2. Current cultural affairs
Last update: December, 2014
The National Programme for Culture 2014-2017 has been adopted after a broad and effective public debate encompassing a number of presentations, discussions and thematic sessions. The responses to the document have been very broad and are summarised in a document by the ministry of over 150 pages. The main priorities of the document are as follows:
Books: the main measures are to increase sales for books and their accessibility, digitalisation, strengthening of the reading culture and networking. The main measure is the so-called fixed-book price which will be coded in law for the first time in Slovenia. Also a focus on international promotion is included, including the presentation of Slovenia as a main guest at the Frankfurt Book Fair.
Film and audio-visual works: measures to address the lack of a coherent vision, insufficient public support and human resource issues are planned. Increasing audiences for quality Slovenian, European and Third World cinematographic and audio-visual works is important as well as developing the market for films.
Performing Arts: establishing a quality and efficient environment for top quality production and transmission in the performing arts, raising their reputation and greater access to public cultural goods is being foreseen as desired effects of measures in the performing arts.
Music: In the field of musical art, measures are envisaged to establish the conditions for superior Slovenian music and ballet productions, which will be recognised by domestic and foreign audiences. The volume of music audiences has to increase, in a manner ensuring the territorial dispersed and continuous availability of high-quality and diverse content. Particular attention will be paid to the enforcement of the cultural areas of artistic development in the field of copyright law, and the music market, where the integration of all four pillars (music production, concert mediation, promotion and distribution) can achieve better conditions for the quality and competitiveness of Slovenian musical creativity.
Visual Arts: measures in the field of visual arts are aimed at improving the working conditions for visual artists, providing diversity and accessibility; promotion of modern methods of presentation of visual arts and the involvement of larger audiences in the programmes and projects; the creation of the art market, with special attention to education of audiences, patrons and collectors of art; revitalisation of traditional crafts and skills in the conditions of modern production; and promoting the mobility of visual artists in the international arena (particularly through more effective representation of Slovenia in the central arena of the Venice Biennale and Biennale of Architecture).
Intermedia Arts: In the field of intermedia art more emphasis on introducing young artists, shaping and delivering new audiences, providing modern conditions of production of world-class, internationally comparable results and increasing the general availability of intermedia events at reference locations at home and abroad, and the integration of science and industry are envisaged.
Amateur Arts: In the field of amateur cultural activities, the key measures are aimed at the preservation of the volume and improving the quality and visibility of production; ensuring the conditions for the implementation of cooperation projects of recognizable Slovenian cultural associations and Slovenian artists with similar organisations in neighbouring countries; and the strengthening of the common Slovenian cultural space in the world with cultural information points in neighbouring countries; and the implementation of amateur culture as an important factor in the formation of a creative society through inter-departmental development projects and digitalisation (digitising choral units, units in the field of instrumental music and other music areas).
Media: In the field of media, measures are geared towards raising the readership of the general-news periodicals, newspapers and magazines, to raise the quality and increase the volume of high-quality media content in the areas of arts and culture, elementary education, higher education, health, science, environment protection, etc. In terms of media development there is a planned re-examination of the role and scope of public service broadcasting in Slovenia; enhancing quality broadcasting radio and television programmes that are of public interest; and to re- establish the status, role, importance and funding of radio and television programmes of special interest; raising media literacy and preparing the public for more complex media news; improving the social status of those self-employed and young journalists; and aiding in the creation of new forms of media ownership / management models (e.g. social entrepreneurship). A key goal in the field is also the placement of Slovenia among the top twenty countries in the Press Freedom Index by 2017.
Architecture: The measures in this field are aimed at establishing active inter-ministerial mechanisms that will respond to today's challenges of the Slovenian territory with sustainable development of cities, i.e. a creative, integrated approach, in which culture, the economy, the environment and social aspects play an equivalent role. Therefore, the aim is to reach a comprehensive architectural policy at government level by 2016.
Cultural heritage: The key objectives in this field are an active and attractive network of Slovenian museums, galleries and institutions, the creation of destinations, products and services of cultural tourism for greater visibility of cultural heritage and contribution to economic development and the increasing role of cultural heritage of Slovenia in the international arena.
Libraries and archives: Priority in the field of librarianship is to optimise the conditions for the realisation of the development potential of both national as well as public libraries, which will be achieved by updating the sectoral legislation, the development of professional guidelines and improving the spatial and technical conditions for their operation. A key objective in the field of archives is the higher level of protection and accessibility of archives and creating an environment and services for the storage of electronic archives.
Slovenian language: Measures are aimed at developing quality artistic and cultural creativity in the Slovenian language, developing language skills for all groups of speakers with the aim of raising the level of reading literacy and the spoken language and promotion of the Slovenian language in the public domain. The main measures in this field were elaborated in the Resolution on the National Programme for Language Policy 2014-2018.
Education in arts and culture: The priority in this field is the development of a system of arts and cultural education, which can be systematically implemented in the long term and will be based on the quality of cultural production. The development of quality, diverse and affordable supply of arts and cultural education in all fields of culture is important for different target groups; implementation of arts and cultural education as a lifelong dimension with an emphasis on the preparation of programmes that include older people (involving organisations for the elderly in collaboration with cultural institutions); as well as providing for intergenerational interaction in various fields of culture; professional training in the field of arts and cultural education for practitioners in culture and education; and the development and promotion of a reading culture.
Cultural rights: The main objectives in this field include a higher level of protection of cultural rights in the context of declared human rights; a higher level of sectoral and regional cultural integration of minorities; and diverse cultural activities of multiple members of vulnerable groups.
Cultural and creative industries: Important measures in the field of cultural industries are already included in other chapters so that the main objective is focused on increasing the market for cultural industries and a growing international recognition of Slovenian cultural industries. For the development of creative industries on the other hand a number of measures are envisaged such as priority support to projects involving creative industries in traditional industries; linking stakeholders in the development of creative industries (projects, transfer of good practices); introducing design management in public sector institutions; applying the rule "instead of exhaustible natural resources to exploit unlimited intellectual resources" and so on.
Digitalisation: The section on digitalisation, in addition to the digitalisation of collections and their safe and permanent storage, also provides for the provision of (Web) accessibility of digital cultural content, paying particular attention to the content tailored to young people and cultural minorities and other vulnerable groups.
International cooperation: Measures in this field aim at improving opportunities for greater international mobility of Slovenian artists with thematic presentations to target certain strategic geographical areas and residencies abroad and the promotion of Slovenian creativity and culture. Crucial in relation to international cooperation will also continue to be positive visibility and the extent and quality of the reach of presentation of Slovenian culture to foreign audiences as an important element of public diplomacy of the Republic of Slovenia.
Labour market in the arts: In the labour market for culture the planned measures are envisaged to involve all cultural producers (self-employed, non-governmental organisations, public and private sector). They point to the need for institutional arrangements in this area; the need to build support agencies or similar institutions that will focus on information, mediating and a supporting role (consulting and servicing in the field of tax and legal issues, copyright, training and job brokerage, and information provision between stakeholders in the field of culture). Such institutional support is a prerequisite for implementation of all planned objectives and measures that seek to create partnerships between all "four pillars" of the producers in culture.
