Parliament passes 2022-2029 culture programme resolution

Ljubljana – The parliament passed the resolution on the 2022-2029 national culture programme on Tuesday. The coalition expressed its support for the strategic document, which comes after the last of its kind in 2017, while the centre-left opposition was against it, saying it does not offer solutions to address the status quo in this field.

The aim of the government-sponsored proposal, which was endorsed in a 46:37 vote, is to establish Slovenian culture as an important social factor and as a value that enables creative potential, while at the same time developing respect for the achievements of the Slovenian nation, Culture Ministry State Secretary Ignacija Fridl Jarc told the MPs.

The draft was prepared by the ministry during the terms of previous Culture Minister Zoran Poznić and current Minister Vasko Simoniti, who took over in March 2020.

The state secretary said that most of the comments from the public consultation on the document had been taken into account, and that some of them would be included in the action plan that would follow the adoption of the resolution. Specific actions and their price tags will be set out there as well.

The proposal was endorsed by the parliamentary Culture Committee last week after opposition members argued that it needed further coordination because it cut back on the self-employed in culture and NGOs and put more emphasis on cultural institutions.

The coalition MPs continue to stand firmly behind the proposal. Mojca Žnidarič from Concretely said during today’s reading that the strategy would help Slovenian culture maintain its diversity and visibility beyond its borders, and Alenka Jeraj from the Democrats (SDS) believes it would outline the development of culture in all its segments for the next decade.

The centre-left opposition meanwhile pointed to what they see as the draft’s shortcomings with Lidija Divjak Mirnik from the Marjan Šarec Party (LMŠ) saying that the umbrella document in culture should be reconsidered with the help of experts.

According to Primož Siter from the Left, key stakeholders in culture have not been included in the draft, and Branislav Rajić from the Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB) is concerned that the government will allow itself a lot of room for manoeuvre in deciding what will be funded in culture when it adopts the action plan.

In what was a win for the opposition, a SocDems-sponsored amendment to invest EUR 20.7 million in UNESCO World Heritage Sites and European Heritage Label holders until 2029 was endorsed in a narrow vote with 40 MPs voting in favour and 39 against.

According to Fridl Jarc, the inclusion of such a list may mean that the funding of these facilities is given priority to the financing of some others.

Meanwhile the cultural NGO Asociacija expressed concern recently over what it sees as the ministry’s conservative prism in relation to culture and neglecting of NGOs. Its head Inga Remeta believes this is reflected in several adopted documents, including the national culture programme.