Report creation date: 14.10.2008 - 11:44
Countr(y/ies): Slovakia
Chapter(s): 1,2,21,22,23,24,241,242,243,244,245,246,3,31,32,33,4,41,42,421,422,423,424,425,426,427,428,429,4210,43,5,51,511,512,513,514,515,516,517,518,519,52,53,531,532,533,534,535,536,537,538,539,5310,6,61,62,63,64,7,71,72,73,8,81,811,812,813,82,821,822,83,831,832,84,841,842,9,91,92

Slovakia/ 1. Historical perspective: cultural policies and instruments

In the course of the twentieth century, Slovakia underwent a number of fundamental social and political changes. These changes always had a strong influence on the cultural development and the cultural policy in force in the territory of Slovakia. After the fall of the multi-ethnic Austro-Hungarian monarchy at the end of the First World War, Slovaks had the opportunity to become a state-forming nation. The establishment of the first Czechoslovak Republic on 28 October 1918 created the conditions for the existence of Slovakia in a historically new social and political context. Slovak political leaders approved the Czechoslovak state at the meeting of the Slovak National Council, which adopted the Declaration of the Slovak Nation on 30 October 1918.Bratislava Old Town

The creation of Czechoslovakia was the first time in history that international recognition was given to Slovakia's borders and its capital city - Bratislava. Slovak became the official language of the state, education and the church on the territory of Slovakia. At this time, there was also great development in the institutional base and the value of Slovak culture, art and education - the first Slovak university (Comenius University in Bratislava) was established in 1919; in 1920 the Slovak National Theatre was established; there was also development in Slovak museums (the Slovak Museum was established in Bratislava in 1924) and a number of cultural, artistic and public education societies were established. The largest of them, the Matica Slovenská (Slovak Matica or cultural society), first established during the Slovak national revival in the nineteenth century (1863), renewed its cultural and education activities in 1919 and began the collection of a national library. From the beginning of its existence as a state, Slovakia had to address the issue of its Hungarian minority and their culture. Slovakia was the significantly less economically developed part of the new state and the Slovak economy returned to pre-war production levels only in 1937. Czechoslovakia managed to retain a democratic form of government. Its weakness was the unitary character of the state and the constitutionally-enshrined concept of a unified Czechoslovak nation. This political and cultural concept provoked several nationally-oriented political parties to seek to establish an autonomous status for Slovakia within the common state.

After the international political re-drawing of Czechoslovakia's borders (the Munich Agreement), Slovakia declared its autonomy in October 1938. The Vienna arbitration of 2 November 1938 re-drew the borders of Slovakia and Carpathian Ruthenia in favour of the Kingdom of Hungary. Thereafter, on 14 March 1939, the first independent Slovak Republic was established, albeit strongly dependent on Nazi Germany in both domestic and foreign policy. The nation state based its cultural policy on the national and revivalist trends of the nineteenth century. It emphasised the national dimension of culture and its role as a tool in creating and strengthening national and state identity. The wartime economic boom encouraged the development of the economy and allowed new cultural, scientific and educational institutions to be established. On 1 May 1941, the Slovak National Library was established as a part of the Matica Slovenská. On 2 July 1942, the Slovak parliament voted to establish the Slovak Academy of Sciences and Arts. The media were also developed in accordance with state propaganda - on 16 June 1939, Slovenský Rozhlas (Slovak Radio) was established as a separate broadcaster. The state encouraged the development of film production in Slovakia - on 7 November 1939, the Nástup corporation was established to produce, distribute and develop films. The cultural policy of the independent wartime state was influenced by national ideology and state propaganda, which largely defined the values of Slovak culture in this period.

A counterweight to the official state ideology was the anti-fascist resistance undertaken both within Slovakia and abroad during the Second World War. It led to the restoration of Czechoslovakia after the war as a common state with a parliamentary democracy and an equal social and political status for Slovaks. The Communist Party obtained a strong political position thanks to its role in the resistance and its relationship with the Soviet Union. The decisions of the great powers, after the Second World War, placed Czechoslovakia in the Soviet sphere of influence. The parliamentary elections of 1946 were won by the Communists in the Czech lands and the Democratic Party in Slovakia. Such political differences could not be sustained for long in the post-war environment. The Communist Party gradually radicalised the political scene and staged a coup to seize power in February 1948. The new political regime gradually liquidated civil rights, its political opponents and independent institutions. Czechoslovakia became dependent on the Soviet Union in both its foreign and internal policies. Private ownership of businesses and services in all sectors of the economy and agriculture was terminated. At this time, the basic organisational infrastructure of education and culture in Slovakia was completed. New national cultural institutions were established - the Slovak National Gallery (1948), the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra (1949) and the Slovak Monuments Board (1951). Film studios were gradually established in Bratislava from the 1950s onwards. Arts education also began to develop - in 1949, legislation established two arts academies in Bratislava (the Academy of Music and the Performing Arts, the Academy of Fine Arts) and a network of elementary art schools was gradually developed. Later, the Faculty of Arts of Comenius University undertook research and began to offer education in the theory and history of culture.

During the socialist period, 1948-1989, cultural policy in Czechoslovakia was based mainly on the use of culture as an ideological instrument. The implementation of cultural policy and policy instruments was determined by official government ideology and its need for propaganda. Censorship was applied and selected cultural values were enforced. The management of cultural activities, organisations and professional associations was controlled by the state and the bodies of the Communist Party. The highest authority of the state administration with responsibility for culture was the Ministry with responsibility for Slovakia. Like every other area (ministry) of state administration, culture had a political counterpart or "supervisor" in the corresponding department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party. Initially, the state administration managed culture in combination with other areas (schools, public education). An independent Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Socialist Republic was established in 1969. At the lower levels of the state administration, culture was the responsibility of the national commissions (local authorities of state administration). The Communist Party ascribed an important role to culture in the development of the "new society and person". The regime gave a special status to the audiovisual media (radio, television, film), traditional folk culture (with the establishment of many folklore groups and events) and public education activities (amateur organisations as an instrument for increasing the availability of culture to broad layers of the population). The national dimension of culture and cultural identity was suppressed and emphasis was placed on socialist internationalism, uniformity in the opinions and values of cultural expression and the educational function of culture. A positive consequence of the communist thesis of bringing culture to the masses was the development of a network of basic art schools, which remains even today an exceptional instrument of cultural policy in the area of arts education and cultural activities for young people.

