FINAL RESEARCH PAPER:
CULTURAL POLICY IN SERBIA 1989/2000
Policy Problem Description
The transition process in the field of cultural policy began in Serbia as late as in December 2000. Yet, for a process to start and develop in the desirable direction of integration into the European family of states, a clear vision of a new cultural system is needed. namely, transition is a process which starts with motion, and lasts in motion. When transition movement is completed, the process of reconstruction of a "previous" state into a "projected" one is also completed.
With federal and republican elections of 2000, the regime was changed but not the system as such. The democratic regime replaced the autoritarian and totalitarian one, and that entailed the system too has to be based upon democratic values.
The former cultural system was tied to Milošević's regime. A new democratic cultural system has to be the very foundation of of a democratic regime. It means a movement towards a new democratic cultural system should be taken. That system should meet real demands of citizens instead of a certain assumed set of interests defined by a totalitarian elite.
Once a vision of a desirable system exists, the conditions for it to become reality should be created. And to become it reality, strategic planning of development is necessary as well as building up of capacities needed for plan to be realized. In the course of the process the implementation of the plan should be controled, and all necessary redesigns made in order to make plan more and more adequate to always new and growing needs of the society.
However, transition is impossible if a "previous" state is not identified and desirable one projected. Both identification and projection are, also, processes, and part and parcel of overall ones. Once these are harmonized, moving towards a chosen end becomes possible. Without such a harmonization, the end evades, and the state and society keep moving with their destination beyond reach. If after the change of regime Serbia is to evade such a fate, its cultural policy must reconsider its capacities for reform of the cultural system.
First, capacities of cultural policy relate to the role and willingness of actors to initiate transparent procedures of short and long term strategic planning of development and key decision.making in the field of cultural policy and take an active part in them. Second, capacities relate to decision-making levels, and competence of local community public administration bodies to plan independently cultural development in accordance with local potentials and needs. Third, capacities also relate to the institutional system of culture which is obsolete and disfunctional, and as such, should be refomed. And fourth, capacities include a legal framework, since legislation with financing and personnel policy, is one of the basic instruments of cultural policy.
And finally, or initially, transition processes need human resources. If people are to effectuate transition, they should be trained for that. Therefore, there is no transition without education. Or, additional education. Or, re-education. Transition is impossible without a capable and well organized administration able to recognize and meet demands and needs of the citizens of its community. Such an administration should know how to transform the old planned system with its rigid bureaucratic structure into a modern, flexible and rational one, turned to the efficient and effective satisfaction of needs of society as a whole as well as of individuals it is made of.
The establishment of a new democratic system in Serbia people who know how to do that are necessary. Even when the institutions "take roots", people would be needed to manage them, to adjust them now and then to new visions and needs.
Therefore, the reform of the cultural system in Serbia, more than anything else, necessiates the reform of national, regional and local administration similar to the one completed in the last decade in the countries were it had already existed but should be reformed, or established after the manner it was done in the centralized countries which previously had lacked it.
Ten years of negative policy of Slobodan Milosević`s regime towards cultural institutions and culture in general in Serbia, brought the lack of every kind of research and relevant information in the field of culture. That was the reason for conducting applied research project titled Cultural policy in Serbia 1989-2001 in order to provide effective diagnosis of the previous and current cultural policy of Serbia in transition period.
The objectives of the project are to identify Serbia's key cultural policy representatives and leaders on the national and local level; to compare decision making procedures, financial and other instruments in Serbian cultural policy; to develop a methodology for the comparative analysis of cultural policies of Southeast European countries; to write research and policy papers for the Ministry of culture of the Republic of Serbia and the City Council of Belgrade. The whole idea has a tendency towards assessment of capacities for the reform in the field of culture, and designing new national and supraregional cultural policy.
First phase of the project has already started in 1999 and it is almost finished. However, lot of deep changes happened in social system in Yugoslavia and also in cultural field after government change in October 5th, this phase will be finished after the update with information about the new cultural policy leader, new goals and instruments. For this reason project will last until the spring of 2003.
Methods used in research are quantitative (statistic content analysis of existing documentation about goals and instruments of cultural policy in period 1989-2001, shot-term and long-term planes, budget, annual report and planes, review of internet presentations), as well as qualitative (Interview with cultural policy leaders: Minister of culture and vice ministers of culture, city secretary for culture, directors of cultural institutions, administrative committee of nongovernmental organization; Interview in focus groups aiming to explore public attitudes about cultural policy; Questionnaire for researching public opinion based on focus group material).
The research is institutionaly carried out by the Center for Study in Cultural Development, reinforced by involvement of the experts, resource people and institutions. Author of the project and research leader is Vesna Đukic Dojčinović, Ph.D., director of the Center for study in cultural development and lecturer of Belgrade University of Arts. Mentors are: Milena Dragićević-Šešić, Ph.D, professor at the Belgrade Faculty of Dramatic Arts and Rector of the University of Art; Branimir Stojković, Ph.D., associate professor of the Belgrade Faculty of Political Sciences; and Lidija Varbanova, PhD, the OSI "Arts&Culture Network" program coordinator.
Research team is composed of culturologists, politicologist, sociologists, psychologists, and undergraduate and postgraduate Belgrade University of Arts students. A part of the research team was set up so as to include research fellows of the Center for Study in Cultural Development (Tatjana Bokan – project coordinator, Biljana Jokić, Maja Mitrović and Tatjana Petrović-Jokanović), post-graduate studies students of the University of Arts and Faculty of Dramatic Arts (Dragana Martinović, Nikolina Milatović, Tatjana Stojanoski, Sonja Zimonjić, Zoja Đorđević, Gorana Petrović), as well as undergraduate students of Faculty of Music and Drama Arts. In period September - December 2003. the research team is completed with the postgraduate students of core course "Cultural policies in multiethnic societies" held under the "International Studies of Intrerculturalism, Art Management and Mediation on the Balkans" running by University of Arts, Belgrade. The students performed interviews with the ministers of culture (national, regional, and city ministers as well), and with directors of national cultural institutions in Romania (Margaret Tasi, Timisoara Opera House), Poland (Maria Nowacka, Cracow city Council –department for culture), Macedonia (Nada Peseva-Minister of culture, Gordana Janevska – National Theatre).
Project is supported by the Ministry of Culture of Republic of Serbia, Belgrade City Council and by the Foundation Open Society Institute – with the contribution of the International policy fellowship of OSI – Budapest.
PRETRANSITIONAL AND TRANSITIONAL CULTURAL POLICY IN SERBIA
Hindered transition 1989-2000.
Pretransition period in Serbia began with Milosević's coming to power in 1989. Its basic feature in the field of culture was discontinuity both with trends of cultural policies of the previous regimes, and with dominant trends in the South East Europe. All parameters of the cultural policy analysis show this discontinuity. First of all, that model of cultural policy as such explicitly articulated role of the state in cultural development, while the other parameters such as decision-making mechanisms and procedures through a public dialogue and establishment of a consensus on the most crucial strategic issues among different sectors of culture and art production, diversity of instruments, and transparency of the whole model also make obvious the mentioned discontinuity.
Those were the times when Mrs. Thatcher began transition in Great Britain, and in the countries of Eastern block, the Soviet Union included, communism collapsed. However, those global changes had hardly influenced the internal political developments in Serbia. In the same period, it was faced with a war on the territory of the former federal state, SFRY, to which it also once belonged. While the other countries were integrating themselves into the European family of states, Serbia was undergoing the process of disintegration: in relation to its former state framework and to the European and global trends alike. Though to political analysts Serbia compared with other socialist countries in the region seemed very likely to lead democratic changes, it was actually experiencing quite an opposite process. Thefore, that period could be called "hindered transition".
Still, the political changes in the country were many and decisive, all of them with their impact on culture. Among others, formal introduction of parlamentary multiparty system (with all political power nevertheless concentrated in the Socialist Party which was in power), and new republican Constitution were worth mentioning.
This Constitution, broadly known as Milošević's, completely changed the state and established it on a totally different foundations. That implied discontinuity with many achievements in the field of culture. By all means, the most important was annulment of the existing system of self government social planning and agreement, which since 1975 had functioned in the field of culture. It happened already by the beginning of 1990 with the Funds for Financing Culture Acti. The former brought about crucial change in organization and financing of culture. After 25 years of delegated parastatal decision-making in culture, instead of self government communitiess of interests, Fund for Financing Culture was founded. According to the new legislation, the Fund does not define cultural policy, it only implements it, observing that cultural institutions and other Fund's beneficiaries efficiently and rationally perform their activity in the field of culture, in the tracks of the determined policy. Like all the other state institutions of the time, the Fund was founded on the principles of etatization and state centralization, and not on a parastatal one. The very fact that this body does not define cultural policy but only implements it, is a clear proof to that.
Another though maybe at the first sight less obvous fact also points to the attempted centralization of the cultural development management and its subjection under complete state control. It is visible in a seemingly democratic Act's provision according to which the Fund is managed by a 30 members council, half of whom nominated by a local community assembly (founder of the Fund), and the other half (artists and cultural workers) delegated by cultural institutions, art associations, social oranizations and communities of artists. However, behind all these actors were the political party in power and the political oligarhy: all key decisions were theirs - appointment of cultural institutions directors, presidents of associations, organizations and communities. Moreover, though the Council of the Fund was entitled to manage its activities, it was not creating cultural policy - just implementing it.
So, the first discontinuity in culture was abandonment of the self government system. Though its shortcomings could be criticizedii, the system by its form fitted a parastatal model of cultural policy designed to transfer responsibility for key decision-making in matters of cultural policy from the state to the self government communities of interests in culture. When introduced, that replacement of a centralized system by a self government one, brought about a decisive change in manner of financing of cultural activities: namely, instead of a budget system the mechanism of "self government" agreement came into being. It meant that the funds for cultural development were specifically set aside for culture from the "fee" of employed citizensiii, very much like the current innovative systems broadly implemented around the world, such as "Slovenian tolar for culture", or tax percentage that could be directed to a certain cultural, scientific and sport organization in Italy, Hungary, and other countries. In this context, the fact that the parastatal self government system was introduced in Serbia as early as in 1975, when hardly any similar innovative solutions existed in the region, should be kept in mind. The system entitled the self government communities of interests in culture, as parastatal bodies, to define cultural policy at all administration levels: from municipal and provincial to republican. It also gave those communities an active role in all the phases of cultural policy: from planning and designing programmes of cultural development to making of financial plans, and implementation - distribution of funds, founding of cultural institutions, all the way to monitoring and evaluation of the results achieved.
Transforming in 1990 that self government system into social funds, Miloševic's regime actually turned once decentralized system of cultural policy and financing of culture into a centralized one. With it also vanished a democratic form of "free exhange" between providers of services and their users which took place in the self government communities of interests through two councils: council of users (audience represented by employed citizens), and council of providers (represented by employees of cultural institutions and local cultural community of culture and education).
In other words, by establishment of social funds, later to be followed by reestablishment of a standard budget system, the self government organization of interests in culture was obviously etatized and centralized. In the same time, with the system itself the whole net of self government communities of interests in all the municipalities and cities in Serbia also disappeared, while the republican community was simply transformed into the ministry, and provincial one into the secretariat for culture. That considerably crippled the institutional capacities of local cultural policy, which clearly was the intention of the former totalitarian autocratic regime.
Moreover, its political elite did not even bother to hide it, as the address of the then minister of culture Miodrag Đukić shows: in his advocating draft of the "Cultural Activities of National Interest Act", so overloaded with centralization instruments, he said to the republican MPs that "In my opinion, the most important is that this draft for the first time inaugurates a unique system of financing culture in the Republic of Serbia as a whole". In further explanation of that draft which in few articles and only in two pages completely annuled the former system, the Minister added that "the draft proposes that the Ministry of Culture approves the number and structure of employed in cultural institutions to which it finances, while the republican government appoints directors and members of executive and supervisory boards of the institutions it completely or partly funds, whoever their founder might be". "The Ministry is also entitled to monitor purposeful use of funds allocated". iv
It was a clear signal to cultural circles that the Act both completely centralized the management of cultural development, and thoroughly etatized it. A formally multiparty Parliament, with all decisions actually made by the members of a ruling Socialist Party of Serbia, Minister Đukić's explanation was met with approval - all the ammendments were only related to a larger number of institutions to be considered of national interest.
It could be said that though the first significant accomplishment of the previous regime was partly annuled by the change of financing system, cultural development still remained funded; unfortunately, the other feature of strategic planning was completely abandoned: neither any new planning procedures were introduced, nor any of their possible institutional actors were mentioned. It means that the earlier system of social planning at the time existing regime introduced so the goals of cultural policy could be incorporated into development plans and programmes at each administrative level - from local neighbourhood community, through municipality, autonomous province to the republic - totally vanished, and with it the method of "encounter planning".
The latter functioned both on vertical and horizontal level enabling plans from "below" to encounter those from "above", i.e. harmonization of interests on the same level of administration, but of a different type, as well as at different administration levels which provided incorporation of the local community plans into federal, republican and provincial development plans. The plans were short-term (annual), mid-term (five years) or long-term ones (ten years).
To the effects of that planning system a draft of the Social Plan of Serbia witnesses quite clearly. The Executive Council of the Assembly of Serbia adopted it in July of 1986 (a year before Milošević came to power), and it related to the period 1986-1990
The Social Plan defined basic goals and tasks of future development: strenghtening of the material grounds of self government, creation of conditions of more dynamic development, raising of export, preservation of the achieved living standard and its further improvement, growth of employment and labour productivity, faster development of science and technology, more even regional development, urbanization and protection of environment, and finally - strenghtening of the system of total national defence. The part relevant for social development included improvements in education, culture, physical culture, public information, health, children and social care. Dealing with culture the Plan defined the basic goals of development:
Besides, subparagraphs 2-4 define other measures in the field of cultural development:
- Encouragement and improvement of all kinds of artistic and cultural creativity;
- Permanent raising of cultural standard of population through more even conditions for creation, consumation and adoption of cultural values;
- Improvement of social status of publishing through building up of a library and bookshop network;
- Creation of conditions of more complete development of all kinds of cultural activities in organizations of associated labour (author's note: institutions, factories and plants), schools and local neighbourhood communities, especially in rural areas, and development of youth cultural activities and early detection of gifted children (has Cuprija school for young talents anything to do with this);
- Protection of cultural heritage;
- Development and realization of co-operation between different organizations and activities within the Republic, but also with those in other republics and provinces, strenghtening of international co-operation and permanent development of national cultures, as well as encouragement of the further development of cultures of nations and nationalities.
A closer analysis of this Plan uncovers that not only priorities of cultural development were precisely defined, but also the measures of their implementation, in the first place continuous research of cultural needs. In accordance with that, the Center for Study in Cultural Development as the only state research institution of the profile, carried out a number of research projects, among them "Measures of stabilization of the material status of Belgrade theatres", by Vera Ikonomova vi.
Understandably, the project has never been implemented as by the end of that mid-term plan Miloševic came to power. Therefore, a lot of the solutions proposed for the improvement of the material status of theatres from that 28 years old applied research project are still applicable, though the situation in the theatre policy has, of course, in the meantime, considerably worsened.
- Continuous research of cultural needs to provide for the basis of programmes and plans of future cultural development;
- Publishing, bookselling and librarianship, as well as cinematography, theatre, music, visual arts and protection of cultural heritage will get better status;
- Centers of theatre activity will be closer tied to other fields which will, with more tours, enable more functional use of the existing houses, cadre and equipment. Co-ordination of theatres and harmonization of their repertory policies will considerably contribute to the quality of artistic achievements in the field;
- Better conditions for a more diversified creativity, perfomirming and publishing in in the field of music and opera will be created. Organization of the field will be improved, as well as the marketing and difussion, etc;
- As for cinematography, better conditions for further development of creativity in the field will be created, use of technical innovations and improvement of film culture will be encouraged.
However, it should be stressed that all the above shows that continuous research of cultural needs was then considered an indispensable basis of defining programmes and plans of cultural development. The contemporary innovative cultural policies oriented towards meeting cultural needs of citizens obviously follow the same pattern. But, the problem is that after Miloševic's ascent to power, Serbia could not any more follow and develop these democratic achievements.
So, the first radical measure of Milošević's regime was to deprive Serbian parliament of its ingerencies, as the fact that the Government was not submitting annual reports to the Assembly except once in 1995, which was a relatively quiet year in those turbulent times. Significantly, the Serbian government pronounced that year "a year of culture". This also entails that the Parliament actually was deprived of all mechanisms and decision-making procedures of public dialogue and achieving consensus regarding most crucial strategic issues. Not a single trace of public dialogue once known as social agreement and encounter planning survivedvii.
From then on, the Serbian parliament did not adopt long-term plans of overall social development of Serbia, plans of cultural development included. The planning became chaotic and completely left to the political elite which in its hands concentrated more power than ever in the last decades of the 20th century. To illustrate this, only three MPs had amendments to the 1995 budget proposal (none of those adopted by the Serbian government and Parliamentary financial committee). If we compare that with the number of amendments of the newly elected MPs had to the 2000 budget proposalviii, or with the parliamentary crisis which inccured by the debate over the 2003 budget, it becomes evident that parliamentary procedure was hardly more than a mere democratic form of a fundamentally undemocratic regime.
The Act on Activities of National Interest in Culture of 1992ix,
gave minister of culture great and exclusive rights to decision-making. It is clear from the text as such. Namely, most of articles begin with "minister of culture establishes", "minister of culture decides", "minister of culture determines"... To what a degree in the function of the minister of culture all decisions were concentrated shows the fact that, despite of the provisions of the subparagraph 3 which says "The minister of culture will acquire expert opinions and assessments of the national interest of a certain programme from the expert council of the ministry, competent institutions and respectable experts", even that procedure was completely ignored.
But, the only republican consulting institution initially established with the mission to carry out research in the field of culture - the Center for Study in Cultural Development, in that period lost its credibility and reputation it had had since the Serbian Parliament founded it in 1967x. This unique republican institution was deprived of its consulting role in a legally grounded way, but no additional interpretation or explanation was ever given.xi. That the government was not interested for recommendations of the Center regarding priorities of the strategic development, shows the circumstance that it took four years (1993-1997) for the Ministry of Culture to appoint its director.
Apart from purely political reasons motivated by willingness to centralize and etatize power and decision-making, all these restrictive measures are partly explainable by the support this political elite was giving to a newly-composed cultural model. It is understandable, that elite culture tied to traditional cultural institutions, and modern creativity received less support than ever before.
So, new alternative forms of art mostly emerged in a noninstitutional sector, almost only supported by a few NGOs which followed a totally independent cultural policy, with a clear aim to back cultural and artistic values that were not in the focus of state bodies. In such a way were founded cultural center "Cinema Rex", "Association of independent theatres" (with 11 alternative theatre groups), "G17 plus" theatre production (resulting in a number of theatre productions such as Container and Golden Fleece), as well as other noninstitutional alternative forms.
However, some bigger NGOs such as the Fund for an Open Society also supported and funded certain institutional alternative forms. Among cultural manifestations, the Fund supported "BELEF" (Belgrade Summer Festival) and many others, In the field of publishing, the Fund supported many journals, among them the journal Kultura, which the center for Study in Cultural Development publishes since 1968, and which survived only due to the Fund's support. Beside this cultural and artistic elite which advocated both preservation of traditional values and creation of new ones, there was an intellectual elite which considered culture as part and parcel of necessary reform processes.
Such reformistic voices were heard in Serbia already in early 1990s, i.e. in the same time when in other countries that were at the threshold of the transition vortex.
But, since it was the time when cultural elite of Milošević's regime initiated a process of rigid etatization, these "reformistic voices" were hardly to overloud the state propaganda machine. So, despite them and with no critical assessment or evaluation, the etatist model of the 1950s, with a minister personally in charge of all decisions, was practically reestablished. Of centralization of decision-making in the hands of the minister himself and unwillingness to consult expert bodies, and make key decisions in a public procedure, witness not only the provisions of the Act on cultural activities, but also reports of the City Fund for Culture (founded in 1990), as well as of later City Secretariat of Culture (founded in 1992).
From these textes it is easy to conclude that the city authorities mostly delt with "the implementation of cultural policy", and not with any concept or strategic planning of the priorities of development. Even when these bodies suggested certain problems observed in their activity should be considered, city authorities and the Ministry of Culture thoroughly ignored that. For example, the Council of the Fund made a number of attempts to point to specific problems in the field of the financing of culture. Since 1990, that body warned competent City Assembly and republican organs that finding new sources and forms of financing of cultural activities was necessary, as well as a serious change in the treatment of culture, which should be considered as a development activity within the framework of production and not, as it then was the case, within consumption
Though that innovative spirit in the procedure of planning the overall social development had no impact on the process of key decision-making exclusively left to political circles of the ruling political party, it should be mentioned here as an attempt however unsuccessful to turn Serbia in the early phase of transition towards democratic values of its European environment, which is to be discussed in more detail later.
Example: 1990 Budgetxiii
That the change in the treatment of culture never happened while this regime was in power, clearly shows the 1990 Budget Act. The actual position of culture compared to other fields is evident, despite the fact the social activities (culture included) that year were priorities in the budget distribution. But out of the total funds allocated to social activities, the greates part went to education, so the Ministry of Education had at its disposal a bit less than one fourth of total funds (nearly 5.7 billion dinarsxiv).
