Free and European Culture

Freedom of creation, equality and universal values will be the core values of the Government’s cultural policy, while the most important guiding principles will be accessibility, participation and equal conditions and rights for all. Guided by the concept of cultural democracy, we will promote participation of all citizens in culture and the creation of cultural policies. Culture must have progressive social function: to entertain, argue, explore, criticize, experiment and create new values. Trends in European culture knows no strict control by the state. It is open by nature, open to other cultures, open to all citizens.

The Government will not be authoritarian factor in cultural life nor chief executioner of culture as in the past, but mere regulator of the general framework of the cultural system and the basic cultural policy objectives. The main carriers of cultural life will be institutions and organizations of culture, artists and all people with creative vision.

The Government will review the current model of funding of national institutions and projects of national interest, improve the outdated division of activities and sectors and introduce the European principle "at arm's length" in their management. The new funding system will exceed the annual program. We will set special funds for the various domains of culture, which will receive a clear and long-term mandate and autonomy, so they can fully assume responsibility for selecting projects. We will apply the model of combined calls, with fixed and/or variable dates applicable to both short-term and long-term projects, which require a two-year or multiyear funding (especially for meeting projects that have received European support). At the same time, we will revise the legal framework for financing the newly established Film Agency in order to arrive at a just solution for all stakeholders.

We introduce new standards of performance - transparency, accountability, impartiality and efficiency of all factors in the cultural system, especially with regard to national and other public institutions. By guaranteeing autonomy in the selection of programs and projects, we will establish a fair practice where every decision is taken based on clear criteria and justification.

The Government will promote legal and substantive amendments to restore the identity and self-esteem of cultural workers and artists in institutions. The focus will be on the authors and the proper valorization of their copyrighted work. We will strengthen the transparency in the work of collective organizations for copyright and related rights, strengthen the control over use of copyrights and continuously strengthen both the protection of authors and users of copyright under jurisdiction of the Ministry.

The Government will stimulate the creation of programs and artworks with high artistic quality. All institutions and organizations that receive state support will be required to develop plans and strategies to attract audiences and raise their criteria for evaluating actual quality of cultural performances.

The Government will thoroughly review the project "Skopje 2014" along with its political, constitutional, legal, ethnic, cultural, architectural, urban, financial and aesthetic aspects. To cope with the consequences of "Skopje 2014", the Government will call on-board all institutions of culture, science and art. Once all constitutional, legal, criminal and inspection assessments are completed and the abuses and crimes committed by and within this gigantic project are cleared, we will initiate revitalization activities in the downtown area and the Old Bazaar. This will prevent hasty, arbitrary or populism-motivated solutions.

The Government will draft a strategy and advance measures to remedy the dire situation of cultural heritage conservation. We will audit all projects that might threaten Macedonia’s precious cultural and natural heritage, such as the Skopje Fortress, Plaosnik in Ohrid, ski center Galicica, Lagadin beach, the weekend settlement in Lazaropole etc. In order to overcome the existing voluntarism in this area, following the example of developed the European countries, will develop a new Law on Protection of Cultural Heritage which will enlist all monuments of national importance. The list will be a public document, available to citizens. We will introduce a system for compulsory financing of monuments from the list, based on the category of value and degree of endangerment, without giving preference to any type of cultural heritage. The Government will finance professional training and meritocratic recruitment policy in the field of conservation and restoration.

We will introduce legal framework mechanisms for evaluation of contemporary art and architecture as an integral part of the list (according to the criteria of value, not the time of construction), which will prevent façade revesting of important buildings like the government building, City Trade Center in Skopje, or old city core of Skopje on Macedonia St. This will also protect the Old Bazaar, Plaosnik in Ohrid, the old bazaar in Struga, the old architecture in Kratovo, Sirok Sokak in Bitola and Kicevo Fortress.

The Government will establish an independent expert body to review all new museums in terms of the value of their collections and physical-security conditions for their exposure and keeping. Museums will be run and administered in step with European and international standards. In the process, we will highlight the role of museums in preserving the intangible cultural heritage, with focus on their communication role and their interaction with visitors.

The Government will transform national cultural institutions under clear and public criteria. National institutions will develop their annual program activities in direct negotiation with the Ministry of Culture instead of public competitions. The procedure will be transparent, with public hearings on the draft annual programs.

The Government will encourage local authorities to adopt local cultural policies, introduce strategic planning and present active cultural development programs. It will make the cultural system more efficient and more adequate to cultural needs of citizens. The new cultural policy of decentralization will allow each municipality or greater urban community to establish at least one cultural community center. We will create conditions for local development of creative industries that will contribute to the economic development of the municipality.

The new cultural policy will be geared towards the living culture, independent cultural scene, cultural processes and artistic practices that include both artists and audience. We will support their structural needs, production costs and strategies for growth and improvement of the quality of projects and organizations. We will support new productions, experimental practices and models of action and introduce good practices for sustainable growth and operation. Particular attention will be paid to so-called creative industries and cultural industries. We will follow Europe's top trends and policies, carefully adapting their application to the national context, market features and audience in the country. We will increase opportunities for creative entrepreneurs and their breakthrough on international markets.

The Government will set up a special fund for promotion of our arts and culture abroad and substantial regional and international cooperation. We will support the full digitization of our cultural and artistic treasures (especially the older editions, important papers and other periodicals).

The Government will finance a priority list of art colonies and other events that best meet public interest in the visual arts. In theater, we will project at least two-year budgets for each theater and work on securing additional funding models (sponsorship, patronage, long-term donations) and provision of mechanisms for greater participation of local governments in financing of theaters. Will restore the autonomy in decision-making, both in terms of managing structure and in terms of programs. Ensemble representatives will have the final say. They will make decisions based on competence and proposed program. We will support tours abroad and the engagement of internationally renowned directors.

The Government will introduce transparency and accountability in deciding which film deserves to be funded by the state. We will provide support to many directors and filmmakers so they can improve their craft and aesthetics by participating in several productions. We will insist on productions with reasonable budgets, good scripts and solid film crew that can create aesthetically valuable films. The Government will propose models for financial support of cinemas and increase high-quality cinema networks. The Government will promote a new system of financing student and graduate films, which will include MRT as technical support for student films in order for them to gain experience and reputation.

To support young people and greater cultural engagement, the Government will fund the Youth Theater, composed of youth and students, who will tour throughout the country. This activity will encourage construction or preadaptation of existing facilities in youth multifunctional centers in several municipalities and cities for organization of public events, theater and cinema performances, oratory dinners, exhibitions and the like.