NEWSLETTER No. 28 / December 2014 

Dear Compendium friends / chers amis du Compendium / Liebe Compendium-Freunde,

As customary, our Newsletter presents new content, elements and features of the "Compendium" Edited by the Council of Europe Secretariat and the European Institute for Comparative Cultural Research (ERICarts), this information and monitoring system provides key facts about cultural governance issues and trends in Europe  now operable in three languages (English, français, deutsch).

Many thanks especially to our long term supporters who continue to encourage us with feedback and through using the Compendium as their preferred information and research tool! 
Your / votre / Ihr Compendium Team!

Culture and Democracy
 The top priority in the new Compendium themes section

Introducing new elements in the THEMES section

Since the start of the Compendium project over 15 years ago, topics like cultural access and participation for different groups of the population or multi-stakeholder governance issues were seen as important themes to be dealt with on this information and monitoring platform. Until a few years, related information and data could be found mainly in various sub-sections of individual Compendium country profiles as well as in a number of comparative / statistical tables

However, since issues such as socio-economic impacts, democratic participation, decentralisation or digitisation in the domain of culture recently gained momentum in the European political discourse where e.g. civil society access is now seen as an essential factor of democratic governance, including in social inclusion policies and as a means to foster intercultural dialogue, the Editors decided to further underline the transversal character of the Compendium in an enhanced THEMES section. At the same time, the now 10 different transversal THEMES are to contribute to the follow-up activities of the last Ministerial Conference on Culture (Moscow, April 2013).

Together with important background and research documents and links to the country profiles, the extended information provided in this section can assist governments, NGOs and other Compendium users in their efforts to start monitoring and comparing cultural policies and related measures, including those aiming at improving access to arts, media and heritage activities or enhancing democratic governance processes.

  New Cultural Policy Actor in Focus

The Chief of Section of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions within UNESCO s  Division of Cultural Expressions and Creative Industries and Secretary of the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions Danielle Cliche has been nominated as new  Cultural Policy Actor in Focus (CPA) on the Compendium homepage.



  Passionate Democracy
 The Scottish Referendum: What's next?

Research & Development article written by Andrew Ormston,
Director Drew Wylie Ltd.

Written in the wake of the independence referendum with its landmark turnout of voters, the personal thoughts and experiences of Compendium expert Andrew Ormston provide us with a first-hand impression of the campaign and what it could mean for cultural policies in Scotland. His article can also be seen as a passport to the new Culture & Democracy Theme of "Regional and Local Cultural Policies".

According to Ormston, there are signs that cultural actors in the (now still) north of the UK may be more attracted by ideas and solutions of close-by Nordic countries than by those postulated in the halls of Westminster&

read more »



  13th Assembly of Compendium Experts in Brussels

The Assembly will be held on 4-5 December at the "Académie Royale de Belgique" in Brussels in the framework of the Belgian Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.

The event contributes to the follow-up on the Ministerial Conference on Culture (Moscow, 15-16 April 2013) by offering in the framework of the Council of Europe 's CultureWatchEurope initiative a seminar and public forum on "Culture and Democracy - Transparency in Multi-Stakeholder Governance Systems".

The most recent version of the Agenda can be found on the Compendium homepage. Guests are cordially invited, especially to the Public Forum on Friday, 5th December, 13.30-17h

At this event, cultural policy makers, experts and practitioners from all over Europe will discuss, inter alia,  the draft framework of indicators on culture's contribution to democracy, identify indicators on culture’s contribution to democracy and will – based on empirical evidence or case-studies – debate controversial issues

More information is available on the Compendium homepage as well as on its Facebook / LinkedIn extensions. 

  The Compendium enhances its Multilingual Features

Thanks to the support of several different national governments the number of country profiles that are also available in their original languages is growing steadily:

The Belgium profile is now also available in French (on the French interface as well as a downloadable document; and

The Latvian profile is now also available as a downloadable document in Latvian.

Additionally an Azeri version of the Azerbaijan profile will soon be presented as a downloadable document.

This way, the Compendium comprises now 13 original language versions of national cultural policy profiles in the profiles download section and should soon grow to 14!

The National Profiles of the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Latvia and Sweden were recently updated.  Below are some selected Highlights:

Czech Republic

  • A Concept of Support for the Arts for 2015-2020 will be submitted to the government at the end of 2014. The Strategy for the Digitisation of Culture for 2013-2020 lays out the strategic goals of digitisation and the goals of individual branches in the cultural sector.
  • A new concept to support the Roma community for the period 2014-2020 has been adopted by the government.
  • More than 45% of employees in the cultural sector work in branches where the wages are lower than the national average wage.
  • A VAT amendment from Jan 2015 introduces a special VAT rate of 10% for books, although other cultural goods will have an increase of 1% VAT rate to 15%.
  • The new Minister of Culture (2014) will prepare a new act on public cultural institutions.
    Budget cuts for culture in 2013 and 2014 are primarily impacting on the independent sector but state institutions are also affected.


