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Ten years of negative policy of Slobodan Milošević'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.

First phase of the project has already started in 1999. However, lot of deep changes happened in social system in Yugoslavia and also in cultural field after government change in October 5, this project is in it's second phase and will be finished in March 2003, after updating with information about the new cultural policy leaders, models, goals and instruments of cultural policies on republic and city local level.

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.

Expected results after the submitting of the policy recommendations are:

  1. developed program and designed cultural policies priorities and strategies
  2. established decision making transparency
  3. new laws in the field of culture designed and publicly discussed
  4. privatization of cultural institutions begins according to national strategy
  5. reform of public cultural institutions begins (developed management and financial capacities for fund raising, mission reprogrammed, employees reeducated)
  6. developed capacities for local cultural policies
  7. established partnership between public and NGO sector
But, implementation of policy recommendation it is not expected during the fellowship period which will be ended till spring 2003. Because of implementation phase, project will last till the end of process of monitoring and evaluation of the adopted recommendations.

Project's research activities, beside getting technical equipment and fund raising, were right on schedule and according to plane, sometimes even ahead of it. This occurred because a new idea came out of this research, a chance to apply methodology developed on this project on comparative analyses of Cultural Policies in South-eastern European countries. This idea arose although in the proposal of this project was planned only to develop a methodology. Beside that, research on Cultural Policy of Belgrade was deepened thanks to interest and financial support of Belgrade City Assembly. Ministry of Culture also participated in financing same expanses of Center for Study in Cultural Development research activities on this project.

Thanks to those facts, project is financed from matching funds and 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.

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According to the project timetable all planed research activities were completed as follows:

Identification of people to be involved in the research team in the country and abroad
- Project goals defined, the contracts with the OSI signed, mentors of the project selected, and preparations for the research team formation completed (January-December 2002) -

In consultation with, and following the IPF coordinator's instructions, the following persons were suggested as project mentors: Milena Dragičević-Šešić, Ph.D, professor at the Belgrade Faculty of Dramatic Arts and Rector of the University of Arts; Branimir Stojković, Ph.D., associate professor of the Belgrade Faculty of Political Sciences; and Lidija Varbanova, PhD, the OSI "Arts&Culture Network" program coordinator.

In the same period a partnership between the Center for Study in Cultural Development as the institutional head of project, and the Faculty for Dramatic Arts and the University of Arts, was established. Due to that partnership 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 Djordjević, Gorana Petrović), as well as undergraduate students of Faculty of Music and Faculty of Drama Arts.

Having in mind that an international team should be formatted with a view of achieving the third goal of the project (to develop a methodology of comparative analysis of models and instruments of cultural policies in the region), 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).

Thanks to that activities, the research project is institutionally carried out by the Center for Study in Cultural Development, reinforced by involvement of the mentors, four research fellows, and more than twenty undergraduate and postgraduate university students from the country and abroad. Our short term goal is to develop comparative analysis of cultural policies based on interviewing the decision makers, but our long-term objective is to make impact of policy making process in our countries and Southeast European region.

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Developing questionnaires for interviewing

In period March – May 2002 I was engaged on developing three types of questionnaires. The first and second were prepared for interviews with ministers of culture (national and local), after the control list for the cultural policy creators. Simon Mundy, advisor to many international organizations including UNESCO, Council of Europe, and European Fund for Culture, etc., devised it in accordance with his abundant experiences. The target group of the control list are all involved in the field, and it was translated into Serbian from original, Simon Mundy, Cultural Policy – A Short Guide, and published in a brief guide Cultural Policy in 2001. In the manner of the control list which is, in fact, a set of criteria for evaluation of the direction of a cultural policy, I prepared 22 questions for the Minister of Culture on value stands regarding: goals and tasks of the cultural policy in Serbia, levels of authority and decision-making procedures, as well as fundamental issues of transition in culture (see questionnaire nº 1, and questionnaire nº 2).

