure, in two regions culture is combined in a section with education, youth and sport and in one region it is combined with tourism and cultural heritage. The management activities of the self-governing regions focus mainly on financing the activities of the cultural organisations that have been put under the administration of the self-governing regions. The regions use most of the funding designated for culture for such activities. A much smaller portion is distributed through open calls for projects or individual grant schemes for culture (intended also for non-profit organisations or private-sector organisations). A number of self-governing regions have their own development programmes for culture.
Last update: August, 2018
At a local level (towns and villages), the powers and responsibilities of the local government in relation to culture are defined by Act 369/1990 and other legal regulations. The main powers and responsibilities of the public administration at the communal level in relation to culture are:
- establishing municipal and school libraries, public education centres and public education facilities, galleries and theatres;
- creating conditions for culture and public education activities (amateur artistic activity, cultural and public education activities, educational and recreational activities);
- provision for the construction, maintenance and management of cultural facilities and cultural monuments owned by the municipality;
- creation of conditions for the preservation of monuments and heritage areas within the municipality;
- providing for the keeping of a municipal chronicle; and
- producing lists of places of interest in the municipality.
This definition of powers and responsibilities means that municipal authorities usually combine cultural affairs with education and sport in their organisational structure. This corresponds to the perception and status of culture, at the level of towns and villages, as a mainly recreational activity (amateur activity by citizens) with an emphasis on local culture and its products.
The transfer of executive powers and responsibilities in the public financing of culture to regional and municipal authorities was codified by law in Slovakia in 2001. It is a long-term process that requires a gradual increase in the professional qualifications of regional and municipal administrative authorities in the area of culture. It is also important to engage local government in strategies and specific objectives in cultural development at the national level. This objective was developed in a working proposal prepared in the 2007 Plan for the development of local and regional culture. The material was developed in cooperation with the National Centre for Public Education and Culture and the Association of Towns and Villages of Slovakia. Further discussion of the material is planned for 2008.
Information is currently not available.
Last update: August, 2018
Inter-ministerial cooperation between the Ministry of Culture and other ministries and central state administrative authorities relates mainly to the use of European Union Structural Funds. During the shortened 2004-2006 programming period, funding was also used in the area of culture and cultural infrastructure. As part of this cooperation, the Ministry focussed on the following activities in particular:
- possibilities to use funding from the Structural Funds and PHARE / Transition Facility Funds through the Ministry of Culture; and
- participation of the Ministry of Culture in external executive bodies.
The Ministry established a coordination committee to manage cooperation, while cooperation was implemented within the office of the Ministry by the Department for Structural Funds and Financial Instruments.
During the shortened 2004-2006 programming period, the Ministry of Culture made use of funding from the structural funds in the following operational programmes:
Basic infrastructure operational programme:
- priority: local infrastructure, measures for building and developing the cultural infrastructure, building and developing an information society for the public sector, and renovation and development of municipalities.
Industry and services sectoral operational programme:
- priority: improving the competitiveness of industry and services using domestic growth potential, measure: Support for the building and reconstruction of infrastructure; and
- priority: Development of tourism, measure: Support for the building and reconstruction of the tourism infrastructure.
Single Programming Document Objective 2 - Bratislava region:
- priority: Support for economic activity and sustainable development in the target area, measure:Support for social services in the area CR and recreation, Renewal and development of municipalities and preservation of cultural heritage.
Interreg III and Basic Infrastructure Operational Programme, measure: Building and developing institutional infrastructure in the area of regional cooperation.
Sectoral Operational Programme Human Resources:
- priority: Increased qualifications and adaptability of employees and persons entering the labour market, measures: Adaptation of professional education and training to meet the needs of the knowledge-based society; Increased scope, improvement and broader provision of continuing education in order to improve the qualifications and adaptability of employees.
Single Programming Document Objective 3 - Bratislava region:
- priority:The development of life long learning and the support for research and development in the context of human resources quality improvement.
PHARE / Transition Facility Fund 2005 - involvement in a project financed in the Internal Market sector.
