Government passes 2018-2022 National Strategy for Culture Development

The government at a session on Tuesday passed the 2018-2022 National Strategy for Culture Development and the Action Plan that in fact opens the way for comprehensive reforms planned by the Ministry of Culture.

The main objectives of the five-year cultural strategy involve decentralization and demetropolization of culture and easy access to culture for all citizens equally.

“This year, we are opening several processes to reconstruct the system and we expect in the process to take part all those interested and the public in general,” Minister of Culture Robert Alagjozovski told a news conference at the government after it passed the strategic document, which is to be forwarded to Parliament for consideration.

As regards concrete steps to reform the cultural sector, Alagjozovski presented key segments of the Action Plan which were already ‘in an advanced stage.’

These include support to initiatives of the municipalities to establish new cultural institutions or to increase the number of institutions under their jurisdiction by providing fiscal conditions and awarding more money allocated through block grants for cultural activities.

He said that protection of cultural heritage was top priority. A strategy for protection and preparation of a new law on preservation of cultural heritage is in the works.

“In 2018, we will revise and erase from the registry all monuments and facilities of the so called ‘Skopje 2014’ project that had been included there illegally, which usually cannot be presented as cultural heritage. A list of monuments of national significance will be complied, as well as a national action plan on prevention of crime involving cultural heritage,” noted Alagjozovski.

The Minister said that the Law on Museums would undergo changes, support would be provided for the civil and independent cultural sector, interdisciplinary arts, cultural and creative industries. The Ministry of Culture, he said, will also be subject to reform. According to Alagjozovski, the Ministry will no longer be ‘the authoritative factor of cultural life and chief arbiter.’

One of the goals also include a reform to the financing system, which foresees national institutions to be granted a reserved budged based on a three-year strategic plan.

A reform of the film-making sector in Macedonia will include a revision of all financed projects so far. A strategy on development of the film industry will be drafted, it was announced.

Reforms also target the law on publishing, which also incorporates how libraries operate, support to digitization of books, etc.

Before being passed, the national culture strategy was debated in the past five months at several public discussions across Macedonia in 2017. The Culture Ministry will post the 2018-2022 National Strategy for Culture Development online at www.kultura.gov.mk.