EU structural funds: Assets of the European cohesion policy 2014-2020 are planned to be one of the key sources for the achievement of the objectives of the national programme. Depending on the financial perspective, which expires in 2013, more focus will be placed on investment projects, on projects that have an impact on the competitiveness, economic growth and an increase in the number of employees and human resource development. It is therefore crucial to secure the needed funds for ambitious projects of the National Programme for Culture 2014-2017 in the documents for the New Financial Perspective 2014-2020 (partnership agreement; operational programme; strategy of smart specialisation).
The National Programme for Culture 2014-2017 document adopted in the autumn of 2013 is rather broad and indefinite and almost all novelties are based on successful gathering of EU funds. Although culture on a declaratory level still enjoys some special attention, the new social climate means that it is pushed to the margins of the political agenda-setting which was shown e.g. in the adoption of the documents for the European Union's New Financial Perspective 2014-2020. Despite early adoption of the National Programme for Culture 2014-2017 by the minister Grilc, there was insufficient attention paid to inclusion of culture in the documents for the new perspective and culture is explicitly mentioned in the documents only in few marginal places. All the efforts (and written proposals) by the NGO sector to secure a better position for culture and to include some necessary large-scale projects in the fields of intermedia arts, contemporary dance, performing arts, self-employed in culture, financing of culture and international promotion of Slovenian culture went unnoticed and were to date not included in the documents. Therefore a serious drawback to the gathering of EU funds can be the highly marginal position devoted to the field of culture in the strategic documents on national level mentioned above.
Another important focus of the new National Programme is the cultural market, i.e. the selling of artworks. Many measures in the Programme are addressed towards the higher scope of the market, yet what is meant by the market is nowhere explicitly defined and most of the measures appear to be connected mainly with raising the cultural supply. There have been almost no studies in Slovenia in the past years estimating the scope and the (real, empirically shown) problems of the Slovenian cultural market. Measures such as fixed-book pricing, which are explicitly guided to correct and not to stir the market (as was pointed in the public debate) are announced as market enhancing measures. In this light it seems a necessity to perform better empirically driven analyses of markets in culture in Slovenia to help such conceptual decisions get better connection to the reality.
Among the measures that were really implemented during the one year mandate of minister Grilc were:
- The Law on Books, in practice it is identical to the fixed book price measure;
- Amendments of the Act Regulating the Realisation of the Public Interest in the Field of Culture in 2013, bringing some important new regulations and measures: three measures in the field of self-employment in culture - "pocket money", free accountancy for the self-employed and the possibility of covering an illness period lasting shorter than 30 days (for all three measures, see the chapter on employment and the chapter on social security laws); there is an obligation on all city municipalities to have adopted local cultural programmes and all other municipalities to have either a local cultural programme or inclusion of longer term guidelines in the field of culture included in one of the other local development programmes; easier regulation of co-financing the projects which were accepted on European tenders; additional education for members of the councils (governing bodies) of public institutions.
Another important development in the area of cultural policy is the proposal to change the Act Regulating the Realisation of the Public Interest in the Field of Culture.This had started in 2009 under minister Širca with the forming of the expert group to "modernise the public sector in culture". The expert group produced the first materials and proposals for changes in the Slovenian public sector in culture, which were focused on three areas: organisational and managerial structure; financing and market activity; human resources and employment conditions. Her successor, minister Dr. Žiga Turk, continued the process in 2012 but with a new task force partially composed of the same members but under the leadership of the state secretary. A written and completed proposal was presented in early spring 2013. The proposal was addressed again mainly towards the reform of the public sector in culture but since it encompassed also unpopular solutions that would diminish social security by subordinating all the working posts to the cultural programmes it has been viciously attacked by the representatives of the art scene and has been finally dropped. A new group was formed under the next minister, Dr. Uroš Grilc, in 2013 who announced the new cultural model. However, in his short mandate he succeeded in introducing some minor changes (see above) but did not have enough time for more broad and complete proposals with a thorough reworking of the act encompassing all the pillars of cultural sector (public sector, NGO's, self-employed and private companies). The new minister, Mag. Julijana Bizjak Mlakar, who took over the Ministry in September 2014 announced changes in the cultural policy system as one of her priorities and has at her disposal both the document produced by Minister Grilc as well as proposals originally made by Minister Turk and later significantly reworked and presented by the experts who wrote the original proposal.
This information will be published as soon as possible.
This information will be published as soon as possible.
Last update: December, 2014
The two previous National Programmes for Culture, the first from 2004-2007 and the second from 2008-2011 have special chapters devoted to e-culture. The following measures are listed:
- further digitalisation of public libraries and the national library (public libraries are already connected in a co-operative bibliographic on line system);
- multimedia network centres (15) in different regions;
- an inventory of cultural heritage;
- the digitalisation of the working process of public institutions from the field of cultural heritage protection;
- a national cultural portal;
- the establishment of a music information centre;
- the creation of a uniform information system "books on the market";
- archives of significant cultural content on the internet; and
- the digitalisation of Slovenian literary heritage on the Internet.
According to the summary of the current National Programme for Culture 2014-2017, the chapter on digitisation envisages, besides the digitisation and safe storage of content, also the provision of on-line accessibility to all digital cultural content, with particular care being devoted to content adapted to young users, cultural minorities and other vulnerable groups. An optimal organisation and free accessibility of digitised cultural content, created with public funds, is in the public interest, as in this way it serves educational, creative, research and also business purposes. In this context, we must not forget the issue of accessibility of work of contemporary authors, where the key challenge is to ensure adequate management and the protection of digital rights.
The following important measures and projects have been realised in the past years:
- In 2005, the Slovene Music-Information Centre (SIGIC) in Ljubljana was established with ambition to serve as a basic information centre for accessing information on Slovene musicians, music, musical heritage and activities in this area. SIGIC participates in the International Association of Music Information Centres (IAMIC). In 2007, a web portal with presentation of the Slovenian theatre SIGLEDAL was formed; since 2010 it receives acknowledgement and financial support from the ministry in charge of culture;
- In 2005 and 2006, a network of 15 multi-media centres in all statistical regions across Slovenia was established. Later, another four were included. A sum of 1.3 million EUR was invested in these centres, of which more than half of the amount was obtained from the European Structural Funds. Additionally, a separate accounting entry for financing activities connected to the regional cultural centres was planned, with the goal to increase the number of cultural institutions and their activities that are presented in individual regional internet portals, and to provide information on cultural themes, events and activities in the regions, and to enable connection to the national cultural portal. However, ambitions to get money from this European source during the present financial perspective are fading since the Ministry of Culture finds the related administrative procedures too bureaucratic. The most eminent of all centres is the Association for Culture and Education KIBLA in Maribor, the second biggest city in Slovenia. It combines a gallery, spaces for performances, a specialised bookshop and cyber café where new education, information, advisory, cultural and artistic praxis are successfully bridging borders between arts and science on one hand and research and education on the other. With more than 200 events and 50 000 visitors per year it is considered as a phenomenon. Its power is in its international reputation, excellent team with remarkable individuals, strong international connections, co operation (programme Culture 2000 in Culture 2007) and skilful self-promotion. Its international and national visibility makes it financially sustainable and fairly autonomous. KIBLA was also the head of preparation of the winning application for Maribor to become the European Capital of Culture 2012. This could be taken as an example of how a small cultural organisation can raise its profile by integrating information technology in all of its activities and programmes;
- The portal KAMRA, with the ambition to include libraries, archives, museums, associations, local study centres and multimedia centres was started in 2005 by ten Slovenian regional libraries. The portal is specially intended for knowledge of a particular geographical area and it therefore includes digital information created at the regional and local level. The information concerns life and events in local communities, documents on the history of local communities that can be a source for education, culture, tourism, the creation of e-content, as well as for the economy;
- The National and University Library – NUK developed the internet portal "Digital Library of Slovenia" (d-Lib.si) and connected its digital content to the European Digital Library. It was placed on the internet in 2006. It has the ambition to act as the national knowledge management portal and it offers free searches by source and access to digital content – magazines, books, manuscripts, maps, photographs, music and handbooks. Access to the collection on the portal is free. Besides being a repository for Slovenian digital publications, it also functions as a tool for harvesting Web publications on the basis of new legal deposit legislation which covers intangible digital publications as well. This SVAROG portal carries out its functions effectively since the publishers who are obliged to deposit the legal deposit of electronic publications, publishers who signed an agreement with the Slovenian Research Agency, and libraries and some other institutions have already successfully submitted their electronic material;
- The improvement of ICT equipment in public libraries is very much connected with the development of the Co-operative Online Bibliographic System and Services (COBISS) which functions as an integrated and shared bibliographic tool of the Slovenian library network where all kind of libraries in the country cooperate and participate. Libraries are already changing into information nodes and digital content providers. Libraries, museums and archives have internet access via the ARNES.