The third type of interview - for directors of national institutions of culture of broader public interest, is an unchanged version of 2000 applied interviews performed with the former directors of the same institutions at the begining of this research project. Such approach enables getting the knowledge of the changes in management of these institutions that eventually happened after new directors were appointed. In the last decade, same questionnaire were applied in similar research projects in Germany, Hungary and other European countries. As such, it provides a comparative analysis of functioning of these institutions in different countries, and we were not willing to lose such a great advantage. Therefore, the questionnaire were only slightly modified and adjusted to specific conditions in Serbia (see questionnaire nº 3).

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IPF Seminars, coordination meetings with other researchers and experts
- Coordination meetings with other researchers and experts in order to launch research in Balkan countries and to discuss methodology for comparative analysis of cultural policies of the Balkan countries (March 2002 – March 2003)

It was planned that these activities should last over the whole fellowship period, including participation at all IPF seminars in Budapest, and meetings with researchers and experts in the field of cultural policy. The aim is to launch comparative research and development of methodology of comparative analysis on cultural policies of the countries in the region.

I participated in four IPF seminars held at the CEU-Budapest. It helped me to understand better what are the policy meters of government and which steps of policy analysis we have to make. Also I learned more about bridging Research and Policy, Environmental Influences on Think Tank Growth and many other issues related to the research project and my professional activities. Beside that, it gave me the opportunity for consultations with the expert for cultural policy issues, my research project mentor affiliated with the OSI, Lidija Varbanova (Program Director of Arts&Culture Network).

Regarding the comparative methodology for analysing the SouthEast European countries cultural policies, I discussed the possible cooperation and launching comparative research of cultural policies in other countries of the region, with current and former ministers of culture, deputy ministers, researchers and experts in the field: Ina Martchiulionyte (Lithuania), Ion Caramitru (Romania), Peter Inkei (Hungary), Borut Šuklje (Slovenia), Kazimierz Krzysztofek (Poland), Sergej Zuev (Russian Federation), Corina Suteu (Romania), and others. The discussions took place during the international conference held in Belgrade, February 22-23, Fundamental Issues of Transition in Culture, organized by the Serbian Ministry of Culture and the Center for Study in Cultural Development. Its purpose was to enable comparison of the initial experiences in structural reforms of the Serbian cultural system with a decade long ones of other countries in the region. It was also a welcome opportunity to re-establish system of collecting and exchanging informations, documentations, books and rewiews to keep-up-to-date with positive experiences in transition and successful reform programs in the field of culture, management and fundraising strategies, legislation, fiscal policy, education policy etc.

At the end of July 2002. I discussed the same issue with the experts and representatives of the ministries of culture of Macedonia, Bulgaria, Croatia and Slovenia. The main conclusion is that the similar research centers for studying and analyzing the cultural policy issues has to be established or re-established in those countries. At the moment they have no developed institutional capacities for conducting research and comparative analysis. I discussed the issue of comparative analysis of cultural policies of Southeast European countries during the round table "Macedonian cultural strategy in regional context" and was invited to participate by the organizer - NGO "Multimedia". The round table was held from July 28 -30, 2002. in City of Ohrid, Macedonia. The follow-up of this meeting is expected to be held in the and of March 2003. I am invited to participate in the second debate among other participants.

Thanks to invitation of Ministry of Culture of Republic Slovenia on November 29th and 30th I participated (along with Isabelle Schwarz, Vesna Čopič, Gregor Tomič, Lidia Varbanova, Dragan Klaić and other experts) in "Cultural Policy Forum: Trends and Perspectives for Culture within the European Enlargement Agenda" in Ljubljana within three-day yearly assembly meeting of EFAH (The European Forum for the Arts and Heritage). That was a good opportunity for introducing and understanding new trends and initiatives in region, especially concerning document "Preliminary draft of the Constitution treaty" drawn up by the Presidium of European Convention. That debate about strategic culture programme for Europe with aim to bringing culture back to the European agenda, expectations and key issues related with the Euro enlargement, gave me the opportunity to think about the ways to include cultural policy of Serbia in regional strategic planning although Republic of Serbia is not a member of The European Union or Council Of Europe, but all of its activities in the field of culture are striving in that direction.