The Ministry of Culture was represented in the following bodies for inter-ministerial cooperation addressing issues relating to the structural funds:
- equal representation of the Ministry of Culture in external executive bodies;
- the Government Council for Regional Policy and Supervision of Structural Operations;
- the Coordination Committee of the Deputy Prime Minister;
- the Committee of Director Generals at the Ministry of Construction and Regional Development;
- National Monitoring Committee for the Community Support Framework;
- Monitoring Committee for the Basic Infrastructure Operational Programme;
- Monitoring Committee for the Industry and Services Sectoral Operational Programme;
- Managing Commission for the Community Initiative Interreg III B CADSES;
- the Working Group for the Preparation of the2007-2013 National Strategic Reference Framework;
- the Inter-ministerial Working Group and Group of Specialists in Partnership for the National Framework for the preparation of the 2007-2013 National Strategic Reference Framework; and
- the Inter-ministerial Working Group for the Preparation of Innovative Forms of Financing that can be supported from the structural funds in the 2007-2013 period.
Activities in Slovakia in the new programming period 2007-2013 will be governed by the National Strategic Reference Framework approved by the European Commission on 17 August 2007. The individual operational programmes for the new period were then approved, of which the most important for the cultural sector are the Information Society (approved by the European Commission on 17 September 2007; the managing authority is the Slovak Republic Government Office; the financial contribution of the European Community to the programme is euro 993 095 405) and the Regional Operational Programme (approved by the European Commission on 24 September 2007; the managing authority is the Ministry of Construction and Regional Development; the financial contribution of the European Community to the programme is euro 1 145 million).
For culture, the National Strategic Reference Framework emphasises the acquisition, organisation, preservation and making accessible of documents and collections as moveable elements of cultural heritage. Museums, galleries and libraries play an essential part in this process. At present, Slovakia has 85 museums and 25 galleries, holding nearly 9 million items in their collections, and more than 7 000 libraries. In its strategy for the development of society and the regions, the document emphasises the importance of investing in cultural heritage sites, which have a significant influence on the productivity and competitiveness of a region. In this context, the document also emphasises that Slovakia is characterised by inadequately connected and poorly integrated urban planning, and practice and planning in relation to monuments and the environment. This fact limits the effectiveness of urban development and the protection of cultural heritage (buildings, moveable items and intangible heritage). There are 13 070 buildings recorded as monuments in Slovakia, of which 31% are in good condition but 19% (2 521 buildings) are damaged, nearly 6% (722 buildings) are derelict and under 6% of buildings are currently being restored.
In cooperation with the civic association Partnerships for Prosperity and the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Culture organised a professional seminar on 26 September 2007 on priority axis 2 of the Information Society Operational Programme Development of monument and fund institutions and the renewal of their national infrastructure. The topics under discussion were the digitisation of cultural heritage and the interoperability of information systems in the cultural sector and areas for the preparation and implementation of key projects in the following period.
Other areas of cooperation between the Ministry of Culture and other ministries are support for higher education, which is the responsibility of the Ministry of Education (the Ministry of Culture contributes from its grant programme towards the activities of the arts academies), cooperation with the Ministry of Interior in relation to archives (archives in Slovakia are the responsibility of the Ministry of the Interior) and cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on provision for the activities of Slovak institutes abroad and the presentation of Slovak culture in other countries.
The Ministry of Culture carries out the duties of the state administration in relation to the culture of national minorities and marginalised groups.Its main activities in this area are as follows:
- preparation of strategy materials relating to the development of minority cultures;
- concepts and analyses on conditions and status of persons belonging to national minorities in Slovakia;
- cooperation with parliamentary committees, with the section for human rights and minorities in the Government Office, the human rights department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and departments of central state administrative authorities working on national minority issues;
- cooperation with local government in towns and villages in creating conditions for the culture of national minorities;
- basic distribution of funding for the culture of national minorities through the Ministry of Culture grant system; and
- provision of grants for church funding.
The administrative activities of the ministry in relation to national minorities are carried out by the Directorate General for Minority and Regional Cultures.
The problem of tolerance in various areas is addressed by the following ministries and institutions in their areas of responsibility, with whom the Ministry of Culture cooperates in questions of minority cultures:
- the Deputy Prime Minister for the Knowledge Society, European Affairs, Human Rights and Minorities;
- the government representative for the Roma community - coordination of state policy towards the Roma ethnic group;
- the Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
- the Ministry of Interior - Migration Office;
- Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family - equal opportunities, social inclusion;
- Ministry of Education - provision for minority education;
- regional governments; and
- local governments.
Last update: August, 2018
Fundamental changes in the structure of cultural institutions, due to changes in ownership relations, were carried out in Slovakia in the 1990s. The restitution of property to individuals and churches had an impact on changes in the ownership structure of historic landmarks. The privatisation of former state institutions was carried out in some sectors of the cultural industries (publishing houses, magazines, music companies, agency activities, audiovisual production). The promotion of private undertakings brought considerable development to the creative industries, in some sectors (advertising, graphic design, industrial design, architecture). An important step was undertaken by implementation of the so-called dual system of television and radio broadcasting and the entry of private broadcasters into the media market.