The share of culture was cca. 377 million dinars. That sum was to cover salaries of the Ministry staff - cca. 2.3 million dinars (ten times less than allocated for the same purpose to the Ministry of Education), institutional costs (811,000 dinars), and some funds to cover implementation of a number of legal acts in the field of culture (Act on activities of national interest in the field of culture - 49 milllions; Act on reconstruction of cultural-historic heritage and support to the development of Sremski Karlovci - cca. 4 millons, and Act on cultural values - 1.3 million dinars). The greatest share (cca. 319 millions) of the Ministry of Culture budget is allocated to a specific account of culture to be used by the municipal assemblies. Since there are 200 of them in Serbia, that means each municipality gets 1.2 million dinars to cover salaries of the employed in culture, material costs of the institutions, investments and programmes, the total share of each municipality being almost just a half of the total allocated to cover salaries of the Ministry of Culture staff. What was even worse, only an inappropriately small share was allocated for programmes - 33,317 millions or a bit more than 10% of the total sum on the culture account. Besides, when we bear in mind that all institutions of national interest and all the creative activities in culture and art which are subject to the Act on activities of national interest in the field of culture are exclusively funded from the budget (some exceptions excluded), it becomes clear that 49 million dinars should cover annual costs of 22 most significant nacional institutions, which is by no means sufficient. Moreover, though only symbolic and inadequate, these funds were only planned, but - due to the bombing, great inflation and other reasons - have never been allocated to most of the institutions. It led to reduction in the number of their programmes and projects, while investments were completely cancelled.xv
But to come back to the relations with the environment: it was already mentioned that Milošević's regime had along with the discontinuity with trends of cultural policies of the earlier regimes, introduced discontinuity in relation to the dominant South East European trends.
Those were the years when Serbia was isolated from the world, but still transition experiences of the former Eastern block countries suggest that they followed two basic and almost parallel trends: turning towards themselves and turning to the world. Though each in its own way, these countries went through a few phases of transition in the last decade of the 20th century. The similarities in their post-totalitarian roads from autocratic to democratic systems, point to three phases of the transition period. The first began with the research of the national heritage burried in many museum, archive and library "bunkers" in the times of totalitarian regimes. In that phase characterized by the search for national cultural identity, historian Ljubodrag Dimic entered historical archives of Serbia and Yugoslavia in his quest for historical material on cultural policy of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. The result was his three volume book Cultural Policy of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia: 1918-1941 xvi.
The author of this text in the same period managed to borrow from the "bunker" of the Pančevo library previously banned book from the Kragujevac congress of Cultural Action, summoned in 1975 by the liberal wing of the Communist Party, which was soon after to be expelled from the political, social, cultural, scientific and any other scene in the country. During the same phase, the same author successfully won her Ph.D. and published book "Right to Rural-Urban Difference", based upon the critique of a previous self government model of cultural policy. Only now while writing this study and noting how Milošević's policy was that of discontinuity and strict centralization of power, I began to understand why that was permitted, though the political elite had such an enormous power in its hands.
Despite almost undoubtful fact that the dynamics of transition in all its phases Yugoslavia has not experienced, it could be said it entered the fist phase in the same time all the other totalitarian countries did. Still, we keep some reservations in the argument: namely, though cultural policy of the country was a quasi-national one (and led by a left oriented political elite addressing national enthusiasm present in Yugoslavia as it was in other transition countries), that same cultural policy undeniably did its best to reaffirm certain national values, since the political elite considered them to be disregarded for decades, and in the same time, an appropriate mean to prove firm commitment to establish a newly founded state - in complete isolation and despite the fact the international community did not accept it as an equal member of the community of nations!
At this point the international community isolated Yugoslavia, and for its part, the country did its best to isolate itself even further. So, we come to the second phase of transition entered by almost all the transition countries, except Yugoslavia. It could be called the phase of European integration. Two basic processes of building up of a plural system are its characteristics: process of decentralization and process of privatization. It means that most of the autohority of the former centralized states is transfered to regional and local level, and the state ownership to private or third sector (shareholders, foundations, etc). In the same period, Serbia was toughly centralized and more than ever self-oriented, with plural democratic forms more formal than actual.
Though there is no coherent cultural policy without an ideology as a coherent set of political goals, social values, beliefs and meanings (as socialism used to be), it still could be said that in the last decade of the 20th century a concept of reaffirmation of the Serbian national and cultural identity prevailed. And, reaffirmation under both external and internal isolation.
A serious problem of such a concept is simply in the fact that national values could not be either protected or defended in isolation. A national culture develops and affirms itself in the contact with other cultures, and not in breaking of the free flow of knowledge and ideas and in turning back to the world. The reductionist approach of Milošević's era turned Serbia to itself and isolated it, detained it within the borders of national culture, and sentenced it to spiritual isolation from international cultural trends. And such a concept is equally damaging for spiritual development of a nation or state, as is giving up of a national and local identity in favour of a complete subjection to a new, derived or enforced identity, the more so if the latter - if ever established - finally loses its state (territory), as was the case of Yugoslavia
From this point of view the following example is a par excellence instance of the reductionist concept prevailing in Milošević's time. The dominant approach silenced any other voice in the public cultural arena, especially those advocating transition, which were dilligently pushed to the margins of social and political scene.
An expert group of the Republican Center for Planning and Architecture and Urbanism Institute was engaged to prepare a study on social activities within the future spatial plan of Serbia.xviii They stressed that in the sector of social activities to which culture also belongs should be introduced an innovative concept of development which tends to reduce "conceptual and organizing role of the administration", and promotes their servicing role, or more precisely, their role of "providers and technical executors". Of course, in the early phase of pluralism in Serbia, that was a prudent attempt to argue that culture should be independent of the official dominant ideological and value pattern of the monoparty political elite in power, and more oriented to satisfaction of the citizens' needs. In spite of its very careful formulations, the democratic air of that text and many similar, the totalitarian Milošević's regime blocked the early transition processes in Serbia, as a regime firmly opposed structural democratization of the society. Therefore, today we call that pretransitional phase in the development of cultural policy "a hindered transition".
The mentioned expert group from the institutions which had earlier been engaged on making up of social development plans, pointed to a number of problems in the field of culture. Among them a special attention was called to the bureaucratization of the state and para-state services, and great social investment in social activities quite unproportional to their effects to the achieved quality of life and satisfaction of the population needs. The observed problems motivated the expert group to propose competent organs to make radical changes in the field of culture. The changes included suggestion that the firm uniform models of satisfying needs in certain activities, applied regardless of specific features of local communities, as well as overall administration and organization by relevant state and para-state services, should be replaced by encouragement of a different concept of development and organization of social activities which oriented to reduction of the conceptual ad organizational role of administration with emphasis on their role of services, or rather providers and technical executors.
As a solution, the experts suggested radical changes in social activities aimed at their transformation from bureautocratized state and para-state administration to services, providers and technical executors of cultural and art production, without a conceptual and organizational role. Another innovative idea was the abandonment of a strict uniform model of satisfying needs regardless of local needs, but for it a decentralization of cultural policy was a necessary precondition, right in time when it - contrary to the suggested solution - was more centralized than ever.
The innovations proposed at that meeting also included the concept of cultural democracy, pluralistic concept of local community, as well as the legitimization of diversity which, as stated in the report, "abandons domination of unique uniform models and schemes derived from the official, dominant, ideological and epistemological pattern of the ruling class or social group or ideology".
In the analysis of the cultural policy of a totalitarian and autoritorian regime, the first level of reading of this statement is, of course, the belief that independence of an official, dominant ideological and epistemological pattern of the ruling class, social group or ideology is necessary. Thirteen years later this was to become a common ground of an almost complete cultural public opinion in Serbia.
The second level of understanding relates to the right to difference. In the further explanation of that right, at the meeting was said that "it implies legitimity of different ways of satisfying human needs and devalue enforced schemes, patterns and organization of satisfaction of common needs of citizens in particular activities" xxi. This, and many other proposals set up at that conference could be undoubtedly read as advocating of pluriculturalism or cultural pluralism (term in broad usage since 1989 along with transition process in Central and East Europe). It was the time when a pluralization process called "three pluralisms" began. It included:
It was the period when the members of the European Union already achieved a relatively high degree of political integration, which obliged them to respect the European cultural pluralism or pluriculturalism. In other words, cultural pluralism is a fundamental value of contemporary communities which includes various forms and modalities of pluralism. The advocates of this concept consider culture as an essential resource of each society, or its socio-cultural capital. Thereof the main meaning of the term is respect of the pluricultural essence of contemporary communities, and it became the crucial indicator of their development. According to this criterion, countries could be included or excluded from the international community, or excluded from the European global partneship. xxii
- property pluralism, implying equality of state and private property;
- market pluralism, implying market regulation of all products prices;
- political pluralism, implying multiparty system.
However, beside advocating concept of pluriculturalism, many other issues - still at the agenda two years after Milošević's fall - were discussed. To mention just some of them: equalization of social and private sector, because social activities had been developed exclusively within the social sector for satisfaction of common and socialized needs had been considered incompatible with private property. The result was that many contents remained beyond the reach of the private sector, with negative effects both to scope and diversity of supply, as well as to the quality of supply and right of choice on the side of users. In this context, it was said that "equalization of property forms in the sector of social activities is here understood as a legitimate and equal involvement of citizens as participants, with their qualifications and funds (either private or joined) alike, in organization and performing of various social activities. It further implies no discrimination between private and social in regard to taxation, renting spaces, conditions required for their building or buying, acquistion of production materials, etc.(...) Only equality of different property sectors and equal rights, obligations and concessions could ensure competitiveness and raise of quality of services". This quotation clearly emphasises the need for a new legislation in order to establish a partnership co-operation between the public, private and civil sector. That task has not been accomplished in two yers after the change of the regime.
And finally, analysing this visionary document which still could be a basis of a concept of cultural development in Serbia, it should be said that it also contained ideas on decentralization, regionalization and sub-regional cultural centers. Underlying that an extensive development of the social activities network results in duplication (multiplication) of capacities, growth of administrative services, the report stated that while an average number of employees in the Slovenian communities of interest was 4.2, in the Kosovo ones it was 10.1. Therefore, rationalization of the extensive territorial dispersion of social activities should be focused on the development of sub-regional centers. The complete neglect of that category of settlements in the development of Serbia resulted in the direct transfer of rural population to suburb urban areas - of municipal and regional centers, autonomous provinces' centers and Belgrade.
Agitprop of the third Yugoslavia
But, to turn back to the question of the international isolation of Serbia. In that connection it is hard to understand why, even after the fall of the Berlin Wall when all the countries of the former East Block were entering the process of European integration, Serbia persistently stuck to follow policy of emancipation - this time in the name of the third Yugoslavia, a country emerged on the remains of the former state. And why, in the name of such policy, it opted to represent and defend its national cultural identity in isolation. Still less understandable why media contrary to their open nature, accepted to become the crucial instrument of an autistic propaganda activity of the regime and para-regime "agitprop" machine. The only possible answer is that the majority of population of Serbia needed time to grasp the interests Milošević's regime was advocating are not interests of the Serbian and other citizens of Serbia. Meanwhile, media representation fulfilled its goal, and the damage was done. Today we could only hope that so many times repeated historical mistakes will not be made again. Their consequences too.
But, one step at a time. It is a common knowledge that cultural policy reflects ideology and goals of a given political oligarhy whenever and wherever state apparatus holds the path of cultural development should be paved. For its part, culture paves path for a political idea willing to remain in power. Therefore, in order to preserve this spiritual construction as much as possible untouched by the lust for staying in power, in a great number of Scandinavian and Anglo-Saxon European countries with long democratic traditions, the state apparatus delegates decision-making in key issues of cultural development to independent para-state expert bodies.
However, it was not the Serbian case in the last decade of the 20th century. When following fall of the Berlin Wall all East block countries began their transition from the totalitarian communist/socialist regime to a new democratic order, Serbia made a step backwards to an autoritarian Milošević's regime. This politician built up his autoritarian policy on the site of a special historical and cultural meaning for the Serbian nationxxiii, and by the time majority understood that interests Milošević advocated were not interests of the Serbian nation and all citizens of Serbia, the damage had already been done. The sleeping national idea of the awakened Serbianhood raising in defence of its national identity had already been abused: Serbia was covered by bombs and excommunicated from the community of European states. Then, in defence of an autistic, centralized, national emancipatory policy, at the moment all transition countries led integration policy, Serbia turned to an isolation policy and closing. When it comes to culture, it was yet another step backwards, for culture is incapable to develop bereft of contact with other cultures.
By 1990s due to the media propaganda it seemed that the Serbian cultural identity had been awakening again from a century long sleep. Other two factors considerably contributed to such an impression: NATO aggresion which awakened national spirit in the Serbian nation, and the internal embargo of the cultural policy and politicians in the defiant reaction to the international one against Yugoslavia, and Serbia in particular.
Though it is hardly possible to speak of a single explicit model of cultural policy in Serbia since the early 1990s when, however formally, multiparty came back to its political scene, drawing a parallel seems feasible.
Though there is no coherent cultural policy without an ideology as a coherent set of political objectives, social values, beliefs and meanings (as was socialism, for example), still it could be said that in the last decade of the 20th century a concept of reaffirmation of the Serbian national and cultural identity prevailed. Over the period, censorship and restrictive measures were functions of such a policy.
Beside the sanctions of the international community imposed from outside, the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Serbia raised the wall of sanctions from inside. So, apart from the external embargo, cultural policy imposed another one from the inside and was sending a clear call for turning the country back to itself and closing within the framework of its own culture and tradition.
Were such an attempt authentic and tied to a precisely defined ideological concept, and if an autistic concept of cultural development was feasible, it could be at least partly understandable because the Serbian cultural identity had been for a century dominated by the Yugoslav one. However, beside lack of a consistent conceptual foundation, fundamental defect of such an attempt was in a simply fact that national values could not be protected and defended in isolation. A national culture develops and affirms itself in the contact with other cultures - never in breaking of flows of knowledge, ideas and in turning its back to the world. Equally demaging to the development of the intellectual life of a nation and state are closing within the borders of a national culture and isolation from world cultural trends, as well as giving up of a national and local identity in favour of complete subjection to a new, derived and imposed one, the more so if the latter - even if established - after a certain period lose its state, as was the case with four identities of four Yugoslavias (the first, second, third and the forth, last, post-Milošević's). As the relationist theory of culture puts it, identies exist and develop only in contact with other identities. If there is nothing which is in relation to "I" different, there is no specificity. There is no identity without other identities.
Example: Ministry of Culture book acquistion action
Policy of acquisition 1995/96/97xxiv.
The analysis of the acquired titles shows that the Ministry was not over the above period less interested to meet need of readers for deficient titles (literature for children, capital editions, encyclopaedias, scientific titles, translated literature, scientific journals, domestic and foreign periodicals), and more to enrich the existing library stocks with monographs and collections in the field of national history, national cultural monuments and resourses (among the acquired books dominate titles such as: Serbian Vojvodina 1918; Encyclopaedia of Niš; Insignia of Zlatibor and Surroundings; History of the Chilandar Monastery; Rača Monastery; Architecture of the Morava Style; National Customs in Ibarski Kolašin, and the like); some titles were even acquired for a number of times as, for example, Darko Šarenac's Marko Kraljević in Imagination of Painters (BIPIF publisher, Beograd), or All Serbian Sovereigns by Dejan Nikolić (published by the Despotovac Public Library). The preoccupation of the Ministry with protection and preservation of the cultural identity also witness long series of titles acquired from other bigger or smaller publishing houses (BIGZ: Vasilije Krestić, From History of Serbs and Serbo-Croatian Relations; Rasija: Miroslav Egerić, Serbia and Memory; National Library of Serbia: Miodrag Pavlović, Serbia Till the End of Term), as well as Patrick Besson's book published in 1995 by Podgorica Oktoih, the only publisher outside the Republic of Serbia. In the field of fiction which prevails on the list of acquired titles, the same motivation led the Ministry to make such a selection that would affirm national literature and its authors, while the number of titles from other fields as well as translations, which used to be pride of this culture, was drastically reduced. With just a bit more than 20% of acquired books, it could hardly meet needs of readers for scientific literature and scientific resources, of domestic and foreign authors alike.
Example: Sterijino pozorje
(quotation from the text History of An Usurpation by Aleksandar Milovanović, theatre critic and selector of "Sterijino pozorje" theatre festivalxxv
"(..) In the spring of 1995 an attempt of the new ruling structures in Serbia to end the existing situation in the Yugoslav theatre became actual again. The most appropriate starting point for settling the final accounts seemed to hit a serious target - to discredit Sterijino pozorje, an institution that survived death of the SFRY, despite its aura of being symbol of Tito's state, once ruled by national and political keys. (..) Things became more transparent as a key word was pronouced, and the selection (..) xxvi declared unpatriotic because none of the eight invited productions was coming from the so called Serbia proper. (..) The loudest protests were heard from Niš. Namely, their ace card Karađordje theatre production based on the text of Miladin Ševarlić (then manager of the Niš National Theatre, and now a JUL funcionary) was not selected. The fact even three productions from Vojvodina were in the selection, immediately turn the spear of attack to cheap political labelling, and the selection became a pro-autonomy one. Usage of this term taken over from politicians' vocabulary, reveals the intention to play on the card of then actual Serbian nationalistic euphoria. (..) Soon after binge at a float, a commission for culture of the powerful ruling political party was summoned. (..) A former theatre manager, in past decades established as a pillar of the Serbian buffet culture, in an excitement overwhelmed trembling vibrato again uttered so many times with wine&soda in his hand repeated demand that the Party had to condemn harshly the treacherous activity of Sterijino pozorje, which in his opinion was a foul remnant of Yugoslavia, the one once ruled from the North, from Slovenia and Croatia. (..) The following day a paper whose journalist was present at the meeting, published an article which incited public rumors: Sterijino pozorje facing political shift. (..) The festival somehow went in a a normal atmosphere, and polemics were relocated from political to esthetic and theatre art terrain. However, the attempt to take over control over the theatre does not end at this point (...)", writes the author of this article and continues his analysis of attempts to make theatre servant to the political ideology. His words are so pregnant and convincing and render each comment a waste of time and space.
Example: National Theatre
(quotation from the interview of Miladin Ševarlić, deputy manager of the National Theatre in Belgradexxvii.
"When speaking of a first rate national cultural institution such as the National Theatre, there is no doubt that such a theatre must be generator of national creative and spiritual energy, the one that is a condition of survival and guarantee of the identity of an ethnos. Everywhere in the world national theatres perform, in the first place, such a mission. But, these days and years here, and not only here, emerges a trend of the so called mondialisation, expressed as a kind of shame and contempt for authentic values of one's own soil and environment, as cutting of a unbilical cord of spiritual identity and yearning invocation of a transoceanic Santa Claus, with a bottle of Coca-Cola in his hand, as a symbol of a synthetic civilization and subculture, as a front runner of the usurious international, which persistently and farreachingly implements spiritual leveling and unification of this world, or, if you wish, its spiritual castration. As a nation we are inclined to extremes, vehemency, exclusiveness, sectarianship, irrationality and voluntarism. Thereof, here are possible oscilations from overesteemating and negation of everything national, instead of a rational moderate approach which considers national values as a necessary precondition of survival, but locates them within the net of European and global coordinates. So, this mondialistic wave has grazed National Theatre for a while, but it is too old and serious institution to be longer influenced by such a profane world trends".
What makes this statement object of our attention? Because it is, firstly, logically inconsistent for it raises against exclusiveness, and itself is exclusivistic ("spiritual castration", "profane world trends"!). Further, if cultural identity is a selfconsciousness of the members of a group which emerges and develops in relations with other social droups, such a relation is here missing. The statement of the deputy manager lacks any indication of relations - but contains everything about self-sufficiency. If we take into account a broader definition of cultural identity as stimulating richness enlarging possibilities of flourishing the human species, and encourages each nation and each group to draw strength from its past, in the same time accepting external influences in accordance with its own characteristics, thus continuing the process of its own creation - Mr. Ševarlić's statement is also missing this dimension of acceptance of external influences. The third reason for which this statement is analysed here connects programme policy of a national institution such as National Theatre with the national cultural policy. By very definition, notion of cultural policy could not imply "any policy in culture or towards culture aimed at suppression or negation of its fundamental values. In other words, any policy in contravention with the authentical functions of culture, that curbs and restricts cultural development, could not be considered a genuine cultural policy"xxviii. As dr Prnjat put it, such a practice should be qualified as a specific form of political activity, i.e. political pressure on free cultural development. And, in the times of Milošević's regime such a pressure on cultural development was, surely, present.
Of all the above analysed examples the public was informed by the printed media. But we will try to shed some light also on the role of electronic media in the nationalistic euphoria that overtook Serbia. In the same time, a part of serbia which backed Miloševic was the very creator of that euphoria, while the other gathered around opposition political parties tried to resist it. The third part of Serbia was overwhelmed by the media campaign of the opposed political sides. Untill 2000 all the three parts participated in creation of the picture of Serbia. It was very much like the one of 1945, when apparatus of agitation and propaganda ruled over Serbia. How tragic this truth is illustrates quotation from the Ljubodrag Dimić's book Agitprop Culturexxix dealing with building up Tito's Yugoslavia but nevertheless could be literally read also as an analysis of cultural and media policy of Miloševic's Serbia. It clearly evokes how culture, education and science were in the hands of the party propaganda machinery.
So, the principle of "democratic centralism" both in Tito's and Miloševic's time applied to culture first fourty years ago, ensured management of activities in culture, education and artistic from "a single center" in which a Party resided. But, forty years ago there were no so many electronic media, and agitprop apparatus was forced to more extensive use of cultural, educational and scientific institutions, while in Miloševic's era considerable greater number of TV and radio stations which made incomparably broader audiences susceptible to media propaganda. True, at work was still another difference between Tito's and Milošević's "agitprop" apparatus. That is a great number of opposition media sometimes object of weaker or stronger repression of the ruling regime. It was especially strong, when media policy was aimed at inaugurate policy of self-sufficiency, closing and isolation by affirmation of national cultural values, symbols ans stereotypes. Indeed, in some cases there was no repression of the media at all, neither it was coming from the ruling party. Sometimes, a self-censorship was at work, and its is an even worse mechanism than censorship itself.