The main instruments controlling the cultural policy of the socialist state were the resolutions and programming documents of the individual bodies of the Communist Party. Cultural policy was implemented by cultural organisations, leagues and associations controlled by communist censorship. Foreign cooperation in the area of culture focussed almost exclusively on countries in the socialist block or mainly left-oriented cultural expression in Western countries. Freedom of expression in art was suppressed, deforming the evolution of values in culture and its constituent disciplines. The result was an imbalance between the development of the cultural infrastructure and the growth in the state's investment in culture on the one hand, and the censorship and restriction of diversity in cultural values on the other.

The pressure of the ideological limitations led to the creation of various informal cultural associations and unofficial cultural activity. Cultural dissent was much less influential in Slovak society than in Czech lands, where communist repression was much more intensive after the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1968. Informal "alternative" cultural, social and political activities took place on the platform of associations for the protection of nature and landscape, cultural communities and independent art groups or within Christian fellowships. The significance of such activities was mainly the preservation of contact between Slovak cultural and artistic activities and the international (especially Western) cultural context and the creation and presentation of alternative cultural and artistic values.

The fall of the communist dictatorship in 1989 introduced new principles to the functioning of society. In the new social order, the first priority was to establish democratic political structures and state authorities, the transformation of the economy and legislation. In the new democracy, culture was to become an identifier of value that would balance economic and social development. The new status of culture was due to the active participation of some cultural personalities in the political and social changes (Slovak theatre artists and other artists played an important part in rousing the population in November 1989). In the area of cultural policy, the main effects were the lifting of censorship and ideological supervision, freedom in artistic creation, equal rights for a diversity of cultural creation and creators, the introduction of transparent financing for diverse cultural activities and the search for new partnerships through international cooperation. Many previously banned books and films could be distributed and there were many new festivals and cultural events. It became possible for private entrepreneurs to do business in the field of culture (book and music publishing, film, magazines, production and agency activities for culture) and the former state monopoly organisations in these areas were destined for privatisation. Change in the Copyright Act strengthened the rights of authors, performers and producers and brought these rights into line with European standards. In 1991, the state cultural fund Pro Slovakia was established as a new source of financing for cultural activities and projects. The fund was managed by the Ministry of Culture. Despite a number of steps in the right direction and positive decisions, cultural policy did not become a clearly elaborated or enacted priority of the new political elites after November 1989.

A special issue that the Ministry of Culture dealt with at that time was the relationship between the state and the churches and religious societies. The main task was to settle questions of ownership in relation to church real estate, the Act on the Freedom of Religious Belief, and the Act on the Registration of Churches and Religious Societies. The state grant to the activity of churches and religious societies remained part of the budget of the Ministry of Culture.

After the reorganisation of local state administrative authorities (the former national committees), it was necessary to address the question of the financing of local cultural organisations. In 1999, 157 such organisations were brought under the control of the Ministry of Culture and by the start of 1992, 230 cultural organisations had come under the direct management of the ministry. This situation was intended to ensure the preservation of local and regional culture until the transformation of public administration was completed and the tax system had been reformed. One result of this temporary centralisation of financial and organisational management was that transformation processes in culture took place without a systematic framework and sometimes with destructive consequences for culture (for example, the collapse of film production, the deformation of the book market, the stagnation of the public media). Cultural policy was directed towards quick solutions to specific problems; the ministry did not have a long-term development strategy or the necessary financial and human resources to transform the system.

After 1989, the term cultural policy fell out of use for a time in Slovak specialist and political discourse. The cause was mainly the association of this term with the policy of the previous regime and its political manipulation and ideological censorship of culture. The search for new meaning, content and means for cultural policy continues in Slovakia to the present day. In this area, it is also symptomatic that after 1989, very few political parties gave culture its own place in their election manifestos and mainly limited comment to a few general political phrases. Despite the continuing lack of a long term strategy for cultural development and long term priorities for cultural policies, there was a discussion in Slovakia after 1989 of the majority of fundamental issues that had been argued over in European countries in the 1980s and 1990s. This discussion also included differences of opinion which lead to the break up of several professional artistic associations and the establishment of many new interest groups in culture.

After a short period of spontaneous social freedom and enthusiasm for the rapid and peaceful change in the political regime, it was necessary to manage transformation processes and the new state organisation. A milestone in the development of Slovak culture was the adoption of the Constitution of the Slovak Republic (Act 490/1992). For the area of culture, the constitution primarily codified the Slovak language as the state language, guaranteed freedom of expression and the right to information, banned censorship, guaranteed the freedom of scientific research and the arts, gave legal protection to the results of creative intellectual activity and guaranteed the right of access to cultural heritage.

Politics in Czechia and Slovakia developed in different directions and after the elections in 1992, this resulted in the break-up of Czechoslovakia and the establishment of two independent states from 1 January 1993. In contrast to the civic principle of the common state, in independent Slovakia the priority was the national and state principle. This gradually led to increased administrative centralisation in the management of culture and the distribution of finances for cultural activities. The ministry established so-called national methodological centres for the individual areas of culture (theatre, music, galleries, monuments, museums, the audiovisual arts, public education, the media) at a national level and regional cultural centres were established to manage culture at a local level. The Ministry of Culture gave increased legislative attention to questions of the state language and its use (an Act on the State Language and related legislation were passed). The Matica Slovenská acquired an important status and state funding, under a separate law, making it a national public cultural institution. The result of this enhanced status was the gradual transfer of its activities into the political domain. This weakened the previous cultural traditions and values of this historic cultural and educational institution.

After the elections in 1998, there was a sharp change in Slovakia's political orientation. The new government aimed for Slovakia's faster entry into the European Union and NATO and faster transformation processes in the economy and certain other social systems (welfare and social services, health care, the military, and education). A national strategy for long-term sustainable development was adopted. Changes in the structure of cultural organisations took place as a result of the Strategy for the reform of public administration in the Slovak Republic. The Ministry of Culture prepared specific measures for the culture sector based on this strategy in 1999. This involved mainly the reorganisation of state administration related to the protection of monuments and the decentralisation of the ministry's management of 152 cultural organisations. The transfer of these powers to new territorial administrative authorities (self-governing regions - see chapter 2.2) was completed in 2002.

In cultural policy, there began to be greater approximation of legislation and instruments of cultural policy with European documents and programmes (especially in relation to the audiovisual arts and the media, the protection of cultural heritage and cultural diversity). In 2000, Slovakia joined the European Programme on National Cultural Policy Reviews. The Ministry of Culture prepared a National Report on Cultural Policy, which it officially submitted to the Council of Europe in February 2003. On the basis of this report, the ministry submitted the Strategy for state cultural policy and the action plan for its implementation for discussion to the government in 2004. The rationale for the document states that in the period from 1989 "culture in Slovakia has undergone - in the context of other social changes - continuous changes in the institutional system and gradual stagnation of financial resources, but has not yet produced an overall, formalised vision of the strategy for the development of the cultural sector". The government approved the submitted material in November 2004 as a general framework for long-term cultural development and for further practical measures in the area of cultural policy.