The above structural changes were followed by the transformation of the public administration and the transfer of some competences in the area of culture from the central level to regional and local self-administration (see chapter 1.2.4).
In 2007, a system of the division of competences in the area of culture was stabilised in the Slovak Republic.
Information is currently not available.
Last update: August, 2018
The Ministry of Culture directly manages 32 cultural institutions, which have the status of state budgetary organisations or allowance organisations. In the case of some of these organisations, the Act itself regulates their position, tasks, activities and management (see chapter 4.2.1).
The list of national cultural institutions supervised by the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic:
- Pamiatkový úrad Slovenskej republiky (Monuments Board of the Slovak Republic);
- Slovenské národné múzeum (Slovak National Museum);
- Slovenské technické múzeum Košice (Slovak Technical Museum);
- Múzeum SNP Banská Bystrica (Museum of the Slovak National Uprising);
- Slovenské národné divadlo (Slovak National Theatre);
- Divadlo Nová scéna (theatre);
- Štátne divadlo Košice (theatre);
- Štátna opera Banská Bystrica (opera);
- Slovenská filharmónia (Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra);
- Štátna filharmónia Košice (State Philharmonic Orchestra in Košice);
- Slovenský komorný orchester Å½ilina (Slovak Chamber Orchestra);
- Slovenská národná galéria (Slovak National Gallery);
- Slovenská národná kniÅ¾nica (Slovak National Library);
- Univerzitná kniÅ¾nica v Bratislave (University Library);
- Slovenská kniÅ¾nica pre nevidiacich v LevoÄi (Library for isually handicaped people);
- Štátna vedecká kniÅ¾nica vKošiciach (science library);
- Štátna vedecká kniÅ¾nica vBanskej Bystrici (science library);
- Štátna vedecká kniÅ¾nica v Prešove (science library);
- Slovenský filmový ústav (Slovak Film Institute);
- Národné osvetové centrum (National Centre of Public Education and Culture);
- Divadelný ústav (Theatre Institute);
- Hudobné centrum (Music Centre);
- Literárne informaÄné centrum (Information Centre on Literature);
- Slovenské centrum dizajnu (Slovak Design Centre);
- Medzinárodný dom umenia pre deti Bibiana (International Art House for Children);
- Slovenský Ä¾udový umelecký kolektív (Slovak Folk Ensemble);
- Umelecký súbor LúÄnica (Art Ensemble LúÄnica);
- MaÄarský umelecký súbor Mladé srdcia (Hungarian Art Ensemble);
- Ústredie Ä¾udovej umeleckej výroby (Folk Centre);
- Slovenská ústredná hvezdáreÅˆ Hurbanovo (Slovak Central Observatory);
- Ústav pre vzÅ¥ahy štátu acirkví (office of relations between state and churches); and
- TlaÄová agentúra Slovenskej republiky (Slovak Press Agency).
The list of stated institutions illustrates the diversity of the controlling influence of the Ministry; it also illustrates partial differences in the scope of activities of individual organisations. Apart from these traditional cultural institutions of national importance, the Ministry has also been managing some organisations of regional importance, artistic choral groups, folk art, or institutions dealing with the issues of minority groups or ecclesiastical matters. A great number of the management activities of the Ministry are taken up with the gradual devolution of competences to lower bodies of public administration (self-governing regions). Many entities remain under the direct supervision of the Ministry, especially due to a lack of regional financial sources necessary for the preservation of their activities.
Public cultural institutions neither on national level nor on regional level have not apply any major reforms concerning their legal status or financing system in recent years. All of these institutions are mostly financed by public funds (state budget - Ministry of Culture, regional budget - self-governing regions). In 2003-2004 on ministerial level there were discussions on transformation possibilities of some public cultural institutions into non-profit organisations or "public serving" organisations, mostly based on combination of public sources (finances, property) and private investments. This discussion has not been developed into a draft of a detailed transformation process. Recently a discussion is mostly focused on financing schemes (grant programmes) and contract model applied in financing system of public cultural institutions.
Partnerships between the public and private sector in the area of culture exist in the Slovak Republic, especially in the form of providing support to specific cultural projects and activities (sponsoring) or in the joint financing of artistic production, renewal and propagation of cultural values.