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Launching methodology for comparative analysis of cultural policies of Southeast European countries
- Research expansion on Southeast European region (September 2002 – March 2003)

Allready developed methodology for comparative analysis of cultural policies of Southeast European countries is lanched thanks to the partnership with Belgrade University of Arts. 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" methodology for comparative analysis had been applied on cultural policies of Southeast European countries. Methodology includes interviews with ministers of culture (national, regional, and city ministers as well), and with directors of cultural institutions in our region, based on three types of questionnaires, which had already been practiced in interviews with directors and ministers in Serbia. This methodology was developed by dr Vesna Djukić Dojčinović. Beside the Serbia, interviews were made in Poland (Cracow's City Council – referat ds kultury), Romania (director of The Romanian Opera House in Timisoara), FR of Macedonia (Minister of Culture, Makedonski naroden teatar) during December 2002 and January, February 2003. Members of research team that conducted these intertviews went through training according to instructions which are attached to this report (see instruction, no 4). The interviews will be presented on the Center for Study in Cultural Development web site.

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National cultural policy – research at the Ministry of Culture

- National cultural policy – research at Ministry of Culture: interviews with Minister, Vice-ministers and secretary of Ministry, analysis of documentation about institutional programs financed by Ministry (March 2002 – March 2003)

An open interview with the Minister of culture, Mr. Branislav Lečić was held on April 29 at the Center for Study in Cultural Development. After the structured questionnaire of 22 questions, 9 graduate and post-graduate students of the Faculty of Dramatic Arts and the Alternative Academic Education Network interviewed the Minister. As the project head and professor at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts lecturing cultural policy, I moderated the open interview. The event was covered by a number of electronic and printed media in Serbia (TV Yuinfo, TV ART, TV Pink, TV Studio B, Radio B92, daily papers Danas, Večernje novosti, Ekspres Politika, etc.). Serbian language version of the interview is allready available on Center's web site.

By the beginning of May, a Ministry's team for preparation of the national cultural policy review for the Council of Europe was established, with Milena Dragičević-Šešić as project director and Vesna Djukić-Dojčinović among project team members in charge for historical perspective of cultural policies and instruments, as well for decentralization and cultural tourism issues. That paved the path to include part of our project results, as well as a part of collected documentation into the report. The working paper was written down in July 2002. Discussion with the members of Council of Europe project team members was held at Belgrade in September (special attention was paid to this research "Cultural policy of Serbia"!). The Final National conference aimed to discuss the issues covered in national report and possible strategies for cultural policy in Serbia is planed to be organized in April 2004 by Ministry of Culture which is exactly the time when the research and policy report will be finished and prepared for addressing to the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Serbia, City Council of Belgrade and other decision makers in the field of cultural policy of Serbia.

During the reviewed period research team collected data on programs and projects of cultural institutions funded by the Ministry of Culture in 2001. A relevant documentation including regulations, decisions, drafts of new laws, reports, statements and interviews of the actual Minister, deputy ministers and Secretary of the Ministry of Culture. Focus group interviews included: (October, November 2002) representatives of Ministry, chiefs and consultants of departments for protection of cultural heritage and contemporary art - Borislav Šurdić, Nada Seferović, Milena Burić, Aleksandra Ilić, Milica Kuzmanović. Unfortunately, in contacts with the Ministry staff it was found out that they do not have any archives with reports and accompanied documentation for the previous period as the archives of the Serbian government were destroyed in the bombing 1999. The team was adviced to consult the Serbian Parliament archives for the Ministry of Culture reports before 2001.

