National Programme for culture 2014-2017
The National Programme for Culture 2014 – 2017, adopted in 2013 by the National Assembly at the proposal of the Government, contains development goals and measures to unlock development potential in different areas, and establish culture as an essential factor of development of both the individual and society. This is why some of the goals (architecture, creative industries, cultural industries, cultural tourism, etc.) whose basis and key constituents are art and cultural creativity are explicitly development oriented and extended across sector perimeters. In the coming period, the cultural sector will have the initiative in the realisation of these goals and will oversee their implementation. Cultural policy will become an important element of Government policy and will contribute to the development of the country as a whole and to the well-being of every individual.
The main goals of the National Programme for Culture 2014-2017 (NPC) address three levels: 1. individual cultural areas, where adequate measures responding to key challenges in the area are being defined; 2. areas with a spill-over effect, which enrich and add value to individual areas; 3. distinct structural areas, concerning in particular reform of the labour market reform regarding the cultural industry.
Books: envisaged measures focus on increasing sales of books and their accessibility, digitisation, promoting a reading culture and linking various actors in the books sector. Another important development measure is the adoption of provisions aimed at the long-term stabilisation of the publishing market and a price policy (Act on a uniform book price, Zakon o enotni ceni knjige). The development potential of this sector will have to be developed with European cohesion policy funds, and constant monitoring and evaluation of the effects of co-financing in the publishing sector will have to be established.
Slovenia will be the main guest at the Frankfurt International Book Fair: other countries' experience shows that such a presence results in a major increase in publications of author's from that country in the German-language market and also beyond, in other markets; at the same time, it increases a country’s tourism potential and benefits economic growth, improves cultural services and creates jobs.
Film and audiovisual industry: the measures envisaged address the long absence of a comprehensive vision for the development of the cinematographic and audiovisual sectors; the fact that in the past all other aspects of the cinematographic production chain, apart from production, were neglected; the insufficient public support for the film and audiovisual industry, and difficulties, such as lack of skills, in the area of human resources. The measures are intended to increase the number of viewers of good quality Slovenian and foreign cinematographic and audiovisual works, as well as of the cinematographic and audiovisual production of third countries, to increase the market for cinematographic and audiovisual production, to develop the cinematographic network and support for film culture programmes, to enhance the use of digital technologies; and to provide adequate storage premises for storing and safeguarding the Slovenian film heritage. The crucial feature of the policy is a new financing scheme introducing non-budget funds in the form of contributions to be paid by all participants in the cinematographic chain as a percentage of annual gross income from services provided; these participants will be represented on the council of Slovenia's Film Centre and will thus be able to participate in shaping a comprehensive film policy.
Performing arts: measures are intended to establish a creative environment of excellence allowing for the best-quality production and presentation of the performing arts, enhancing their reputation and allowing for greater accessibly to public cultural goods and services. Slovenian theatre is traditionally one of the most powerful and avant-garde sectors of Slovenian art production; therefore activities will be focused on preserving and enhancing its role as a place for reflection. The focus will be on actions to increase its accessibly by increasing the number of performances and by encouraging co-productions with different entities (public institutes, non-government organisations).
Musical arts: envisaged measures will create conditions for the best-quality musical and ballet production, which will be recognised as Slovenian by both home and foreign audiences. Music audience numbers must be increased; this will be achieved by covering the whole of the country with good-quality and diversified content, by ensuring constant access to such content and by extensive education of target audiences. Special attention will be given to developing copyright and related rights and to the music market, where linking its four pillars (music production, concert agency services, promotion and distribution) will enable it to negotiate better conditions for the Slovenian musical creative industry in terms of quality and competitiveness.
Visual arts: measures will allow an improvement in the working conditions of visual artists; ensure diversity and accessibility of production; encourage contemporary ways of presenting visual art and the inclusion of larger audiences in programmes and projects; facilitate the inclusion of all visual arts stakeholders into production and promotion co-operatives; establish an art market where special care will be devoted to educating future art buyers, sponsors and art collectors; revitalisation of ancient skills and knowledge in modern production conditions; assisting visual artists' mobility on the international scene (in particular, by ensuring the more effective presentation of Slovenia at the Venice Biennale and its Architecture Section, which will have an international impact).