One example of a partnership at the level of state administration and the private sector is the SPP Foundation (SPP = Slovenský plynárenský priemysel, the Slovak Gas Industry), a priority of which is also supporting cultural heritage. In 2006, the SPP Foundation, jointly with the Ministry of Culture, supported -within the grant programme ‘Renewing Our House' - the restoration of historic landmarks in Slovakia, by providing 7 grants totalling SKK 50 million (ca euro 1 462 000).
The formation of conditions for the creation of new partnerships and combining private and public funds for cultural activities is the priority of the Ministry of Culture, in order to improve conditions for the multi-source financing of culture. A positive example of combining public and private funds is the Audiovisual Fund, currently under preparation, which should draw funds both from the public and private sector (payments of users of audiovisual works) and distribute these funds between projects aimed at the production and distribution of Slovak audiovisual works. Furthermore these funds will be invested to support the development of the audiovisual industry in the Slovak Republic. The Act on the Establishment of the Fund is being prepared by the Ministry of Culture and should be submitted for legislation by 2008.
A positive example of a strategic partnership at regional level is the co-operation of Å½ilina Self-Governing Region (ZSK, Å½ilinský samosprávny kraj) with the Centre of Contemporary Art Foundation, on the project The Cultural Policy from Amsterdam to Zilina. The project, supported by the European Cultural Foundation, the Ministry of Culture and the Matra Programme of the Netherlands, was implemented between 2005 and 2007, and the result is the document From Cultural Values to the Value of the Culture - the Strategy of Culture Development in the Å½ilina Self-Governing Region. A representation from ZSK approved the document in October 2007 and the material forms the basis for the plan of cultural development in ZSK, in the period of 2008 - 2013.
Last update: August, 2018
The Ministry of Culture provides for the implementation of cultural policy in the area of international cooperation in international organisations, multilateral groupings and bilateral communication. The activity of the ministry in international relations is governed by law (Act 575/2001 on the Organisation of the Government of the Slovak Republic and the Organisation of the Central State Administration of the Slovak Republic), the government manifesto and the objectives of the foreign policy of the Slovak Republic and also bilateral and multilateral agreements and undertakings of the Slovak Republic.
In relation to cultural foreign policy, the government manifesto emphasises mainly the further deepening of the European integration process and the consolidation of the EU in order to strengthen a democratic, secure, economically dynamic and prosperous, socially stable and responsible, educated and cultured Europe. It also emphasises relations with neighbouring countries with a view to the development of wide-ranging cooperation in the political, economic and cultural fields. The government's aim is to develop regional cooperation, especially with the Visegrad group, with an emphasis on regional projects in the area of infrastructure, energy, the environment and culture. One of the priorities of Slovakia's foreign policy to is to support Slovaks in other countries and create conditions for the support of Slovak communities in order to preserve the linguistic, cultural and religious identity of Slovaks living abroad.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs coordinates the implementation of the foreign policy of the Slovak Republic and activities arising from Slovakia's membership of international organisations, provides for certain forms of international cultural contacts, in particular with foreign Slovaks (through the Culture and Slovak Expatriates Department, which is part of the Directorate General for External Communications of the MFA) and directly manages the activities of the Slovak Institutes. The Ministry of Culture directs the methodological aspects of the cultural activities of the Slovak Institutes. The Slovak Institutes are established as cultural-information institutions and their main task is to represent Slovakia abroad. Their mission is to raise awareness of culture and the arts, education, science, tourism and the economy including the presentation of Slovak towns, villages and regions, businesses and Slovak products. The Slovak Institutes are part of Slovakia's missions abroad. Slovak institutes operate in eight countries: the Czech Republic (Prague), France (Paris), Hungary (Budapest), Germany (Berlin), Poland (Warsaw), Austria (Vienna), the Russian Federation (Moscow), and Italy (Rome).
The following foreign institutions operate in the Slovak Republic for the purposes of international cultural cooperation and the representation of their country in Slovakia:
- British Council;
- Bulgarian Cultural and Information Centre;
- Cultural Institute of Hungary;
- Czech Centre;
- Goethe Institut;
- Institut Français; and
- J.W. Fulbright Commission.
In the area of multilateral cultural cooperation, the international cooperation of the Slovak Republic is oriented mainly towards active participation in the bodies and programmes of the Council of Europe, activities with the Central European Initiative and activities and projects within the Visegrad group (see chapter 1.4.2).