Despite the fact that the main part of the document (the strategy) contained mainly general declarations and opinions, it was the first time that the government of the Slovak Republic had considered material on its cultural strategy. A new definition of cultural policy was added to the political and social context. This emphasised its recognition of responsibility for continuous state support for the cultural development of the country and its population. Terms such as cultural diversity, instruments of cultural policy, monitoring of cultural policy, cultural infrastructure and many others became part of political and academic discussion. The practical implementation of cultural policy was expected, thereby, to produce a long term framework for strategy and promising directions for the development of culture in Slovakia. The adoption of this document allowed the basic objective of cultural policy, which is to change the relationship of society and political structures to culture, to progress in the direction of the reform of the institutional and financial framework of cultural policy in Slovakia.

Slovakia/ 2. Competence, decision-making and administration

2.1 Organisational structure (organigram)

Slovakia/ 2. Competence, decision-making and administration

2.2 Overall description of the system

The government of the Slovak Republic defines the principles for the implementation of state policy in cultural matters and coordinates the activities of central state administrative authorities. State administration is carried out though the preparation of legislation and standards, the issuing of general regulations and internal regulations. National cultural monuments are declared by government regulation. The government of the Slovak Republic approves documents on strategies and concepts for cultural policies (see also 3.1 and 4.1).

The central state administrative authority for the cultural sector in Slovakia is the Ministry of Culture. The powers and responsibilities of the ministry have developed and gradually changed since it was established. In the course of its development, its responsibilities have included not only cultural and public education activities, the arts and cultural heritage monuments, but also nature conservation, the publication of non-periodical publications, the enforcement of copyright and production and sales in the field of culture.

The current responsibilities of the Ministry of Culture are defined in Section 18 of Act 575/2001 on the organisation of the government of the Slovak Republic and the organisation of the central state administration of the Slovak Republic. Under this Act, the Ministry of Culture is the central state administrative authority in the Slovak Republic for the following areas of culture:

The Ministry of Culture defines the methodology of the activity of Slovak institutes abroad with regard to their cultural responsibilities and activities.

At a parliamentary level (National Council of the Slovak Republic), in the current electoral period, culture is overseen by the Committee on Culture and Media, which was established on 4 July 2006. 11 members of the Slovak parliament sit on this committee (out of a total of 150). The responsibilities of the committee include:

The powers of the National Council of the Slovak Republic relating to culture include the election of members of the management and supervisory bodies of the public media. Parliament elects the members of the Board of Slovak Television, the Board of Slovak Radio, one member each of the Supervisory Commission of Slovak Television and the Supervisory Commission of Slovak Radio and members of the regulatory body for television and radio broadcasting (the Council for Broadcasting and Retransmission).

The main roles of the Ministry of Culture are to prepare and submit legislation relating to culture, issuing related regulations (decrees and regulations), carrying out state administration in the area of culture and cultural heritage, ensuring the preservation of monuments and carrying out inspection of monuments, conceptual activities in relation to culture and media, collection of statistical data and information on individual areas of culture, carrying out tasks related to international cooperation and the membership of international organisations for culture and media. An important function of the ministry is the management of public finances designated for culture in the Slovak budget. The ministry also operates grant programmes (schemes) for individual areas of culture and cultural heritage.

To provide for the technical and conceptual aspects of its main activities, the ministry establishes specialised advisory bodies, including:

The Ministry of Culture directly manages 32 national cultural institutions operating in individual areas of the cultural sector based in a number of Slovak towns (see 7.1). The ministry finances their activities from its budget or contributes towards their activities.

The process of organisational and institutional reform of the state cultural sector has been defined as an initial requirement in previous concepts of cultural policy. There has been no detailed definition of individual instruments, procedures and possible effects of organisational changes on relations between the ministry and the organisations that it oversees. In 2007, the Ministry of Culture prepared for an audit of processes and personnel in all the stated organisations, including the administrative systems within its own organisation. The results of the audit and proposals for further measures will become known in 2008.

At the lower levels of public administration, the distribution of public financial resources and the management of cultural organisations has been the responsibility of self-governing regions (VUC - higher territorial units) since 2002. Slovakia is divided into 8 self-governing regions. Their assemblies (regional parliaments) are elected by the inhabitants of the governed region for terms of four years.

The powers of regional governments in the area of culture are governed by Act 302/2001, Act 416/2001 and other regulations relating to culture. The powers of the higher territorial units are:

The duties of the state administration are carried out by offices in each self-governing region. Their area of responsibility includes organisations of regional or greater importance - museums, galleries, theatres, libraries, public education centres and observatories. Five self-governing regions have a specific culture section in their organisational structure, in two regions culture is combined in a section with education, youth and sport and in one region it is combined with tourism and cultural heritage. The management activities of the self-governing regions focus mainly on financing the activities of the cultural organisations that have been put under the administration of the self-governing regions. The regions use most of the funding designated for culture for such activities. A much smaller portion is distributed through open calls for projects or individual grant schemes for culture (intended also for non-profit organisations or private-sector organisations). A number of self-governing regions have their own development programmes for culture.

At a local level (towns and villages), the powers and responsibilities of the local government in relation to culture are defined by Act 369/1990 and other legal regulations. The main powers and responsibilities of the public administration at the communal level in relation to culture are:

This definition of powers and responsibilities means that municipal authorities usually combine cultural affairs with education and sport in their organisational structure. This corresponds to the perception and status of culture, at the level of towns and villages, as a mainly recreational activity (amateur activity by citizens) with an emphasis on local culture and its products.

The transfer of executive powers and responsibilities in the public financing of culture to regional and municipal authorities was codified by law in Slovakia in 2001. It is a long-term process that requires a gradual increase in the professional qualifications of regional and municipal administrative authorities in the area of culture. It is also important to engage local government in strategies and specific objectives in cultural development at the national level. This objective was developed in a working proposal prepared in the 2007 Plan for the development of local and regional culture. The material was developed in cooperation with the National Centre for Public Education and Culture and the Association of Towns and Villages of Slovakia. Further discussion of the material is planned for 2008.