During the war euphoria by the end of 1998, and war disaster due to NATO bombing starting in March 1999, cultural policy of the country as all the others engaged all its capacities in defence of the country which was attacked. In the period, by a number of rulings the Government of the Republic of Serbia tried to establish a media image of the country which would seemingly support defence policy of the country, but essentially - policy of self-sufficiency and self-isolation.xxx
And finally, what could be said about the model and instruments of cultural policy in Serbia of Slobodan Milošević's regime?
Though cultural policy priorities in this period were not explicitly articulated, as an implicit and not explicit policy was at work, a subsequent analysis could lead us to conclusion that 1989-2000, i.e. in the last decade of the 20th century, the main objective of the state cultural policy was to:
- strenghten influence of the state;
- re-centralize decision-making in key issues and priorities of cultural development;
- politize culture so as to establish an internal "cultural" isolation from the world in reaction to the international embargo;
- awake patriotism and turning to quasi-national cultural values;
- affirm a newlycomposed cultural model.
Post-election period (2000-2002)
On 5th of October 2000, the citizens realized that Serbia paid a terrible price for supporting Milošević's regime. The day when citizens went to streets to defend results of the federal and presidental elections will remain in history. The Democratic Opposition of Serbia won majority in the Federal Parliament, and Vojislav Koštunica was elected president of the third Yugoslavia. The Socialist Party of Serbia was to get off the political scene, but Slobodan Milošević refused to recognize the election results in the attempt to prolong the mandate of his autoritarian regime. However, power was to be lost soon: first on the federal, and after December republican elections won by the coalition of 18 parties (DOS), on the republican level. DOS won majority in the reprublican parliament and Zoran Đinđić became new president of the Government of the Republic of Serbia.
The first year of transition in culture
When after the 2000 republican elections Prime Minister appointed a new minister of culture, and the latter his deputies, a new collegium focused all its efforts to identify the current state of affairs and preserve the inherited infrastructure of cultural and art institutions in Serbia. Because of a decade long political and social crisis in the country due to disintegration of the former Yugoslavia, this infranstructure was not maintained, even was considerably damaged. Since cultural institutions used to be mostly "social" i.e. state property, almost completely financed from the state budget, the ministerial collegium was of the opinion it was its responsibility to support settlement of their seriosly bad situation. So, the deputy minister, Jovan Despotović said in his estimation of the results of the first year of transition: "If the last year was mostly spent on identification of the current situation, this one will be a year of definite shift of trends to a desirable or long awaited direction. If 2001 stopped further decay of the institutional system of culture in Serbia, 2002 will certainly be a year for deep processes to begin - but, with no illusion of a prompt recovery. In all possible ways culture should be qualified for that struggle. For the time being it is our the most urgent task or a key issue of transition, as set forth by the topic of this conference".xxxi
How complex is the structure of the institutional system in Serbia shows the fact taht by the beginning of 2002 there were more than 3,150 identified cultural institutionsxxxii. Od Of the total number 324 were institutions of a traditional elite type - archives, libraries, museums and galleries, theatres, centers for protection of cultural monuments and nature, including 22 institutions of national cultural interest.xxxiii
However, the number of cultural institutions only partly points to dimensions of their financial problems, as the latter beside regular projects and programmes, include investments in some institutions absent for decades. The moderator of the same international conference, Milena Dragičević Šešić, Ph.D: "Unfortunately, here mentioned our rich infrastructure is by no means our advantage. For the time being, it is a huge burden. The fact our Cinoteque has an enormous film funds is not only the wealth of this country. It is also an unbearable responsibility which this administration is unable to afford. It simply has no budget for it. That we have so many museums, we have Viminacium, for example, just to mention that archeological site, is too much for this administration. The budget of the Ministry for Culture is by no means able to afford it, and only complex regional development projects could help. There is no institution which does not need great investments in the reconstruction of the building, technical equipment. For example, most of the museums are located in buildings never reconstructed since built, and some were built by the beginning of the century, some in 1950s, but essentially it is irrelevant. Thus, our rich infrastructure is actually a noose around the neck of further development of culture, cultural production and programmes. Therefore it is crucial to set up a wise sequence of priorities, so we could preserve what we got, and never endanger, for example, transfer of the inherited to future generations, while not leaving stimulation of cultural production to artists alone.xxxiv
Having in mind that most of these institutions are on the budget, the dimensions of the problem the Ministry (which, in the first year of transition directly funded even 173 cultural institutions) facedxxxv. With some 700 cultural manifestations and art collonies, it amounts up to a bit less than 4,000 cultural "centers" located in all the municipalities and cities in Serbia, which also had expected to be, at least partially, supported from the budget of the Republic of Serbia. And, as later at the international conference said deputy minister of culture, in the first year of transition their total budget was 40 million German marks, or cca. 20 million euros. The budget was bigger since the Minister succeeded to raise percentage for culture from 0.3% in the beginning of 2000, to 0.8% or one 1 billion and 200 million dinars. The deputy minister was clear in saying that "by a more rational spending of its budget the Ministry attained to hinder further decay of the system, but deeply aware of the insufficiency of the total budget, it is resolute to start trying to find an out-of-budget means of financing with the aim to raise the percentage in the nearest future to 2%, thus making Serbia a mid-developed country in the field of culture too, as the UNESCO recommendation is that the share of culture in the national budget should be 1-3%".
But, in its attempts to curb further devastation of the institutional system in Serbia, the Ministry in this period led an implicit, and by all its features - chaotic cultural policy. Its strategy was based upon a short-term committment to prevent further fall of the institutional system of Serbia, with resort to two basic instruments of cultural policy. the first was financing already mentioned here, but should be said a lot more since no reform measures in the field of budget distribution were taken in the period. There were no open competitions for support to regular programme activities - cultural institutions directly addressed the Ministry of Culture with requests for funding of their programmes and projects. Depending on who was the applicant and whether request related to field of protection or cultural production, decisions were made by Minister, ministerial collegium, deputy minister in charge.True, public competitions were introduced in the field of cultural industry, but it will be later discussed in the part devoted to financing of cultural production.
The other instrument of cultural policy the Ministry reintroduced and which gave certain results in the first year of transition was its personnel policy. Namely, in most of the institutions (some 80%), in the first place national ones - such as Museum of Contemporary Art, National Museum, Museum of Ethnography, Museum of Applied Arts, Archive of Serbia, republican Center for protection of Cultural Monuments, National Theatre, serbian National Theatre in Novi Sad, and many others - were made personnel changes: from directors to executive and supervisory boards. Since the Ministry of Culture nominates and the Republican Government appoints directors of all institutions of national interest, deputy minister of culture Jovan Despotović explained the reasons motivating these personnel changes: "Our intention was to rejuvenile these institutions due to need for organizational transformation - from expert departments to administration and technical sector - with the view to better conceptualization and realization of new cultural projects and programmes. Our next step is to analyse what have been results of the new management. Our conclusions based on its findings will be operationalized in 2002. Therefore, both the Ministry and public expect a different creative spirit, and a more vivid activity of a rather weary institutions - from libraries and archives, museums, centers for protection of cultural heritage, to theatres, and the most prestigious cultural manifestations. Certain structural changes have also been initiated as well as the cut in the number of budgetary institutions".
The reason why the Ministry used only the above instruments of cultural policy, and that with limited objectives and scope, and also some others which were at its disposal, such as legislation or strategic planning, certainly lies in the absence of an explicitly formulated programme document defining public interest in culture, strategies and priorities of short- and long-term cultural development in Serbia.
However, even under provisions of the existing Act on Cultural Activities of National Interest (the one of 1992, i.e. from Milošević's times), the Ministry of Culture was obliged to base its work on such a programme. Only on the basis of clear programme committments the Ministry could distribute funds from the budget of the Republic of Serbia for attainment of national interest in the field of culture. As the Act puts it, budget funds are meant for attainment of general interest in culture, and general interest is defined in the programme. The Act even provides for the procedure of programme adoption. It further specifies that the Ministry acquires expert opinions and evaluations of the programme of activities from the Ministry Expert Council, competent institutions and respectable experts.
However, the problem is that the Ministry has neither appointed the Advisory Council, nor informed public of a programme of attainment general interest in the field of culture, thus excluding it from the process of defining that general interest. It even seems that the state administration has not recognized the difference between general and public interest, to which conclusion point the Act itself, stipulating that the budget funds are distributed for attainment of "general" interest. This raises the question whether it is possible to define general interest without a public debate, and how it is feasible to acquire expert opinion and evaluation of general interest in the absence of an explicit cultural policy. Consequently, the Ministry of Culture could not get public support for its activity as it has never came out with an explicitly formulated programme document the public could then have it say about.
The first document in which the Ministry of Culture briefly identified the inherited situation and problems, and basic objectives and effects of its first year in office, was its work report.xxxvi
As cultural policy priorities are stated:
Obviously, thus formulated priorities of the Ministry did not coincide with the actual ones. They corresponded more to the trends dominant in cultural policies of the European countries in the last decade of the 20th century, and most likely such a list of priorities was meant to underline reform spirit and reform vision of the new ministerial collegium.
- pluralism of cultures,
- alternative sources of financing,
- harmonization with the EU legislation, and
- establishment of regional and international cooperation.
Besides, though formulated in the Ministry of Culture 2001 work report, these priorities were not publicly transparent enough, since report is an internal document submitted to the Government and Parliament. Despite Ministry's efforts to make its work more transparent through interviews and statements of the Minister and members of the ministerial collegium, putting them even on the web presentation, the latter could not been considered an information channel of the Ministry being slowly updated, among other things. True is that some public competitions for support to cultural industry were advertised in daily "Danas", but that hardly exhausts total scope of Ministry's competences, within which key decisions were made far from the eyes of the public. Moreover, priorities were formulated a posteriori, in the work report, instead in the programme of activities which should have been made up immediately after the 2000 republican elections.
And finally, the fact the Republican Government also had no clearly defined programme committments in the field of culture is not to be overlooked. In its programme for the first year of its mandate, culture was not seen as a priority.
Of course, the lack of clear programme committment on the side of Government and the Ministry of Culture entailed the same lack on the side of all actors on the cultural scene in Serbia - local communities, cultural institutions themselves, and cultural public as a whole. It was a "circulus vitious" in which everybody was spinning for a year.
The attitudes of the focus groups interviewed in five towns in Serbia prove this quite well. These attitudes to which we shall come back later, could be reduced to a single conclusion that there is no cultural policy strategy on the level of town and level of state alike. The reason is found in the fact the state has not defined priorities of cultural development. But the state have not only failed to define priorities, but since Miloševic's Constitution has abandoned the system of social planning, has not established either new procedures or their bearers. However, certain expert circles were well aware of the importance of these elements, as Milena Dragičević Šešić argued: "When I say cultural model I do not mean changes of the cultural environment in general, I do not mean change of values, etc. But I do mean model of cultural policy, and that implies the following: who are those in this country who have say in decision-making on cultural issues; whether and to what degree the decision-making in culture is public; when, how and to what degree; who defines investment priorities in culture? Are next year's investment priority libraries, or museums, or something third? As cultural public we have never been asked about it, the same way we have never been asked about the priorities of the Ministry of Education as an academic community. With the Ministry of Education it is at least clear that their investment priority is elementary and not high, still less art education. So, at the University we know that there will be no roof for the Faculty of Music Art in next five years, we will not get a building for the Faculty of Applied Arts, and will not repair the building of the faculty of Visual Arts. Nobody cares where and how we will lecture. It is simply said the priority of the Ministry is elementary education. It maybe all right, but it seems a public debate is necessary. It also maybe all right that in the Ministry of Culture there are beforehand given priorities. They are not explicitly uttered, if there are any at all, but I believe these are things deserving debate too. What is the definition of priorities in each field of activity, all the way to preparation of a long-term strategic plan?"
OVERVIEW OF TRANSITION MODEL OF CULTURAL POLICY IN SERBIA
Levels of cultural policy in Serbia
From the point of view of authorities and law, cultural policy in Serbia is led on republican, provincial, city and municipal level. At the national level there is a Ministry of Culture renamed to the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Government of the Republic of Serbia. Within the Republican Parliament functions the parliamentary Board for Culture and Information. The key decision maker on the level on an autonomous province is provincial Secretariat for Culture, Education and Science of the Vojvodina Executive Council. At the city level, and there are only four cities in Serbia (Beograd, Novi Sad, Kragujevac and Niš) key decision makers are members of executive boards of city assemblies in charge of culture, in cooperation with secretaries of the secretariats for culture, as executives. At the level of municipal assemblies (164 in Serbia), only secretariats of social activities exist, dealing also with culture.
National level: Ministry of Culture of the Government of the Republic of Serbia
Structure: See graphic
According to current Ministries Lawxxxviii relevant regulations and amendments, the scope of activity of the Ministry was broadened and it became Ministry of Culture and Information. Now the Ministry fulfils activities of the state administration related to development of culture and art production; follow up of the research in the field of culture; providing for material basis for cultural activity; development and promotion of literary, translating, music and stage production, visual and applied arts and design, film and audio-visual media; protection of cultural valuables; library, publishing, cinematographic and music-stage activities; trusts, foundations and funds; system of public information; information in the field of printed media, radio, television and other channels of public information; running the register of public media; and other activities stipulated by law. According to current Act on activities of general interest in the field of culture, the Ministry of Culture is authorized to distribute funds from the budget of the Republic of Serbia in order to attain general interest in the field of culture.
According to these and other current lawsxxxix, The Ministry of Culture and Information accepted in July of 2002 a documentation basis for a future regulations on inner organization and job classification. Thereof followed a new organization of the Ministry, introduction of a new sector, and reorganization of the existing organization units. The document underlines that "The need for reorganization stemmed from the orientation to a more operative, professional, efficient, timely and, above all, more rational and money-saving performing of expert and other jobs from the scope of activities and competences of the Ministry of Culture and Public Information"xl.
Consequently, five organization units were established: cultural heritage and librarian activity sector; art production, cultural production and cultural relations sector; sector of international relations and European integrations; sector of material-financial activities and investments; and information sector. To perform activities of interest for Ministry as a whole a special organization unit was established - secretariat of the Ministry. sectors are further divided into departments, divisions and groups. There are 57 job descriptions necessiating 87 employees, and these are, as stated in the Documentation paper, minimum number for efficient performance of the Ministry. However, this means 17 employees more than under the re-balanced budget, so the Ministry promised not to engage more staff till the end of 2002. Still, compared with previously employeed and appointed staff of 36, the Ministry has, temporarily, doubled it, and plans 17 more. The Ministry job classification includes 15 employees with vocational, two with college, and 70 with university qualification, which considerably exceeds the average qualification structure of employed in the field of culture and artxli.
After the actual minister and his deputies were appointed, in its January-December 31, 2001 report, the Ministry briefly identified the inherited situation and problems, basic objectives and effects of its engagement, as already mentioned. The January-December 2002 work report no more deals with the situation and problems, only with results the Ministry achieved in the fields of inner reorganization, personnel structure, working conditions and achievements of its basic organization units.
Republican level: Parliament and Comittee for Culture and Information
It was already said that the actual republican Constitution abolished the former procedure of planning social development, and deprived Parliament of the competence to adopt long-term development plans. Ever since any new procedure of strategic planning has not been established, nor defined who in the public sector of culture should be its key actor. So, the republican Parliament has not adopted a national programme of cultural development. As for legislation, all valid regulations in the field of culture belong to Milošević's regime, and not a single one was adopted till 2003. There is a permanent Parliament Board for Culture and Information. The article 65 of the Rules of the Parliament (cleared up 2001 version) stipulates that this Board of 15 members discusses drafts of acts, other regulations and other issues related to culture and public information. As provided in the general clause on parliamentary boards and other bodies of the Parliament (Rules, para. 41), this board as all the others, will consider and discuss all issues falling within the competence of the Parliament, as well as to assess policy implementation, implementation of laws, and other regulations of the republican government in the field each board is appointed for.
However, the insight into the Parliamentary archives shows that in the period our research covers, the Government submitted not reports to the Parliament, except once in 1995. Thereof, a logical question is how the Board for Culture and Information could have had any opinion of policy implementation. Obviously, the Parliament was only formally a key decision-maker in the field of culture. A sole exception was when the actual minister of culture submitted a report on demand of the Board members in March of 2002. Since any MP could initiate a new law, the current situation points also to their passivity, especially those engaged in the Board for Culture: namely, there has been not a new single law in the domain of culture. This passivity is further evident in the observation of implementation of actual legislation, despite the fact professionals from the field insist on their dissatisfaction in this regard.
Subregional level: Vojvodina Executive Council and Secretariat for Culture, Education and Science
The autonomous province of Vojvodina is the only autonomous subregion in Serbia. It is established by a special law, and in the sphere of culture operates the provincial Secretariat for Culture, Education and Science as a body of the Executive Council of the autonomous province of Vojvodina. When the Act Defining Special Competences of the Vojvodina Autonomous Province (RS Official Herald, No. 6/2002) came into force, a more detailed legislation is prepared, especially in the fields in which the Republic defines the system (article 1). In accordance with its Bylaw and regulations, the autonomous province regulates certain issues of interest for its citizens, and the means of their settlement, in particular competence of the organs, establishment of entities and institutions and securing of their functioning, as provided by Constitution and law (para.2). As issues of interest for Vojvodina citizens this law lists: culture, education, official use of language and alphabet, public information, health care, pension and disablement insurance, social care, legal protection of family and guardianship, social care of children, veterans' and invalids' protection, protection of civil war victims, protection and improvement of environment, urbanism, construction, housing, employment, economy and privatization, mining and energetics, agriculture and other fields: supply stocks, tourism and sport.
In the sphere of culture the law stipulates that autonomous province is competent for protection of cultural valuables; monitoring in the field of cinematography; performs rights of founder regarding the appointment of directors and members of executive boards of the institutions (i.e. their functioning, maintenance and programmes) completely or mostly funded from the budget of the autonomous province; provides for all means of production, investment and running costs, and 2/3 of funds programmes of certain cultural institutions listed in law; covers operating costs or programmes of other institutions and organizations if these contribute to the development of culture and art in the autonomous province, or to development of the minority cultures. The Sector for Culture is in charge of culture within the Provincial Secretariat for Culture, Education and Science.
The analysis of the Sector's documentation shows its regular reporting to the Executive Council (Report on visits to cultural institutions and organizations in Vojvodina - October 2001; Work report of the Provincial Secretariat for Culture, October 2000 - October 2001 - November 2001; Report on technical equipment of cultural institutions in the field of protection of cultural valuables - November 2001; Information on cultural and art manifestations co-financed by the Provincial Secretariat for Culture, Education and Science - October 2001; and many other reports and written information).
City level: Belgrade Executive Council and Secretariat of Culture
There are four cities in Serbia: Beograd, Novi Sad, Kragujevac and Užice, Beograd in the same time being Serbia capital. The city Executive Board and City Assembly are key decision-makers in the field of culture.
Beograd:with the view to more efficient discussion of cultural issues to be on the EB agenda and relevant proposals, EB establishes permanent bodies such as commissions and councils. The coucils expertly deal with strategic aspect of an issue, while commission only considers actual matters related to functions and competences of the EB (Rules on the City Assembly EB functioningxlii). In the field of culture a number of commissions funcion, but no council exists. As its president put, Commission for Culture "is somehow central as it deals with fundamental programmes", but there is also a number of other commissions devoted to particular matters, suc as: Commission for book acquirement; Commission for streets' and squares' naming; Commission for free-lance artists; Commission for monuments; Commission for atteliers' distribution, etc. The Commission for culture is comprised of prominent figures from the cultural and art scene. The main role of Commission is to discuss applications submitted at publicly advertised calls for support for programmes and projects, and to make a preliminary selection with the assistance of experts from the Secretariat for culture. Then the Secretariat prepares a preliminary version of next year's plan. The negotiations in the Assembly regarding financial aspects follow (as to total funds available), and joint planning results in optimal solution - a mid-way between wishes and demands and real budget capacities. The documentation analysis shows that the Secretariat for culture has regularly submitted its annual reports, as well as its future work plans. Contrary to the republican Ministry of Culture, where documentation of the type vanished during the bombing, the City Secretariat for Culture still has all reports and work plans for the period under research (1989- 2001). Their comparative analysis easily leads to problems identified and dynamics of their resolution. Thus the 2001 report on realization of programmes of cultural institutions and organizations underlines that that year a new concept was applied with the view of re-organization of "the institutions' network" and ways of their financing, with the emphasis on investment in programmes, which implies selection and promotion of quality of programmes.
City Level: Kragujevac City Assembly Executive Council
Kragujevac: Contrary to Beograd, the Kragujevac City Assembly established the city Council for Culture in February of 2002, and appointed to it prominent public figures in the fields of culture and art, but also representatives of private sector in culture and local NGOs. The Council is an occassional working body of the City EB in charge of monitoring funcioning and development of institutions and activities in the field of culture, and submitting the EB measures for improvement the quality of programmes and further professionalization of cultural and art activity. The first visible result of this Council is the 2003 strategic plan of cultural development adopted in a democratic public procedure. It demonstrates Kragujevac's capacity for making a city cultural policy and an independent planning of the city cultural development strategy.
Role of State in the Management of Cultural Development
A cultural policy model sheds light on basic committments of key decision-makers regarding all crucial issues of cultural policy. Therefore a model is distinguished, among other features, by the role the state plays in management of cultural trends, and from that point of view (i.e. legislation) three models prevail in the world.
The first is a state or Latin model with decisive role of the state, but also with the highest percentage devoted to cultural development. In these cultures dominates public sector, and all key decisions are made on the level of state administration and relevant ministries. This model is specific for France and Italy.