The main priorities of bilateral cultural contacts are:
- the preparation of international contractual documents at intergovernmental and inter-ministerial level - cultural agreements as a basic instrument of cultural cooperation;
- the development, implementation and preparation of new projects, under contractual documents with the most important states in the area of bilateral cooperation through inter-governmental commissions and mixed commissions of specialists;
- continuous improvement in activities of state-managed cultural institutions and support for cultural exchanges in all areas of culture;
- cooperation with neighbouring states, EU states and the most important states in the G7; and
- presentation of Slovak culture through representatives sent to international festivals, symposia and congresses.
The Slovak Republic has established the following intergovernmental commissions for bilateral international cooperation, whose areas of activity include culture:
- the Intergovernmental Commission of the Slovak Republic and the Hungarian Republic for Questions of Culture and the Press (the organiser for the Slovak Republic is the Ministry of Culture);
- the Intergovernmental Commission for Economic-Commercial, Scientific-Technical and Cultural Cooperation between the Slovak Republic and the Russian Federation (the organisers for the Slovak Republic are the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of the Economy);
- the Intergovernmental Slovak-Ukrainian Commission for Questions of National Minorities and Educational, Cultural and Scientific Contacts (the organiser for the Slovak Republic is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs);
- the Slovak-Bavarian Intergovernmental Commission (the organiser for the Slovak Republic is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs); and
- the Slovak-Polish Intergovernmental Commission for Cross-border Cooperation - working group on culture, education and exchange visits of young people (the organiser for the Slovak Republic is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
The commissions were established on the basis of intergovernmental agreements as bodies to provide coordination and advice in the implementation of the agreements in the designated areas. The Ministry of Culture is represented in all the above commissions.
In 2007, Slovakia had 37 active bilateral international treaties on cultural cooperation concluded at an intergovernmental level, 4 international agreements concluded at ministerial level, 21 protocols and programmes on bilateral cultural cooperation and one special agreement (between the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic on the joint ownership, management and use of an exhibition pavilion in Venice). These agreements and protocols define cooperation in a number of areas of culture, audiovisual media, education, science and research.
The Ministry of Culture funds cultural activities abroad and supports the international presentation of Slovak culture from its budget. This includes the special grant programme Pro Slovakia, intended to support the export of Slovak culture and to present Slovak cultural activity abroad.
The structure of this grant programme in 2007 is as follows:
- presentation of art and culture abroad;
- mobility of artists and cultural workers; and
- support for successful international cooperation projects.
In 2007, the Ministry budgeted SKK 20 million (around euro 584 795; the average SKK / euro exchange rate in 2007=34.2) to support cultural activities abroad and SKK 20.7 million (around euro 605 263) for the grant programme Pro Slovakia. The Ministry thus allocated specific funding for the support of international cooperation projects amounting to nearly euro 1.2 million. These funds are intended to support specific activities and international cultural cooperation projects carried out by cultural organisations under state or public administration or organisations in the non-profit or private sector. The stated amount does not include funding for administration work related to international cooperation (ministerial staff), fees for Slovakia's membership of EU programmes or the direct costs of international cultural diplomacy at the ministerial level.
Last update: August, 2018
In accordance with the conception and priorities of international cooperation in the area of culture, the Slovak Republic maintains a permanent mission to the Council of Europe and the cultural programmes of the European Union. The provisions of Article 151.2 and 3 of the EU treaty have been incorporated as priorities in the cultural policy of the Slovak Republic, also in the area of international cooperation. The involvement of the Slovak Republic in the Culture 2000 and MEDIA programmes, and also the programme European Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008 and the Europe for Citizens programme is a determining factor in the implementation of international cultural cooperation. Slovakia has allocated adequate organisational and financial resources for the implementation of these programmes. The specific results of Slovak participation and cooperation in these programmes is regularly monitored and published on the website of the Ministry of Culture http://www.mksr.sk, the website of the Cultural Contact Point http://www.ccp.sk and the Office of Media Desk Slovensko http://www.mediadesk.sk. In 2006, 10 projects were supported under the Culture 2000 programme with support from Slovak entities, amounting to a total of euro 1 678 745.
The Slovak Republic is a member of the supranational (transnational) organisations the Central European Initiative and the Visegrad Group. The main priorities of Slovakia for cooperation on culture with the countries in the Visegrad group are as follows:
- Central European art projects: cross-border festivals, performances and joint exhibitions by young artists, the organisation of creativity camps, and support for journalism on Central European themes;
- the creation of a list of existing national events that are open to participants from other V4 member countries;
- cultural heritage, preservation of historic buildings and monuments;
- provision of grants and the award of prizes for essays on Central Europe; and
- initiatives for the creation of a common television programme presenting Visegrad topics on national public television broadcasters.
