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CULTURE SHORTS

EC approves the scheme of state aid for minority culture

THANKS to the approval of the scheme of state aid issued by the European Commission, the Government Office will be able to complete the distribution of subsidies to national minorities to support their culture, the TASR newswire reported on December 16.

THANKS to the approval of the scheme of state aid issued by the European Commission, the Government Office will be able to complete the distribution of subsidies to national minorities to support their culture, the TASR newswire reported on December 16.

The Government Office asked the EC to assess the scheme in September 2013 via the Finance Ministry and the Permanent Representation of Slovakia to the European Union. The EC issued its decision on December 5. It suggests that providing the subsidies to support periodical and non-periodical press in the language of national minorities in Slovakia within the Culture of National Minorities programme is in compliance with the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. This concerns publications that focus on historical origins and needs of national minorities. These publications cannot be substituted with those which are in the Slovak language or in the language of other minorities imported from other EU member states, as reported by TASR.

The scheme will be valid until 2020.

Thanks to the approval, the Government Office was able to pay off two recent agreements: one for the Hungarians worth €2,500 and one for the Ukrainians worth €29,400 concerning publishing activities.

It will also allow more flexible distribution of subsidies for publishers, which is an important move in the field of cultural development of 13 national minorities living in Slovakia, TASR wrote.

Slovakia supported a total of 1,231 projects realised by 583 applicants worth more than €3.54 million within the Culture of National Minorities programme in the first phase. During the second phase, altogether 44 applicants with 53 projects received aid of €209,952.

The Office of the Government’s Proxy for National Minorities wants to accelerate the process of re-distribution of subsidies and make it more flexible. This should be proven by the fact that the deadline for submitting applications is January 19, 2015, two weeks earlier than this year, as reported by TASR.

The total amount allocated for supporting the culture of national minorities will stand at €3,879,250 in 2015.

Topic: European Union


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