- The priority of digitising cultural heritage suffers from a lack of coordination although the need to set up an inventory of ongoing digitalisation projects has been recognised. Since the institutions are facing more and more pressure by users to make their collections available online it becomes clear that more digital content in all fields of cultural heritage, media and arts is needed. The leading institutions are the national library and state archives, first with digitised library materials such as manuscripts, newspapers and other periodicals, non-book materials like postcards, pictures, graphic art, maps and music(the biggest project of digitisation is a collection of articles of older Slovenian authors which includes 100 000 scans), and the second with old archival documents of different public sources (the most extensive project is the scanning of the Emperor Francis Cadastre which included 28 000 recordings or 2 800 recorded cadastral municipalities with 28 000 cadastral maps). National radio and television is expected to become another competence centre for digitalisation of cultural heritage. However digitalisation of radio-diffusion broadcasting presents a problem and Slovenia is at the bottom of the European states in this area. Although the awareness of the need to provide for digitised collections and to make them user friendly and service oriented has been increasing, there are still a lot of institutions that have not yet discovered the full potential of digitisation of their collection which results in a lack of quality of digital contents and related insufficient use of the internet in Slovenia.
- A Slovenian NGO organisation SCCA implements a website Artservis which serves as a fundamental resource for financial, legal, statutory, applications to tenders, tax and other organisational issues for the self-employed and non-governmental organisations in culture in Slovenia. Artservis has over 2500 users and it is complemented by the website Evrokultura (engl. Euroculture), which provides information related to European tenders (it is formally part of the Cultural Contact Point in Slovenia managed by SCCA itself).
- A new portal Culture.si was in 2010 by the Ministry of Culture. It is intended as a presentation of all relevant data in the field of culture in Slovenia to foreign visitors. It offers four major services: an up to date address book, logo and logo banks for downloading and use according to their specific licences, calendar of international events, and reference articles on Slovene culture.
- In the framework of European Capital of Culture 2012 a programme module LIFETOUCH devoted to digital presentation and experimentation of the art events has been formed. It followed two basic principles. The first was to present the entire scheme of the programme and activities that are part of the European Capital of Culture (ECOC) Maribor 2012 to the entire world with the help of the internet. The part of the Maribor 2012 cyber space, intended for the programme section LifeTouch, should become a place, where a sort of media experiment is unravelling, an experiment that connects and gathers contents related to the ECOC Maribor 2012 from other media sources. The second part of the programme cycle LifeTouch was the publication of (auto) reflections, which was divided into two sections. The first part of the contemplations was aimed at following and (auto) reflecting on the programme, events and contents, offered by the ECOC Maribor 2012. The second part of the reflections was connected to contemplations of wider cultural and geopolitical contexts that affected and determined the areas of the eastern cohesion region - the area of the ECOC, seen through history and today.
Some of the planned measures remain completely unrealised such as the development of the unified information system for books on sale. There has been vivid discussion on which model to implement. Another project still waiting to be accomplished is the national cultural portal, although regional cultural portals such as the one in the region Posavje (Multimedia centre Krško) offer the realistic possibility to bring them together in one common access point.
Although the acceptance of three important legal documents for digital culture (in 2006 the Legal Deposit Act and Protection of Documents and Archives and Archival Institutions Act and in 2007 the Cultural Heritage Protection Act) could be considered as the realisation of the strategic documents, legislation is just an instrument like the strategic documents and not the end in themselves. These acts revise previous or bring new legal foundations to libraries, archives and museums for collecting, manipulating, preserving and use of digitised and digitally produced publications and archival documents which is of long term importance. In their regulative capacity they offer important legal grounds for positive developments of the information society in these fields. As such they could be considered as an official call for action.
Last update: December, 2014
Historic and geographical links put the Balkans in the centre of this topic while cross-boarder co-operation in general could be understood as an approach to the realisation of the Common Slovene Cultural Area where collaboration with Slovenes in neighbouring countries represents the main vehicle in building cross-border cooperation.
Very intensive collaboration is significant for the cross border programmes in the field of cultural heritage:
- CULTH:EX: A long-lasting objective of a SLO – AUT project is development of sustainable strategies for improvement of attitudes of owners of cultural heritage towards their own heritage and property and enhancement of possibilities for their maintenance and sustainable development.
- Revitalisation of the Histrian Countryside and Tourism (REVITAS) is a project SLO – HR, with the objectives of forming a model of revitalisation, restoration of cultural heritage and development and promotion of integrated tourist products.
- Archaeological parks of the Northern Adriatic (PArSJAd) Arheološki parki Severnega Jadrana (PArSJAd) is a project of a SLO – ITA programme, with the objective to regulate the chosen locations, to form a model of archaeological didactics, and promotion and popularisation of archaeological heritage.
- Shared culture is a project of SLO – ITA that concerns valorisation and promotion of common cultural heritage of the Slovenian-Italian borderland territory je projekt SLO – ITA.
- Pearls of our cultural landscape: the main objective of a SLO – AUT project, finished in 2011, was documentation and treatment of common cultural heritage in borderland of Slovenia and Austria by consideration of the common cultural heritage and regional differences.
- InterArch Steiremark: a SLO – AUT project processes and digitalises archives of archaeological collections from Slovenian and Austrian Styria which are located in the Universal Museum Joanneum, in the geographical information system (GIS). It also creates a bilingual digital tool for exhibiting archaeological sites on both sides of the border project.