The second model is a para-statal or "arms length" model, which in a number of states has its specific versions, but basically it is a model in which the state delegates its responsibility for strategic planning and financing cultural development to para-statal councils for culture and art, still providing from its budget funds necessary for implementation of strategic development plans. This model prevails in Great Britain, Scandinavian countries (Finland, Sweden), and also in a number of former socialist countries that completed the first phase of transition (Baltic countries, Lithuania, Hungary, etc.). Its basic characteristic is that the councils are independent expert bodies, at "arms lenght" from political structures, which enables them strategic planning of cultural development bereft of any political parties pressures, but in accordance with its immanent principles.
The third model is a liberal one prevailing in the United States. It implies no intervention of the state in cultural production, which is completely left to market trends, while the state through legislation, stimulative taxation and other instruments of management creates environment in which culture develops.
So, if the above models prevail in the world, let us see which one dominates in Serbia. As for our state, it has not - despite the crisis - given up culture. The Ministry of Culture of the republican government and the Parliamentary Board for Culture and Information, as well as budgetary allocations prove this orientation.
However, the question is whether the state is willing to manage cultural trends directly through state administration (relevant ministry/ministries), or to delegate responsibility in the field of strategic development planning to independent para-statal expert bodies.
So, if a state is not willing to give up responsibility for culture, and does not want professional politicians to be key decision-makers in the field of cultural development (predominantly interested for their party to come to power, and thus often inclined to use culture to pursuade voters to opt for their political party), it inevitably delegates its responsibility to independent expert bodies, at "arms length" from politics.
Cultural circles in this country have not received any answer since no national council for culture has not been founded till spring of 2003. However, it has been both officially and unofficially mentioned, but it is still unknown whether the state is going to delegate its responsibility after the "arms length" principle, or that body is expected to be a purely advisory one, advisory and not decision-making. Judging by Aleksandra Jovičević, Ph.D., deputy minister for current production, by the beginning of 2003, the Ministry of Culture has been "in the process of founding Council for Culture of prominent figures from all fields of culture as a advisory body to follow and evaluate activities of the Ministry of Culture, but also those of local cultural structures and institutions", adding that the Ministry in that case will not be expected to judge quality in art, but to act in accordance with advices of these experts. xliv
The document clearly underlines the advisory role of this body, one could conclude that the Ministry has no intention to delegate decision-making regarding all issues of cultural policy; a future body is expected only to direct cultural policy of the Ministry to "more modern and flexible understanding of complex issues of our culture such as national identity, relation to tradition and modernity, identity of ethnic minorities, etc". On the other hand, as the actual job classification of the Ministry of Culture and Public Informationxliv does not provide for an organization unit, sector, service, group or at least one executive for planning strategic cultural development, it could be concluded that short and long-term planning will take place within basic organization units, or in better case in their coordination. This further points to essential misunderstanding of the role and importance of the strategic planning of the cultural development, due to which cultural policy even after two yers of transition has had neither clear strategy nor defined priorities of short and long-term cultural development.
If it is unknown what is the state's option regarding delegation of responsibility for strategic planning and decision-making on development priorities to independent expert bodies, we do know what the interviewed focus group members in the four Serbian cities think and want about these issuesxlv. Their answers entail they belive the state should continue to allocate certain funds from its budget to culture, thus proving culture is of national interest to her. However, they do not want the state to dispose of such funds directly - they prefer para-statal bodies. The Kragujevac group were clear that such a body should comprise of social (intellectual) elite. That is, those who are not professional politicians, who are distanced from politics, directly interested for cultural development and capable of competent and responsible decision-making in the field!
The other finding based upon interviews of the Kragujevac focus group is that intervention of politics into culture is not desirable, but hardly feasible. Certainly, this attitude is a reaction to Tito's and Miloševic's monoparty states, when a single political party to which most of cultural policy actors also ideologically belonged managed cultural development.
When it comes to competences of the state and those of the local self government ("what the state shoud do, and what cities and municipalities"), all the interviewed members of focus groups in four Serbian cities agree that the state should adopt good legislation not only in the field of culture, but also in all the fields which might have implication for culture. In that context, they point to taxation legislation, as well as to law on local self government which should precisely define competences to exclude their possible interweaving, and other laws entailing necessary decentralization.
A deeper analysis of acquired answers shows the interviewed Kragujevac focus group holds the state should position culture and intervene regarding definition of priorities in all sectors, particularly in culture and lead a strict taxation policy against kitsch. However, the Užice focus group is of opinion the state should recognize the best projects and support them; for their part, people from Šabac argue the state should, in the first place, provide for a general framework of cultural development and financial resources, while by legislation transferring its competences for local cultural development to local authorities. In Sombor, most of the interviewed opted for decentralization of budget, and decentralization of funds for culture within municipal budget as expected from the state.
To the question what the cities should do in Šabac was answered they should nourish and educate new audiences in schools of painting and sports, in cooperation of schools and musems, and that distribution of budget for culture should be transparent. In Užice, the opinion prevailed that a sector for culture should be established in the Assembly's Executive Council, instead of culture being part of the social activities sector, and that public competitions are necessary for support of high quality programmes. Sombor focus group stressed the need for new law on local self government which would, among other things, stipulate office of the city cultural manager, while Kragujevac group had not their say in this matter.
And what cities actually do, and what is their role in key decision-making in the field of culture, as well as what is their role with other actors of cultural policy, will be analysed on the example of Beograd, capital of the Republic of Serbia.
Actors of cultural policy
According to Claude Molard, French theoretician of culture and cultural engiineering ideologist, cultural system comprises of two intersecting axes, and four families on the left and right, up and down side of the axe. On one axe is cultural market, with family of creators on its left side, and on the right audience to which art production is made.On the vertical axe is cultural policy: with family of decision-makers on the upper point, and family of agents - below. Family of creators comprises of artistists, wirters, interpretators and perfomers of works of art. The audience includes casual and regular "consumers" of works of art and values, as well as non-audience. The decision-makers are part of all three sectors of culture: in public one, these belong to authorities - ministers, directors of cultural institutions, producers; in private one - directors of cultural institutions, banks, industries and corporations financing art production - donors, sponsors, patrons; and in the third of nongovernmental (civil) sector - associations' presidents, foundations, and other NGO (civil) organisations.
The agents are media - art critics, journalists, elite - academicians, Ph.Ds, experts, intellectualsxlvi
Though theoretically speaking, cultural system has four families, the public cultural system of Serbia is comprised of them only formally, while actually two are active. Besides, these two families are highly movable (some of their members changing places in the families), so the families party have the same membership. The two active families are those of decision-makers and agents.
The family of decision-makers includes members of the city authorities (a member of the Executive Board in charge of culture, other EB members, members of the city assembly), and directors of the culture and art institutions financed from the city budget. In this family absolutely dominate those who won the 2000 elections, as members of a political party at which they were listed. According to this criteria they also vote.
Despite official request, this research team had no access to short-hand records of the city assembly's sessions. So, on November 4, 2002, the city secretary for finances was interviewed, for the researchers wanted to get insight into procedures of the city budget distribution in its share devoted to culture. The secretary explained the EB submits its proposals to the Assembly of 100 members. The proposal is explained by a rapporteur or president of the City Government. The members of the Assembly belong to various professions, often too far from culture, their party affilitation is decisive for their vote, and DS has absolute majority in the Assembly. The other criteria is municipality from which a member comes, and not expertise..
As for other members of the family of decision-makers - directors of cultural institutions, their decisions are completely limited to their institutions, and their direct influence to City Assembly's decisions does not exist. Besides, the City EB appoints them with no public competition. It implies they also inderectly if not directly, pursue political programmes of the parties participating in the city administration. If otherwise, the city authorities who appointed them, could as easily release them of their office.
All mentioned, shows that all key decisions relevant for the city cultural system are made in the City's Assembly, in the family of decision-makers and on political bases. So, despite that since 1996/1997 local elections democratic political parties verbally advocating democratic institutions, these have not been developed yet. The family of decision-makers has not been broadened and turned into a kind of "economic-political-cultural complex", partly based on cultural indutsries, and openning to patrons (see more in: Claude Molard, Cultural Engineering, p. str 40). And, despite few great companies financially supporting culture (and new taxation law which provides for taxation reductions, so eagerly advocated in the republican Parliament by the City EB in charge of culture), their directors and managers are not involved in decision-making, instead leading their cultural of their own idenpendently of the public cultural policy (or unofficially, as in Milošević's time - in the name of public cultural policy). As the analysis of asessable documentation shows, there is no organized or systemic coordination among them, still less partnership. This additionally proved representatives of companies sponsoring culture and art production, inteviewed as a focus group in October of 2002. They underlined an annual plan of the Ministry of Culture or another state institution would be of great help in envisaging amounts to be invested in culture.
As for communication and establishment of institutional partnership, the same is true for presidents of associations, foundations and NGOs which considerably contributed in the last severe decade to cultural and art production, but have no institutionalized role in the decision-making at the City level.
The family of agents is of a bit more complex structure that the one of decision-makers, and significantly better developed on the city than on republican level. Therefore, it will be analysed on the example of Beograd. It is comprised of members of the permanent City Assembly bodies and EB - i.e. councils and commissions. According to article 8 of the EB Rules, that body founded the Commission for Culture which considers (and not makes decisions!) all issues in the field of culture for which EB is competent and submits its report. The article 7 of the same Rules stipulates president of the commission is the EB member in charge of the field for which a commission is established, while others are individuals - experts in given areas. There is no doubt the Commission for Culture is a democratic institution, which influences decision-making in culture, making of the budget as one of the basic instruments of cultural policy included.
"They make an expert assessment of the investment priorities or give their expert opinion of fields worth investment. They have initiative of their own and it is respected", said the City secretary of finances in the interview done for the purposes of this research. In her interview, Gorica Mojović, president of the Commission, also had a positive opinion. "Our Commission for Culture is made of competent people: Milena Šešić is in charge of new initiatives, Mileta Prodanović of museums, Branka Đoković of galleries, Gojko Božović of books and publishing, Dejan Mijač and Ksenija Jovanović of theatre. All the fields are covered, and before making a pre-selection of competition applications, members of the Commission go through them with assistance of expert associates of the Secretatiat for Culture. The latter then works out a preliminary version of the next year plan. Then start long netotiations regarding financial matters in the Assembly: what are funds to be available, and joint planning finally results in an optimal solution somehown including wishes and demands, with real budgetary capacities".
However, the Commission for Culture is not the only commission to consider issues in the competence of the City Assembly EB. In her interview Mrs. Mojović also mentioned that: " (..) we did what we could here in the city (administration) to adopt as many solutions, decisions, just to settle some issues. We founded commissions. You asked about advisory bodies. All the time I am talking about this Commission for Culture, as it is in a way central: namely, it is key decision-maker on basic programmes. Of course, each manifestation has a council of its own. There is also Commission for free-lance artists. For the first time we have commission for distribution of studios. That is, in all fields an arbitration exists, or need for decision-making in accordance to criteria, there is a commission, council, commission for street names, etc. Wherever, there is a need to arbitrate, make decisions, defiine priorities, there is a council or commission."
Gorica Mojović, member of the Beograd City Assembly EB in charge of culture, and ex officio, president of the EB Commission for Culture, member to the national Commission for UNESCO, republican MP and member to the parliamentary Commission for Culture and Information. All these functions imply an accumulation of functions, despite the fact each is related to different levels of cultural policy - city, federal and republican. Mrs. Mojović is also an expert with few decades long experience in city cultural management. .
Under articles 35 and 36 of the City Assembly Rules, for discussion of particular issues the City Assembly could establish councils or commissions. Their members are Assembly members and representatives of citizens.
Though commissions and councils are advisory bodies, two thirds of their members are members of political parties who are, in the same time, members of the City Assembly. This points to their dual position, both in the family of decision-makers and in the family of agents.
However, the total number of members to this body, as well as ratio of Assembly members and citizens within it regulates a special founding act, but the Rules specify the number of cizizens in the working body should not exceed 1/3. The Council might have 7-11 members, thus at least two and no more than three "citizens" could be in it. Of course, despite criteria of their choice, due to its composition it is hardly a representative democratic institution which guarantees citizens that their opinions be taken into account in key decision-making regarding the city cultural policy.
That the citizens could be represented only with 1/3 of members in the Council for Culture as such won't be especially significant, if citizens' place and role were clearly defined in the Beograd cultural system. In all cultural systems, citizens could organize themselves in a distinguished family of audience. Understandably, since cultural develoment is funded by citizens, who also are direct consumers of cultural and art valuables and values, this family is interested to influence key decisions in the fields of cultural and art production in the city. But in the city cultural system the family of audience lacks an institutional framework and unique appearance as a family. It is partly consequence of intertness of the family itself, and party of the cultural system. The solution, on the one hand, lies in civic initiatives (still insufficiently developed to be visible enough), and on the other, in mechanisms of citizens' consultation and participation (still unactivated thus leaving citizens without an instrument of participation in the process of designing strategies of development).
Though such mechanisms are developed and functioning in a number of neighbouring countries, both sides in Beograd by their non-engagement actively contribute to insufficient profiling of democratic institutions of the city cultural system. For their part, citizens should be more active, and the authorities should create preconditions of citizens' participation in the key decision-making, making these decisions reflect general interest of population. In the primer of democracy, "local self-government" is defined by quotation by Slobodan Jovanović as ".. the school where citizens should learn how to govern themselves". The public authorties is not expected to prevent them from doing so - on the contrary, it should give them chance to do so.
As the family of audience, the family of creators is also uninstitutionalized. The recent initiatives for foundation of art trade unions met with response only by the end of 2002 in the family of creators (actors trade union has earlier withdrawn from the drama artists' trade union). However, as recent public debates prove, this family is not taking precautionary measures to prevent certain problems, nor proactively to meet them; when media disclose a problem, it reacts radically demanding measures such as replacement of republican and city ministers of culture caused by the issue of social and pension insurance of free-lance artists that in November and December of 2002 shook cultural public.
And finally, I will quote the Beograd Faculty of Philosophy professor, Sreten Vujovic, Ph.D. who in the debate on cultural policy decentralizationxlvii commented the European Declaration on Rights of City Population (Strasbourg, 1992), refering to three of its clauses directly relevant for culture. "First, right to culture in the sense of its assessibility and participation on a wide scale of cultural and creative activities. Second, right to multicultural integration in the sense of simultaneous development of communities with different cultural, ethnic and religious characteristics. Third, right to high quality of architecture and physical environment in the sense of development of the highest possible quality of architectural forms and careful restoration of historical and architectonic heritage. These rights are closely related to the right to participation, pluralistic democratic structures and urban management. The cooperation between various actors in the field of culture has to be based upon mutual help, information and smallest possible regulation. The mentioned European Declaration contains another interesting right, called - personal expectations - meaning that in a city such conditions should prevail favourable for realization of wellfare and individual, social, moral and spiritual values".
In december 2002, an action project "Cooperation and dialogue in building up of effective local cultural policies" was completed.
Its objective was founding of councils of culture and citizens' fora as mechanisms providing for participation of "families" of creators and audience in key decision-making in the field of local cultural policy. The outcome of the project is devising of a strategic plan of cultural development. With support of the European Cultural Foundation and ECUMEST foundation similar projects are in the process of realization, or have already been completed in a number of other countries of the Balkan region (Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia...). Beograd should also apply this already developed methodology and encourage establishment of partnership between public and civil sector.
So, in the end it could be concluded that some actors of the city cultural policy are hiperactive (family of decision-makers and to certain extend, family of agents), while others are not active and still asleep after a decade of autoritarian policy which had no respect for them as active factors of cultural development (family of creators and audience). The solution should be saught in development of conditions for institutionalized consultations with citizens and partnership between public, private and civil sector through participation of sponsors, NGOs and public in the decision-making process. That would bring Beograd closer to the European standards on citizens' rights (European Declaration on Rights of Citizens), and actual trends in the field of cultural policy.
In his commentary in the journal "Republika" entitled A Great Halt Mirko Tepavac in few sentences illustrates conclusion of this author too: "Each, the latest crisis included is either cause or consequence of absence, weakness or neglect of democratic institutions. Instead of them, a key decision-maker is DOS 'polit-bureau', with all democratic institutions floating in the air - parliaments, nongovernmental, social, professional and scientific organizations, media and - citizens. 'The lapse' was by no means accidental, for only strong democratic institutions could an unlimited power of leaders and parties". (Republika, No. 298, 1-15. 12.2002, p. 3).
All mentioned clearly entails that all key decisions on the city cultural system makes the City Assembly, and on the political bases. The fact decisions are made on the City Assembly sessions, it implies a state model of cultural policy. To be fair, the city authorities have, within the model, followed recommendations of the expert advisory body in their decision-making regarding cultural policy, but it does not change the state model, since the body in question is not competent for decision-making - only for advisory.
This is not a problem as such for that mdoel functions in a number of cultural empires (France, Italy), and might in Serbia as well, but the public opinion insists on "depolitization of culture and complete lustration of society and law" (opinion of all interviewed focus groups during this research). Therefore, it is recommended to public administration to take into account advantages and disadvantages of a para-statal model (arms length principle), broadly applied in a number of European countries (Great Britain, Netherlands, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Hungary, Lithuania, etc.).
In the state model state administration has direct control over distribution of budget, and thereof over strategic planning of development of culture and art, as well as over other instruments of cultural policy, the para-statal model is based upon delegation of responsibility in the field of strategic cultural issues to independent expert bodies - art and cultural councils on republican, regional, citiy or municipal level. Consequently, implementation of this model needs political consensus. In that case, the state is not amnested of its responsibility for cultural development - public administration remain in charge of budget creation and legislative framework of development, while decision-making on strategic prirorities is delegated to arts and culture councils.
The prevailing opinions of focus groups in five great cities and municipalities in Serbia (Beograd, Kragujevac, Sombor, Šabac, Užice) are in favour of delegation of responsibility. Those opinions are reducable to a number of crucial conclusions: the state must define a concept, national objectives and strategic priorities in all sectors, especially in culture, while "social (cultural) elite", distanced from politics, should develop strategies of cultural policy. The opinion prevails that there is no strategy of cultural policy at the city or national level, and the reason is found in the absence of "social (cultural) elite". Though the interviewed consider the role of social elite as important one, they do not connect it to NGO sector, because the role of the sector is not quite clear to all of them. In spite of that unclearness, the impression is it is a significant factor of cultural policy and atmosphere of all cities, and the interviewed expect further support of NGOs in the field of culture.
On the other hand, two years after the republican government and parliament were constitutited, there is no trace of political consensus regarding delegation of responsibility in the field of strategies of cultural development from politicians to independent expert bodies, and public administration shows no sign of willingness to launch initiative for a public debate about it.
It should be noticed that two years after the constitution of the democratic government, republican level of cultural policy is still dominated by a state model, and the city one after five years - in spite all demands of cultural public in favour of a para-state model. Cultural public insists on "depolitization of culture and complete lustration of society and law" (opinion of focus groups in al the cities encompassed by this research), underlying that strategies of cultural policy should develop "social (intellectual) elite" distanced from politics. The solution should be in a public debate which will consider possibilities that the state delagate its competences, as well as advantages and disadvantages of other cultural policy models (para-statal, regional), with the attmept to achieve political consesus on the most appropriate solution. That solution should be implemented into legal regulations (Constitution, basic legislation on culture, etc.).
As for role of municipal bodies in the decision-making process on key cultural issues, members of the EB of Beograd city and suburb municipalities in charge of culture were in their interviews (October 30, 2002) mostly preoccupied with uneasy position of local administration, their small competences and poor communication with the City Assembly. It should be mentioned here that all Beograd municipal assemblies have an EB member in charge of culture except three: Stari grad, Savski venac and Zvezdara. It indicates that the greatest, most urban municipalities, with greatest number of cultural institutions are bereft of competences in culture on their own territory, due to unclear legal framework, lack of funds and poor communication with the city assembly. Consequently, they could not influence decisions-making and change situation in favour of strenghtening municipal capacities for independent planning and management of cultural development.
It is worth mentioning that the member of the City Assembly EB said in her interview that "There is few in charge of culture on municipal level", adding that "even in central city municipalities there are neither people nor special sectors to deal with culture and social activities". However, the research team found out that all municipalities have their rpresentatives in charge of culture, except the three central city ones. The way Mrs. Mojović commented the situation also deserves analysis. Saying it is: "interesting how such offices are more frequent in suburban city municipalities, maybe due to their distance from the center of the city and their need to devote themselves to a more concrete issues on the local level", she confirmed poor communication between municipalities and the city. It is clearly implied by "maybe due to" that a City Assembly EB member in charge of culture does not know why subruban municipalities are more engaged in the field of culture, as well as that there were no no official contacts to discuss it between EBs of the City and municipalities.
The problem of municipal competences representatives of both municipalities and the Ministry involved in the focus groups, perceive as a legal problem, because legislation has not clearly defined what a local community is and what are its competences. Besides, representatives of municipalities believe that the lack of competences in financial matters considerably influences development of cultural values of local interest. In the interviews, they expressed their impression that "suburb minucipalities are better getting off", due to their "status of towns", central city municipalities are in good position, because auspicies of the City, while municipalities from the city periphery (Čukarica, Rakovica, Voždovac) are in the worst situation, because the insufficient attention of the city (especially villages there). Discontent with City Assembly's preoccupation with central city municipalities is a logical consequence of the lack of city municipality competences - a paradox situation since the most important national and city cultural institutions are located there, greatest percentage of audience (local and tourist) live in these municipalities, and still they have no competence in the whole matter.
Mrs. Gorica Mojović, member of the City Assembly EB, in an open interview during the research "Beograd cultural policies" (Center for Study in Cultural Development, October 2002), in her perception of the problem confirmed that the Beograd municipalities "have almost no competences in the field of culture, so we could not speak of any local cultural policy", underlying its is "very important to adopt such legislation which would grant broader competences to local self-government".