Slovakia/ 2. Competence, decision-making and administration

2.3 Inter-ministerial or intergovernmental co-operation

Inter-ministerial cooperation between the Ministry of Culture and other ministries and central state administrative authorities relates mainly to the use of European Union Structural Funds. During the shortened 2004-2006 programming period, funding was also used in the area of culture and cultural infrastructure. As part of this cooperation, the Ministry focussed on the following activities in particular:

The Ministry established a coordination committee to manage cooperation, while cooperation was implemented within the office of the Ministry by the Department for Structural Funds and Financial Instruments.

During the shortened 2004-2006 programming period, the Ministry of Culture made use of funding from the structural funds in the following operational programmes:

Basic infrastructure operational programme:

Industry and services sectoral operational programme:

Single Programming Document Objective 2 - Bratislava region:

Interreg III and Basic Infrastructure Operational Programme, measure: Building and developing institutional infrastructure in the area of regional cooperation.

Sectoral Operational Programme Human Resources:

Single Programming Document Objective 3 - Bratislava region:

PHARE / Transition Facility Fund 2005 - involvement in a project financed in the Internal Market sector.

The Ministry of Culture was represented in the following bodies for inter-ministerial cooperation addressing issues relating to the structural funds:

Activities in Slovakia in the new programming period 2007-2013 will be governed by the National Strategic Reference Framework approved by the European Commission on 17 August 2007. The individual operational programmes for the new period were then approved, of which the most important for the cultural sector are the Information Society (approved by the European Commission on 17 September 2007; the managing authority is the Slovak Republic Government Office; the financial contribution of the European Community to the programme is euro 993 095 405) and the Regional Operational Programme (approved by the European Commission on 24 September 2007; the managing authority is the Ministry of Construction and Regional Development; the financial contribution of the European Community to the programme is euro 1 145 million).

For culture, the National Strategic Reference Framework emphasises the acquisition, organisation, preservation and making accessible of documents and collections as moveable elements of cultural heritage. Museums, galleries and libraries play an essential part in this process. At present, Slovakia has 85 museums and 25 galleries, holding nearly 9 million items in their collections, and more than 7 000 libraries. In its strategy for the development of society and the regions, the document emphasises the importance of investing in cultural heritage sites, which have a significant influence on the productivity and competitiveness of a region. In this context, the document also emphasises that Slovakia is characterised by inadequately connected and poorly integrated urban planning, and practice and planning in relation to monuments and the environment. This fact limits the effectiveness of urban development and the protection of cultural heritage (buildings, moveable items and intangible heritage). There are 13 070 buildings recorded as monuments in Slovakia, of which 31% are in good condition but 19% (2 521 buildings) are damaged, nearly 6% (722 buildings) are derelict and under 6% of buildings are currently being restored.

In cooperation with the civic association Partnerships for Prosperity and the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Culture organised a professional seminar on 26 September 2007 on priority axis 2 of the Information Society Operational Programme Development of monument and fund institutions and the renewal of their national infrastructure. The topics under discussion were the digitisation of cultural heritage and the interoperability of information systems in the cultural sector and areas for the preparation and implementation of key projects in the following period.

Other areas of cooperation between the Ministry of Culture and other ministries are support for higher education, which is the responsibility of the Ministry of Education (the Ministry of Culture contributes from its grant programme towards the activities of the arts academies), cooperation with the Ministry of Interior in relation to archives (archives in Slovakia are the responsibility of the Ministry of the Interior) and cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on provision for the activities of Slovak institutes abroad and the presentation of Slovak culture in other countries.

The Ministry of Culture carries out the duties of the state administration in relation to the culture of national minorities and marginalised groups. Its main activities in this area are as follows:

The administrative activities of the ministry in relation to national minorities are carried out by the Directorate General for Minority and Regional Cultures.

The problem of tolerance in various areas is addressed by the following ministries and institutions in their areas of responsibility, with whom the Ministry of Culture cooperates in questions of minority cultures:

Slovakia/ 2.4 International cultural co-operation

2.4.1 Overview of main structures and trends

After its establishment in 1993, the Slovak Republic focussed, as a basic priority, on integration in Euro-Atlantic political, security and economic groupings (the European Union, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development - OECD). Slovakia cooperates actively with the international organisations of which it is a full member (the UN, the Council of Europe, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe) and also attempts to contribute actively to organisations and initiatives of a regional character (the Visegrad Four, the Central European Initiative, CEFTA or new initiatives supporting closer cross-border cooperation and partnerships of countries and communities in the Danube region and the emerging Euro-regions).

Slovakia's efforts to join the European Union had their first success in October 1999, when the European Commission's Regular Report on the Readiness of the Slovak Republic for Accession to the EU recommended the start of accession negotiations with Slovakia. Slovakia received an invitation to begin accession negotiations at the EU summit in Helsinki in December 1999. The intergovernmental conference on accession between Slovakia and the EU began on 15 February 2000. After the successful completion of the integration process, the Slovak Republic became a member state of the European Union on 1 May 2004.

The area of cultural and audiovisual policy was negotiated in chapter 20, Cultural and audiovisual policy. Slovakia's negotiating position was prepared by a working group in the Ministry of Culture. In its Regular Report published in October 2000, the European Commission praised the significant progress that Slovakia had made in harmonising with European legislation as a result of the procedure adopted by Slovakia in the approximation of the European acquis. The Commission's Regular Report for 2001 gave the following positive assessment of the level of approximation of domestic legislation with European law: "In the area of culture and audiovisual policy, Slovakia has reached a high level of alignment with the acquis."

Slovakia participated in European Union programmes in the area of culture and audiovisual policy during the integration process and has continued to do so since becoming a member. These programmes were also open to associate countries and membership of them has determined the main priorities for Slovakia in international cooperation on culture. The Slovak Republic became a full member of the Culture 2000 programme on 9 October 2001. The coordination, documentation and information centre for the Culture 2000 programme in Slovakia is the Culture Contact Point, which was originally established in the International Cooperation Section of the Ministry of Culture on 1 April 2001. Since 1 January 2005, the Culture Contact Point has functioned as an independent office in the Theatre Institute in Bratislava.

In the pre-accession period, Slovakia also began the accession process for programmes in the audiovisual sector - MEDIA Plus and MEDIA Training - for the years 2001-2004. Slovakia's accession to the MEDIA programme was completed by the signing of the document Memorandum of understanding between the European Communities and the Slovak Republic on 10 January 2003. At present, Slovakia is taking part in the new MEDIA programme which entered into force by decision of the European Parliament and Council on 1 January 2007. Activities relating to Slovakia's membership of the MEDIA programme are carried out by a joint office of the European Commission and the Slovak Republic Media Desk Slovensko. The office is a special organisational unit of the Slovak Film Institute.