Intercultural dialogue: actors, strategies, programmes
Slovenia adopted a special policy on this issue due to European Year of Intercultural Dialogue in 2008. This doesn't mean that a process of encouraging an open and complex cultural environment for creativity hasn't been already an integral part of Slovene orientations in various fields, such as culture, upbringing and education, foreign and internal policies. This aspect is included in various laws and regulations, and similarly various campaigns on the level of ministry policies and on the level of implementation of national and EU legislation, in both its binding and non-binding aspects. But these policies got the label of intercultural dialogue only when the National Strategy for Implementing the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue was adopted. Its main objectives were:
- "establishing civil-social dialogue on as many levels of social life as possible, in cooperation with non-governmental organisations and the media from all fields that involve intercultural dialogue;
- including intercultural dialogue as one of the leading principles of Slovene foreign policy;
- enabling mobility within and outside the EU, especially in the fields of art, science and education, particularly in such a way as to support the flow of ideas and individuals;
- coordinated migration policies within and outside the EU;
- encouraging intergenerational dialogue;
- treating state borders and EU borders as points of co-existence;
- stressing the importance of multi-linguality;
- vertical communication and continuity in the education system, from primary to higher education, which respects the principle of intercultural dialogue; and
- stressing intercultural dialogue in informal forms of upbringing and education."
Once the flagship project was over this rhetoric lost its relevance but the activities continued within the policy for minorities and promotion of human rights.
There are two fields of cultural activities, in particular, where intercultural dialogue comes to the fore:
- literature (seminars, workshops, literature competitions, publishing); and
- ethnic programmes (seminars, workshops, meetings) featuring music and dance of all cultural / ethnic minorities in Slovenia.
There are two main public actors responsible for implementing the programmes to promote intercultural dialogue: the Ministry of Culture, which provides most of the financial support and the Republic of Slovenia Public Fund for Cultural Activities, which organises cultural events and educational activities for minorities on the national, regional and local level (see also chapter 2.6). The Public Fund is also a cultural network which enables multidirectional interactions between cultural societies of majority and minority cultural groups or societies and local communities, through its 59 local offices. In this way, the Public Fund is also the link between governmental administration, local communities and cultural societies or institutions from various ethnic groups as the main players in intercultural dialogue.
On the "civil" side, there are approximately 55 active societies and associations of "new minority" groups and about 60 from "constitutional minorities". With the support of local governments or the office of the Public Fund, these associations have two major priorities:
- they are a meeting point for members of various minorities, they enhance social life and they enable the sharing of information from the "old country" or daily life in their new environment;
- they are maintaining the traditions of their ethnic group and passing the cultural values to younger generations; and
- they are mediators between different cultures and providers of cultural events and goods for broader audiences.
Beside these activities, there are also some civil society organisations, such as the Peace Institute, which organise round tables, seminars, workshops, panel discussions, and which supports scientific research in this field.
Since 2000 active citizenship education and civic culture have been included in primary education.
The topic of intercultural dialogue is included in different subjects such as Slovenian language, social sciences, geography, history, and foreign languages. On the level of optional subjects the topics that deal with interculturality and tolerance are included in the syllabi of the subjects such as Philosophy for children, Religion and ethics and Civic education.
The Elementary School Act (1996) provides the legal basis for:
- education on mutual tolerance, respect for differences and ability to live in a democratic society. The instruction of native languages and cultures of children who are foreign citizens or without citizenship and living in the Republic of Slovenia shall be offered in compliance with international agreements. (...); and
- the teaching of the Slovenian language may be offered to immigrant children. A Strategy of inclusion of migrant children, pupils and students in the education system of the Republic of Slovenia was prepared in January 2007. It is based on interculturalism, openness of the curriculum and cooperation with parents and it provides for :
- defining the scope, forms and methods of adjustment of carrying out the curriculum to achieve faster and better inclusion in the process of education;
- successful inclusion of migrant children in the preschool, school, social and, later, in professional environments;
- developing the capability of presentation of one's own culture, perception, understanding and accepting difference, with a view to overcoming prejudice against other cultures, comparing different cultures, fostering tolerance, maintaining and upgrading one's own identity and culture;
- quality education and training of teachers and other professionals;
- quality teaching of the languages of migrants; and
- adoption of Slovenian as the second language for inclusion in the educational system.
National action plans are provided for the implementation of this strategic document.
The Office for Youth, a body within the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports, monitors the situation of young people and implements measures in the field of non-formal education, leisure time and participation of young people in society. There is a space for intercultural dialogue in its programme to promote social integration, personal growth and autonomy by establishing a network of information centres throughout Slovenia. Through co-financing and numerous organisations that work with the young or deal with youth questions, the office can bring more attention to intercultural dialogue issues.
Government's overall approach to intercultural dialogue
Last update: December, 2014
The Elementary School Act promotes an intercultural approach to school activities, together with the appreciation of Slovenian culture and tradition. In elementary schools, some of the mandatory subjects - Slovenian language, Society, Geography, History, German language - include intercultural education. Interculturalism and tolerance are also covered by optional subjects such as Philosophy, Religion and Ethics and Civic Education. Intercultural education also includes modules about the cultures of other communities living in Slovenia. See also chapter 5.1 as the arts and cultural education encompasses an intercultural dimension as well.
Last update: December, 2014
The organisation and ownership structure of the media sector
In Slovenia, 111 TV channels are officially registered in the Media Register that is established within the Ministry of Culture. Nine digital terrestrial television channels (all broadcasting in Slovene) can be viewed by more than 95% of the population: SLO1, SLO2, SLO3, TV3 mEDIAS, Pop TV, Kanal A, Planet TV, Golica TV and Pink SI.. Other television channels cover local and regional areas. One regional television channel (Vaš Kanal) obtained digital broadcasting license and it is broadcasted via national digital terrestrial multiplex (MUX-A). Other channels are transmitted through cable systems or IPTV, while some are broadcasted via local digital terrestrial broadcasting system. Foreign channels are available through cable and satellite; some, such as National Geographic, Discovery, Hallmark and HBO, broadcast their programmes with Slovenian subtitles, as local affiliates of the trans-national channels.
The public broadcaster, RTV Slovenia, includes Television Slovenia (Televizija Slovenija) and Radio Slovenia (Radio Slovenija). There are five public service television channels: SLO1, SLO2, and SLO3 are national channels, and Television Koper / Capodistria and Television Maribor (Tele M) are regional channels.
The public service broadcaster, Radio Slovenia, has eight channels. These are: Radio Slovenia 1, 2 and 3, Radio Koper, Radio Maribor, Radio Capodistria (for the Italian-speaking minority), Pomursko-Hungarian Radio (for the Hungarian-speaking minority) and Radio Slovenia International. According to the data of the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia for 2010, there are 116 radio channels of which 18 are of special importance. The second channel of TV Slovenia, SLO2, provides complementary programming. SLO2 is event-oriented, broadcasting mostly sports, documentaries, and arts. SLO1 lays great stress upon its informative role and reaches virtually all of Slovenia's television households, while SLO2 reaches 99% of these households, RADIO Slovenia 3 (ARS) is dedicated to the areas of culture, art, science and education. Approximately three quarters of the programmes are occupied by music, especially serious music, extending from classical to contemporary. The Programme ARS also broadcasts radio plays, literary broadcasts, professional and scientific essays.