The analysis of this statement further points to the fact that the new Local Self Government Act was already in effect when Mrs. Mojović was interviewed. In her interpretation the Act "stipulates some municipal competences, but what lacks is the act on the capital, and therefore the city municipalities are in a confused situation. Until an act on the capital is adopted, city municipalities are deprived of almost all competences. In some other areas the city delegated to them certain competences, and some other which are tacitly tolerated". Her statement implies that the city could transfer competences in the field of culture to municipalities, as done in other fields - and with them financiial resources needed. But the City is not doing so, and the City Assembly EB member gave no explanation to this..
Note: It is unclear why Mrs. Mojović connects municipal competences exclusively to the act on capital. First, in the absence of such an act, a valid act on local self government is applied, which in the second subparagraph of the article 21 stipulates that "provisions of this act related to municipality should be applied to the city, if not otherwise provided by this act". So, the legislator underlied that provisions relative to municipality should apply to Beograd too. However, article 23 stipulates that "position of Beograd will be regulated by a special act", it does not mention that act defines position of city municipalities. Still, as an act on Beograd has not been adopted yet, and in the meantime valid acts are applied, legal grounds for representation of Beograd municipalities by the city administration in the field of cultural and art development in these municipalities are hardly understandable.
However, it is interesting that the leaflet of Democratic Party (having absolute majority in the City Assembly, as well as on the republican level within the ruling DOS coalition), published after 8 months of the new democratic government, decentralization of power appears as one of its priorities. It is further said that the act on local government is prepared and under public debate; the next on the agenda is the Act on Capital, and the change of valid legal acts preventing complete realization of local government such as the act on funds in the ownership of the Republic is also necessary. Meanwhile, the Local Government Act was adopted in the republican Parliament (despite objections of local government representatives and citizens), but next two steps in the field of decentralization are still on the agenda. As the member of the City Assembly EB put it, the first act should define competences of municipalities in the field of culture, it is of high importance for decentralization of the city cultural policy. But the other one is even more important for it should create conditions of fiscal decentralization, without which municipalities could hardly exercise competences granted by the Local Self Government Act. So, until adoption of the mentioned act, the municipalities are not to perform local government, and further, that Serbia has not been decentralized yet - two years after the democratic change.
When speaking of decentralization, the interviewed members of focus groups in other cities and municipalities in Serbia agree that the decentralization is necessary, but that the Local Government Act should be explicit regarding competences so as to avoid any overweaving between cities, municipalities and the republic.
So, it could be concluded that coordination between different levels of management in culture is not optimal, efficient and effective because the valid legislation lacks clear definition of their competences in the field of cultural development on republican, city and municipal level. However, the problem is by no means new. It is evident in the whole reviewed period (1989-2002), among other sources in the annual reports of the City Assembly, which point to problems observed by the Secretariat for Culture: "undefined rights of foudners and City-Republic relationship", and legally undefined city obligations to municipality founded institutions.xlviii
The extent to which founders' rights in the relation Republic - City - Municipality are unclear, shows the example of the decision of the Republic of Serbia to take over founder's rights from the City of Beograd over one of the most important national cultural institutions Beograd National Theatre in 1990 - 122 years after its foundation! The uncleared rights and obligations in the domain of foundation are still actual in case of a number of other cultural institutions in Beograd, such as the Beograd Historical Archives, the Beograd City Library, cultural centers and galleries located in city municipalities.
Besides, the interviews with focus groups indicated how lately communications on all levels have been cut. The trend is still actual - municipal administrations is particularly discontent with their communications with the City, though estimate it as better than with the Ministry of Culture. On the other hand, they stress that the Beograd municipalities should be independent in decision-making in the field of culture, but consider City's giving up of "guardianship" necessary for that purpose. However, such a view indicates insufficient local initiative of both the city and suburban municipalities. Having in mind that representatives of local government complaint about poor communication and lack of interest on the side of the city - the question arises why do not they improve it?! In their answers, municipal representatives underline that "The City Assembly and Ministry of Culture are two walls demoralizing you to deal with culture".
In further search for solution to poor communication, they stress the secretary for culture, Gorica Mojovic or someone else from the city secretariat should once a month visit cultural institutions, listen to their problems and get insight into their situation. They agree a better horizontal communication is also necessary, i.e. exchange of experiences of local administrations (for the first time they gathered together and acquainted each other, with the comment "someone should gather us"). However, the fact municipal administration representatives expect "someone to gather them" indicates, on one side, great intertness and lack of a proactive attitude towards issues of cultural development, and on the other, a centralized process of management despite formal democratic enironment.
Decentralization of cultural administration
In Serbia of the Milošević's regime, everything which had had an element of decentralization in decision-making before, was centralized. All power and decision-making was concentrated in the hands of a small number of individuals close to Milošević, members of the Socialist Party of Serbia or Yugoslav left. Formally, the Parliament was a multiparty one, but without democratic decision-making procedures. The same was with decentralization of culture. The issue was raised again in Serbia after the republican elections, with the issue of Vojvodina autonomy and delegation of certain republican competences to the provincial level. Among the delegated competences are those relevant for cultural development of Vojvodina rovince. With Omnibus Law in February of 2002, Vojvodina was granted the right to develop cultural policies and strategies of its own. Since other regions in Serbia have not the same right, it means that cultural policy was decentralized only in a part of Serbia. As for local cultural policy, new Local Government Act of December 2001, has no provision explicitly related to culture, though it generally encourages municipalities and cities in Serbia to devise their own development plans and strategies. In case of cultural policy, minimal preconditions for that exist in few cities and municipalities in Serbia, with the institution of EB member in charge of culture and relatively developed, though mostly bureaucratized local cultural administration. Most of other municipalities have only secretariats for social activities, covering education, science and culture. They lack both authority and competence to develop autonomous local strategies in all these highly important social spheres.
When it comes to devolution in the cultural sector, and if we agree it also implies other levels of management beside the republican government and representatives on those levels elected by local population to manage local resources, the competences Omnibus Law granted Vojvodina could be hardly considered a case of devolution in cultural sector. Namely, the assembly and government in Vojvodina were not result of provincial elections, but on republican ones, moreover under Milošević's Constitution which abolished provincial autonomy. In this context, only cities and municipalities have representatives elected on local elections. However, a limiting condition for devolution in sector of culture also exists in cities and municipalities: namely, legal provisions should be actively applied to the local cultural development. For its part, it necessiates structural reforms of the sector of culture with the view of establishment of a number of other preconditions, such as educated and modern administration, partnership of public, private and third sector, reform of cultural institutions, clearly defined competences and decision-making procedures at all levels of power, national programme of cultural development with strategic priorities, and the like.
The coordination between different levels of management in culture is not optimal, efficient and effective, because the valid legislation does not clearly define their competences in the field of cultural development. And if they are, as in the case of Vojvodina Omnibus Law, the coordination is only to be established since the law is in effect for a year now. For example, in September of 1990 Republic of Serbia decided to take over from the city of Beograd rights and obligations of the founder of one of the most important national cultural institutions - Beograd National Theatre. There are still uncleared rights of founders on the Republic - City of Beograd - municipalities relation in regard to a number of other cultural institutions, such as Beograd Historical Archives, Beograd City Library, cultural centers and galleries located on the territory of city municipalities.
However, decentralization of financial resources brought about by Omnibus Law and Local Government Act in Vojvodina and cities and municipalities in Serbia, resulted in conditions favourable for decision-making decentralization and implementation of local cultural policies. But legal grounds for collecting and distribution of taxes on provincial and local level is not the only and sufficient condition giving opportunity to municipalities and cities in Serbia to pursue quality local cultural policies, with the objective of optimal engagement of local cultural potentials and meeting in the best way demands and interests of local population. Besides, the act is in effect for a short time, and still has not brought about visible results to be analysed in the context of decentralization of cultural policy.
Cultural policy of NGOs
By the mid-2000 it was a decade since citizens of Serbia had for the first time associated and organized themselves in nongovernmental organizations. Analysis of their work and role in the events of the period, shows that changes were slow, but rooted in a lonmg and continual activity of numerous social actors gathered around political parties, trade unions and NGOs.
According to the basis "Geocultural Map of Serbia", till 2001 there were 183 NGOs with developed programmes in the field of cultural policy, management in culture and cultural production (64 located in Beograd). Most of them went a long way from small, alternative, informal protest groups, through half-organizations to well organized nongovernmental institutions. So, the third sector has in the sphere of culture contributed to shaping civil, nongovernmental or non-profit dimension of cultural policy - apart from financial support to new cultural and art production - also did a lot for creation of a new institutional framework of culture.
Branimir Stojkovic, Ph.D. pointed a number of cases of NGOs institutionalization in the field of culture, such as "Konkordija", Vršac Cultural Center; Beograd Center for New Theatre Initiatives - CENPI; or Center for Cultural Decontamination - "Paviljon Veljković", an alternative Boubour including theatre, visual arts, etc; literary manifestations (such as FAKK). He further said at the public debate "Culture and civil society - NGOs as factors of cultural policy" It is - to paraphrase Bergson - a creative evolution which from a flueid protoplasm of social movement transforms into the institutional ground of a new cultural model, which with progressive-regressive oscilations of 'three steps forward, two backward' type emerges in the last two years". Of course, this is an implicit (not explicit or publicly declared) cultural policy, for its objectives, priorities and instruments could not be found in any of Ministry's or DOS documents, but still could be reconstructed, at least in the form of basic indicators, from the essential cultural trends in the country. The debate held on November 22, 2001 in the Center for Study in Cultural Development, was an attempt to assess the role fo NGOs in innovation and dynamization of cultural trends, and to reconsider the position of the third sector as a challenge and corrective of the public and private sector of cultural system in Serbia. Represenatives of 11 NGOs active in the field of culture took part in the debate: CENPI, Center for Contemporary Art, Association of Independent Theatres, Remont, YUSTAT (Yugoslav center for perfoming art and technology), and others. The Editorial Staff of Kultura, journal for theory and sociology of culture, and cultural policy, organized the debate with the intention to launch discussions of actual issues of cultural policy, and later publish them. Fund for an Open Society supported the whole project.
This international organization, which in June of 2001 celebrated its 10th anniversary, is certainly the one to be mostly appreciated for its support for survival of numerous civic initiatives and their further development, but also for its contribution to the development of alternative cultural scene in Serbia. The Fund supported more than 5,000 projects, thus tying its fate to the fate of Serbia. As put in the 1999 Christmas and New Years advertisment, published in Politika daily, and signed by Sonja Licht, president of the Executive Board, the Fund would "do its best to contribute to openning and linking to the world and building up of modern and democratic society in the FR of Yugoslavia"xlix.
In pursuing this mission, the Fund only in 1998 supported activities of Open Clubs (in which socialize, learn, entertain some ten thousand children and youth, and in which three hundred expert associates and great number of parents are engage on many projects: travelling libraries, English teaching, computer essentials, etc.); nearly 50 university, scientific and professional institutions (support to research projects and publications, organization of conferences, equipment of laboratories, covering costs of visiting professors); the Fund invested efforts to help secondary, elementary and preschool education (updating of teaching practices); children and youth programmes (education of youth and learning special knowledges and skills and education for civil society); in the field of communication (financial support to media projects in agency journalism, printed and electronic media); publishing (publishing of more than 70 books and 30 journals in Serbian; 35 books and 13 journals in minority languages, with special emphasis on electronic publishing, professional training of librarians, etc.); in the field of culture (financial support to functioning of many cultural and art institutions and individuals, theatre tours, manifestations, etc.); the Center for Contemporary Art (supports and initiates a number of individual and institutional projects in the FR of Yugoslavia); development of civil society (support to NGOs, trade unions, women and student organizations); medical programme (health care programmes). The Fund for an Open Society called each year for applications for projects in the field of cultural policy, so many relevant projects in Serbia were realized, and among them the project of particular importance "Implementation of city models of cultural policy", with "G17plus" the second big NGO in Serbia, as its executive.
This organization gathered expert from all fields of social life in many cities around Serbia. With its programmes, projects and overall public activity it contributed to promotion and practical realization of ideas of an open and democratic society, modern market economy and rule of law with the aim to speed up transition process in Serbia. In the sphere of culture, before the 2000 elections G17plus had been head of a number of development projects. The most important was organization of education seminars for building up capacities of city and municipal administration in the field of local cultural policies entitled "Implementation of citycity models of cultural policy. With support of the "Arts & Culture Network of the OSI" the project was realized in 14 towns in Serbia 1999/2000. Advocating reform of the cultural system, the group for national cultural revival gathered around G17plus, implemented its innovative ideas in the sphere of culture also in project management - in the production of a theatre play Golden Fleece (after B.Pekić's novel of the same title, directed by Nebojša Bradić, 2000/2001), as a test of a new model of theatre policy rare in Serbia - "production as a project", quite different from company or repertory theatre model.
The third NGO engaged in the field of culture is Magna agenda/Palgo center, founded in 1998 in Beograd as an independent, non-profit nongovernmental organization. Its mission is the overall development of diverse contents and forms of education and re-innovation of knowledges in the fields of public and local administration, public policy and public affairs, organization and management in economy, etc. the Center is managed by the Assembly, Executive and Supervisory Board, and run by director, executive directors and secretary. The Scientific Council of the Center is advisory body, which further devises and evaluates mission of the Center, its strategy and policy. The lecturers, consultants and researchers of the Center are respectable experts and professionals from the country and abroad. The Center initiated and organized the project of transformation of local administration (LOGO), and in that framework a sub-project "Cultural aspects of local community" (education of city administration for perfomirning functions in the field of cultural development of the community). The project was realized with support of A&CNP of the OSI in local communities in Serbia of middle size with urban centers with relatively developed cultural infrastructure. In 1998 and 1999 the project covered three towns in Serbia (Kragujevac, Zrenjanin and Sombor), and two in Montenegro (Kotor and Nikšić).
Participants to the seminars were members of mangerial boards of local cultural institutions, members of the local administration (city assembly EB members, secretary of culture, officers and other associates), managers of cultural institutions, programme managers, editors and journalists of local media, local artists, teachers-animators of culture, directors of high schools, music schools and activists of all political parties in charge of culture. In the authors' team of the project were scientists and cultural practitioners, university professors (Beograd University and University of Arts), directors and managers of Beograd cultural institutions, most of whom, project coordinator professor Milena Dragičević Šešić included, were engaged in the next action project "Building up of local administration capacities". The project realized 2001/2002 in 40 centers in Serbia, was the only project of that scope in the field of cultural policy completed after the change of regime in 2000 by a respectable NGO.
Another important action project in the field of cultural policy - "Cooperation and dialogue in making of effective cultural policies" - was realized in 2002 by a new NGO "Early Peas", founded after the 2000 elections. That fact indicates a problem of positioning of the most significant NGOs engaged in culture.
Of course, the problem is complex, and mostly related to the fact that the key decision makers of the sector moved to the public sector and became part of the elite in power. Having this in mind and that there is no law on NGOs yet, it is evident that this segment need re-positioning and finding its place within a new social context, while in the same time remaining "corrective of power", as was undelined at the NGO conference "Preservation of democracy", held in Beograd in November 2000.l
And finally, maybe a new role of NGO sector in culture illustrate in the most appropriate way the statement of the deputy minister for actual production Aleksandra Jovičević, Ph.D. In February 2002, at the international conference "Key issues of cultural policy" she said in recapitulation of the past decade and inherited situation in culture after new ministerial collegium was appointed: "This is what becomes a common knowledge repeated over and over again, but thanks to culture, or better people engaged in culture, development of civil society was encouraged and population level of consciousness raised. if nothing else, alternative culture contributed to the fall of former regime and establishment of the new one. It does not imply, of course, that these people should now sleep on laurels; on the contrary, they should go on working with the aim to help us recognize, so to say, consequences of what used to happen to us. We certainly should continue our cooperation with them, and I have to say that in the field of experimental arts, or what we define as alternative art, the cooperation is less complicated, maybe because these people were following international and European trends. They do not leg for ten years we lost somewhere and simply could not recover".
Thus, the 2002 annual report of the Ministry of Culture and Information, in the section devoted to results of the Sector for actual cultural production, cultural industry and cultural relations, headed by Aleksandra Jovičević, Ph.D., listed establishment of the balance between private, public and nongovernmental sector among its most important achievements. In that context, the establishment of the balance means "animation of the great number of artists, NGOs and art institutions and organizations in Serbia to give creative contribution to reform challenges", and as examples are numbered NGOs "Rex", "Remont", Center for cultural decontamination, Video Medeja, Valjevo Center for Visual Culture, Low Fi Video, Led Art and othersli.
Role of comittees for culture of political parties
Evidently, the most significant role of parliamentary political parties in Serbia and their boards for culture should be related to the activities and competences of the Parliament. In the sphere of cultural policy this means the party boards should initiate procedures of making up legal regulations in the field of culture, what is exactly the mandate of MPs. However, since no legal regulation in the field of culture has been adopted since the 2000 elections, political parties have obviously neglected this problem, and consequently it has not been priority of their respective boards for culture.
Asked "what the board for culture considered to be priority in 2001"lii, former president of the board for culture of Democratic Party (majority party in DOS), and actual deputy minister of culture, Jovan Despotović answered "it was, most of all, personnel imrovement", and added that DS within the fund "Ljuba Davidović" plans to organize educative seminars for local administration, and to establish council for culture in all municipal party boards.
To the same question Evica Bursac, president of the board for culture of the Civil Alliance of Serbia (also a DOS coalition party) ansered it were "good systemic laws introducing order in cultural market", and that "laws should be adopted which will impose high taxes on kitsch and trash marginalize turbo-folk and invest that money in new unaffirmed talents". However, when asked what the members of the board did to make those priorities come true, she said that "the board had no chance to step forward with its ideas in public or to be asked for anything"; they express their views on cultural licy at panels they organize and to which they invite journalists. She added that "the Ministry of Culture, as a supreme body, adopts the platform of cultural policy, which is then transfered to other cultural institutions, while the OESC funds Ministry in the field of education, training and reeducation with the view of admission to the EU".
Analysis of the cited answer easily leads to conclusion that it implies reasons of passive attitude of political parties of the DOS coalition, which in favour of support of coalition programme are giving up individual advocacy of concrete issues in the sphere of cultural policy, instead leaving decision making to "the Ministry as a supreme body".
In the same time, it could be also the reason of the absence of an explicit document in which parliamentary political parties define their party cultural policy. The only board for culture that made such a document is that of the Democratic Party of Serbia - political party formerly member to DOS coalition, then its dissident and founder of "shadow government"; now an opposition parliamentary party. The Declaration is based upon the following principles of cultural policy: "(...) Creation of the state policy in culture must be grounded on nourishment and development of cultural identity of the Serbian nation in the community of European nations. Therefore, cultural policy must define the state priority in culture and to pursue it in accordance with economic potentials of the state. (...) The state must take care , first of all, of cultural institutions of national importance, those inherited from our antcestorsrs and which we are responsible to transfer to our descendants preserved and developed (...) A modest sum a poor state could afford from the budget for culture, has to be invested in decent financing of institutions of national importance. Functioning of national institutions should be regulated by special law (...)".
However, content analysis of this declaration reveals inconsistency between proclaimed principles and their implementation. That is especially true in the part on special laws to regulate functioning of national cultural institutions. This party's MPs club is second biggest in the Serbian parliament, and its members should have been more active - having in mind influence of the Party in a part of election body - in their advocating of these laws, which they were not..
OVERVIEW OF TRANSITION INSTRUMENTS OF CULTURAL POLICY IN SERBIA
Strategic planning of development
Strategic planning is an essential instrument of cultural policy. Without it, the development is chaotic and aimless. But, serbia has not yet defined its priorites in the field of cultural development, and should do it as soon as possible. To prove its responsibility for cultural development, Serbia should, apart from budget allocations and new laws (the new democratic Serbian parliament has not adopted a single new law related to culture!), make a programme and strategy of cultural development and, in that context, clearly defined short and long-term priorities.
Ironically, planning as an instrument of economic and social development had been introduced in the socialist socio-economic systems, and only in the 1950s accepted in a number of other countries around the world. Nowadays, in most of the former socialist countries, Serbia included, strategic planning of development is not an instrument of the transition cultural policies. Only after the first phase of transition from the former socialist to a new democratic system, transition governments and ministries of culture, began to understand strategic planning and definition of priorities as a precious instrument in reform of system of culture.
Until early 1990s such priorities were defined in the long-term social plans of development and adopted in the Serbian parliament. So, members of the parliament (delagates in the delegate system) were responsible for the adoption of development programmes, for definition of priorities, but also for approval of development programmes, i.e. development strategy. Since Miloševic's Constitution came into effect in 1991, this procedure of social planning was abolished, and a new one has not been established. Therefore, we do not have defined priorities. Therefore, cultural development is chaotic and aimless. It is not known who is doing what, why and how.
Now the question arises as to who should devise a programme, define priorities and make up the plan, i.e. strategy of cultural development? If parliament is no more doing that, if a national council for culture as an independent expert body has not been established yet (though it was provided by the valid systemic Act on activities in the field of culture, adopted at the beginning of Milošević's totalitarian rule) - who is doing that, or who should do that?
After the 2000 elections the government adopted its programme of activities and defined priorities, but culture was not mentioned as it was not among the development priorities. So, if the government has no programme of cultural development, and culture could not develop without a programme and strategic plan, how the problem is to be resolved?! How without a programme and defined development priorities to plan cultural development and devise national and local strategies of development, especially for a longer period, not just day-to-day?! Besides, some cities and municipalities in Serbia have already adopted their strategic development plans, but it means objectives and priorities of local cultural policy could be hardly adjusted to objectives and priorities of national cultural policy, since the latter have not been defined yet.
So, harmonization of still disharmonious nacional and local trends is necessary. Cities and municipalities have quicker and better insight into their potentials and development needs than the state. And for obvious reasons: namely, the state should perceive potentials on its territory as a whole, while the cities and municipalities do it on a far smaller scale. Somehow, it turns out the cities can and must help the state in its quicker and better perception of national potentials.