Slovakia is also an active member of the Council of Europe bodies focussing on cultural issues. The main areas of cooperation between Slovakia and the Council of Europe are culture, cultural heritage and the media. Slovakia has been a member of the Council of Europe Eurimages fund and has a permanent representative on the fund's board of management. The Slovak Republic also has permanent representatives in other senior bodies of the Council of Europe - the Steering Committee for Culture (CDCULT), the Steering Committee for Heritage (CDPAT) and the Steering Committee on the Media and New Communication Services (CDMC). In addition, Slovakia is represented in the following Council of Europe bodies on culture:

Slovakia also joined the Programme of National Cultural Policy Reviews, within which it produced the National Report on Cultural Policies in the Slovak Republic in 2002-2003.

The Ministry of Culture joined the "Europe, a common heritage" campaign in 1999-2000, focussed on the protection of the common cultural and natural heritage and awareness of its significance. Slovakia has also taken part in other Council of Europe programmes through the Ministry of Culture - it is also developing cooperation in the area of library information technology and library legislation. The Report on the State of Book Culture in the Slovak Republic was produced (as part of the Sectoral Analysis of Book Policy of Member States of the Council of Europe) in 2001. Co-financing was approved for the project to develop a Multifunctional Cultural and Library Centre - Restoration and Revitalisation of the Historic Building of the University Library in Bratislava.

The ratification process of the European Convention on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage (revised) was completed on 31 October 2000 and the convention entered into force on 1 May 2001. On 31 May 2000, the government approved the proposal to accede to the Convention for the Protection of the Architectural Heritage of Europe; the convention was ratified on 7 March 2001 and entered into force on 1 July 2001. On 12 July 2000, the government approved the proposal to accede to the Protocol amending the European Convention on Trans-frontier Television and certification of the acceptance of the protocol was submitted to the Council of Europe on 31 October 2000.

In the area of the media, cooperation focussed on the accession of the Slovak Republic to the European Convention for the Protection of the Audiovisual Heritage and the related Protocol on the protection of television productions which the Council of Europe opened for signature by member states in November 2001. Slovakia signed both documents on 17 February 2003 and The National Council of the Slovak Republic gave its assent on 10 May 2007. The Convention and the Protocol were ratified by the President of the Slovak Republic on 5 September 2007. The Convention entered into force in Slovakia on 1 January 2008.

Slovakia/ 2.4 International cultural co-operation

2.4.2 Public actors and cultural diplomacy

The Ministry of Culture provides for the implementation of cultural policy in the area of international cooperation in international organisations, multilateral groupings and bilateral communication. The activity of the ministry in international relations is governed by law (Act 575/2001 on the Organisation of the Government of the Slovak Republic and the Organisation of the Central State Administration of the Slovak Republic), the government manifesto and the objectives of the foreign policy of the Slovak Republic and also bilateral and multilateral agreements and undertakings of the Slovak Republic.

In relation to cultural foreign policy, the government manifesto emphasises mainly the further deepening of the European integration process and the consolidation of the EU in order to strengthen a democratic, secure, economically dynamic and prosperous, socially stable and responsible, educated and cultured Europe. It also emphasises relations with neighbouring countries with a view to the development of wide-ranging cooperation in the political, economic and cultural fields. The government's aim is to develop regional cooperation, especially with the Visegrad group, with an emphasis on regional projects in the area of infrastructure, energy, the environment and culture. One of the priorities of Slovakia's foreign policy to is to support Slovaks in other countries and create conditions for the support of Slovak communities in order to preserve the linguistic, cultural and religious identity of Slovaks living abroad.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs coordinates the implementation of the foreign policy of the Slovak Republic and activities arising from Slovakia's membership of international organisations, provides for certain forms of international cultural contacts, in particular with foreign Slovaks (through the Culture and Slovak Expatriates Department, which is part of the Directorate General for External Communications of the MFA) and directly manages the activities of the Slovak Institutes. The Ministry of Culture directs the methodological aspects of the cultural activities of the Slovak Institutes. The Slovak Institutes are established as cultural-information institutions and their main task is to represent Slovakia abroad. Their mission is to raise awareness of culture and the arts, education, science, tourism and the economy including the presentation of Slovak towns, villages and regions, businesses and Slovak products. The Slovak Institutes are part of Slovakia's missions abroad. Slovak institutes operate in eight countries: the Czech Republic (Prague), France (Paris), Hungary (Budapest), Germany (Berlin), Poland (Warsaw), Austria (Vienna), the Russian Federation (Moscow), and Italy (Rome).

The following foreign institutions operate in the Slovak Republic for the purposes of international cultural cooperation and the representation of their country in Slovakia:

In the area of multilateral cultural cooperation, the international cooperation of the Slovak Republic is oriented mainly towards active participation in the bodies and programmes of the Council of Europe, activities with the Central European Initiative and activities and projects within the Visegrad group (see 2.4.3).

The main priorities of bilateral cultural contacts are:

The Slovak Republic has established the following intergovernmental commissions for bilateral international cooperation, whose areas of activity include culture:

The commissions were established on the basis of intergovernmental agreements as bodies to provide coordination and advice in the implementation of the agreements in the designated areas. The Ministry of Culture is represented in all the above commissions.

In 2007, Slovakia had 37 active bilateral international treaties on cultural cooperation concluded at an intergovernmental level, 4 international agreements concluded at ministerial level, 21 protocols and programmes on bilateral cultural cooperation and one special agreement (between the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic on the joint ownership, management and use of an exhibition pavilion in Venice). These agreements and protocols define cooperation in a number of areas of culture, audiovisual media, education, science and research.

The Ministry of Culture funds cultural activities abroad and supports the international presentation of Slovak culture from its budget. This includes the special grant programme Pro Slovakia, intended to support the export of Slovak culture and to present Slovak cultural activity abroad.

The structure of this grant programme in 2007 is as follows:

In 2007, the Ministry budgeted SKK 20 million (around euro 584 795; the average SKK / euro exchange rate in 2007=34.2) to support cultural activities abroad and SKK 20.7 million (around euro 605 263) for the grant programme Pro Slovakia. The Ministry thus allocated specific funding for the support of international cooperation projects amounting to nearly euro 1.2 million. These funds are intended to support specific activities and international cultural cooperation projects carried out by cultural organisations under state or public administration or organisations in the non-profit or private sector. The stated amount does not include funding for administration work related to international cooperation (ministerial staff), fees for Slovakia's membership of EU programmes or the direct costs of international cultural diplomacy at the ministerial level.

