Strengthening the presence of Croatian art and culture in the world
The main goal of the measure "Strengthening the presence of Croatian art and culture in the world" is to promote bilateral and multilateral international cultural cooperation, in all areas of culture and in all cultural aspects, and especially the cooperation with the European Union and UNESCO. The mentioned goal is set out in the Constitutional provision on the freedom of cultural and artistic creativity and expression (1990) and the Act on financing of public needs in culture (1990 and 1993). After drafting the National Report as part of the European National Cultural Policy Review Programme in 1998, the Republic of Croatia adopted, in 2002, a long-term strategic document "Croatia in the 21st century" - Strategy for Cultural Development, in which the 'promotion of cultural cooperation as developing, multi-sector and multimedia activity with different countries and cultural fields" is emphasized as the main goal of international cultural cooperation. Such a goal implied a break away from a traditional approach to the concept of cultural cooperation based on the exchange, and towards a new approach which applied to a wider development context. Since 2009, the Ministry of Culture, as the competent authority for national cultural policy, has been developing its own three-year strategic plan which defines the mentioned goal of strengthening the presence of Croatian art and culture in the world.
The measure Strengthening the presence of Croatian art and culture in the world is carried out through four specific activities in the strategic which the Ministry of Culture is responsible for:
- Croatian Commission for UNESCO - ln coordination with ministries, governmental and non-governmental organizations, the Croatian Commission participates in standardization activities of UNESCO, supports long-term initiatives and projects of national, regional and international significance, and identifies areas in Croatia with extensive knowledge which can be formalized within special initiatives and projects through UNESCO. The Programme area of culture is promoted by encouraging contemporary artistic creativity, issues relating to cultural policy, development of cultural industries and networks for gathering information in the field of culture and cultural management, cultural development and pluralism, cultural diversity, intercultural dialogue, copyrights and status of artists.
- Strengthening of active international cultural cooperation with the European Union as part of the programme "Culture 2007 -2013" - The activity includes stronger promotion of programmes to potential users, technical and financial assistance for projects which have been supported by the EU, cooperation with project partners and cultural contact points of the programme member countries as well as the European Commission and the Executive Agency in Brussels. ln addition, the Cultural Contact Point (CCP) has been established and hosted by the Ministry of Culture. ln 2009 Croatia drew 1.71 times more funding than membership paid; 25 Croatian projects were co-financed through the Culture programme (visual arts, exhibitions, dance and theatre performances, festivals, design, heritage preservation, etc.), and works of 18 Croatian authors have been translated into 9 languages. ln 2010 this amount increased substantially - Croatia drew 6.45 times more funding than membership paid. For the period prior to the accession of Croatia to the EU, programmes for new funds of the European Union were being prepared. With respect to the ratification of the Accession Treaty to the European Union, presentation of Croatian contemporary art was intensified as well as the promotion of cultural heritage in EU countries. Cultural tourism was promoted and encouraged as an export product.
- Bilateral cultural cooperation agreements and programmes - Concluded bilateral cultural cooperation agreements and programmes ensure a broader promotion of Croatian culture in other countries as well as promotion of culture of other countries in Croatia; encouraging the development of direct and continuous cooperation and exchange between organizations and associations, artists and experts in all fields of culture and art; translations and publications of literary works, presentations of films and artistic exhibitions, visits of theatre, dance and music artists, participation at book fairs and other international cultural events and gatherings. The government continues signing bilateral agreements and programmes of cultural cooperation; so far 48 bilateral agreements and 25 bilateral programmes have been signed. lt is important to stress that the majority of projects financially supported by the Ministry of Culture are not based on the traditional form of "government to government cooperation" but on direct contacts between artists and arts and cultural organisations.