The documentation comprises of the following documents:

  1. List of the actual international bilateral agreements on cooperation in the field of culture between Serbia and other countries;
  2. Reports of the Ministry of Culture 2001, 2002;
  3. Regulations the Ministry of Culture adopted on investments in culture recognized as expenditures on February 20, 2002;
  4. Decree on the amendment of the decree on the Secretariat General and other entities of the government of the Republic of Serbia establishing the Agency for Cultural Development of June 5, 2001;
  5. The first draft of the Theater Law;
  6. The final version of Cultural Goods Law;
  7. The third draft of the Cultural Activities of Public Interest Law;
  8. "Omnibus" law re-establishing Vojvodina autonomy, and decentralizing cultural policy in Serbia, by which Ministry of Culture transfers its jurisdiction in administering of certain cultural institutions to the Vojvodina Secretariat for Culture;
  9. Records of the first press conference in the Ministry of Culture, held on February 22, 2001;
  10. Statements and interviews of the Minister, Deputy Minister and the Secretary of the Ministry of Culture, published in media and on the Ministry of Culture web site;
  11. Ministry of Culture expert team's proposals; and
  12. Other documents.
For the lack of relevant documentation, Center for Study in Cultural Development initiated several projects, among them, electronic data base "Geo-cultural Map of Serbia" of cultural institutions, manifestations, artistic colonies, professional organizations, cinematographic and publishing institutions, musical assemblies, medias, civil society groups, NGO-s which are all involved in the field of culture. Database is very large and has all types of information concerning cultural institutions: (about status, financial sources, employment structure, technical and technological capacities, cooperation, networking and alliance with similar institutions, etc). Electronic base had been most useful for my research project, and for the work of Ministry of Culture as well.

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National cultural policy – research at national cultural institutions

- National cultural policy – research at national cultural institutions financed by state: analysis results of already existing interviews with former directors and up-dating interviews with new directors; performing interviews with the managing stuff of national and local cultural institutions as focus groups members (March 2002 – March 2003)

The main goal of follow up interviews with new directors of the Museum of Contemporary Arts, National Museum, National Theater, Yugoslav Film Archives, and Sterijino pozorje is to identify is mission is reprogrammed, and management of these institutions changed since 2000 when directors had been interviewed for the first time (serbian lenguage version of the interviews are presented on Center's web site). At this time, the new director of the National Theater agreed to be interviewed, though the former one refused to do that, and instead, the interview was made with directors of marketing and opera. Although directors of the Yugoslav Film Archives and Sterijino pozorje were not replaced after the republican elections, the interviews had been repeated in order to find out eventual changes that in the meantime occurred. Thanks to larger number of members of project research team, within the postgraduate course on University of Arts, interviewing continued in December 2002. and expanded on this institutions – Historical Museum of Serbia, Museum of Natural History, Museum of Science and Technology, Museum of Applied Arts, Belgrade Philharmonic, Archives of Serbia, National Library of Serbia and Assemble of National Dance "Kolo". Therefore, 13 directors of national cultural institutions in Serbia had been interviewed in this research, far more then we expected. The problem that our research team faces in this segment is mostly related to the unwillingness of institutions to approve access to their foundation acts, annual reports and other relevant documents containing tha facts and numebers about financing, number of employee and other relevant issues. Interview analysis points out to several key problems of cultural policy. The most distinguished one is that these institutions do not see them selves as actors of national and city cultural policy. As a reason for that, interviewed directors pointed that, by their opinions, there is not clearly enough defined national or city strategy for better orientation of this institutions.

By standard questionnaire developed for interviewing the focus groups, not only directors had been interviewed, but deputies directors and other managing stuff of the same as well as different cultural institutions also. As a members of focus group which includes representatives of main national and City of Belgrade cultural institutions research team performed interview with Saša Srećković (Ethnographic Museum), Bojana Popović (Museum of Applied Arts), Slavko Milanović (National Theatre) and Biljana Rakočević (National Library). Large quantity of data had been collected on role of these institutions in cultural development, and on level of understanding of theirs staff towards main problems of national, supraregional and local cultural policy.

