Melinda Harlov: Cultural policy and coherent system of cultural institutions would facilitate the Europeanization process of the country as well as strengthen national identity. It is important to conduct a survey on the current situation…
© Melinda Harlov
PhD candidate, Atelier Department of European Social Sciences and Historiography, Eötvös Loránd University
Cultural policy and coherent system of cultural institutions would facilitate the Europeanization process of the country as well as strengthen national identity. It is important to conduct a survey on the current situation, to use SWOT analysis, to consider both UNESCO and EU initiatives and aims in cultural policy as well as to study other countries’ experiences.
For finding suitable and successful steps for cultural heritage management that also enhances Europeanization, relevant recommendations and documents of European Council, UNESCO and the Compendium report have been thoroughly examined. Such endeavor aims at decoding the basic values and trends for their further implementation not as best practices only but also as motivator factors. In order to understand these values and trends as well as to find out optimal tools for their adaption and applying, positive cases and specific Hungarian examples are researched. An important note should be taken here that the following findings are based on examination of strictly cultural heritage management and exclusively Hungarian case studies for comparisons. Accordingly, further investigation is needed for the fulfillment of an overall research.
Compendium report about Ukraine  says that the Law of Ukraine on Culture (2011) defines culture as “a complex of material and spiritual achievements of a certain human community (ethnos, nation)”. To a certain extent, such definition confuses the understanding of multinational or transnational culture. Both for UNESCO and the European Council cultural diversity as well as diversity of expression are highly important. With this aim, the mentioned institutions have established and/or supported relevant projects. Among them, there are the following initiatives: the Integrated Rehabilitation Project Plan/Survey of the Architectural and Archaeological Heritage (IRPP/SAAH), Eastern Partnership programs, International Network on Cultural Diversity. Such transnational projects facilitate connections for further realization of joint projects that would enforce partnership and network for the local community and the national institutions.
In Hungary, the conscious acknowledgement and involvement of minority’s heritage into the national discourse serve this aim. For example, the first Hungarian World Heritage site Hollókő is a village of a minority community the Palócz’s in the northeastern part of the country. Similarly, the Busó Carneval – UNESCO acknowledged intangible cultural heritage – is originally the winter-closing ceremony of the Catholic Croatian minority, who came and settled down in today’s Hungary in 17th century.
Source of the picture: http://www.itthon.eoldal.hu/cikkek/termeszetvedelem/holloko.html
According to the Compendium report about the Law of Ukraine on Culture (2011), the strong emphasis on “encouraging a Ukrainian character in the modern entertainment industry” might threaten the artistic freedom in the country. For the international institutions, culture is a tool for freedom and human rights hence for democracy, which is expressed among the others in the Faro Convention in 2005 . As primary tools, participatory actions and community-led heritage management are named not only for ensuring the democratic aspect of heritage management but also for strengthening the civil society and the local community. All representatives of the society, including civil society, governing members, scholars and for-profit community should be involved in every step of cultural projects; including the heritagization as well; otherwise the success and fulfillment of the given project can be threatened.
That happened in case of Fertő Cultural Landscape, a national park, later world heritage site at the border of Hungary and Austria, when the local community expressed strong concerns after the accepted and ratified nomination, because they were not aware of the consequences of such nomination. Long and intensive meetings and arrangements had to be held to solve the tension after the nomination, which heavily slowed down the natural flow of positive inherent changes.
Compendium report includes data about continuous and rapid decreasing amount of employees in the cultural sector of Ukraine and they are named as possible difficulties as well . It implies the lack of integration of culture to sustainable strategies. In order to monitor, analyze and react to – most of the time – global changes and to keep the sustainability of a cultural sector, it is necessary to have a sufficient, continuously updated, reliable, relevant, comprehensive data collection as well as lively and mutually fruitful connections with partners in the same field. Accordingly, joining initiatives like the International Network on Cultural Policy (INCP), the Joint Programming Initiative on Cultural Heritage (JPI CH) or the European Cultural Index (ECI) would be highly beneficial for local, regional and national organizations. Concurrently Hungary is also facing the sustainability of the cultural sector, but attempts to connect it with tourism and educating the next generation within a combined cultural and economic dual program might solve this obstacle.
Even though there is an increasing interest to ensure the availability and spreading of diverse forms of Ukrainian culture within the country and among various communities of the society, the two-dimensional interaction with the international actors, institutions and trends seems to remain low. It would be necessary to pay more attention to the distribution of the global cultural achievements in Ukraine as well as to promote the Ukrainian national cultural product to the European and global cultural space. A balanced flow of cultural goods and services and the increasing free movement of artists and cultural professionals are the expressed goals of cultural institutions worldwide. For these aims international events, conferences and initiatives have been initiated, for instance the European Capital project, the European Heritage Day or the European Nostra price. By joining these initiatives, both mobility and the value chain of creation, production, distribution, dissemination and access can be ensured and strengthened.
In Hungary participation in cultural events, e.g. a show in the Hungarian State Opera, can be visited with a package deal that contains a reduced travel ticket between the home city and the location of the cultural event. By decreasing the costs of the travel, audience living far from the location of the cultural events or having financial difficulties can be involved too that ensures the flow of culture and the audience within the country. Museums tend to organize an increasing amount of temporary exhibitions that combine national movements or artists with international counter parts that ensures the national-international cultural flow.