Finally, as the state has not established its national council for culture, as an independent, para-statal expert body which should create development strategies, local council for culture have no national counterpart and partner in defining national and local objectives and priorities of cultural development. The question is how they function and what are the problems they are faced with?!
Slavica Trifunovic, Kragujevac city assembly EB member in charge of culture (debate on models and instruments of cultural policy, October 2002). She underlined that "Kragujevac will not wait for the state to come up with its strategy - it will work out its city strategy". Noting that absence of national strategy is a huge limiting factor in defining the city strategy of cultural development, she added: "limiting in the sense that all elements a national strategy should define are unknown, among them a number of laws to be adopted not only in the field of culture but also in all other spheres of life - for example, property law, so we could know what are the assets of culture, and no one could appear tomorrow and ask whose property is the building of national museum, etc... besides, how we could set up ambicious strategic objectives of local communities, when we do not know how our country is to be organized, could be count on money of the region to which we are the center, or we could only rely on a small percentage from the city budget allocated to culture. And that seriously defines objectives of our strategic development".
The representatives of the professional public opinion in greater cities and municipalities (participants of focus groups in Užice, Šabac, Kragujevac, Sombor and Beograd, August-November 2002) agree that there is no an explicit cultural policy at the state or city level, arguing that without clear objectives and priorities there could be no development strategy. They believe the state has to solve some crucial issues (Constitution, regions...) to facilitate creation of national strategy. Only then the conditions would be favourable for strategic plans at lower levels.
Noting that solutions on the national level are still far away, representatives of the Ministry of Culture and Information who participated in focus groups interviews, exressed the opinion that the process might as well start "from below", while the other participants (representatives of municipal administration, cultural institutions, free-lance artists, and companies) consider problems on the state level as unsurmountable limiting factors. As the reason for the absence of a national strategy of cultural development, representatives of the Ministry underline the fact regions are not clearly defined, and thus the state will not be able for long to define strategic plan. Besides, the competences are not precisely defined, there are no fundamental laws, Constitution, on the basis of which the state could devise strategic planning. Therefore, they believe that creation of the strategy "from below" - is a better solution. It would facilitate making of strategic plans on local level, especially in smaller communities, and finally, once the conditions exist, on that basis a strategy on the republican level could be completed.
In an open interview of April 2002 (within the research project "Cultural policies in Serbia 89/01"), Branislav Lečić, minister of culture of the Republic of Serbia, expressed a similar opinion. He said: "(...) I expect that the impulse from the city local governments will be crucial in formation of the cultural model in Serbia".
On the other hand, the member of the Beograd city assembly EB in charge of culture holds that a national strategy defining priorities of cultural development is needed. In an open interview within the same project of October 2002, asked "Do you believe that cities and municipalities should shape local cultural policies, or that cultural policy should be defined on the state level", she said: "As for the state, respective Ministry of Culture, government and parliament of Serbia, they are providing for a systemic framework for creation of local cultural policy. Of course, I think it is necessary to have a national strategy of cultural development, and that implies few fundamental things and few fundamental directions, but it would be also a strategy stipulated by laws, some other general regulations and certain priorities of cultural policy. All should not be left to local government, and everything should not by at the local level. But if we as a state opt for a certain strategy, certain priorities, and I believe we should do so in all spheres, then it should be also in the case of culture. What is necessary the state to do, and it is a crucial moment of such a state policy, is to provide for equal and regional development. I think the state should be a corrective factor, i.e. to provide an equal regional development and take care that the investments in culture be such that some regions, some municipalities are not neglected. So, that's it: the state, systemic solutions, legislation, equalization of regional development and financial support of an equal regional development".
Asked whether at the city level there are any defined short and long-term strategic plans in the field of culture, or the plan is composed of the sum of strategic plans of cultural institutions and projects supported from the city assembly budget, the EB member in charge of culture, answered: "In the last two years we had no chance of making a long-term development strategy and long-term plan because so many things were unfinished". She further added: "there is no making of the strategy of the city development without participation of those working in the respective institutions", and "there is no joint planning of development, nor development itself without the interaction between institutions nema and administration".
So, it turns out that the transition cultural policy is closed in a vicious circle in which it is unclear whether planning should start from the institutions and end up with the republic; or should it began at the republican level and end up with bearers of cultural and art production. As representatives of the city assembly refused to participate in interviews of focus groups, their views of the issue remained unknown. However, the problem illustrates dilemma of Slavica Trifunović, member of the Kragujevac city assembly EB who, in the debate on models and instrumetns of cultural policy (organized within action project "Building up of local capacities") raised the question: "how cultural institutions are supposed to make strategic development plan without a city or other plan of the kind (i.e. national, remark of the author) to serve as reference".
Finally, we could just note that Serbia in the field of strategic planning of cultural development is faced with a problem to be articulated in the following way: national programme and strategy defining short and long-term priorities in the domain of culture are necessary, but in two years of democratic government have not been made. the solution to the problem might be found in a kind of limited decentralization, with the state reserving certain competences in the sphere of culture, which it exercises in making of a national plan of cultural development, and not only through budget allocations and creation of a legal framework facilitating cultural development. It means that national programme and strategy of cultural development are urgent tasks. Then a "locus" of decentralized decision-making should be defined in a way suggested by H.T. Bourdillon. To put it bluntly, in each country there is a point below which administratively important decisions with government involved in their making could not be delegated to others - especially those implying investment of government's money. There is also a point beyond which an individual, in demographical and sociological sense, could not consciously and efficiently participate in decision-making (H.T. Bourdillon, 1974).
The need to perceive the inherited state of affairs in culture might be among plausible explanations for the lack of strategic development plans in the first phase of transition in culture in Serbia. In terms of cultural policy - after a decade long devastation of cultural system in Serbia during Miloševic's regime which was not at all interested in application of scientific methods to cultural development, what was needed first after the change of regime was application of a development-research method called situation analysis.
This method of research of needs and anticipation of their future development, almost everywhere in the world serves as the basis of programming and planning of cultural action. The situation analysis relies on empirical research, but also on other sources of knowledge which, more or less precisely, express needs and attitudes. These souces include studies of styles and forms of living (available time, leisure time activities, frequency of visiting cultural institutions, participation in consumption, etc.), polls, statistical data (cultural industry, consumption, exchange of cultural valuables, funcioning of cultural institutions...), interviews with experts, debates, conferences. Once all these information sources are collected and analysed, problem of cultural system as whole could perceived, and possible solutions anticipated.
The only competent development-research institution in Serbia make such situation analyses is the Center for Study in Cultural Development. The Ministry of Culture - aware of the need to perceive situation in culture, on the one hand, and on the other, aware of the fact that the Center was founded exactly with such a mission - a few months after the new ministerial collegium was appointed, in June of 2001 engaged this institution to design and realize a research-documentation project that should contribute to clear and precise perception of the inherited situation in culture. The project entitled "Geo-cultural map of Serbia" is an electronic data base of cultural institutions, nongovernmental and professional organizations, music companies, festivals and cultural manifestations, art collonies, media and cultural industry (more about the project see at: http://www.zaprokul.org.yu)
With all other information sources at Center's disposal, and implementation of comparative analysis, perception of problems in the cultural system in Serbia and desirable direction of reform will be possible, which will facilitate adoption of a national strategic plan of cultural development based upon indicators of actual situation in culture. Moreover, as stressed in the internal document of the Ministry of Culture, such an insight into the actual state of affairs "will provide for rationalization of funds by definition of priorities )for example, what should, and what should not any more be funded from the budget of the Ministry), as well as transfer of money distribution to various funds, commissions and competitions in all spheres of culture".liv
Six months after the project started, on the basis of collected and processed data, analyses of the status, financial resources, personnel qualification structure, spacial capacities, technical-technological equipment, domestic and international cooperation, and many others were prepared. Since financing and personnel policy, as important instruments of cultural policy, will be later discussed in this text, when we come to the presentation of data from "Geo-cultural map of Serbia", at this point we shall demonstrate potentials of the base on the example of data on networking and partnership cooperation of cultural institutions. As the Ministry of Culture and Information decided to launch reforms of cultural system with the aim to attain the most efficient use of the existing institutional network, and to start reforms with the theatre network and apply later the same system to other types of institutions, in the next window we shall present data on domestic and international cooperation in the field of theatre.
The analysis of the data shows that there is no cooperation among the theatres, and consequently, that there is no theatre network in Serbia. In this context, we have in mind that network is a decentralized form of association and cooperation, within which members cooperate directly, without mediation from some center, though here we deal with professional associations such as the Balkan theatre aassociation or the Union of professional theatre organizations of Serbia, which among other associations, unions and centers appear in data on cooperation. After all, networking implies a permanent process of establishing a horizontal, mobile, decentralized structure. As Branimir Stojković put it: "precisely in this lies the crucial difference between a network and an association",lv though a term network only recently in broader use is applied in all possible circumstances, even when a more appropriate term would be association, circle, group, union or alliance.
Cooperation of theatres
The data processed in the research-documentation project of the Center for Study in Cultural Development "Geo-cultural map of Serbia" by May of 2002 for 93.02% of the total number of theatres in Serbia (34), except National Theatre which did not send its data, show that theatres have cooperation with a number of domestic and international associations, such as: Association of independent theatres; Balkan decade-association of Balkan theatres; CENPI - Beograd center for new theatre initiatives; CID - International Dance Council; European theatre federation with the seat at GAR DE THEATRE in Paris; IETM - International European Theatre Meeting; Vojvodina association of amateurs; Association of drama artists of Serbia; Association of drama artists of Vojvodina; Vojvodina union of professional theatres; and Union of professional theatre organizations.
Legislative framework of culture
As for legislation in the field of culture, all valid regulations were adopted in the Miloševic's time, and since the change of regime no new law has been passed. And, without a new legal framework neither transition in culture could start, nor cultural system could be structurally reformed. In this regard, the sequence of adoption of new regulation is very important. Though the experiences of neighbouring transition countries in this respect differ, their common denominator could be that a better start is from general to more specific laws.
The Lithuanian experience is instructive in this sense, as the deputy minister of culture Ina Marciulyonite presented it at the Beograd international conference. She said: "Already in 1990 the Lithuanian cultural congress anticipated the need for a law on culture in Lithuania, believing that a law regulating all cultural processes and relations would contribute to solution of national cultural problems, by pointing to the direction which executive bodies and local authorities should follow. Yet, the parliament approving the first government's programme, and later the government, in its adoption of planned measures for implementation of the government's programme, accepted a different system. The legal framework of culture was established on the assumption that it would be desirable to make legislation and other regulations for each field of culture and art". The deputy minister underlined that from 1990 to 2001, more than 80 legal and other acts relevant for culture were adopted in Lithuania, and further explained that, due to the absence of a document defining general provisions od cultural policy, in that period laws were used for formulation of basic directions of cultural policy, but without expected results. After a decade of transition experience, a new document on cultural policy, "Provisions of cultural policy" adopted in 2001, finally brought about better formulations of the realization programme until 2009.
Similar opinion that legislation could not resolve key issues of cultural policy if not accompanied by implementation of other instruments, expressed also the Slovenian state deputy secretary for culture, Vesna Copic in a number of our meetings during this research project.
If Serbia has any advantage whatsoever compared to other transition countries, it is certainly the fact it has a chance to make use of their acquired experiences - both good and bad. In regard to organization of the country, it needs a new constitution to replace Miloševic's of 1991; in regard to organization of culture it needs, according to the opinion of professional public, a law on cultural activities as a general legal act. Having in mind that one of the crucial priorities of the government in 2003 - according to numerous statements of the prime minister and other minosters of his government in the media during January and February of 2003 - is adoption of a new republican constitution, the mentioned sequence might come true. Of course, with a more than two years delay - and when it comes to legislation in the field of culture, more than three - because these could enter parliamentary procedure only by the end of 2003! The national report on cultural policy in Serbia also envisages such a sequence in adoption of new laws: "It would be improper to start with specific concrete laws in cultural field without basic legal framework which defines territorial organization of the country, property issues, process of privatization, taxation etc, etc. That was the reason that many laws relevant for culture are now in process of drafting while more general state laws are already passing Parliamentary procedures".lvi
As for the valid Constitution of the Republic of Serbia, it states that everything is allowed what the Constitution and law do not forbid. The Constitution guarantees individual, political, national, economic, social, cultural and other rights of man and citizen (article 3, section one, fundamental provisions). Section 2 (freedoms, rights and duties of man and citizen) guarantees freedom of creation (as in the former FRY Constitution which in the meantime ceased to be valid with new Consitutional Charter of the state union of Serbia and Montenegro adopted by the federal parliament in February of 2003). Section 4 (rights and duties of the Republic of Serbia) states that the Republic of Serbia regulates and provides: system in the field of health care, social care, veteran and invalid care, social care of youth and children, education, culture and protection of cultural valuables, physical culture, social and public information. It explicitly means that the government of the Republic of Serbia, i.e. its Ministry of Culture, conducts cultural policy.
Procedure of passing laws
All legislation projects adopted in the Republic of Serbia in the priod of multiparty parliamentarism are subject to the following procedure:
Valid laws in the field of culture
- The government submits legal proposal (draft)
- Committee for culture and information and legislation committeee of the National Assembly, in separate sessions, discuss drafts and give their opinions
- if they approve the draft, it enters parliamentary procedure
- MP groups of parliamentary parties submit amendments to the draft
- parliamentary debate, in principle and details, follows
- finally - the law passes or not, with or without amendments
The following 12 laws in the field of culture and art are in effect in Serbia - all passed 1989-1997 in order as below chronologically listed:
- Law on endowments, foundations and funds (SG RS 59/89),
- Law on reconstruction of cultural and historical heritage and promotion of Sremski Karlovci development (SG RS 37/91),
- Law on publications publishing (SG RS 37/91 i 42/98),
- Law on cinematography (SG RS 46/91),
- Law on radio-television (SG RS 48/91)
- Law on activities of general interest in the field of culture (SG RS 49/92), Law on foundation of the Museum of victims of genocide (SG RS 49/92),
- Law on Matica Srpska (SG RS 49/92),
- Law on free-lance performing of art or other activity in the field of culture (SG RS 39/93),
- Law on librarian actvity (SG RS 34/94),
- Law on foundation of museum in Priština (SG RS 34/94),
- Law on cultual valuables (SG RS 71/94
- Law on Srpska književna zadruga (SG RS 20/97)
Law on activities of general interest in culture
Of all laws in the field of culture, "Law on activities of general interest in the field of culture" is the most general on protecting general interests in the field of culture. Article 2 of this law stipulates that the state budget finances 22 fields of cultural and art activity, the second group includes even 22 most significant national institutions of culture and art. Among other activities to be financed the law mentiones:
The law further specifies that the funds for fulfilment of general interest in the field of culture are provided from the budget of the Republic of Serbia, while minister of culture decides which programmes would be funded from the budget. The Ministry supervises purposeful use of the allocated funds, and end-users of the latter which fulfil general interest in culture are obliged to submit to Ministry of Culture their work reports. The law also specifies that the government exercises its founder's rights by appointment of directors, and executive and supervisory board members.
- protection, exploatation and presentation of cultural valuables;
- functioning, maintenance and programmes of national institutions in the field of protection of cultural valuables, archive and museum materials, librarianship, theatre, music, cinematography (National Library of Serbia, Archive of Serbia, National Museum, Historical Museum of Serbia, Museum of Contemporary Art, Museum of History of Nature, Kosovo and Metohija Museum, Museum of Vojvodina, Musem of the Victims of Genocide, republican Center for Protection of Cultural Monuments, Yugoslav Cinotegue, Matica srpska, national theatres in: Beograd, Priština and Novi Sad, National and university Library in Priština, Archive of Vojvodina, Archive of Kosovo, Beograd Philpharmonic Orchestra, and Ensemble of Kosovo Folklore),
- programmes contributing to development of culture and art,
- international and inter-republican cultural cooperation,
- protection of music and folklore heritage contributing to protection of cultural identity of the Serbian nation
- outstanding art achievements in all fields of art,
- functioning of artistic associations,
- the most important manifestations,
- publishing of most outstanding journals,
- special publishing and librarian programmes for blind, etc.
As for local cultural potentials of interest for a city or municipality, these are funded from city/municipal budget, public subscription taxes, legacies, gifts and inherited copyrights (article 10). The law specifies this provision relates to protection of important cultural valuables, librarianship and art production, international cultural cooperation, building, reconstruction and maintenance of cultural objects, functioning of cultural institutions of interest for municipality, manifestations and jubilees, etc. This law has been commented a number of times in regard to its tendency to centralize management of cultural development, we shall here attempt to make a comparative analysis of some of its provisions with those of the draft of a new law which should regulate this fiield, but it is in the phase of drafting and far from entering public debate, still less parliamentary procedure.
The first and basic objection to this draft concerns its title - "Law on cultural activities". An expert team then under foundation (never to be formally established - only announced in media by the minister and the ministerial collegium!), remarked the title should be changed to "Law on public interest in culture", as it better fits objectives to be achieved by it. In the opinion of the team members, public interest is a matter of social consensus not to be regulated by law, but rather by acts of declarative character, such as policy guidelines in the field of culture, declarations, charters, etc. In its further analysis of this draft, the expert team formulated its fundamental objection in the tracks of the one concerning law's title, to the first article that should read: "this law regulates perfoming of activities in the field of culture, obligations and responsibilities of public administration at all levels, as well as conditions of functioning and activity of all participants in the processes of cultural communication". This suggestion was adopted in the third version of the draft, though the title of the law remained unchanged, in article 3 general interest was replaced by public interest in culture. Besides, a number of objections were related to the structure of the draft, and such a sequence was suggested so that issues related to cultural policy mechanisms and procedures come first, followed by instruments and subjects of public activities, which was also approved.
However, suggested elimination of complete parts of the draft, among others the one related to amateurism (whihc in the expert team opinion should be subject of special regulation), privatization, Agency on Culture (for its competitive function, insufficiently defined in relation to the Ministry, funds and the Center for Study in Cultural development), were not approved. Due to that, even the third, changed and enlarged version consists of nine chapters with 90 articles, without penal and final provisions. Moreover, the Agency for Culture was established despite lack of legal grounds, simply by a decree of the government of the Republic of Serbia, which will be further discussed below.
The expert team suggested draft condensation having in mind that a draft should not tend to regulate all the issues, as it would be a certain failure. Of the similar opinion was ina Marciulyonite: "Obviously, laws could be shorter, and that many issues should not be regulated at all. the laws are proposed by groups of people with different understanding of regulations, their legal consequences, degree of their explicity, and the like". She added that a new law is often an outcome of numerous compromises and agreements, and undelined that fundamental problems of legal regulation are related to the quality of law, its efficiency, and consequently, its stability.
Law on cultural valuables
To the second general act, the draft of "Law on cultural valuables" which was even in the parliamentary procedure only to be withdrawn for drafting another proposal, the objections of cultural public to it were many. All could be reduced to two: first, that in the drafting procedure standards of the Council of Europe should be applied, meaning that a working group of experts in protection of cultural valuables as well as experts from other fields of social life has to be established. The second was that after the concept of cultural heritage, measures and conditions of preservation and protection are defined, a draft of the law should be made and subject to a broader public debate.lviii
In the domain of legislative activity, the Ministry of Culture and Public Information drafted a Law on cinematography fund in 2002, the opinion of Council of Europe experts (who technically helped in its drafting) is awaited. The teams for drafting of laws on archive materials and public information are completed, and the existing lawns on publishing and libraries are under rephrasing in order to harmonize some of their segments with the changes in certain relevant acts (Copyrights Act, Act on Related Rights) and TRIPS standards of the WTO agreement, or expected changes in the taxation system to occur in 2003.
Financing of culturelx
Though the share of culture in the state budget was raised from 0.3% in 2000 to 0.8% in 2001, and in 2002 planned to be 1%, it is minimum of international standards recommened by UNESCO for share of culture, but is also hardly enough for financing cultural production in the institutional, still les in the non-institutional framework. A stament of the Minsiter of Culture proves it: "As fot the Ministry of Culture, the state budget provides for a routine funding of the existing institutions, and believe me it is 80% of total funds which, more or less, go for their survival, i.e. institutional costs and wages - the Ministry is obliged to cover. This means a very small percentage is left for support of projects. We are trying to reduce this amount (80%) by rationalization of institution's functioning, even by reduction of the number of institutions, for in many segments duplication is evident, so the rest could be more efficient and percentage for funding projects higher. So, for the moment the budget is functioning as an intervention despite its huge obligation of routine per month funding, but our objective is to stimulate all, including those on the budget, to rationalize themselves as much as possible, to make a new job classification, to motivate them to find other financial resources, donors, sponsors..".lxi
Procedure of republican budget adoption:
- Government prepares draft of the next year budget law
- Committees for finances and legislation of the Serbian assembly discuss and declare their opinions of the government's proposal
- Republican government submits to the parliament draft of the republican budget law
- Republican MPs adopt or refuse the draft budget law after address of the republican prime minister
- Budget law is published in the Official Herald of RS
The structure is similar at the city level as the case of the Beograd city budget illustrates: between 80% and 90% funds for culture are also spent on institutional costs and salaries. As in an open interview Gorica Mojović, city assembly EB member in charge of culture said: in 2001, 10% was spent on institutional costs, 35% on salaries, 14% on programmes, 5% on social and pension insurance of free-lance artists, and 35% on investments.
The above data prove that the state is no more able to finance cultural production in the institutional sector completely, as was the case with former self-management communities in culture till the end of 1980s. After a decade of significant cuttings of share of culture in the state budget, the state is now trying to raise them. Of course, it is not an easy endeavour, having in mind that in 2001 the Ministry financed functioning of 173 cultural institutions. It is even more difficult as the expectations of institutions also raise. After the elections, great number of institutions exercise harsh pressure on the Ministry of Culture demanding that the state budget - as in the times of self-management in culture - again cover most of their total financial needs. In doing so, a number of institutions and organizations only prove incapable of finding mixed financial resources for richer and better institutional production.