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National cultural policy – research at the Parliament of the Republic of Serbia - National cultural policy – research at Parliament of Serbia: analysis of the parliamentary debates and documentation about legal projects in cultural field, laws etc (April-June)

The research at the parliament of the Republic of Serbia was completed May 15-25, mostly due to a well organized archives and computer evidence of the agendas of each parliamentary session over the last decade. The documentation includes materials from the parliamentary sessions at which bills relevant for the field of culture were discussed, session short hand notes, budget debates relevant for culture, administrative regulations on jurisdiction and operating of the Culture and Information Board, etc. The reviewed documentation covers the 1989-1994 period, when the Parliament discussed draft laws on culture. After that till 2000, only 5 law proposals and decrees were in the procedure, mostly regarding the budget for culture.

The documentation includes the following:

  1. Case study of Bora Majdanac, Parliament of the Republic of Serbia, 2001;
  2. Regulations of the Parliament of the Republic of Serbia 1989-2002;
  3. Relevant documentation from the parliamentary debates on draft regulations on culture adopted 1989-1994:
    • Debate on the draft of the public affairs law of December 28, 1989;
    • Draft of the law on funds for financing culture of January 25, 1990;
    • Draft of the law on cultural goods – a revised version of January 25, 1990;
    • Decision on the taking over of the rights and obligations of the founder of the Belgrade National Theater of September 27, 1990;
    • Reply to the question of Ljubiša Samardžić M.P. of January 25, 1990 (why TV Belgrade did not make an agreement with the Republican Community of Culture, though it was obliged to do so in accordance with the Cinematography Act;
    • Debate on the draft law on changes and amendments of the Cinematography Act of December 27, 1990;
    • Discussion of the proposal of the operative plan for achievement of the tasks from the program for peace, freedom, equality, democracy and prosperity in Kosovo of March 22, 1990;
    • Discussion of the report on international scientific, educational, cultural and technical cooperation of the Republic of Serbia with the international global and regional organizations of July 19, 1990;
    • Debate on the draft law of the law on changes and amendments of the Law on the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts of December 27, 1990;
    • Discussion of the draft law of the law on changes and amendments of the University Law of December 27, 1990 (this draft is the only document missing in the archives of the Serbian Parliament though it was discussed at the mentioned parliamentary session);
    • Draft of the law on activities of public interest in the domain of culture, June 17, 1992;
    • Draft of the law on cultural goods of December 13, 1994.
  4. Parliamentary debates on the budget in its part related to culture:
    • 1992 budget proposal, December 1991;
    • 1995 budget proposal, December 1994;
    • 2000 budget proposal, December 1999;
    • 2001 budget proposal, March 2001;
    • 2002 budget proposal, December 2001.
Short-hand notes included in our research documentation relate to two parliamentary debates (June 17, 1992 and December 13, 1994) on drafts laws on cultural activities of public interest and cultural goods. The actual Ministry announced new proposals on the same issues to come to the parliamentary procedure by the end of 2002. Therefore, I included in the project documentation both the explanations of the advocates and M.P.s who took part in the public parliamentary discussion in 1992 and 1994. I find it a welcome opportunity to compare arguments of the old and new parliamentary debates on the same issues.

As for the Ministry for Culture reports till 2001, destroyed in the 1999 bombing, they were also missing in the Serbian parliament archives. The detailed examination of the Republican Parliament session agendas, showed that the government submitted only one report to M.P.s on March 25, 1995.

On initiative of one OSCE fellow who works as support for parliament club of Democratic party in Serbian National Assembly, in October 2002. preliminary analysis on material we gathered had been made on request of members of the Board for Culture and Information of National Assembly. Analysis pointed at several problems within the Serbian Assembly range of activity, most of them are related with procedure of long-term plans which had been cancelled in1991. New procedure had not been defined still, in spite of a fact that two years past of democratic changes in Serbia. Field of culture is still regulated with laws from Milosević's time of rule, new versions of law proposals had not been on public debates, and public opinion on that issue is very negative.