Slovakia/ 2.4 International cultural co-operation

2.4.3 European / international actors and programmes

In accordance with the conception and priorities of international cooperation in the area of culture, the Slovak Republic maintains a permanent mission to the Council of Europe and the cultural programmes of the European Union (see 2.4.1). The provisions of Article 151.2 and 3 of the EU treaty have been incorporated as priorities in the cultural policy of the Slovak Republic, also in the area of international cooperation. The involvement of the Slovak Republic in the Culture 2000 and MEDIA programmes, and also the programme European Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008 and the Europe for Citizens programme is a determining factor in the implementation of international cultural cooperation. Slovakia has allocated adequate organisational and financial resources for the implementation of these programmes. The specific results of Slovak participation and cooperation in these programmes is regularly monitored and published on the website of the Ministry of Culture, the website of the Cultural Contact Point and the Office of Media Desk Slovensko In 2006, 10 projects were supported under the Culture 2000 programme with support from Slovak entities, amounting to a total of euro 1 678 745.

The Slovak Republic is a member of the supranational (transnational) organisations the Central European Initiative and the Visegrad Group. The main priorities of Slovakia for cooperation on culture with the countries in the Visegrad group are as follows:

In order to implement these priorities and support projects in all areas of interest of the V4 countries, the International Visegrad Fund has been established on the 9 June 2000. (

The Central European Initiative (CEI) brings together 17 member countries. The former Czechoslovak Republic joined this initiative in May 1990 (sis months after the foundation of the initiative by four countries) and both successor countries of Czechoslovakia became members of the initiative. The main objectives in the creation of the CEI were to deepen and broaden economic cooperation between countries in the Central European region. 18 working groups were gradually established within the CEI and the Ministry of Culture became the coordinator of the CEI working group for culture and education in 1990. At present, the Ministry of Culture holds the long term chair of the CEI Working Group for Culture.

Through international cooperation in UNESCO, the Slovak Republic, either independently or by succession from the Czechoslovak Republic, is a contracting party to the following international conventions:

The Ministry of Culture has overseen the legislative process for the ratification of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. The Convention was discussed and approved by the government on 8 November 2006. The National Council of the Slovak Republic then gave its assent to the convention on 12 December 2006 and it was submitted to the president of the Slovak Republic for ratification. The convention was ratified on 18 December 2006 and it entered into force on 18 March 2007. The supervisor for the execution of the convention is the Ministry of Culture, in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Voluntary payments to the International Fund for Cultural Diversity will be provided through the budget of the Ministry of Culture.

The Slovak Republic takes part in the ECoC - European Capital of Culture project and, under Decision No 1622/2006/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, it is entitled to propose one of the two European capitals of culture for 2013. The second of the two ECoCs for 2013 will be a city in France. In accordance with the rules and criteria of the project, the Ministry of Culture published a call for applications to be the 2013 ECoC in January 2007, together with all necessary information documents. In June 2007, the Ministry carried out a survey on the 2013 ECoC event. The objective of the survey was to obtain information on the initial number of applicants for the title of ECoC 2013 and on the questions that the cities answer in completing the candidate profile. The closing date for the submission of candidate profiles was 16 November 2007 and 9 Slovak towns and cities submitted candidate profiles by that date (Banská Bystrica, Bratislava, Dolný Kubín, Košice, Martin, Nitra, Prešov, Trenčín, Trnava). The Selection Panel will select a shortlist of candidates on 31 December 2007. The final candidate city should be known in August 2008 and the Slovak Republic will submit its official nomination for ECoC 2013 by 31 December 2008.

Slovakia/ 2.4 International cultural co-operation

2.4.4 Direct professional co-operation

Direct professional international cooperation in the area of culture takes place in Slovakia on a wide scale and at various levels - from state institutions to regional and local institutions, professional associations, artistic and cultural groups and community centres. The state and the lower levels of the public administration (the self-governing regions - see 2.2) support direct international cooperation, mainly through co-financing of partnerships and projects for international cooperation from the state budget and other public funds (the budgets of the self-governing regions, towns and villages). An emphasis on support of direct international cooperation is one of the priorities of Slovak cultural policy at the state and regional level.

The Ministry of Culture also contributes to support for direct professional cooperation by covering membership fees, in part or in full, for cultural organisations to join international professional or non-governmental organisations in the area of art and culture.

In Slovakia, important international cultural events and festivals are held regularly and have a long tradition in all areas of art and culture: the Bratislava Music Festival, the Bratislava Jazz Festival, the International Festival of Contemporary Music Melos Étos, SPACE - an international music festival, the Summer Music Festival Trenčianske Teplice, the Biennial Exhibition of Illustration in Bratislava, the Days of European Cultural Heritage, the Bratislava International Film Festival, the International Festival Art Film Trenčianske Teplice, the International Theatre Festival Divadelná Nitra, the Central European Festival of Puppet Theatre, Bábkárska Bystrica, the International Festival for Drama Schools Projekt Istropolitana, the Festival of Contemporary Dance "Bratislava in Movement", the International Television Festival Prix Danube, the Month of Photography, the European Cultural Festival of the Nations and National Minorities FEMAN and many others.

The Ministry of Culture contributes to the financing of international cultural activities and events mainly through its grant system and its individual programmes. The basic principle for the organisation of such events is multi-source financing - in addition to public funds (the state budget, regional and local budgets) the project should be funded by the private sector (sponsors) and grants from international organisations and foreign partners.

Slovakia/ 2.4 International cultural co-operation

2.4.5 Cross-border intercultural dialogue and co-operation

The European Commission has declared 2008 the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue at the proposal of the Slovak European Commissioner Ján Figeľ. Slovakia has prepared a document the Draft National Strategy of the Slovak Republic for the Implementation of the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008. The document states the priorities of the Slovak Republic for the European year of intercultural dialogue 2008 (see 4.2.3). The Ministry of Culture has published a call for projects to be supported in the EYID 2008 project and all information and methodological materials necessary for the submission of projects on its website The Ministry of Culture, as the National Coordinating Body for the programme, will monitor projects and the progress of activities related to the implementation of the programme at the national and community level. The Ministry of Culture will ensure implementation of the set national priorities and monitoring of the effective use of funds through regular evaluation reports to be sent to the European Commission in Brussels.

For more information, see our Intercultural Dialogue section

Slovakia/ 2.4 International cultural co-operation

2.4.6 Other relevant issues

Information is currently not available.