Below is an overview of the quotas imposed on television and radio channels of special importance:
- "Local television and radio channels of special importance" must cover 10% of the population of Slovenia and broadcast at least 30% of local in-house content production daily;
- "Regional television and radio channels of special importance" must cover between 10% and 50% of the population of Slovenia and broadcast at least 30% of regional in-house content production daily; and
- "Non-profit television and radio channels" must broadcast at least 30% of in-house production (news and current affairs, arts, educational, cultural and entertainment content) daily.
Channels (local, regional or student) defined as having special importance for their communities must provide local and regional content (news, current affairs and culture), or content dedicated to students.
In the past few years, media pluralism has been one of the most political issues of all government activities in Slovenia. In 2002, a category for media was introduced in the national budget for the first time (0.53%); in 2013 this percentage was 1.64% which is half of the amount dedicated to this purpose in 2005 (3.59% ). See also chapter 2.9.
Anti trust measures to prevent media concentration
Potential investors have to receive permission from the Ministry of Culture if they intend to acquire 20% or more of the proprietary shares or the voting rights in newspaper, television or radio companies. The Mass Media Act (2005 latest amendment) which was adopted in 2001 is a way to be more precise and demanding regarding the provisions about ownership control and quotas. It foresees that the Ministry must consult the Agency for Post and Electronic Communication, the Securities Market Agency, the Competition Protection Office and Broadcasting Council, before ruling on such requests.
The Mass Media Act provides for some market transparency: by the end of February each year, broadcasters must publish their basic ownership data in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia. For every owner in possession of more than 5% of the broadcaster's proprietary shares or voting rights, they must disclose the name and surname of the individual, or the name and location of the company. The names of the managers must also be disclosed. The Ministry of Culture enters this ownership data into the Media Register, which is publicly accessible.
In accordance with the Mass Media Act, owners can be involved in either radio or television broadcasting, but not in both. The owner of a radio or television channel can control up to 20% of the shares or voting rights at a daily newspaper and vice versa. There are no limits regarding cross-media ownership of magazines, radio or television channels. Advertising agencies cannot own or control more than 20% of the shares or voting rights of a radio or television channel. Telecommunications companies cannot own a radio or television channel.
The share of domestic vs. imported media programmes
In accordance with the Audiovisual Media Service Act (2011)
- European audiovisual works must account for at least 50% of the annual transmission time of following channels of RTV Slovenia (SLO 1, SLO 2, SLO 3); and
- European audiovisual works by independent producers must account for at least 10% of the annual transmission time of following channels of RTV Slovenia (SLO 1, SLO 2). At least half of this works must have been produced in the last five years.
In accordance with the Mass Media Act:
- both channels of public service television transmission, SLO1 and SLO2, have to reserve at least 25% of their annual airtime for programmes produced in Slovenia; and
- the public service broadcasters must reserve 10% of their schedule for programmes by independent producers.
Table 5: The structure of TV Slovenia's broadcasts 2010 (SLO1 and SLO2)
|Type of production||Total transmission time||Share / hours||Percentage|
|In-house production||17 520*||5 898||33.7|
|Slovenian AV works||8 946**||2 938||32.8|
|Slovenian AV works Independent production||2 938||781||26.6|
|European AV works||8 946||4 729||52.9|
|European AV works Independent production||8 964||1 320||14.8|
|European AV works Independent production Recent works||1 320||1 032||78.2|
* Daily transmission time according to Article 66 of the Mass Media Act.
** Annual transmission time according to Article 92 of the Mass Media Act (excluding advertising, television sales, trailers, sports, news and TV games).
The Mass Media Act only stipulates that 20% of the commercial stations' daily broadcast time must be produced in-house or on the behalf of the broadcaster. In-house works, of at least 60 minutes' duration altogether, must be shown between 18h00 and 22h00 hours each night. Two per cent of the stations' annual broadcast time must consist of films of Slovenian origin or other works from the field of literature, science and art.
In accordance with the Audiovisual Media Service Act:
- European audiovisual works must account for at least 50% of the annual transmission time of every broadcaster; and
- European audiovisual works by independent producers must account for at least 10% of the annual transmission time of every broadcaster. At least half of this works must have been produced in the last five years.
Quotas of Slovenian music
The prescribed share of Slovenian music to be broadcast daily by radio or television programmes is 20%. This percentage is 40% in the case of national radio and television programmes and 25% for radio and television channels of special importance.
The main debates in the context of EU competition policies
The idea of prohibiting (mostly or totally) advertising in public service broadcasting, so that commercial stations would have the advertising market to themselves, is constantly vivid, especially in the times of changing media legislation However, as the nominal number of homes with televisions in Slovenia is small - only 680 000 (about 99% in 2008) - it seems unrealistic to expect that public service broadcasting could finance itself only from license fees.
Type of support provided by the government for the production and distribution of local content
Television and radio channels "of special importance", in accordance with the Mass Media Act, receive, inter alia: preferential treatment when applying for broadcasting frequencies; lower prices for copyright; and free distribution by cable operators, where possible. They can also receive funds from the state budget, particularly the Ministry of Culture, for specific projects, such as arts, news, documentaries and so forth.
Arts and culture programmes
There are regular programme series with cultural or artistic content (as a part of a central information programme or in the form of magazines, documentaries etc.) broadcast from SLO 1 – Public TV. The share of these programmes, in total broadcasting, is approximately 5% (the figure is not precise because of different methodologies and definitions of such programmes).
Specific training programmes
There are many specific training programmes for journalists concerning intercultural dialogue and diversity of views, organised mostly by the Peace Institute and the Slovene Association of Journalists. Recently, the Peace Institute organised a series of seminars in cooperation with the British Embassy in Ljubljana, on themes such as multicultural societies and the media, the position of the Roma people in the Media, as well as the media and social / ethnic minorities.
Last update: December, 2014
The official language in Slovenia is Slovene. In those municipalities where Italian or Hungarian national communities reside, Italian and Hungarian are also official languages. Programmes planned for minorities (see chapter 2.6) also contain support to projects linked to the development of their languages. Special status of Roma people promotes preferential treatment of Roma problematic and their language. Nest to the projects for strengthening comprehensive competencies in Slovenian language by Roma people the main concern goes to language codification and systematisation of Roma language and creativity in Roma language. In last few years more attention has been paid to the languages of immigrants and support to creative and media projects by inhabitants and organisations from ex-Yugoslav countries. Public television has special programmes intended for all officially recognised minorities. In Slovenia the problem of language pluralism is not publicly exposed. However, Slovene is a language spoken by only 2 million people and it needs to be preserved and developed, therefore special care and language policy is undertaken.
The legislative procedure to adopt Public Use of the Slovene Language Act in 2004, which gives a legal basis for linguistic policy, showed that in different societal sub-systems (economy, education and science) the protection of Slovene is considered as a barrier for development. The current status of Slovene as the language of communication in scientific research and academic instruction at Slovenian universities reflects the global problem of the relationship between national languages and English in science and academia.
The range of normative measures is therefore restricted and the weight of linguistic policy will have to stand on positive measures, which are linked to financing different linguistic programmes, projects and structures dealing with language.