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National cultural policy – research at Parliamentary political parties
- National cultural policy – research at parliament political parties: analysis of documentation about cultural policy, public statements of party leaders (April 2002 – February 2003)

Our research of the parliamentary parties activities starts with the interview with the vice-president of the Parliamentary Board for Culture, members to which are representatives of the most of parliamentary political parties. The interview was held on April 25, 2002. and dealt with the possibilities that the parliamentary political parties realize their party programs within the Parliament. We were informed that each M.P. might initiate development of certain legislation proposals regarding culture, but the not one legislation act regarding culture had been made during mandate of new democratic assembly elected in 2002.

The review and analysis of party cultural programs was continued by colecting relevant documentation about activities in the field of culture of the Democratic Party of Serbia, one of the biggest parliamentary parties with a Board of Culture of its own. In the same time this is the only party with explicit document on the cultural policy issue - "Declaration on cultural policy" from October 2001. The research was completed between 7th –15th of May. Research continued in December 2002 with colecting documentation and interviewing the presidents of the Boards of Culture of other relevant parlamentary political parties under the political coalition in power named "Democratic oposition of Serbia". Research continued in that period because of presidential elections in Serbia that took place during second part of the year - for the first round in autumn, and for the second round in December 2002. Second year students of Theater and Radio Production at Faculty of Performing Arts on the course Cultural Policy gathered documentation and interviewed presidents of the Boards of Culture, education and sciense activities of Social democratic party – Ratislav Kambašković, Civil Union of Serbia – Evica Busarac and Democratic party former president Jovan Despotović, who is after the elections 2000. on high position in the Ministry of Culture as assistant Ministar of culture. Other relevant parties at National Assembly who are the oposition for the coalition DOS refused to participate in the research – Socialist party of Serbia because of the party congres preparations and SRS because they have no Board of Culture, but they suggested that all questions concerning cultural policy issue has to be adressed to the party's president, Mr. Vojislav Šešelj (?!). This research led to conclusion that the most of political parties have their resource boards for culture and some kind of activity in the field of culture and arts (mainly in forms of public debates as "Mass culture and new cultural strategy" organized by GSS in June 25th 2002). There are no records of reports from Boards for culture meetings and their statements for public. Parties have no direct impact on decision-making process in Serbian Government or Ministry of Culture (for example protest of DSS for dismissing of director of Serbian Archives in January 2003. published in media, but director was either way dismissed along with several other directors of cultural institutions).

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Non-governmental organization cultural policy – research
- interview with the member of Executive Board involved in culture, analysis of documentation about institutions, programs and projects financed by NGO, interviews with the directors of cultural institutions and projects financed by NGO (November, December 2002)

During non-governmental sector research, Fond for Open Society which is biggest foundation in Serbia, provided us with documentation on financing individuals and programs and with document on management structure of the Fond in Belgrade. We delivered to Sarita Matijević, Funds coordinator for cultural programs, a questionnaire from focus group research, on her demand, because she was not able to come to group interview on October 31 to the Center.

On activities of other NGO-s (Palgo Center, Magna Agenda, G17 Plus) we interviewed team members who participated in large educational projects in the field of Building Capacities of Local Communities (Branimir Stojković, Divna Vuksanović, Ratko Božović, Tatjana Rap and others, among them is author of this research) and they gave us all relevant information and project documentation. Research team realized that 14 cities participated in project of "G17 Plus" during 1999/2000. "Innovative Models of Cultural Policy in Serbian Cities". "Magna Agenda"'s project "Building Capacities of Local Communities" had been realized during 20001/2002 in 40 cities in Serbia. From these two projects we concluded that from one hand they had great impact on more tha 50 cities in Serbia, whish is one-third from total number of towns and cities in Serbia (164 towns and 4 cities), but from the other, they excluded Belgrade. Because of that we have a situation that capacities of local cultural strategy are better in province then in metropolis.