In order to implement these priorities and support projects in all areas of interest of the V4 countries, the International Visegrad Fund has been established on the 9 June 2000. (http://www.visegradfund.org).
The Central European Initiative (CEI) brings together 17 member countries. The former Czechoslovak Republic joined this initiative in May 1990 (sis months after the foundation of the initiative by four countries) and both successor countries of Czechoslovakia became members of the initiative. The main objectives in the creation of the CEI were to deepen and broaden economic cooperation between countries in the Central European region. 18 working groups were gradually established within the CEI and the Ministry of Culture became the coordinator of the CEI working group for culture and education in 1990. At present, the Ministry of Culture holds the long term chair of the CEI Working Group for Culture.
Through international cooperation in UNESCO, the Slovak Republic, either independently or by succession from the Czechoslovak Republic, is a contracting party to the following international conventions:
- Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (2005);
- Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (1972);
- Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property (1970);
- Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (1954), its execution regulations and two protocols (1954, 1999); and
- Universal Copyright Convention (1952, 1971).
The Ministry of Culture has overseen the legislative process for the ratification of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. The Convention was discussed and approved by the government on 8 November 2006. The National Council of the Slovak Republic then gave its assent to the convention on 12 December 2006 and it was submitted to the president of the Slovak Republic for ratification. The convention was ratified on 18 December 2006 and it entered into force on 18 March 2007. The supervisor for the execution of the convention is the Ministry of Culture, in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Voluntary payments to the International Fund for Cultural Diversity will be provided through the budget of the Ministry of Culture.
The Slovak Republic takes part in the ECoC - European Capital of Culture project and, under Decision No 1622/2006/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, it is entitled to propose one of the two European capitals of culture for 2013. The second of the two ECoCs for 2013 will be a city in France. In accordance with the rules and criteria of the project, the Ministry of Culture published a call for applications to be the 2013 ECoC in January 2007, together with all necessary information documents. In June 2007, the Ministry carried out a survey on the 2013 ECoC event. The objective of the survey was to obtain information on the initial number of applicants for the title of ECoC 2013 and on the questions that the cities answer in completing the candidate profile. The closing date for the submission of candidate profiles was 16 November 2007 and 9 Slovak towns and cities submitted candidate profiles by that date (Banská Bystrica, Bratislava, Dolný Kubín, Košice, Martin, Nitra, Prešov, TrenÄín, Trnava). The Selection Panel will select a shortlist of candidates on 31 December 2007. The final candidate city should be known in August 2008 and the Slovak Republic will submit its official nomination for ECoC 2013 by 31 December 2008.
Last update: August, 2018
Direct professional international cooperation in the area of culture takes place in Slovakia on a wide scale and at various levels - from state institutions to regional and local institutions, professional associations, artistic and cultural groups and community centres. The state and the lower levels of the public administration (the self-governing regions - see chapter 1.2.3) support direct international cooperation, mainly through co-financing of partnerships and projects for international cooperation from the state budget and other public funds (the budgets of the self-governing regions, towns and villages). An emphasis on support of direct international cooperation is one of the priorities of Slovak cultural policy at the state and regional level.
The Ministry of Culture also contributes to support for direct professional cooperation by covering membership fees, in part or in full, for cultural organisations to join international professional or non-governmental organisations in the area of art and culture.
In Slovakia, important international cultural events and festivals are held regularly and have a long tradition in all areas of art and culture: the Bratislava Music Festival, the Bratislava Jazz Festival, the International Festival of Contemporary Music Melos Étos, SPACE - an international music festival, the Summer Music Festival TrenÄianske Teplice, the Biennial Exhibition of Illustration in Bratislava, the Days of European Cultural Heritage, the Bratislava International Film Festival, the International Festival Art Film TrenÄianske Teplice, the International Theatre Festival Divadelná Nitra, the Central European Festival of Puppet Theatre, Bábkárska Bystrica, the International Festival for Drama Schools Projekt Istropolitana, the Festival of Contemporary Dance "Bratislava in Movement", the International Television Festival Prix Danube, the Month of Photography, the European Cultural Festival of the Nations and National Minorities FEMAN and many others.
The Ministry of Culture contributes to the financing of international cultural activities and events mainly through its grant system and its individual programmes. The basic principle for the organisation of such events is multi-source financing - in addition to public funds (the state budget, regional and local budgets) the project should be funded by the private sector (sponsors) and grants from international organisations and foreign partners.