The Ministry of Culture has a special department for the Slovenian language and language policy with numerous concrete tasks:
- admonish those agencies which do not implement the legal provisions on the use of the Slovenian language;
- monitor the inclusion of language policy into national programmes;
- address comments and complaints from legal persons and citizens regarding the use of the Slovenian language as an official language;
- co-finance programmes and projects which are meant to enforce, promote and develop the Slovenian language;
- provide information explanations about standards for the Slovenian language, about possibilities for language improvement among adults and about language rights of citizens and foreigners on the territory of the Republic of Slovenia; and
- co-operate with similar organisations / institutions in other countries.
In 2007, the National Programme for Language Policy for the period 2008-2011 was adopted as the main instrument predicted by Public Use of the Slovene Language Act (see also chapter 2.1) at the occasion of the European Day of Languages on the 26 September. Since 2010 a new NPLP for the period 2012-2016 has been in the process of formulation and is currently in the last stage of verification and acceptance at the government level – it is reported that the parliament will be able to address it at the beginning of year 2013. Main changes in focuses in comparison to first Programme is shift from the field of protection of Slovenian language to the field of language education (in Slovenian and in context of the implementation of foreign languages in the education process – compulsory secondary foreign language, English language in higher education process and in research, bi– and multi–lingualism, Slovenian language as secondary language and as foreign language) and to the field of language equipment (resources, technology, digitalisation, standardisation, language description, terminology and multilingualism, etc.). More attention as compared to previous period is dedicated also to language policies of speakers with special needs. The Resolution on the National Programme for Language Policy 2014-2018 adopted in July 2013 identified a series of goals and measures to be implemented at inter-ministerial level. The measures will support excellence in artistic and cultural production in the Slovenian language, development of linguistic capacities of all groups of speakers in order to improve their reading skills, promote good-quality language skills that will be comparable to those of other European countries, and develop and promote the public use of the Slovenian language.
In 2008 the Ministry of Culture published a booklet on Slovenian as a European language, which was prepared in co-operation with the European Parliament, the Information Office for Slovenia, the Representative Office of the European Commission in the Republic of Slovenia and the Government Office for European Affairs. The core of the booklet is based on the history and present-day dimensions of the Slovenian language, its many dialects and development of the written language, its official status and the use of modern social and technological processes and of course its grammatical features. The initiative for the publication came from the Ministry of Culture's Sector for the Slovenian Language, as informing the Slovene and foreign publics about the Slovenian language, the language status of Slovenia and the language policy and culture is one of the primary goals of the Resolution on the National Programme for Language Policy.
Since 2004 there is a special budget line for the promotion and development of the Slovene language and since the year 2007 also a special budget line for implementation of measures of language policy which is also in the interest i.e. for the benefit of speakers of other languages at the Slovenian territory. From 2004 until 2007 on the yearly basis around 20 000 EUR has been allocated on yearly basis for the first purpose through a public call. From 2007 until 2012 in the range from 50 000 to 150 000 EUR has been allocated for the second purpose for support to projects of implementation of language policy measures (researches and analyses, digitalisation, creation of web tools, portals and user manuals, promotional / marketing activities, etc.) through instruments of public calls and contracts. In this period the ministry has allocated several thousands of Euros for implementation of different aspects of language policies also from other sources (budget lines) while individual measures for the field of language policies have been (co)financed also by other state bodies (despite there is no overview, the report on implementation of NPLP 2007-2011 is being made including the estimates of these financial resources). In 2007 a separate item line was introduced for the promotion of the languages of other ethnic communities. All together the amount of public funds increased from 20 000 EUR annually in the period from 2004-2007 to 50 000 EUR-150 000 EUR in the period from 2007 to 2012.
Last update: December, 2014
The position of women in culture and cultural policy can be examined through the participation of women in leading positions in public institutions; on councils of public institutions; on national bodies in the field of culture; and on expert commissions of the Ministry of Culture.
Table 9: Share of women holding leading positions in public institutions, 2003
|National public institutions and funds||Municipal public institutions financed by the Ministry of Culture||General libraries|
|No. of directors||27||40||60|
|% share of women||22.2%||42.5%||80%|
Sources: Ministry for Culture.
Table 10: Share of women as members and Presidents of Councils of public institutions, 2003
|National public institutions and Funds||Municipal public institutions financed by the Ministry of Culture||General libraries|
|No. of presidents||27||40||60|
|% share of women||25.9%||25%||66%|
|No. of members||146||223||430|
|% share of women||33.6%||38.1%||55.8%|
Sources: Ministry for Culture.
Percentage of Women in National Councils:
Table 11: Share of women on the National Council for Culture, 2003
|Number||Percentage of women||President|
Sources: Ministry for Culture.
Table 12: Share of women on the National Council for librarianship, 2003
|Number||Percentage of women||President|
Sources: Ministry for Culture.
Table 13: Share of women on Expert Commissions of the Ministry of Culture, 2003
|Number||Percentage of women|
Sources: Ministry for Culture.
The data shows that the number of women is decreasing with the importance of the position. The percentage of women holding leading positions in national public institutions as central and leading institutions is 20%, while in the municipal public institutions the percentage amounts to approximately 40%.
It is also evident that a great number of women, almost 80%, are employed as librarians. Regardless of this fact, the percentage of council members and presidents indicates that this percentage is decreasing on the level of management (there are only 59% female members and 66% chairwomen). This decrease can be explained by the fact that the municipalities, while appointing their representatives, are not bound to the profession of librarian. In this way they can include more men. The greater percentage of chairwomen than members of the council indicates the degree of trust and competence, which obviously recognises women in the field of librarianship. The highest position, Director of the National Library, is held by a man, yet the National Council for Librarianship is chaired by a woman. Many women are represented in this council (64%). In the National Council for Culture, which is an independent body appointed by the Parliament, there are 30% women, but the chairman is a man.
Although the majority of employees in the public cultural sector are women, the share of women in expert commissions of the Ministry of Culture only amounts to one third (35%). We should point out that in the field of cultural policy no special attention is paid to gender in regular hiring practices. However, the state is preparing a Resolution on the National Programme for Equal Opportunities of Men and Women (2005-2013), which defines the basis of gender equality politics in the Republic of Slovenia, sets goals, measures and key decisions in politics. In 2006, quotas of female political candidates were implemented for the first time.
The main initiative with an objective to produce and organise affirmative action projects, in order to draw attention to the disproportionately low participation and representation of women in the field of arts and culture, is undertaken by the Association for the Promotion of Women in Culture - City of Women. The City of Women International Festival of Contemporary Arts was first organised in 1995 in Ljubljana as an initiative of the Governmental Women's Policy Office (later renamed as the Equal Opportunities Office) in order to draw attention to the relative lack of participation and presentation of women in the arts. Since 1996 it has been organised as an annual international festival of contemporary arts by the City of Women Association for Promotion of Women in Culture. The festival presents women artists from Slovenia and abroad working in different disciplines and contexts. Held annually in Ljubljana over a period of 10 days in October, the festival presents some 40 events, including theatre, visual arts, performance art, dance, film, video, literature, and multimedia, which relate to and discuss the selected theme of each year's festival. The 17th edition of the festival in October 2011 was called Abrakadabra, featuring the secrecy, illusions, rites and imagination that actually reflect the social, political and individual transformations (source: Culture.si).
This information will be published as soon as possible.