Slovakia/ 3. General objectives and principles of cultural policy

3.1 Main elements of the current cultural policy model

The main principles of Slovak cultural policies are defined in the Programme Declaration of the Government of the Slovak Republic (Programové vyhlásenie Vlády Slovenskej republiky, PVV) and its detailing in the scope of the competence of the Ministry of Culture during the period between 2006 and 2010. The Programme Declaration of the Government of the SR advances the perception of culture in the general sense as an inevitable precondition for increasing the quality of life of citizens of the Slovak Republic. With regard to this fact, PVV unequivocally declares that the support of culture from public funds is right and, simultaneously, a direct political and ideological impact on culture is not permissible. The government document considers the protection and utilisation of cultural heritage, together with supporting new authentic artistic works and their presentation, to be one of the crucial pillars for the preservation and strengthening of the identity of Slovakia within the environment of the globalisation and commercialisation of culture.

In the Programme Declaration, it is emphasised that the government of the Slovak Republic, when operating in the area of culture and while applying a cultural policy, will observe three fundamental principles - continuity, communication and coordination: "a continuity with everything positive made within this sphere in the previous period, communication with the cultural community and other participating groups is an important element of the process of making basic essential decisions in the area of culture, and coordination with an objective in order to achieve a positive synergy in creating conditions for the effective utilisation of sources for the protection , creation and extension of culture".

The basic documents relating to a cultural policy in the Slovak Republic do not contain an expressly defined model of cultural policy that would form the initial framework for the defining of strategic plans, objectives and concrete steps of a cultural policy. The document Strategy of the state cultural policy (Stratégia štátnej kultúrnej politiky), issued in 2002, defines the so-called "hybrid" model of cultural policy, which combines the state-administrative approach (the state provides funds for the development of culture and art production, elaborates long-term conceptions and visions regarding artistic and cultural development; key role - cultural institutions managed by the state) with a decentralised model (the co-existence of the state and regional cultural policies; key role - regions, towns and their cultural institutions) and a liberal model (the market and private initiatives in the area of culture are the main regulators of relations in culture, key role - the cultural industry). Despite this, the cultural policy of recent years in Slovakia can be defined as a gradual transition from a centralised model to both an institutional and financial decentralisation (the passing of some competences in the area of culture and financial sources to bodies of public administration).

The main reason for the above process is to reform the public administration by the division of competences between the state administration and public administration bodies (autonomous regions, towns and villages). In the area of culture, the above process constitutes a natural displacement of a part of cultural activities into an environment in which specific local and regional cultural values and expressions exist as an expression of cultural diversity and cultural identity.

A further continuation of this process should be the gradual formation of an "arms-length model" of cultural policy, influenced less by any direct interventions of the state in the area of culture. From a strategic development point of view of culture, and the further formation of cultural policy in Slovakia, the formation of legislative and economic conditions for cultural development will also be important. It will also be important in the amalgamation of various financial sources for cultural activities and projects (elements of the entrepreneurship model).

One of the many long-term objectives of this process is to transfer gradually the management of public resources to independent entities established by the state, which cover individual basic areas of culture (cultural heritage, art, audio-visual). The first concrete step to achieve this model is the establishment of an audiovisual fund. The Ministry of Culture is preparing a draft bill to be issued in 2008.

Slovakia/ 3. General objectives and principles of cultural policy

3.2 National definition of culture

The Slovak Republic does not have a special definition regarding culture that is formulated by law. The Constitution of the Slovak Republic assures the economic, social and cultural right of citizens (rights of access to cultural wealth) and the right of protection to a cultural heritage (Article 44, par. 2 - "Every citizen is obliged to protect and increase the environmental and cultural heritage").

The document entitled The Strategy of a State Cultural Policy, approved by the government of the Slovak Republic in 2004, defines culture as a complex issue, involving knowledge, faith, art, law, morals, customs and any and all other abilities and traditions which humanity has acquired during its historic development. Culture is therefore an important indicator by the state of the society and the quality of life for the individual within the society.

On 28 February 2001, the National Council of the Slovak Republic approved the Declaration on the Protection of Cultural Heritage, in which cultural heritage was defined as follows: "works of material and immaterial value, movable and immovable objects, including imported pieces of work and ideas, which have found their place and application in Slovakia. " According to the above declaration, the protection of cultural heritage is in the public interest, and it is performed on the basis of respecting the individual rights and freedoms of citizens. The principles and tools for the protection of cultural heritage should not violate other civil rights without providing equivalent compensation according to relevant laws.

Slovakia/ 3. General objectives and principles of cultural policy

3.3 Cultural policy objectives

One of the basic objectives of this government is the gradual increase of state subsidies for culture, in order that the share of public resources equals the usual value in other EU member states. The broadening of possibilities for a multi-resource financing of culture is a related priority, so that culture does not depend on public resources for the major part of its maintenance. In connection with the above priorities, the government of the Slovak Republic pledged, in its Programme Declaration for the period 2006 - 2010, to prepare an "Act on Financing Culture". This Act specifies the main directions and types of resources for the financing of cultural activities, as well as mechanisms of distribution, control and for the monitoring of the usefulness of public resources.

The main objectives of the Programme Declaration of the Government of the Slovak Republic have been elaborated by the Ministry of Culture for the period 2006 -2010:

These general objectives have been developed into concrete legislative, economic and organisational tasks. A great number of them are realised by the Ministry of Culture in co-operation with other bodies of state administration (The Ministry of Finance / Treasury Department, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Education, The Ministry of Justice, the National Economic Development Office, the Office of Industry Ownership of the Slovak Republic) and public organisations (Slovak Television, Slovak Radio, the Slovak Academy of Science).

Most important legislative tasks to be undertaken in the period of 2006 -2010 are:

The most important strategic and conceptual tasks of the period 2006 -2010 are:

Slovakia/ 4. Current issues in cultural policy development and debate

4.1 Main cultural policy issues and priorities

The perception of cultural policy and the need for its definition and elaboration have gradually changed in the course of the last decade - from partial and operative resolutions (early 1990s), through a stressing of the national dimension of culture and the interventionist model of cultural policy associated with this, at the time of the establishment of the Slovak Republic (1993 - 1998), through the decentralisation of the state administration, public finances and cultural institutions (1998 - 2002), until the seeking of a definition, new contents and instruments of cultural policy, from the year 2002 to the present.

The main documents in the process of defining the principles and instruments of the cultural policy of the Slovak Republic were the National Report on SR Cultural Policy (2003) and the State Cultural Policy Strategy (2004).

