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CULTURE IN SHORT

The perception of culture to change

THE NEW action plan for culture for years 2015-2017 should change the paradigm of the perception of culture in society, Culture Minister Marek Maďarič said on November 18 at a meeting of experts who should prepare the document.

THE NEW action plan for culture for years 2015-2017 should change the paradigm of the perception of culture in society, Culture Minister Marek Maďarič said on November 18 at a meeting of experts who should prepare the document.

The minister stressed that they want to change the perception of culture as some kind of superstructure or luxury that only wastes money, to some kind of area that is “organically connected to the state and its economy”, as reported by the TASR newswire.

“We want people to feel that strong and developed culture impacts the country’s development and serves as an impulse of the economy’s competitiveness,” Maďarič added, as quoted by TASR.

Regarding the Strategy of Cultural Development 2014-2020 and the Action Plan for 2015-2017, the minister said that Slovakia has never had such a clear and comprehensive map of the development of culture.

“I think that this material has the potential to be accepted by the whole society as the base of the state cultural policy,” Maďarič added, as quoted by TASR.

While the strategy, adopted by the government in May 2014, sets seven areas on which the country should focus, the draft action plan defines 60 specific tasks. It, for example, sets the indicators for fulfilling these tasks as well as the real sources of financing, the culture minister said.

The ministry has already been dealing with some tasks, like the establishment of a fund for supporting the art planned for next year, the preparation of the strategy for development of the creative industry and the new copyright law, as reported by TASR.

When discussing the draft action plan, some experts spoke of the task to increase the share of state expenditures on culture. Some of them proposed to define at least the inter-stage between the current contribution and the European standard at 1 percent of GDP. In this respect, Maďarič pointed to the limitations of the state and its budget.

“There is the aim to achieve a balanced budget, and also there are demands for safety and if we add there the indicators of economic growth, it is clear that 1 percent within this action plan is not feasible,” Maďarič continued, as quoted by TASR.

He added that there is a possibility to include a proposal to gradually increase the contribution into the action plan, but that will depend on the Finance Ministry and whether it accepts it or not.

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