- Multilateral cultural cooperation - The activity includes support for the participation of artists and cultural professionals in multilateral programmes promoting development of intercultural dialogue and cultural diversity in the scope of international organisations and associations as well as non-governmental organizations; intensifying programmes of cooperation as part of regional initiatives and associations, along with emphasizing specific features of Croatia as a central European and Mediterranean country. Strengthening cultural cooperation within the region of South Eastern Europe is one of the priorities of international cultural cooperation. Such cooperation is based on existing links between artists and art managers; bilateral and regional programmes of cooperation; cooperation within the framework of international organisations such as UNESCO or the Council of Europe; cooperation within regional organisations such as the Council of Ministers of Culture of South East Europe (the Charter, signed in Copenhagen on 31 March 2005), the network of ministers responsible for cultural heritage sponsored by UNESCO, the Danube Region, the Alps Adriatic Working Community, the Central European Initiative, the Quadrilateral Initiative, the Adrianlonian Initiative, etc. The projects include post-war reconstruction, the restitution of stolen cultural assets, support for mobility, and cooperation in the field of policy-making, cultural itineraries, networking among youth, etc. Croatia held the presidency of the Council of Ministers of Culture of South-East Europe in 2007-2008. Some important multilateral co-operation projects, coordinated or supported by the Ministry of Culture, include:
- the Regional Programme for Cultural and Natural Heritage in South East Europe (RPSEE), a joint activity of the Council of Europe and South-eastern European governments;
- Vukovar-Vucedol-llok: Research, Reconstruction, Revitalisation (Ministry of Culture/ Council of Europe Development Bank);
- Cooperation within the Adriatic lonian Basin (Project on Cultural Routes);
- Cooperation within the Alps-Adriatic Working Community;
- participation in the TRADUKI Network - European Network for the Promotion of Literature and Books; and
- participation in the Roberto Cimetta Fund dedicated to mobility of artists and cultural managers.
The interest of cultural operators and artists for participation in various international networks is ever growing and ever more visible. Several Croatian theatres are members of the European Theatre Convention. Croatian artists participated in platforms and networks supported by the Culture programme (i.e. Triathlon Network, project SEAS, Gemine Muse, EuMCAT, TRANSART, etc.). Croatian cultural institutions, NGOs, experts and centres 1 sections (Croatian national committee ICOM, Croatian sections of AICA, UNIMA, ASSITEJ , IDEA, DACI, C.I.O.F.F., Croatian centre PEN, ITI etc.) are active participants of international NGOs in the field of culture and arts. Following the election of the Croatian delegate as the Secretary General of ASSITEJ International in 2008, Zagreb became the headquarters of ASSITEJ International, an important organisation promoting the work of theatre for children and youth. The Centre for Dramatic Art (CDU) was the organiser of the 15th Performance Studies International Conference in Zagreb in June 2009. While it is still difficult to obtain extra-budgetary funds for cultural cooperation projects and networking in Croatia, financial support is mostly provided by the Ministry of Culture and local communities. Much effort is being invested in support for cross-border co-operation projects, both by the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports. Initiatives are usually carried out by NGOs which apply for government funding. Co-operation programmes include joint education programmes, co-operation in promoting common heritage, student camps etc. The Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) was officially launched at the meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) in Sofia, on 27 February 2008, as the successor to the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe. The RCC Secretariat is situated in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The RCC Board decided on the establishment of the RCC Task Force on Culture and Society during 2010. The meeting held in Cetinje, Montenegro, on 22-25 June 2011 marks the formai establishment of the RCC Task Force on Culture and Society and the opening of the Task Force Secretariat in Cetinje.
- lnstitute for Development of International Relations/Culturelink has been editing books and studies as follows:
- UNESCO's Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions: Making lt Work. Edited by Nina Obuljen and Joost Smiers (2007, 402 pp.) : The purpose of this book was to invigorate and inform citizens of all countries who respect democratie principles and human rights. The book provides the history behind the adoption of the Convention, analyses its legal value and potential impact, and tries to envisage the most appropriate strategies for its effective implementation. The book is devoted to civil society, artists, civil servants and politicians in their struggle to make the Convention work. An international team of experts from South Africa, Canada, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Denmark, Lebanon, France, Mexico, South Korea, the Netherlands and Croatia contributed to this book distributed world-wide.