  • New Directions of Cultural Policy 2014-2020 were published by government in February 2014, with a new focus on cultural practice, sustainability and culture as a constituent part of other fields of society and government.
  • A council of experts dealing with the preservation of digital heritage was formed in November 2013.
  • A debate about establishing a public TV channel for service in Russian surfaced again in 2014.
  • A controversy over the chief editorship of a state-owned cultural weekly triggered a wider discussion over the independence of arm's length bodies and the downfall of the Minister of Culture.
  • An amendment to the Copyright Act 2013 specifies the right of a musical performer to receive royalties from the publisher of a phonogram during a period of 50 years from the first-time publication of a performance.
  • Public cultural expenditure decreased from 251 million euro in 2011 to 226 million in 2012.


  • The Ministry of Education and Culture announced a schedule of budget cuts for the arts and culture between 2015 and 2018.
  • A decrease in profits from the National Lottery will result in a cut of 4.3 million EUR in the financing of cultural organisations in 2015.
  • Restructuring at the Department for Cultural, Sports and Youth Policy in May 2014 will see a separate Department for Art and Culture.
  • Direct copyright revenue streams in the creative industries showed growth in all industries apart from advertising between 2012 and 2014.
  • The National Audiovisual Institute is a new body responsible for film classification and the national audiovisual archive from 2014.
  • The new Cultura Foundation takes over responsibility for cultural and social integration of the large Russian speaking minority in Finland.
  • A new government programme focuses on participation by children and youth in cultural services including a new national promotion centre for children's culture and arts education.

The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

  • Some of the priorities following the elections in 2014 are regulations for publishing, encouraging foreign investment in the film industry, working conditions in music and art establishments, cultural heritage measures, and cultural heritage in old city centres.
  • A new National Strategy for Development of Culture 2013-2017 was adopted by the Parliament, but without any input from the opposition parties.
  • Amendments (February 2014) to the Law on Culture radically changes the status of employees in public cultural institutions.
  • The draft Law on Public Interest in Culture (February 2013) has been announced, but it has not yet entered the regular procedure.
  • The new Law on the Support of Domestic Music Production was strongly opposed by experts and the opposition.
  • The Ministry of Culture has announced a programme to support the development of young artists and professionals in film, theatre, music, dance, literature, visual arts, and protection of movable and immovable cultural heritage in 2014.


  • A new mid-term cultural policy document "Creative Latvia" for the period 2014-2020 was produced in July 2014.
  • Latvian culture as part of European cultural diversity is the priority of international cultural policy in 2014.
  • Following the economic crisis, stabilisation has started in different fields, including financing for culture, cultural consumption and spending on culture.
  • From 2008-2012, the number of creative industry enterprises increased by 35%, although employment in this sector declined.
  • The National Development Plan of Latvia for 2014-2020 includes the development of creative territories and cultural services.
  • In 2013, the Ministry of Welfare was working to tighten the laws on public service pensions, including those in the cultural sector.
  • The budget of the Ministry of Culture rose from 135 million euro in 2012 to 142 million in 2013.


  • A Cultural Policy Bill was passed by parliament setting new objectives for Swedish cultural policy.
  • A national project (2013-2015) will study how museums influence the perception of national identity.
  • Changes in the unemployment insurance rules have been feared to harm artist groups on short-term employment contracts, although the impact on the cultural sector is not yet clear.
  • From the beginning of 2014 municipalities and counties must have library plans, responsible for all public libraries in their area.
  • Crowd funding and sponsorship in public cultural institutions in Sweden is increasing, but at a slow pace.
  • The last survey of cultural activity showed 40% of adults attended theatres, 16% classical concerts, 48% visited museums, and 53% public libraries.
  • On 1 January 2014, three universities of the arts merged into the new Stockholm University of the Arts.
  • Civil society volunteering in arts and culture estimate a contribution of 16 million hours, an average of 100 hours per volunteer per year.

Answering Your Questions

Contact the Compendium Editors for general editorial questions and comments:

Kathrin Merkle, Council of Europe
Andreas Wiesand, ERICarts Institute

Contact the Coordinators for specific content questions and comments:
Siobhan Montgomery, Council of Europe
Olivier Göbel, ERICarts Institute

Contact the Web Master with your technical questions:
Joerg Torkler, Medianale Group

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