According to the source of the Parliament Committee on Culture both the state budget and the cultural budget expenses in Ukraine were lower in 2015 than in 2010. Besides the authority over formulating cultural policies is not fixed or stable . Similar to other areas successful and prosperous cultural policy has the prerequisite of consistency in institution and support system. A negative end-result might be the over-administrated processes and the loss of actual professional network and cooperation with other sectors. To ensure the improvement and success of cultural policy, according to the international institutions’ recommendations and successful cases of other countries’ experiences defining shared problems can be the first step for the solution. After defining shared problems not just diverse actors would unite their efforts to find a solution but also diverse indicators could be taken into account and the most suitable decision and policy making process can be found. Shared problems of diverse actors of the society (for instance, locals, professionals, policy makers, NGOs) can also generate comparative information and can unite their budgets, donors, supporters, sources to reach the best and most sustainable solution. In order to establish an equal partnership in shared problem solving cases it is also necessary to implement transparent, self-respective, scholarly methods of monitoring and evaluating the diverse aspects. Quite often shared problems lead to very complex cases that seem to be unsolvable; accordingly, it is important to look for similar case studies and form decisions or policies based on those experiences and evidences. For indicating best practices, similar cases should be monitored, for instance in the International Journal of Cultural Policy, Culturlink or by participating in international comparative projects such as the European program “Cultural Heritage Counts for Europe”. Hungary used to have a well-structured system of monument protection at the local, regional and national levels, with a separate institution dedicated to the capital, Budapest. This structure is under reconstruction at the moment to better serve the international norms and requirements, as well as to fulfill the contemporary tasks and to meet the new challenges.
There is no clear definition of cultural industries in the Ukrainian policies. The education or institutional background for cultural industries are not offered either . Nowadays, when cultural and creative industries gain a significant attention, it is essential to reach improvement in this field. It could also lead to urban regeneration, local and regional economic and social standard growth. For this aim, EU established its structural funds for the period of 2014-2020; there is also a separate program entitled Creative Europe program for the same time frame and with the similar aim. It clearly shows the interest of the international committees in the mentioned issue.
Hungary has launched initiatives in this regard. For example, at the Information Faculty of the Eötvös Loránd University there is an international program that combines for-profit organizations and scientific research, supporting start-ups as a type of hub. It would lead to creative industries and also promote the cooperation with cultural industrial factors. The Institute for Social and European Studies Foundation formulated an urban regeneration program called KRAFT. It aims at improving life standards in small or medium-sized regional settlements via the implementation of cultural industries. On a smaller level, established cultural institutions adopt new technologies to make their values and research available for broader audience (via digitalization for instance).
After the analysis, there are two main recommendations that should be adapted at all levels and in every step to ensure the success of each cultural project and to facilitate Europeanization via cultural policy and institutions in Ukraine. Firstly, European-level cultural policies and goals should be monitored in terms of their adaptability. For the same reason participation in the discussions or formation of these policies and goals are essential tools for policy makers, scholars and practitioners. Along these lines, the second major recommendation is to aim always and at all level at participatory actions from the planning to the realization of cultural projects. The outstanding Hungarian philosopher, Tibor Hanák said that “Europe is not a geographical phenomenon, [and] one cannot be European by insisting or declaring him or herself, but being European means values, ideals and principles” . He stated all these nouns in plural as diversity, plausibility are key characters besides humanism based on his understanding of Europeanism. Accordingly, the justification of the existence of these values within the whole society and territory of Ukraine would foster the Europeanization process.
Sample of bibliography:
1. Source: http://www.culturalpolicies.net/web/ukraine.php
2. The full text can be found:
3. In December 2013, a total of 240 700 persons were employed in the public cultural, leisure, and sports sector compared with 243 000 in 2012, 252 000 in 2011 and 262 000 in 2010. Source: http://www.culturalpolicies.net/web/ukraine.php?aid=429
4. Source: http://www.culturalpolicies.net/web/ukraine.php?aid=61
5. Source: http://www.culturalpolicies.net/web/ukraine.php?aid=423
6. Tibor Hanák. About Europe. With open eyes. Radio speech, 20 October, 1985.
7. Challenges and Priorities for Cultural Heritage in Europe: Results of an Expert Consultation (European Expert Network On Culture (EENC), 2013)
8. Christopher Gordon: European Perspectives on Cultural Policy (UNESCO, 2001)
9. Compendium: Cultural Policy Profile of Ukraine (2015)
10. Convention on the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions (UNESCO, 2005)
11. Council of Europe: Framework Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society (2005)
12. Evangelia Psychogiopoulou (ed.): Cultural Governance and the European Union: Protecting and Promoting Cultural Diversity in Europe (Palgrave, 2015)
13. Intergovernmental Conferences on Institutional, Administrative and Financial Aspects of Cultural Policies (UNESCO, 1970-1982)
14. Marietje Schaake: Cultural diplomacy: To sell European culture and values globally (European Parliament, 2010)
15. Preserving our heritage, improving our environment – 20 years of EU research into cultural heritage (DG Research, 2009)
16. Study on the impact of the EU Prizes for culture (ECORYS for the European Commission, 2013)
17. Towards an integrated approach to cultural heritage for Europe European Commission, 2014)
18. Treaty of Maastricht (EU, 1992)