- Dynamics of Communication: New Ways and New Actors. Edited by Biserka Cvjeticanin (2007, 414 pp.) : The purpose of this book was to analyse the increasingly rapid and important changes introduced by and developed through the globalization processes in the field of culture. New ways and new actors of global communication are examined in this book, as well as cultural diversity, with a view to the Convention (i.e. the articles of Christophe Germann -'Cultural Treatment' and 'Most-Favoured-Culture' to Promote Cultural Diversity vis-à-vis International Trade Regulations, and Joost Smiers - The Need for a Global Cultural Movement). The book presents the contributions of 50 experts from Europe, Asia, Africa, the Americas and Australia, representing different international and national associations, universities, cultural institutions, and other organizations.
- UNESCO's Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions: Article 19 - Exchange, Analysis and Dissemination of Information. Study authored by Biserka Cvjeticanin, Aleksandra Uzelac and Ana Zuvela, and commissioned by the UNESCO Secretariat (CE/09/3.IGC/211/UNF.7, 2009, 13 pp.)The exchange, analysis and dissemination of information is a prerequisite to a successful implementation of the overall Convention goals and aims. Cultural networks can be useful vehicles of implementation of Article 19, in order to provide the States Parties with information about policies, funding criteria and data on the principles of protecting and promoting cultural expressions, as well as of distinguishing the real needs and methodologies of preserving, maintaining and supporting cultural expressions in all their diversity.
- Networks: The Evolving Aspects of Culture in the 21st Century. Edited by Biserka Cvjeticanin (2011 , 282 pp.) - The purpose of this book was to examine the role and relevance that cultural networks have in cultural development and cultural cooperation in the 21st century. Special consideration was given to the position of cultural networks within cultural policy structures, to the effective usage of innovative ICTs and to the potential of networks for intercultural dialogue. The book stresses that the Convention encourages cultural interaction and establishes innovative approaches to international cooperation. Researchers from Spain, USA, Belgium, Portugal, France, Uruguay, Australia, South Africa, South Korea, Mozambique, Hungary, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Argentina and Croatia contributed to this book.
- Svob-Dokic, Nada and A. Milohnic (eds.) (2011), Cultural Transition in Southeastern Europe. Cultural ldentity Politics in the (Post)Transitional Societies, Culturelink Joint Publications Series,Zagreb: lnstitute for Development of International Relations
- Svob-Dokic, Nada (ed.) (2010), Kultura/Multikultura, Zagreb: Naklada Jesenski i Turk, Hrvatsko sociolosko drustvo/Croatian Sociological Society
- Jelincic, Daniela Angelina, Gulisija, Dean a, Bekic, Janko (2010). Kultura, turizam, interkulturalizam. Zagreb: Meandarmedia/lnstitutu za medjunarodne odnose.
Articles - The main challenges of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions and its implementation, by Biserka Cvjeticanin. Economia della Cultura, Roma, no.3/2008, pp. 343-354 - The article deals with challenges and expectations of the Convention. The Convention, in every single one of its articles, presents challenges for all countries of the world - developed and developing alike. One of the main challenges is encouraging the key role of civil society in shearing and evaluating the Convention. The Convention advocates new forms of cooperation and innovative partnerships, which requires the formulation of new cultural policies and development strategies of international cooperation. The recognition of the distinctive nature of culture is one of the most valuable aspects of the Convention. The implementation of the Convention is a long-term process, and its expectations may be realized only progressively. Numerous articles by IMO researchers and ether experts on the Convention were published in Croatian printed and electronic media. For the programs and projects under the above mentioned activities, the Ministry of Culture publishes an annual Call for proposais for programs of public needs in culture in the Republic of Croatia to which independent artists, arts organizations, cultural institutions, legal and natural persons engaged in culture on the territory of the Republic of Croatia, citizens, associations and local and regional self-government units can apply. Submitted annual proposais are autonomously reviewed by competent arts councils for specifie cultural and artistic areas based on general and specifie programme evaluation criteria and are proposed to the Minister of Culture for approval. Each year, on average 1,200 programs apply out of which about 600 are approved with the amou nt of 10 to 12 million Kuna. All areas of cultural and artistic expression and activity are encompassed and the largest number, by regions, refers to the European Union and other European countries.