Last update: December, 2014
The Slovenian Constitution recognises three minorities: Hungarian (6 243-0.32%), Italian (2 258-0.11%), and Roma (3 246-0.17%). There are also "new minorities" – namely groups from former Yugoslavia – which do not have the status of official minority, but enjoy their cultural rights as citizens: Croats (35 632-1.81%), Serbs (38 964-1.98%), Bosnians (21 542-1.10%), Macedonians (3 972-0.20%), Albanians (6 186-0.13%) and Montenegrins (2 667-0.14%), who migrated when the war broke out in the ex-Yugoslavia or were already established in Slovenia when the country declared its independence in 1991. This data on the "new minorities" was taken from the 2001 census. More factual estimates indicate that they actually represent an even larger percentage, from 7% to 9% of the whole population. The legal basis for their rights is Article 61 of the Constitution, which states that each person shall be entitled to freely identify with his / her national grouping or ethnic community, to foster and give expression to his / her culture and to use his / her own language and scripts. The legal basis for the policy is also found in the Act on Enforcing Public Interest in the Field of Culture (2002) (Article 65), which defines that the state can finance programmes intended for the "cultural integration of minorities and immigrants" and "the needs of blind, deaf and other groups of the population with special needs". In 2007 the German speaking community received its recognition on the basis of a bilateral agreement on Culture, Education and Science between Slovenia and Austria. Traditional autochthonous minorities, Hungarians and Italians, enjoy collective rights (bilingual education and administration, parliamentary representation, etc.), laid out in Article 64 of the Constitution. The Roma minority is catered for by a separate Article, which indicates that the "status and special rights of the Romany community living in Slovenia shall be regulated by law" (Constitution of Slovenia, Article 65). In 2007 this Law was finally adopted. The Roma Community Act (2007) defines the scope of special rights of the Roma Community, the jurisdiction of state authorities and the local community authorities in exercising those rights, and the organisation of the Roma community in order to implement their rights and obligations as set out by the Act. The Self-Governing Ethnic Communities Act, defining the special rights of the Italian and Hungarian minorities, was adopted in 1994, while the Romany communities have their own town councillors in the municipalities where they live (19 of 210 municipalities).
The Ministry of Culture has been developing its model on the protection of cultural rights of all minorities as one of the main challenges after the dissolution of ex-Yugoslavia was how to extend cultural policy measures to so called "new minorities" composed of citizens that came to Slovenia during the Yugoslav period. The model is a result of the recognition that an active intervention on the part of the government in complex social situations is necessary to facilitate positive intercultural and interethnic relationships. It is based on preferential treatment of minorities through special public tenders and on integration in regular public calls. The model also includes constant evaluation and improvements to achieve equity for participation in cultural life. According to the summary of the National Programme for Culture 2014-2017, an additional challenge is the area of the protection of cultural rights as human rights, in particular the human rights of minorities and vulnerable groups; the question is how to establish conditions for wider social integration and demarginalisation in a context of a rich, good-quality cultural life for everyone living on the territory of Slovenia. The goals are as follows: to ensure a higher level of protection of cultural rights within the framework of human rights protection, a higher degree of cultural integration of minorities at the territorial level and within specific disciplines, and to encourage the cultural activities of members of groups that are vulnerable in multiple ways.
From 2010, the funding of the cultural activities of "new minorities" was delegated to the Public Fund for Cultural Activities as it has professional infrastructure in support of these activities all around the country (see chapter 6.4). In its first year, the fund allocated 223 600 00 EUR, that is 15 000 EUR more than the year before, but the number of beneficiaries almost doubled which is an important change that should be observed. The subsidies were allocated to:
- organisation of cultural events and touring of cultural groups and artists;
- preparation of seminars, workshops, lectures, summer camps;
- counselling, supporting, informing related to the field of cultural activities; and
- publishing of periodicals and other publications.
The Ministry kept funding for the official minorities, Hungarian and Italian and the Roma people. In terms of funding in 2010, 754 820 EUR was dedicated from the national cultural budget to the Hungarian and Italian Minorities and 87 583 EUR to the Roma People. Additionally, the Ministry started to develop more intensive programmes for blind and deaf people (see chapter 2.7).
Table 4: Broadcasting for minority groups in Slovenia, 2006
|Broadcaster||Minority group||Name of owner or controlling organisation||Founding year||Circulation|
|Italian Television Koper||Italian||RTV Slovenia||1971||9.5 hours / day|
|Radio Capodistria||Italian||RTV Slovenia||1949||24 hours / day|
|Hungarian Lendava Studio Programme||Hungarian||RTV Slovenia||1978||30 minutes / 4 times per week|
|Muravideki Magyar Radio||Hungarian||RTV Slovenia||1958||13 hour and 15 minutes / day|
|Studio D (Novo mesto)||Roma||Private company Krater||2002||30 minutes per week-|
|Romskih 60 on Radio Murski Val||Roma||Private company Podjetje za informiranje||2002||60 minutes per week|
Source: RTV and private broadcasters.
By the end of 2007, Roma people got their own transmission on public broadcasting station - channel SLO1.
Citizenship participation is guaranteed on the highest political level for both official minorities - each has its representative in the Parliament, with the same responsibilities as other deputies. In accordance with Self-Governing Ethnic Communities, Article 3 (Official Gazette RS, No. 65/94), the minorities' representatives:
- give consent to matters concerning the protection of special rights of ethnic communities. The decisions are made together with bodies of self-governing local communities; and
- discuss and study matters concerning the status of ethnic communities, they adopt standpoints and they submit proposals and initiatives to competent bodies.
See also chapter 2.5.1.
Last update: December, 2014
Slovenia signed the JIM-Joint Inclusion Memorandum of the European Commission programme on social inclusion in 2002. In 2004, the National Action Plan on Social Inclusion (2004-2006) was adopted. In 2006, Slovenia joined the other members of the EU in drafting the "National Report for Strategies on Social Protection and Social Inclusion 2006-2008" and in 2007, the "Amended National Report for Strategies on Social Protection and Social Inclusion 2006-2008" was adopted. Its goal was to check the implementation of the measures contained in the strategy and to outline other important developments that have taken place since the adoption of the Strategy or that have took place in 2007. Later on the production of this kind of document ceased.
In 2010 a contact point for the field of human rights and minority's cultural rights was formed at Ministry of Culture, and several analyses have been performed under its cover. Currently an idea to form a national institution for human rights is being considered by the Republic of Slovenia. Positive feedback for this idea has been received from the United Nations, which also advised Slovenia to implement a National Action Plan in the Field of Human Rights, following the 71st paragraph of the Vienna declaration (1993).