Research continued in October 2002. with interviews on focus groups. One of them was with representatives of NGO-s and professional assotiations of artists. We had an opportunity to talk about role and impact of civil society on cultural development and art production in Serbia with members of NGO-s, groups of artists and freelancers. We interviewed Nemanja Krajčinović - Center for Democracy, Darko Radosavljević – Remont, Divna Jelenković – ULUS, Nela Antonović – MIMART and Vladimir Djurić Djura – Assotiation of Drama Writers. They were more operative then other focus groups and pointed out that part of responsibility to improve cultural policy should be on authorities. They should improve the quality of culture and art by concrete actions and programs.

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Cultural policy of City of Belgrade
– research at City Council - Secretariat for Culture - interview with the member of Executive Board involved in culture, analysis of documentation about institutions and programs financed by City Council (June 2002 – February 2003) -

After research activities on the national level, the project team made preparation for the research activities on the local level. The research starts with collecting data information and documentation relevant for the analyzing of models and instruments of Cultural policy of City of Belgrade.

Open interview with the member of Executive Board of City Council, Mrs. Gorica Mojović was held in Center's premises on October 18th 2002. Vesna Djukić Dojčinović conducted the interview along with postgraduate students of Faculty of Dramatic Arts and University of Arts (Tatjana Bokan, Dragana Martinović and Nikolina Milatović). Interview questions were just slightly modified from the interview we conducted with the Minister of Culture, considering differences between cultural policies on national and city level. Journalists from various medias were present and later published this interview; most respected weekly NIN among them. Complete, original text is displayed in Center's Internet presentation.

Activities on gathering written materials resulted with a great amount of various documents of Secretariat for Culture of Belgrade City Council (programs and reports) and City Council (working papers and budgets for 1994, 2000. and 2001.). Center for study in cultural development made formal request to Mr. Nebojsa Peruničić, City Council Secretary, for stenographic notes from Council and Executive Board meetings when the budget for 1995. and 2001. was considered. By now, no one answered to our request. In the meantime, we spoke with City Secretary for Finances, Tišma Mirko about direct procedures of creating budget for culture. Meeting was held on November 4th 2002. So, research team could not obtain stenographs from City council and Executive Board sessions when budget was main issue. It decreased ability to compare Republic and City procedures on budget policy, we obtained stenographs of republic sessions concerning budget.

Based on colected informationas and existing documents research fellows of the Center for study in cultural development as research team members wrote five report focusing the key issues of cultural policy. Reports had been written by: Biljana Jokić – independent researcher, Dragana Martinović – associate researcher, Tatjana Petrović – Secretary of Center, Tatjana Bokan- head of research department and project leader and Maja Mitrović - head of INDOK department. Reports were sent for final expertise to dr Milena Dragičević Šešić, dr Branimir Stojković, dr Divna Vuksanović and dr Sreten Vujović. Report's introduction was written by author of the project, dr Vesna Djukić Dojčinović. Project final analysis led to conclusion that Belgrade cultural policy is faced with a number of problems and strategic dilemmas typical for modern societies. These dilemmas cause transitional confusion of cultural policy actors. This state of confusion in the first phase of transition process generates seven main problems:

  • lack of mechanisms for active participation of public in decision-making process in cultural development of the city,
  • domination of state model despite of public efforts to inaugurate Para state model of cultural policy,
  • undeveloped partnership between city and municipal authorities,
  • insufficiently defined strategic goals of cultural policy,
  • cultural tourism is not strategically developed,
  • insufficiently defined criteria of employment policy
  • insufficiently defined relations between culture and media.
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Public opinion research
- interview with the focus groups, public opinion survay (October - November 2002) -