Intermedia arts: particular attention will be devoted to opening a space for young artists, to educating and reaching new audiences, ensuring advanced production conditions for top-quality, internationally comparable achievements and to ensuring that intermedia events at reference venues both at home and abroad are generally accessible, and facilitating connections with the research and economic spheres.
Amateur cultural activities: key measures will address the preservation of the scope of this production, enhancing its quality and identity, ensuring conditions for implementing easily recognisable cooperation projects between Slovenian cultural societies and artists with related Slovenian organisations abroad, strengthening the global Slovenian cultural environment by creating and assisting cultural-information centres abroad; support for the field of amateur culture, which is an important factor in shaping contemporary society through the development of projects that bring together different sectors; and the digitisation of choral music, instrumental music and products from other areas of music.
The media: because of the complexity of the media landscape, Slovenia envisages adopting a separate media strategy for 2015-2020; measures will propose actions to increase the readership of good general–interest newspapers and magazines providing information, and to boost the quality and volume of media content in areas such as culture and arts, education and training, health, science, protection of the environment, etc. In the context of rapid development of this field, the role and scope of the public radio and television network will be examined; outstanding radio and television programmes that are in the public interest will be given additional support; the status, role, implication and funding of television and radio programmes of special importance will also be re-examined; actions will be taken to increase radio literacy and create a more demanding media and cultural public; to improve the social status of self-employed and young journalists, and to provide assistance for the creation of new forms of media organisations (social entrepreneurship). A key general goal in this field is to see Slovenia among the first twenty countries on the PressFreedomIndex by 2017.
Architecture: this must and will be considered as an autonomous field; its past consideration within the field of fine arts (as the representation of artistic surplus in the creation of everyday life and living environment) is too restrictive. Slovenian territory is, of course, limited; therefore, public interest in the field of architecture must be focused not only on "extraordinary achievements"; on the contrary, there is an imminent need for a general rise in our spatial culture (nature and architecture). Active inter-sectoral mechanisms will be established that will create conditions for responding to the contemporary challenges of Slovenian space with projects for the sustainable development of Slovenian cities: projects offering an integrated and creative approach in which culture, economy, social aspects and the environment play equal roles. The goal is to create a comprehensive architectural policy at governmental level by 2016 under the auspices of the Ministry of culture.
Cultural heritage: the envisaged measures are part of the advanced interdisciplinary approach, which places the individual and his/her free participation in the cultural life at the heart of its activities. These measures are part of the extended concept of protection, which has advanced from the protection of individual monuments, organised within the framework of professional institutions in view of protecting such monuments from degradation and change, to the idea of protecting larger areas, conveyors of cultural and spatial identity, in order to substantiate the idea of cultural heritage as a source of economic, social and local development; which must extend beyond the limits of individual ministries’ policies and become part of larger strategies, and be able to actively create opportunities for investments from different sources and establish partnerships with local communities. Key goals comprise the establishment of an active and attractive network of Slovenia's museums, galleries and institutes, a definition of tourist destinations, products and services in view of greater visibility of cultural heritage and greater contribution of this heritage to the development of the country, and increased international visibility of Slovenian cultural heritage sites.
Libraries: the priority here is to establish conditions to realise the development potential of both the national library and public libraries; this will be achieved by amending the relevant legislation, preparing expert guidelines and improving spatial and technical conditions for libraries to operate. In this way libraries, which are highly professional, mutual, coordinated and informatised, will be even more efficient and effective.
Archives: challenges in this field concern the provision of adequate conditions for the operation of archives (premises, creation of e-archives) and finding the optimal way of organising the public archives service. Key goals include ensuring a higher level of both protection and accessibility of archive documents, and establishing the environment and services needed to manage electronic records.