A non-institutional sector which during Milošević's regime with the support of international foundations was successful in development of alternative art and new artistic forms, the funds it had at disposal after the 2000 elections for this type of production were considerably smaller. Besides, meanwhile some of the successful NGOs were institutionalized, or even entered the process of establishing, for example, "Konkordija" from Vršac, now funded from the municipal budget - and interest of foundations for this type of non-institutional creativity began to decrease. The argument to this thesis is the fact that the most important programme in the field of the Fund for Open Society, "Arts&Culture network", faded out in 2002, partly tranformed to a programme aimed at well-known and recongnized cultural institutions and organizations.lxii
In order to stimulate investments in institutional cultural production, the Ministry of Culture adopted "Rules on investments in the field of culture that are recognized as expenditures" in February, 2002.lxiiiThe rules stipulates tax reductions for sponsorship and donor's investments in culture up to 1.5% of the total revenue, providing the investments are in:
Such investments in cultural institutions, art associations, faculties, academies, art schools, and other domestic legal entities, under article 4, "are expenses to be considered as expenditures if invested in reconstruction of the existing or building of new objects of culture, programme activities, production and equipment which facilitates cultural and art activities".
- creation, study and preservation of cultural values,
- nourishment, preservation and enrichment of cultural and historical heritage,
- creation of conditions for functioning and development of cultural activities,
- encouragement of international cultural activity and cooperation,
- promotion of education in the field of culture,
- promotion of scientific research in the field of culture, and
- encouragement of young talents in the field of cultural creativity.
The results of the implementation would be measurable only after a certain period. Since this tax reduction came into effect in February 2002, its effects are hardly to be known before the mid-2003, when after a year of its implementation research could start. However, what is already obvious is that the companies have not understood possibilities of the above mentioned tax reductions, as Gorica Mojović, republican MP and Beograd city assembly EB member, explained: "Recently was a donors' dinner for the National Museum. There were some fifteen directors, marketing people from great companies. Believe me, nobody knew for this. Someone asked the question and my answer was the same as to you. The problem is that, on one hand, financial departments have not throughly studied posibilities of tax reductions, and on the other, I think some other solutions could be found if it could be estimated whether this is well understood and sufficiently stimulating, but it is the question for those who invest in culture, and not for us who are receiving". lxiv
Still, despite of this measure, partnership of cultural and enterpreneur sector is awkwardly established: of 868 cultural institutions under survey, only 74 reported support of sponsors, of average 8.47 percent of their total financial resourceslxv It shows that the market is not developed enough to sponsor culture, and that most of companies are far from having a satisfying culture of sponsorship. There are number of other reasons contributing to such a situation, among them:
With the view to improvements in the system of financing culture, apart from distribution of budget funds, by its decree of June 2001 the government of Serbia established Agency for development of culture. Its basic task is to "devise and suggest programmes for improvement material position of culture, propose programmes of acquiring and distribution of international aid, implement them and monitor their realization, suggest measures to competent entities and institutions, collaborate with governmental and non-governmental organizations abroad in cooperation with the ministry in charge of culture, and perform other tasks at the request of the government and respective ministry".
- purchasing power of population is insufficient and sale of cultural and art products can not provide for a percentage of independent revenue of most cultural institutions and organizations,
- poorly developed philosophy of managers of these institutions and organizations regarding the need for mixed financial resources, as well as their insufficient skills in development of strategy of increasing independent revenues and funds from sponsors and donors,
- insufficiently clear procedures of applying for funds from the state budget, and criteria of their distribution.
The MP group of the Democratic Party of Serbia in the republican parliament submitted an amendment stating that the Agency for culture "was established by a government's unconstitutional decree on Secretariat General and other services of the government of the Republic of Serbia - exists simultaneously and having competences same as the Ministry of Culture", and underlying that "it is not rational to finance with the money of tax-payers the consequences of unconstitutional acts of the Government, and surplus of state organs with the same competences".lxvii The amendment did not pass, and the Agency was established, but its functioning is still insufficiently transparent.
As for transparency of financing from the republican budget, the Ministry of Culture had a number of public calls for applications for financial support in the fields of film production, publishing and visual arts. An independent commission the Ministry of Culture appointed for each field - film production, journals, books and visual arts - decided on support in the form of purchase. The national report on cultural policy in Serbia, which the Ministry of Culture prepared for the Council of Europe, underlied that on that occasion public institutions and NGOs engaged in culture enjoyed the same treatment. It was the first time the Ministry opted for criterium of quality of cultural and art production, instead of formerly applied criterium of institutional or non-institutional activity. The national report also states that public competitions contribute to democratic decision-making procedures, though the Ministry quite self-critically notes that in other fields the financial support still remains in the competence of the minister of culture himself and his deputies, thus making cultural policy in Serbia a kind of strange combination of etatistic-democratic model. lxviii
In the domain of budget financing, the valid Law on activities of general interest in the field of culture of 1992, stipulates that for purposes of realization of general interest in culture the funds are provided in the budget of the Republic of Serbia, and for needs in the field of culture - in municipal or city budgets. With this law, the funds for financing culture established in 1990 as successors to former self-management communities of interest, ceased to exist, and financing was tranfered to republican, city and municipal budgets.
Most of budget funded cultural institutions (archives, libraries, museums and galleries, theatres, and institutions for protection of monuments of culture and nature - or more precisely, 87.67% of total number of institutions for which there are available datalxixhave the status of social, i.e. state institution finansed from the republican budget, while among the rest are 2.86% private, and 9.47% other type institutions. So far, findings of the research "Geo-cultural map of Serbia" show that funds of these institutions (data as of 2001 for 868 institutions, including those of general interest) are of the following structure: 13.52% from republican budget, and cca. 60% from city or municipal one.
However, when cultural institutions of general interest are excluded, the percentage of funds coming from the Ministry of Culture declines, though slightly, while also slightly raises the share of funds coming from city/municipal assemblies. It means that these institutions have mixed financial resources, though the percentage of increase in comparison to the above table is also slight.
However, Table 3 shows that the institutions of general interest almost exclusively rely on budget means of financing by the Ministry of Culture, making considerably less from other financial resources than other cultural institutions in Serbia.
If we analyse each type of institution, one by one, great differences among them come to light. Thus, for example, the Ministry of Culture from the 2001 republican budget mostly financed archives (84% of their total income) and centers (65,4% of their total income), while city and municipal assemblies predominantly financed libraries (cca. 82%). According to this data, theatres and museums are most inclined to mixed financial sources: the Ministry of Culture financed theatres with cca. 4.5%, and city and municipal assemblies with some 57% of total income, while the other sources included: independent income (even 25.25%), donations (4.66%), foundations (3.71%), sponsors (4.51%) and othere (0.29%). According to the same data, museums in Serbia were in 2001 funded from the republican budget with about 30%, and from local community budgets about 49%. So, these institutions earned a bit less independent income than theatres (11.14%), as well as from other sources (donations - 1.49%, foundations - 0.68%. sponsors - 3.03% , and other - 5.08%).
In the case of mixed financial sources, it is interesting to mention that, as Gorica Mojović said, in only four cultural institutions to which city of Beograd is founder in 2002 independent income exceeded participation of the budget. Among them are two theatres - "Zvezdara Theatre" and "Snail Theatre" - Beograd Cultural Center and Lazarevac Cultural Center. Her statement includes sponsorships into independent income, while the Center's methodology applied in electronic data base treats them separately. Mrs. Mojović further noted that "Zvezdara Theatre" had the highest share of sponsorships and so made for 51% of its own income, but the income Atelje 212 earned from direct sale of tickets at the market is by far the highest, though that income did not exceed the share from the budget. The city cultural institutions with the lowest independent income were as expected, Mrs. Mojović said, Museum of Pedagogy, City Museum, Museum of African Art, adding that "museums, by definition, have small spaces, and it must not be like that, and I think it will change soon, but the share of independent income in these institutions is very low, so if we speak of the share of budget in funding of some institutions, it is fifty-fiffty".
However, contrary to the republican Ministry of Culture, Beograd Secretariat of Culture had in 2002 at its disposal 8% of the total city budget. Besides, when the budget was rebalanced, the greatest percentage was allocated to culture. Therefore member of the city government, Gorica Mojović, said in her interview: "We who deal with culture in this city have reason to be satisfied. Why so? Because in the sector of culture there are very clearly defined plans, and when the budget was recently rebalanced, the Secretariat of Culture had the most concrete and best defined prorgamme. Many other sectors submitted their requests in a manner 'enlarge our budget, and we will do something', while the Secretariat for Culture had a very precise programme: Youth cultural center - this, this, and this, costs this much; Cultural Center this, theatre this, gallery this, and of course a very precise financial construction, and as that was the case, then 33% percent was allocated from the budget rebalance. I say, it was the greatest percentage. We work, we have precise plans, precise programmes, and on the other hand, we had had in the previous period, I am speking of rebalance, realization of that programme, and therefore they are cooperative because they appreciate this good organization".
From the statement of Jovan Despotović, deputy minister, we have already seen that personnel policy was basic instrument of transition cultural policy in Serbia in its first year. To the same context also belong words of the other deputy minister Aleksandra Jovičević who at the international conference "Key Issues of Cultural Policy", among other things said: "For me maybe one of the harsh moments were when, at the beginning, I faced the fact that this city, this country had left probably half a million of people, and it is a terrible loss. We miss this generation of people with university education, age from 25 to 35, which left 1991-2001. So, for example, the Canadian Embassy data show that some 200,000 people immigated to Canada, and 50,000 more to New Zealand. Before the wars in this area began, Serbia had 6% of university educated people, now only 3%. It means we are missing that basic resource, basic source of cooperation, work, not just in the sense of personnel to work in culture, but also in the sense of audience we should address".lxxi
The consequences are diverse and evident in two phenomena. The first is related to activities of commissions which should comprise of experts from certain fields. However, as Aleksandra Jovičević stressed: "In these commissions always sit the same people, because we are short of competent people, and that is why we had problems in the beginning to find adequate people and appoint them to cultural institutions". In further explanation of the problem, she added: "People who had stayed here, who are active in art and culture, could be divided into two categories, roughly speaking. There is a group of people accustumed to address foreign foundations and donors for support, and is pretty well trained in doing that. On the other side there are those without such habits, and who so far have addressed the Ministry. There are many people, relevant ones, with whom we collaborate, who had never addressed the former ministry, and this should not turn to a critique of former ministries, nobody ever evaluated their work, and there is no continuity in activities of the two ministries. It means, we had started almost from nothing".
Speaking of the other visible form of the problem of human resources in culture, she pointed to slowness: "Slowness in the way things are happening, slowness in decision making, slowness in implementation of laws, in drafting laws", and added: "I agree that in the first year we had very carefully to observe what was happening in the Council of Europe and European Union, and to harmonize our legislation. Still I have to tell you that even in some fields, like cinematography for example, we do not have lawyers, have no experts experienced in that field. A small number of people deal with copyrights, rights of distributors, production problems, etc., so the greatest problem is to find people, appropriate assistants, adequate communicators, people who would really help the Ministry of Culture to become what it should be - service in culture. I do not see the Ministry as a political body, but simply as a technical one, a service to stand between professionals and the state, facilitating professionals to work better, to develop better, and helping state to understand better needs in culture".
However, the angle of perception of the deputy minister is pretty different from the one of the cultural public in Serbia when it comes to personnel problem. In their assessment of personnel policy at all levels of administration, and criteria for appointment of directors and EB members of cultural institutions, participants of focus groups (in all five cities, Beograd included) were unanimous that party affiliation were decisive, while expertize was in the second plan. In this regard they noted that "depolitization of culture is needed, a complete lustration of our society and law". Underlying that there are no criteria for appointment of directors and EB members, as well as the institution of public competition, they said there are a lot of incompetent people on crucial positions, and in that this administration does not differ from the former one.
To illustrate the problem, Slavica Trifunović, Kragujevac city assembly EB member in charge of culture, said: "All institutions are divided along party lines - people were not chosen at competions, but appointed by parties. It is not a problem if they are good managers, but there are also those who are lost there. They politicize institution to the detriment of quality, while the Council for Culture is a depoliticized body which should define strategy of cultural development, and EB should established a special commission for each competion. On this year announced competition for the 2003 budget, there were only 30 applications for a city of 250,000 inhabitants, and these were poor quality projects. We are short of personnel, managers in culture, organizers, animators, PR managers, and it curbs the process we are talking about."lxxii
Mrs. Gorica Mojović, city assembly EB member in charge of culture, devoted a part of her interview to professionalism and efficiency of managers in culture in Beograd, and said: "Those without a good initiative should either leave their positions or find someone to help them. Though public attention was focused on a single replacement (Yugoslav Drama Theatre), eight heads of cultural institutions were replaced. These managers were asked to leave because the Secretariat for Culture was active and had initiatives, while some managers did not deal with institutions they headed at all." lxxiii
Due to this and similar problems, reform and restructuring of personnel capacities entail a special programme of additional education and re-education through which short and long-term needs of an institution, city, region, and eventually the state as a whole might be defined. Of course, under condition prior to that, the needs had been identified, as well as the strategy of their satisfying. However, strategic planning was not the forte of Miloševic's regime - he preferred directed planning.
An analysis of the personnel capacities in the culture of the city of Beograd, made by the Center for Study in Cultural Development research team in the early 1980s, shows that despite of a relatively great number of employed (1981-1984 were 4,587 employed in cultural sector in Beograd - on protection of cultural valuables - 1,592, in cultural-educational and related fields 1,244, and in art activities - 1,751), all personnel needs in the Beograd culture were not met as the qualification structure was unsatisfying, and too many employees were on administrative and technical positions, and significantly less engaged on creative and strictly cultural jobs. Uneven was also the distribution of personnel: most were employed in cultural organizations of republican and city interest, and evidently less in municipal and communal cultural institutions, and then existing "organizations of associated labour" in material production. Unbalanced was also the distribution of personnel in culture if 'down-town' and suburbs were compared. Though center's researchers indentified the state of the personnel potentials, neither city nor state administration undertook any measures to restructure the capacities, and better distribute them with the view of better and more successful meeting cultural needs of citizens.
It was the situation two decades before, but let us see what it is like now. The Center is researching that within its project "Geo-cultural map of Serbia" - electronic data base on cultural capacities which includes programme, personnel, financial and technical resources of all cultural institutions, cultural manifestations and amateur associations in Serbia. The data base encompassing 47% of the total number of archives, libraries, museums, theatres, centers for protection of cultural monuments, polyvalent cultural centers, manifestations and amateur associations active at the Beograd territory (republican, city and municipal), in 104 (manifestations and amateur associations included) of total of 221 registered cultural organizations, shows that there are 4,101 employees (permanently, under contract or honorrary). Having in mind that the data related to more than 50% institutions have not been processed yet, it is considerably more than 20 years ago. Of the total number, 78% are permanently employed, 22% under contract or honorrary. The qualification structure could be said to be as unsatisfying as 20 years ago, because most of employed in the field of culture have elementary or high school education (51%).
The next table presents structure of employed in cultural institutions on the territory of whole Republic of Serbia. It includes number of permanently employed, contracted and honorrary, as well as their qualification structure. Table 1 includes all cultural institutions with processed data in "Geo-cultural map of Serbia", while Table 2 includes all institutions, institutions of general interest excluded, and Table 3 only institutions of general interest. An obvious common denominator is that in the structure of employed prevail those in permanent engagement, employees who often spent the whole active working period on the same position. The other important fact these data disclose is that majority of the employed in culture have high school education. The third fact is that, compared to others, institutions of general interest engage the smallest number of contracted or honorrary associates, i.e. that these institutions are not project management oriented, that is belong to traditional management which in the field of personnel policy prefers permenently employed personnel, despite their qualifications, expertise, competence, knowledge and skills.
Education, additional education and re-education
Having in mind just described personnel situation, the strategy of education and new personnel policy should include, beside additional education and re-education, also the shaping of a special philosophy of cultural institutions oriented to investment in training of their personnel, as well the establishment of special funds each institution should have to provide its personnel with possibilities of addtional education and re-education. In this context, really indispensable should be: precisely formulated stimulating and restrictive criteria of work evaluation - rewards and punishments - and series of other instruments to be introduced if the picture of personnel capacities are to be changed for the better, and adjust to new needs of culture and society as a whole.
Of the city cultural administration and the issue of reform in the field, at which levels it is under way, and what are its so far visible results, Gorica Mojović said: "Under notion of cultural administration I could only subsume the field departments in charge of culture in administrations. What is important for reforms is that the administration turned to an active instead of a formerly just bureaucratic participant of cultural trends. I had an impression that these services were only windows: you come there, submit application, either get or not the money, and that's it. What I consider important, and what is under way is that the people in administration have to be qualified to follow up specific fields. In the Secretariat for Culture, the person in charge of visual arts is art historian, the other in charge of music and opera comes from the Faculty of Drama Arts. In that department we still need one more person, and it must not be a clerk. We have clerks in the accounting department who deal with salaries, but even people from such departments also should correspond, to have some knowledge because they have to monitor programme realization, and be active participants. I think many things would have not been moved from a dead lock if it was not for people in administration capable of qualified encouring and, in cooperation with institutions in question, defining projects and programmes. It that sense, it is reform - a qualified administration. How anyone could work in a library if, apart from regulations and library standards, etc. has no knowledge of publishing production. Crucial here is that the administration dealing with culture must be qualified and responsible. Responsibility here is not only on the institutions at which I am sometimes angry for their lack of initiative and inefficiency of their professionals, but on the other hand, you must have someone in administration to get an insight and say "it can not go this way anymore, in four years you have no idea how to do that (for example, a permanent exhibition). I think it is essential for administration, on one hand, and prompt reactions, on the other". In further explanation of personnel problems in culture, Mrs. Mojović said. "The Secretariat for Culture, Lord Mayor, president of the government and I personally are daily overwhelmed with piles of letters, notes, initiatives, and if there are no people to answer it promptly ...(for example, to a request for erection of a monument - someone should inform of the procedure, to answer that man)".
One of the answers to the question how public administration could meet raising needs of the citizens is, by all means, reform of the state administration and public services, which are to bear on its shoulders the greatest burden of changes the society sets behind. Therefore, many states around the world face the need to change or improve functioning of their state apparatus. These are the challenges of new needs arising with new economic, social and cultural policies. They call for transformation of a former plan system, with rigid bureaucratic structure, into a modern, flexible and rational one, oriented to efficient satisfaction of needs of society as a whole, as well as individuals it is made of.
The solution is in education of local administration and permanent education of all participants in decision making and implementation of decisions. No cultural policy is possible without an educated, capable and well organized administration able of fllowing up the changes, shaping cultural policy in accordance with new social demands, and create conditions of its consistent implementation, but also of management of changes. And examples of administration education and its training for ever more complex functions it has to fulfil in the interest of social development are many - everywhere and without end seminars for local and public administration are organized, with the common objective to create such an administration that would be capable to recognize and meet demands and needs of local community citizens, and in the same time able to use not only state but also private and NGO resource for satisfaction of these needs.
The administration is trained for the process of joining the region and local community to overall national development processes, and its is learning how to regulate and control 'input-output' processes so as to prevent inefficient investments. Moreover, it is trained to manage changes, not only to follow them more or less successfully. It is the objective of the "Improvement of public service functioning", an international monthly seminar for senior administration and public service officers, organized by the Birmingham University - for 6,750 English pounds per participant, i.e. an almost two years average income of employed in culture in Serbia (!). Of course, such seminars have also been organized in Yugoslavia, but recently (and free for all participants) only by NGOs (Fund for an Open Society, Magna Agenda, G17 plus), which is still another argument that the former regime had never perceived the need for re-education and complementary education of personnel of the institutional sector of culture, though it had been almost exclusively under auspicies of the state. Besides, none of the mentioned seminars was meant for the Beograd municipal administration, which should be done in future.
That the situation changes, shows the fact that the Beograd University of Arts has turned to new forms of permanent professional education after the manner of "life long learning" system well-known around the world, in order to provide for permanent "up-dating" of knowledge and acquirement of new skills neccesary for management of the process of reforms. With the establishment of the Center for permanent education in culture, art and media at the University of Arts, essential preconditions were created in 2000/2001. The Center has already began to fulfil its mission with organization of seminars for additional education and re-education in a non-academic, public sector of culture. As Milena Dragičević Šešic, the rector of the University of Arts put it
lxxiv,the Center's aim is to "with less lectures, and more trainings, workshops, practical tasks, exchange of experiences - introduce new knowledges into the cultural practices in Serbia". In her overview of the results of the first year of center's activity, she underlined that "knowledge grows like a snow ball - trained candidates introduce in their environments and professions new methods, a new vocabulary, new rules - and however in the beginning poor knowledges could be, peer-group training will certainly have its future".
A closing remark of Milena Dragičević Šešic's text "Education and re-education of personnel - basic instrument of the transition cultural policy (or: Is permanent education a necessity or a whim?)" is quite suitable for the conclusion of this report, as after a series of identified problems to be resolved in future by a new transition cultural policy, the process will end with the already achieved positive effects in the field of education and additional education of personnel. "Interstingly, the Center is already recognized as an essential institution of the kind in the region, with UNESCO engaging it in tasks relevant for the region, as well as some countries (all the way to Mongolia) to organize specific seminars and trainigs".
Compared to the first transition year, when in its report on international cooperation the Ministry of Culture only listed series of music, opera, visual arts, literary programmes, international manifestations and other activities in the fields of cinematography, protection of cultural valuables, creativity of nationalities and national minorities, amateurism, tours, and professional specializations it financially supported, the 2002 international activities were more diversified. They were realized through two basic channels: within the sector of international relations and European integrations of the Ministry, and other sectors in charge of realization of a number of international aspects of various projects.