The project European Capital of Culture Maribor 2012 also brought particular emphasis to community and social cohesion aspects, especially with its programme module Urban Furrows. The programme module was established so that it developed concrete examples of good practice in terms of alternative and autonomous production, specifically in those aspects of life which are a prerequisite for a tolerant, mutually cooperative, and creative society. On one hand, it was focused on strengthening a culture of cohabitation, while on the other it aimed to preserve the cultural heritage which inevitably includes biotic diversity. It primarily aimed to establish examples of good practice to empower communities. In less than half a year, with the intense cooperation of five research groups, the programme expanded its activities to include cooperation with over a thousand children, parents, various ethnic groups, experts, youth, farmers, workers, homeless people, Roma, handicapped people, and those who feel they have no future. The affirmation of the oppressed and dehumanised, or those who, despite their capabilities and competency, are unable to make a living, took place through attempts to construct new kinds of subjectivities, which were established through emancipatory processes, such as the creative communities, cooperation, mutuality, solidarity, and dignity. During the project, seven innovative development projects were undertaken (Sustainable Local Supply, Seed Library, Alternative Community Gardens, Ethnomobile, Teleport, Centre for Alternative and Autonomous Production, Answers and Alternatives with Rhizom Group). It was the first time such emphasis on community and cohesion projects was given during the European Capital of Culture project.
The Ministry of Culture introduced a special budget item line in 2005 dedicated to blind and deaf people. In 2010 around 182 000 EUR was allocated to publishing in Braille scripture, for media activities and technical equipment. The umbrella association of deaf people received funds for the special technical infrastructure. A specialised library operates at the Association for Blind and Short-sighted People.
The Third Age University of Slovenia is a voluntary educational movement aimed at those over the age of 50, mostly retired people, but also for older workers who are unemployed. It has been established to provide access to culture and education for the elderly and to contribute to their changing social and economic position. The Third Age University encompasses, at present, 35 universities all over the country. Each Slovenian university organises study circles, lectures, and some of them also have summer universities, educational camps, study trips, etc.
The Third Age University has both educational and social goals. It has recently introduced two new fields of research and activity pertaining to all adults, regardless of their age, namely dyslexia in adults and burn-out as a result of non-reciprocal relationships at work or in private life. Objectives are:
- to stimulate the development of the education of the elderly for social roles, personal growth, second careers and active citizenship;
- to educate the elderly;
- to educate mentors and other professionals;
- to investigate education of the elderly and to raise public awareness in the field;
- to offer counselling on the local, national and international level;
- to conduct public campaigns aiming at changing the position of the elderly in society; and
- to design new educational programmes for the elderly and other adults.
This information will be published as soon as possible.
Last update: December, 2014
Organisation of the national culture portfolio
The main debate in last years was triggered by dissolving the Ministry of Culture and transfer of its competencies to a new, so-called "super-ministry" for education, science, culture and sport. According to the Government of the Republic of Slovenia Act 4/93, 71/94 - ZODPM, 23/96, 47/97, 23/99 - ZSOVA, 119/00, 30/01 - ZODPM-C, 52/02 - ZDU-1, 123/04, 24/05 - UPB1, 109/08, 38/10 - ZUKN, 8/12, 21/13, 47/13 - ZDU-1G, and 65/14), the Ministry of Culture was abolished in February 2012, an incorporation of the culture portfolio into a much bigger Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport. This was part of the programme of the newly elected right-wing government, yet was part of the programme of almost all parties participating in the 2011 parliamentary elections. This was somewhat surprising, since culture has had an important role in Slovenian nation-building and that the Ministry of Culture was a symbol of Slovenian cultural sovereignty from the ex-Yugoslavia. Soon after the independence of Slovenia it became clear that culture lost some of its previous importance. Nevertheless the cultural budget has been more or less successfully protected. The discontinuation raised a heated debate and provoked reactions that go far beyond an organisational issue. In presenting the new cabinet, the right-wing prime minister justified the move with the need for cuts. However, columnist Miha Jenko in the left-liberal daily Delo stated that "The question remains, what it best for small Slovenia. The country must abide by global principles in culture as well as finance. Those working in the culture sector should decide the matter for themselves. Ultimately, however, only the coming years will show who is right: those in favour of abolishing the ministry or those who oppose the move. As an author dealing with budgets and other financial matters, I can only say that combining the cultural portfolio with other areas will not bring any financial savings to speak of." Therefore, the main financial concern did not relate to the potential savings on behalf of the merge, but to the hypothesis that the area of culture lost its main advocate at the political table. In reaction to the abolition of the culture ministry, the Coordinating Committee for Culture (KOKS) was set up by several influential and important cultural associations in Slovenia - altogether 26 of them, from the Writers' Association (representing in recent Slovenian history the main public voice concerning nationality, creative freedom and political pluralism) to the Asociacija Society (representing NGOs and independent artists). In response to the government's move, several protests raised opposition to the government decision http://www.sloveniatimes.com/protests-in-defence-of-culture-ministry which reached its climax during celebrations of the Prešeren's Day (the Slovenian national cultural celebration which commemorates the day of death of the most celebrated Slovenian poet France Prešeren) on 8 February 2012. Several protest actions by cultural organisations and individuals happened during the celebrations yet it didn't change the decision.
A negative image of the "new super minister" increased in later weeks when he announced severe cuts for the arm's length bodies, Slovenian Film Centre and Slovenian Book Agency and discontinuation of the Centre for Contemporary Dance Arts (the institution which was established only in 2011 after long years of negotiations). Minister Žiga Turk became the subject of a second wave of attacks following the announcement of severe austerity cuts in the national cultural budget for 2013, which diminished by 14% (the programmes part). When the new left wing coalition took power after the political crisis in 2013 it re-established the Ministry of Culture as a separate ministry.
Finally, in 2014 a new, left-central oriented government was elected under the leadership of Dr. Miro Cerar. The new Minister of Culture, Julijana Bizjak Mlakar, a mathematician, politician and health care expert and activist, had no previous experience or competency in the field of culture. A strong debate followed her election with many cultural intellectuals strongly objecting to her election. Interestingly, several of the heaviest critics became part of the new team of the Ministry, while the real effects and efficiency of the new crew of remains to be seen.
The absence of a sectorial Strategy for Cultural Heritage Protection
According to the Institute for Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia the implementation of the activity of heritage protection is being troubled mostly by the absence of a Strategy of Heritage Protection. This strategy would have to set the objectives, directions and measures of holistic maintenance of heritage, being the subject of public benefit, on the basis of assessments of heritage endangerment and opportunities for its development. The holistic protection of heritage which is not yet being pursued adequately should be realised in developmental planning and measures of the state, regions and municipalities, so to include heritage in the process of sustainable development while respecting its specific nature and social importance.
Several voices call attention to the weak awareness of some actors about their roles towards protection of cultural heritage, the absence of heritage on the level of the state which would advocate for the public interest of heritage protection and not least the disconnection and sporadic character of civil initiatives and interested public who would be an equal partner to protection institutions especially in valorisation, interpretation and planning of protection interventions.
The Strategy should be prepared by the Ministry of Culture in cooperation with sectors whose tasks reach into the field of heritage protection. Such a strategy would be a foundation for preparation of documents of developmental planning and determination of policies in the field of culture, and include spatial regulation, protection of the environment, protection from natural and other disasters, buildings, the economy, tourism, research and the information society, education, training and lifelong learning. Besides the insufficiently established preventive protection of heritage and lack of awareness of society that the activity of heritage protection is also an activity of the economy, the Institute for Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia also establishes the inappropriate channelling of EU resources into cultural monuments in the Republic of Slovenia. Although the adoption of such a strategy is in accordance with the Cultural Heritage Protection Act it is still uncertain if the first such document that would outline long-term and midterm priorities of protection service activities is going to be prepared.