Slovenian language: the key document is the Resolution on the National Programme for Language Policy 2014-2018, which has already been adopted, and which defines a series of goals and measures to be implemented at inter-ministerial level. The measures will support excellence in artistic and cultural production in the Slovenian language, development of linguistic capacities of all groups of speakers in order to improve their reading skills, promote good-quality language skills that will be comparable to those of other European countries, and develop and promote the public use of the Slovenian language.
Cultural and art education: the priority here is to create a system of cultural and art education that will be open to long-term evolution and will provide top-quality cultural production. Recommendations will be prepared for quality, diversified and accessible cultural and art educational programmes in all areas of culture for different target groups, for providing cultural and art education in the form of life-long learning, with an emphasis on programmes that include the elderly population or where providers are the elderly (organisations of the elderly in cooperation with cultural institutions) and which ensure inter-generational dialogue in different areas of culture; training for professionals in the field of art and cultural education, and the development and promotion of the reading culture.
An additional challenge is the area of the protection of cultural rights as human rights, in particular the human rights of minorities and vulnerable groups; the question is how to establish conditions for wider social integration and demarginalisation in a context of a rich, good-quality cultural life for everyone living on the territory of Slovenia. The goals are as follows: to ensure a higher level of protection of cultural rights within the framework of human rights protection, a higher degree of cultural integration of minorities at the territorial level and within specific disciplines, and encourage the cultural activities of members of groups that are vulnerable in multiple ways.
According to the definition in the European Commissions' Green Paper (Unlocking the potential of cultural and creative industries), cultural industries are those industries producing and distributing goods or services which are considered to have a specific attribute, use or purpose which embodies or conveys cultural expressions, irrespective of their commercial value. Important measures concerning cultural industries are already considered in the chapters on film, fine arts, media and books; therefore, this chapter contains only measures intended to increase the cultural industry market and the visibility of Slovenian cultural industries.
The above Green Paper defines creative industries as those industries which use culture as an input and have a cultural dimension, although their outputs are mainly functional. These include architecture and design, which integrate creative elements into wider processes, as well as subsectors, such as graphic design, fashion design and advertising. Several measures are envisioned for the development of the creative industries market, such as active support for projects which incorporate creative industries into traditional economic sectors, connect stakeholders in creative industries (projects to transfer good practices), introduce design management into public sector institutions, advocate the principle of "using unlimited intellectual resources instead of limited natural ones" and so on.
The chapter on digitisation envisages, besides the digitisation and safe storage of content, also the provision of on-line accessibility to all digital cultural content, with particular care being devoted to content adapted to young users, cultural minorities and other vulnerable groups. An optimal organisation and free accessibility of digitised cultural content, created with public funds, is in the public interest, as in this way it serves educational, creative, research and also business purposes. In this context, we must not forget the issue of accessibility of work of contemporary authors, where the key challenge is to ensure adequate management and the protection of digital rights.
International cooperation: this chapter considers the systematic and organised promotion of Slovenian culture abroad. Measures will focus on the following: to enhance Slovenian artists' opportunities for international mobility with thematic presentations in targeted and strategic geographical areas; to establish artist-in-residence programmes abroad; to promote Slovenian cultural and creative industries, and to publicise important events and dates. Activities to increase the visibility and reach of presentations of Slovenian culture in the international sphere will also be an important element in Slovenian diplomacy. At the same time, it will be necessary to put in place appropriate monitoring of the impact of such presentations, in cooperation with the relevant actors.
Cultural industry labour market: the measures elaborated concern all participants (self-employed, non-governmental organisations, public and private sectors). These participants are demanding that this sector be organised, and that an agency or a similar institution be created to provide information and support, and to act as an intermediary (counselling and providing other support concerning tax and legal issues, copyright, training and placement, information among culture industry stakeholders). Such institutional support is a prerequisite for implementing planned goals and measures, which will enable the creation of partnerships among the four productive pillars in the cultural industry. A labour market in the cultural industry that is reliable, dynamic, quick to react is crucial for enabling top-quality production in all cultural areas, and a prerequisite for increasing the accessibility of cultural goods and products.