The Sector of international relations and European integrations of the Ministry of Culture and Information, established by the Rules on internal organization and job classification to fulfil tasks related to Serbia's association to the European and global integrations, was among the first of the kind of all the Serbian government ministries. The Sector began to establish a documentation basis of valid international and bilateral agreements, and the analysis of the degree of necessary harmonization with the WTO and Eu standards in fields of culture and audio-visual sector. It also initiated association to the Convention of the trans-border TV, and direct involvment in the EU "Culture 2000-2005" and "Media" programmes, to which signing of the Agreement on Stabilization and Association opens way. The Sector also organized visit of the Council of Europe expert team especially formed for Serbia, with the task of making an independent report on the state of cultural policy in Serbia, for which the Ministry of Culture expert team had prepared a national "Report on the state of cultural policy in Serbia". These reports as a compulsive programme for attainment of full membership to Council of Europe are basis for a national debate, with the main objective of devising "Strategies of cultural development of Serbia".
In the domain of international relations, the Ministry of Culture and Information also realized a series of bilateral and multilateral meetings, including visits of ministers of culture of Austria, Croatia, India, Russian Federation, Slovenia, while the Minister of Culture and Information was the guest of ministers of culture of Austria, France, Hungary and Slovenia. This international activity resulted in signing of a number of bilateral agreements and in openning of new possibilities for visits of institutions and artists from Serbia. The Ministry also participated in the UNESCO ministerial conference devoted to drafting of a Convention on protection of spiritual heritage and culturological diversity, and ministerial conference "Creative Europe - New Partnerships".
As pointed out in the annual report of the Ministry, these international activities confirmed the fact that culture and art are "the best export potentials of Serbia". In favour of that, series of tours, exhibitions, performances, concerts, literary promotions of outstanding foreign artists and institutions, as well as symposia and round tables devoted to cultural policy, of which the international conference "Key Issues of Transition in Culture" with actual and former ministers of culture of Austria, Slovenia, Hungary, Romania and Lithvania and many experts in the field of cultural policy from Poland, Russian Federation and Bulgaria, was the most important.lxxv
After the federal and republican elections, the regime was changed, but not the system as such. When the citizens of Serbia instead of an autoritarian and totalitarian regime voted in 2000 for a democratic regime, they actually opted for a system based upon democratic values. It means a new regime was to be considered as different from the former one (also declaratively democratic, but actually autocratic), only if its instruments in pursuation of desired objectives were genuinely democratic. It would mean beginning of real transition in culture, for transition is in fact simply moving from a former to a desired state of affairs. In case of Serbia, it is a shift from totalitarian to a democratic system.
The former cultural system was evidently tied to Milošević's regime. It is also clear that a new system of culture should be the foundation of a democratic regime. However, the findings of this research lead us to conclude that Serbia is, after two years of transition cultural policy, still at the threshold of this path. The findings of a comparative analysis of achievements and public opinion expectations indicate that Serbia has only began its movement towards a new democratic system of culture adjusted to needs of its citizens, instead to assumed interests defined far from public by a totalitarian elite.
If we fail to build up democratic foundations, neither a new regime will be stable. And democratic foundations of a new system of culture entail, in the first place, making up of a programme and strategy of cultural development with full participation of the public. A former delegation procedure faded away with Milošević's Constitution. Then the Serbian parliament stopped to adopt plans of social development, plans of cultural development included.
However imperfect the former procedure had been a public one, a procedure we still have not, as we did not have in the Milošević's time. As the old planning procedure was aboslihed, and a new one has never been devised, Serbia is still without a programme and a short and long-term strategy of cultural development. And, without a concept, strategy and action plan, cultural policy is chaotic and preoccupied by day-to-day issues, incapable to attain a long-term vision of a structural reform of system of culture.
The second necessary element of building up of a new system of culture entails establishment of a new model of administration functioning, in the first place Ministry of Culture, which should be based upon precisely defined roles of key decision makers, decision making procedures, and investment priorities. It also must be transparent, accessible and understandable to everybody.
This means that the Ministry of Culture (and not the Beograd City Assembly which since 2001 practices public competitions), should consistently develop the institution of public competitions for financing programmes and projects in all spheres of cultural and art production, as well as methods and techniques of evaluation of the programmes and projects submitted. In the same time, it is necessary that public administration organs initiate and organize public debates on key issues and problems of cultural policy, on drafts of legal projects, etc. It means that no more a group of people would in secrecy make decisions about public issues without public participation, despite public offices they have mandate to. But, since in Serbia there is no strategic plan of cultural development, there is no possibility of a longer planning of distribution of budget funds that would enable cultural institutions themselves to perceive their needs and secure financial resources. On the other hand, cultural institutions still lack invention in finding mixed financial resources, mostly relying on the budget. This is especially true for institutions of general interest, as well as certain types of institutions, such as libraries, archives and centers for protection of cultural monuments. Since the state budget could no more satisfy their financial needs, changes in philosophy of institutions and management are inevitable - as they have to adjust to the changes in the cultural system of Serbia.
The third element of a new cultural policy is settlement of the actual situation in culture, which demands reforms of an inherited cultural system. The reforms must be grounded on the analysis of actual situation in culture, and recommendations of relevant research institutions and expert bodies. The decision making procedure on reforms have also to be transparent. To make it possible, the capacities for adoption and implementation of reform programmes in culture must be improved, in the first place in the fields of legislation, financing and re-programming of mission and management strategies of cultural institutions. The institution of public competition for directors and managers of cultural institutions - and why not also members of their EBs as is already done in many other countries - is highly important for settlement of the existing situation in culture. Since the request for public competitions is unequivocally advocated by the cultural public, public administration is obliged to answer positively to it - still more because appointment of directors instead of their selection at a public competition is inherited from the Milošević's regime, and its further practicing might challenge legitimacy of the new democratic government.
The fourth element of a new cultural system is establishment of partnership between public, private and the third sector. Since the state is no more able to finance cultural development completely, consequently, it could be no more a single creator of cultural policy. Therefore, it is necessary that the public sector in culture establish partnership with private and NGO sector, a relation in which all the involved parties would have an active and equal role in decision making on key issues and problems of cultural policy. That would create an environment in which cultural sector could be depolitized and deetatized, and then qualified to search for alternative financial resources apart from the state budget.
However, the research disclosed existence of two parallel currents of cultural policy: one managed by the state administration, the other by NGOs and private organizations. As these currents do not cross, a repositioning of public, NGO and private sector is necessary and relying on a new legislation, still missing in this field, collaborate in strategic planning and implementation of a programme of cultural development of Serbia.
The fifth element is decentralization of culture. The transfer of competences from central state organs to lower level ones is impossible without a legislation providing for it. However, establishment of a new legal framework began only after the first transition year with the adoption of Omnibus law for Vojvodina, Law on local self-government, and finally, the federal Constitutional Charter. Apart from the republican Constitution, and the procedure of its drafting began only after the second transition year, the need for precise difinition of competences of local, provincial, republican and federal organs is very urgent to prevent interweaving or loss of competences. Besides, the public administration at all levels has to be redesigned and reprogrammed so as to become modern and capable of independent planning and implementation of development programmes and strategies.
All mentioned is inseparable from personnel policy, which has to be based on the strategy of education, additional education and re-education of personnel in culture, not only in public administration, but also in cultural institutions and a non-institutional sector.
And finally, the sixth element of a new cultural system should be a permanent supraregional dialogue of all cultural policy actors in the South East European region. Such a dialogue might contribute to a better understanding of the existing system of culture in the region, with the aim to include all similarities as well as differences in perception of the current and future development of culture into a strategy of entering the Balkan countries into the European and global cultural trends.
But what are the necessary capacities, what are the problems to be surmounted, and what are the instruments to be implemented if Serbia is to make these six steps in building up of democratic foundations of a new cultural system - are the questions to be dealt in the next project report - the policy paper.
i Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia, no. 6/90 (back)
ii The author of this research made a Ph.D. theses on this topic, and partly published it in the book Right to Urban-Rural Difference (Pravo na razlike selo-grad), Zadužbina Andrejević, Beograd, 1997. (back)
iii "Contributions" were institute introduced by the 1974 Constitution of Serbia, to stood instead of "taxes". From these funds were financed activities of the general and common consumption, culture included. See more: Right to Difference..., pp.56,57 (back)
iv From a shorthand records of the parliamentary session (debate) on the draft of Law on activities of general interest in the field of culturre, held on June 17, 1991. Document from Assembly of Serbia (Parliament) archives, no. S2V/92/001/T/014 (back)
v Draft of the 1986-1990 social plan of the SR of Serbia. Center for Study in Cultural Development documentation, inv. no. 4735 (back)
vi Center for Study in Cultural Development documentation, inv. no. 4807 (back)
vii See more in: Vesna Djukić Dojčinović, Right to Difference..., (back)
viii The budget was adopted in March of 2000, after the new Assembly had been constituted (back)
ix Law on activities of general interest in the field of culture, Official Gazette of the RS, no. 49/92. (back)
x The center was founded by the Law on the Center for Study in Cultural development, Official gazette of the SRS, ns. 81/67 and 30/77 (back)
xi The Law on ceasement of several laws and regulations of 1993. stipulated by article 1. paragraph 23. abolishion of Law on Center for Study in Cultural Sevelopment, Official Gazette RS broj 16/93 (back)
xii The 1990 Work report of the City Fund for financing of culture (back)
xiii Law on 1999 budget of the Republic of Serbia, Official Gazette of the RS, no.44/98 (back)
xiv Total percentages of this budget financing of education (3.2% in 1999 ) and research (0.24% in 2001) are very small compared with European (average 5.7% OECD, and 1.9% EU in 2001). From an external evaluation of universities in Serbia prepared in 2002 by a group of European experts engaged by the European Association of Universities (back)
xv Draft of the 1999 budget of the Republic of Serbia was adopted in an urgent procedure at the third sitting of the regular session of the Parliament of Serbia in November 1998. Total budget was 21.5 billion dinars. (back)
xvi Ljubodrag Dimić, Kulturna politika u Kraljevini Jugoslaviji 1918-1941, Stubovi kulture, Beograd, 1996. (back)
xvii Slobodan Milošević was the first president of the third Yugoslavia which was by constituional charter of 2003 transformed into the state union of Serbia and Montenegro. The third Yugoslavia emerged from the ashes of the second - Tito's Yugoslavia. (back)
xviii The meeting held on January 10, 1990 in the Institute of Architecture and Urbanism (back)
xix Page 3 of the meeting report. Center for Study in Cultural Development Documentation (back)
xx The interviews with focus groups done within this research in October and November of 2002, showed that cultural public instisted on depolitization and disideologization of culture and art (back)
xxi Meeting report, op.cit., pp. 3,4 (back)
xxii See: Sanjin Dragojević, Culture of peace and management of Cultural Diversity, Culturelink, 29. november 1999. vol. 10, pp. 136, 137 (back)
xxiii Gazimestan, a place where battle of Kosovo, i.e. battle of Serbian and Turkish armies of June 28, 1389 took place. The battle was a beginning of process of diminishing and disappearence of Serbian medieval state. (back)
xxiv Vesna Đukić Dojčinović, "Policy of book purchase for libraries" (Politika otkupa knjiga za biblioteke), Clio magazin, Beograd, no. 2, 1998, pp. 17-20 (back)
xxv Aleksandar Milanović, "History of usurpation" (Povest otimačine), Reporter, Banjaluka, May 26, 1999 (back)
xxvi The 1995 selection of Sterijino pozorje included: Nušić's "Sumnjivo lice", SNP NS, director Dejan Mijač; Aleksandar Popović's "Razvojni put Bore Šnajdera", Beograd National Theatre, director Kokan Mladenović; Nušić's "Ožalošćena porodica", Kikinda National Theatre, director Miroslav Benka; Igor Bojović's "Mačor u čizmama", Boško Buha theatre, director Milan Karadžić; "Ostrvo, ples atoma", Beograd Ister theatre; Petar Grujičić's "Fiškal Galantom", Sombor National Theatre, director Petrović; Siniša Kovačević's "Janez", Novi Sad Drama Theatre, director Ljuboslav Majera; Anonimus, "Lukrecija, iliti Ždero", Terazije Theatre, director Jagoš Marković (back)
xxvii From the interview with the deputy manager of the Beograd National Theatre, daily Borba, December 27, 1999. (back)
xxviii dr Branko Prnjat, Kulturna politika i kulturni razvoj, Savremena administracija, Beograd, 1986, str 11 (back)
xxix Thus the "democratic centralism" as a principle of internal organization and arrangement of social relations in a complex of community of six republics as Yugoslavia once was, was also applied in the organization of cultural activities, ensuring that cultural, artistic and education activities would be managed from a "single center", which of course was the Party itself. See: Ljubodrag Dimić, Agitprop kultura, Rad, Beograd, 1988 (back)
xxx During the Rambouilier negotiations over the status of Kosovo, local Čačak TV "Galaksija 32" decided to stop broadcasting the British and American movies, as well as all other from Anglo-Saxon countries, as long as political and military pressures on Serbian national policy lasted. (According to Danas daily of February 24, 1999). Prior to that decision were the Decree of the Ministry of Information (with Aleksandar Vučić from the Serbian Radical Party, as minister) banning re-broadcasting of programmes of certain foreign electronic media, and the Information Law, adopted in the Parliament of Serbia with complete disregard of democratic procedure, which incorporated the mentioned provisions of the Decree (Official gazette of the Republic of Serbia, no.36/98) (back)
xxxi Statement of Jovan Despotović, deputy minister of culture, at the international conference, Key Issues of Cultural Policy, organized by the Ministry of Culture and held in Beograd, in February of 2002. (back)
xxxii Since there were no available data on the institutional system of culture in Serbia, the Center for Study in Cultural Development launched a reasearch-documentation project of establishment an electronic data base Geo-cultral Map of Serbia. The collected data are as of July 2002 and are not final, as the research goes on. By January of 2003 the number of institutions raised to 3,667. (back)
xxxiii The 1992 Law on activities of general interest in the field of culture in article 2 stipulates that genral interests in the field of culture are functioning, maintenance and realization of programmes of the following institutions: National Library of Serbia, Arhive of Serbia, National Museum in Beograd, Historical Museum of Serbia, Museum of Ethnography, Museum of Contemporary Art, Museum of Applied Arts, Museum of Natural History, Museum of Kosovo and Metohija in Priština, Museum of Vojvodina in Novi Sad, Museum of Genocide, Republican Center for Protection of Cultural Monuments, Yugoslav Cinemateque, Matica Srpska with Library and Matica Srpska Gallery in Novi Sad, Beograd National Theatre, Priština National Theatre, Serbian National Theatre in Novi Sad, National and University Library in Priština, Archive of Vojvodina, Archive of Kosovo, Beograd Philharmonic Orchestra, and Ensemble of National Dances "Kolo"(back)
xxxiv Statement of the Rector of the University of Arts and moderator of the concluding debate Milena Dragićević Šešić at the international conference Key Issues of Cultural Policy, organized by the Ministry of Culture, and held in Beograd, in February, 2002. (back)
xxxv The 2001 work report of the Ministry of Culture (back)
xxxvi The Report was written on January 14, 2002, but there are no indications to whom it was addressed (back)
xxxvii Statement of Milena Dragićević Šešić at the international conference Key Issues of Cultural Policy (back)
xxxviii Zakon o Ministarstvima, SG RS br 27/2002 (back)
xxxix Law on ministries, Law on employment in state institutions (back)
xl Documentation basis of drafting Rules of internal organization and job classification of the Ministry of Culture, July 2002 (back)
xli According to the data from Geo-cultural Map of Serbia for 104 institutions, manifestations and cultural clubs on the Beograd territory, some 40% have university education (back)
xlii This edited text of rules is prepared for internal use, and contains the Beograd city assembly EB Operating regulations published in the Official Beograd Bulletin, ns. 9/2000 i 8/2001. (back)
xliii Internal document of the Ministry of Culture and Public Information on reform of the overall culture through reform of theatre, given to this author in February of 2003 (back)
xliv Rules on internal job classification in the Ministry of Culture and Public Information, August 2002 (back)
xlv Interviews with focus groups in Sombor, Kragujevac, Užice and šabac; 120 interviewed persons; interviews conducted by the Center for Study in Cultural Development during September/October of 2002, within an action project Cooperation and dialogue in building up of efficient local cultural policies, supported by the European Cultural Foundation's programme "Policies for culture" (back)
xlvi For more see: Klod Molar, Cultural Engineering (Kulturni inženjering), Klio, str.22 (back)
xlvii The debate took place in Kragujevac in April of 2002, and was organized by the Center for Study in Cultural Development, with financial support of the Arts&culture network programme of the Budapest Fund for an Open Society (back)
xlviii From reports of the Secretariat for Culture of the Beograd City Assembly for 1996 and 2000 (back)
xlix Advertisment in the New Year's edition of a prestigious high circulation daily Politika, December 31, 1998-January 1, 2 and 3, 1999 (back)
l The conference was organized by Civic Initiatives, and gathered representatives of more than 100 NGOs, NGO Herald, Special Edition, November 2000 (back)
li The 2002 Annual report of the Ministry of Culture and Public Information of the Republic of Serbia (back)
lii The question from the interviews with presidents of committees for culture of parliamentary political parties conducted in December of 2002, and January of 2003, within this research project (back)
liii Declaration on cultural policy of the Democratic Party of Serbia, party Bulletin "Vesti", October 2001 (back)
liv Internal document of the Ministry of Culture and Public Information on reform of the overall culture through reform of theatre, op.cit. (back)
lv See: Milena Dragićević Šešić and Branimir Stojković, Kultura – menadžment, animacija, marketing, Klio, Beograd, 1996, str. 70 (back)
lvi National cultural policy review, Republic of Serbia, Ministry of culture and information, working paper, july 2002 (back)
lvii Meeting of the experts team of January, 2002, organized by the Center for Study in Cultural development (back)
lviii With this remark of the Center for Protection of Kosovo and Metohija Heritage-MNEMOSYNE agreed most of other interviewed participants of focus groups in five cities in Serbia (back)
lix The 2002 Work report of the Ministry of Culture and Public Information (back)
lx In regard to financing of culture the National report of the Ministry of Culture, says as follows: "Republic of Serbia introduced (September 2001) new budgetary system based on internationally accepted financing statistic codes which enables the whole public sector to formulate and monitor all public expenditure on a new ways. This new system affected and still is affecting the Ministry of culture itself as well as all public cultural institutions with a quite new "philosophy" of public financing, but at the same time the system, for the first time in Serbia, gives the opportunity to establish comparative analytical system which will be of great help for the Ministry to analyze and formulate new methods and instruments of cultural policy concerning public finance.
Statistical system, which is currently implemented in Serbia does not provide the real information about state expenditures for the culture because expenses for numerous institutions are under budgets of different ministries, such as: Ministry of Education and Sports (Art education, student cultural centers etc), Ministry for Foreign Affairs (international co-operation), Ministry for Science, Technology and Development (research in art and culture), or extra-budgetary line, as expenses for Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences, etc. Also cities and municipalities budgets for culture has not been classified as such. So the data which we are going to analyze are covering only the budget of the Ministry of culture and public information which for 2002 has been planned as 1% of the State budget. It shows increase from 0,3% in 2000 and 0,8% in 2001, and can be considered as encouraging tendency", National cultural policy review, Republic of Serbia, Ministry of culture and information, working paper, July 2002 (back)
lxi From the open interview with the minister of culture of the Republic of Serbia, Branislav Lečić, conducted in the Center for Study in Cultural Development, on April 29, 2002 within this research project (back)
lxii The first public call "Institutional development of organizations and institutions in the field of culture" was announced on February 17, 2003 (back)
lxiii Regulations on investments in the field of culture to be recognized as expenditures, Official Gazette of RS, no. 9/02 (back)
lxiv From the
open interview with Gorica Mojović, held in the Center for Study in Cultural Development on October 18, 2002 within this research project. (back)
lxv Data from electronic data basis Geo-cultural Map of Serbia of the Center for Study in Cultural Development as of February 2003. The data refer to traditional type institutions: museums, theatres, libraries, archives and centers for protection of cultural monuments (back)
lxvi The Decree of the Government of the Republic of Serbia on amendment of the Decree on Secretariat General and other services of the Government of the Republic of Serbia, Official Gazette of RS, no. 32/01 (back)
lxvii Documentation of the Parliament of the Republic of Serbia; amendment submitted by the DSS MP group. MPs: Petar Cvetković, Dušan Ilić, Predrag Mijailović-Lune, December 2001 (back)
lxviii National cultural policy review, Republic of Serbia, Ministry of culture and information, working paper, july 2002. (back)
lxix Electronic data base "Geo-cultural Map of Serbia" of the Center for Study in Cultural Development in the moment of writing of this report contained data on 868 traditional type institutions (back)
Open interview with Gorica Mojović, ibid. (back)
lxxi International conference Key Issues of Cultural Policy organized by Ministry of Culture, held in Beograd in February of 2002 (back)
lxxii Address of the Kragujevac city assembly EB Slavica Trifunović to the participants of the debate on models and instruments of cultural policy, organized within the project Cooperation and dialogue in building up of the efficient local cultural policies, Kragujevac, October 2002 (back)
lxxiii Interview with Gorica Mojović, published in Politika ekspres, October 19-20, 2002 (back)
lxxiv From the presentation of Milena Dragićević Šešić, rector of the University of Arts, at the internet conference Key Issues of Cultural Policy, organized in December of 2002 by the Center for Study in Cultural Development (back)
lxxv The international conference Key Issues of Cultural Policy was summoned on the initiative of the expert team of the Ministry of Culture in February 2002. Center for Study in Cultural development was its executive organizer. (back)