Five focus groups had been interviewed in Belgrade during October and November 2002. on key issues of cultural policy. Main goal was to make on assessment on actual situation in cultural policy, to compare it with situation in other countries and with situation of previous authorities (until September 2000). Participants were asked for their opinion on cultural policy instruments – strategic planning, financing, legislative acts, employment structure. We asked of them to make an assessment on activities and efficiency of authorities in culture field, to define potentials and strategies of development in cultural policy, both on Belgrade and Republic Serbia level. We interviewed 36 persons - members of the following focus groups: decision-makers on republic, city and municipality level; directors, managers and organizers of programs in city cultural institutions; freelance artists and non-governmental organizations; media and companies (those who sponsored culture and art production). Interview invitation was answered by representatives of Ministry of Culture (5 were invited, 5 participated), representatives of Belgrade municipalities (10 invited 10 answered); national and local cultural institutions (11 invited, 9 came), freelance artists and NGO-s (invited 9, participated 5), just a few representatives of tourist organizations, media, and companies participated (13 were invited, 3 answered). Representatives of City Council Secretariat for Culture didn’t come at all.We concluded that this kind of meetings are very rare, on the level of governing institutions as well as in cultural institutions, there are no debating meetings on cultural issues. Focus groups representatives were surprised and thrilled in a way, for the opportunity to get together and express their points of view and propositions. Mutual feeling is that phenomenon of sitting in one place, together, is a big and important step towards improvement in field of culture. They all agree that this research mission will be fulfilled only if City Council and Ministry of Culture show their interest for it.

During December research team members - students of Faculty of Dramatic Arts and Faculty of Musical Arts, conducted a public opinion survey on 240 Belgrade citizens. Biljana Jokić, member of research team of the Center created methodology and processed material for this research phase. Survey questions were about City Council and Ministry of Culture strategy on cultural policy, we requested an assessment of that strategy as well as opinion on difference between of today˘s government making and previous one in a matter of cultural policy. Result analysis showed no difference between assessments of Ministry of Culture cultural policy and the one City Council is conducting (most of them thinks that these goals are only partially defined – both on national and city level although today's government cares more for culture issues then the previous). Obviously, criteria of citizen's orientation for assessments they had made is not an existence of aims and cultural policy goals, but perhaps donations for culture productions, number of cultural events, visits of artists from abroad, or something else.

Collecting and analyzing the other relevant research projects and documentation connected with the issue of cultural policy (January 2002-March 2003)

To fulfill the objectives of this project we used material of other research project of the Center for Study in Cultural Development:

Thanks to material exchange with other research institutions, researchers and experts, we gathered and analyzed documentation on transitional cultural policies instruments of european countries: legislative documentation (Legal Possibilities for Functioning of the Non-profit Sector in Slovenia; Law in transition - A reformer’s lessons learned, The case of the Slovak Republic, Regional Culture Development Program - Lithuania), on Cultural Policy models (projects Decentralization in Cultural Policies in Romania – Oana Radu, Cultural Sector in Integral Socio-economical and Political Life of Bulgaria – Yuliya Krusashka-Misheva) and many other documents.

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Reading the literature
(January 2002-March 2003)

Used literature consists of over 50 references written on cultural policy issues, published in Serbian, English and French (see readings, no 5).

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Developing research and policy papers
(January-March 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). Research paper will analyze pretransitional and transitional period before and after latest federal and republic election (1989-2001), with focus on one year transitional expirience and results of new cultural policy in Serbia concerning the model of cultural policy – the role of the state, policy represents, leaders and actors on national and local levels, as wel as instruments – legislative, financial and others. Policy paper is aimed to identify the problem that require action which is for shure building capacities for the reform in the field of culture as well to propose course of action which will lead to the designing of the program and strategy of cultural development and to introductioning of a new model of functioning of the Ministry of culture and information and Belgrade City Council's Secretariat for culture.

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Designing the contents of the book "Cultural policy of Serbia" (January-March 2003)

When the project is done, book will be prepared for publisher. It will consist three parts. First part will be about past cultural policies on Serbian territory during XX century, including pre-transitional period before and after elections in 2000. Second part will analyze one-year transitional experience of Serbian cultural policy, models and instruments on local and national level. Third part will be on reform strategies and reformative steps that should be made in next ten years to conclude reform of traditional cultural system. Book is planned to be published in second half of the year 2003.

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