Cultural policy in Slovakia is understood as the creation of an environment in which the processes of creation, diffusion (accessibility) and preservation of cultural values are undertaken. The participation of the state and lower sections of the state administration in the creation of this environment (in the realisation of cultural policy) is imperative, and in many aspects decisive. It is not, however, determinative - especially as regards cultural contents.

The basic areas of the current cultural policy of the Slovak Republic are the conservation of cultural heritage, support for art and artistic creation, and the development of the media environment. A separate area is the culture of national minorities. The main lines of the state cultural policy are the presentation of Slovak culture and artistic creation abroad, and support for the culture of Slovaks living abroad. A special part of cultural policy is the relation of the state to the Churches and religious communities.

A basic goal of cultural policy in Slovakia is to change the relation of the society and the individual to culture - also in the sense of a Council of Europe document (In from the Margins). Incorporating this change, through the tools of cultural policy, along with the preservation and development of cultural heterogeneity, is perceived in the political and professional community as an act in the public interest.

Connected to this, the main priorities of cultural policy have been progressively formed in political decisions and in specialist discussions as follows:

Public debates on cultural policy issues and priorities in recent years are mostly focused on financing schemes and models for cultural activities and institutions. Concerning this subject there are most frequent questions of "multi-sources" financing system for culture (real possibilities and legal incentives of private investments and sponsorship).

Financing and control system, mission, legal status, programming questions and main goals of public service broadcasters (Slovak Radio, Slovak Television) are permanent topics of public debates since 1990.

In public debates experts often underline a need for an official and detailed document on cultural policy which could be a basic platform for a better coordination of particular policy activities on all levels of public administration (national, regional, local).

Slovakia/ 4.2 Recent policy issues and debates

4.2.1 Cultural minorities, groups and communities

The number of inhabitants of the Slovak Republic in 2007 was 5 396 168.

Table 1:     Population of the Slovak Republic according to nationality, 2007


% of total













Others and undetermined


Source:      Statistics Office SR, according to census of population, houses and flats in 2001.

Geographically, the structure of the population according to nationality is naturally separated, especially in those parts lying adjacent to neighbouring countries. The Hungarian minority is most represented in those districts in southern Slovakia near the border with the Hungarian Republic; the Ukrainian, Ruthenian and Roma minorities in eastern Slovakia; and the Czech minority in the capital, Bratislava, and in those western Slovakia districts lying adjacent to the Czech Republic border.

The structure of the population according to nationality and the geographic distribution of the national minorities is the result of the natural historical / social process of the formation of the population of the Slovak Republic.

The rights of national minorities are guaranteed by the Constitution of the Slovak Republic, and citizens cannot be discriminated against for allegiance to any national minority or ethnic group. According to the SR Constitution, inhabitants of a national minority or ethnic group in the Slovak Republic have guarantees for their development, in particular the right, together with other members of the minority or group, to expand their culture, the right to broadcast and receive information in their native language, to unite in national associations, to establish and maintain educational and cultural institutions.

The SR Constitution guarantees the following rights to citizens belonging to national minorities or ethnic groups:

These basic civil rights of citizens of national minorities or ethnic groups are further elaborated in these laws:

In the implementation of minority rights and in the performance of its minority policy, the Slovak Republic is also bound by the relevant international documents and agreements in this area (UNESCO, Council of Europe, European Union).

In the Slovak Republic, apart from many national cultural associations, several cultural institutions of national minorities are also active:

National minorities also have their regular programmes in the public media. In 2006, on Slovak television, the share of programmes in the languages of national minorities was about 1.3%, while on Slovak Radio the share of programmes was about 7.6% of the total volume of broadcasting. The share of programmes in the languages of national minorities, in the total volume of television broadcasting of all broadcasters in the Slovak Republic in 2006, was about 3.7%.

Since 2006, the Ministry of Culture has had a separate grant programme for the support of cultural activities and projects for national minorities. 87.6 million SKK (about 2 561 403 euro) was set aside for this programme in the 2007 budget, which represents about 17.9% of the budget of the entire MC SR grant programme for 2007.

Slovakia/ 4.2 Recent policy issues and debates

4.2.2 Language issues and policies

The state language on the territory of the Slovak Republic is the Slovak language. The issue of using the state language and other languages is resolved by the Constitution. The usage of the Slovak language is regulated by Act no. 270/1995 Coll. on the State Language of the Slovak Republic. Other languages used in Slovakia are the national minority languages - Hungarian, Ruthenian, Ukrainian, Romany, Croatian, and possibly other minority languages. The use of the languages of the national minorities is regulated by special legal regulations (see 4.2.1).

If citizens of the Slovak Republic belonging to national minorities make up, according to the latest census of the population of a community, at least 20% of its inhabitants, they may use the language of that minority in official relations.

A priority of the Ministry of Culture is to secure the conservation and development of the state language as a spiritual part of the national cultural heritage. In compliance with the document Conception of Care of the State Language of the Slovak Republic (approved by the government in 2001), the Ministry of Culture monitors the usage of the Slovak language in public relations; in particular, it provides an official standpoint on the language issue and implements conceptional, methodical, consultation and control activities. In this field, the Ministry of Culture formed an inter-ministerial expert commission with the participation of representatives of other ministries and the Slovak Academy of Sciences, (SAV).

The Ministry of Culture, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and the Slovak Academy of Sciences, has elaborated a proposal for the project National Corpus of the Slovak Language and the Project of Electronisation of Linguistic Research (approved by the government in 2002). In June 2006, a contract was concluded on cooperation between the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Education and the Slovak Academy of Sciences with the goal of building up the Slovak state language corpus. In 2004, an agreement was concluded between SAV, the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Education on common funding for a multi-volume interpretive Slovník súčasného slovenského jazyka (Dictionary of Contemporary Slovak Language). The first volume (A - G) was published in 2006.

A consultation body for the Minister of Culture in the area of the state language is the Central Language Council (founded in 1996). Its task is chiefly:

Slovakia/ 4.3 Recent policy issues and debates

4.2.3 Intercultural dialogue: actors, strategies, programmes

The Ministry of Culture is the national coordinating body for the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008 programme. In 2007, the Ministry elaborated the document Draft Slovak Republic National Strategy for the implementation of the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008 (Návrh Národnej stratégie Slovenskej republiky na implementáciu Európskeho roka medzikultúrneho dialógu 2008). The document presents the priorities of the Slovak Republic, which are to.

In the document, it is shown that the Slovak Republic continually creates the conditions for the support of cultural dialogue. From public sources, it secures broadcasting in the languages of minorities, supports minority press, and legislatively provides for the usage of the language of minorities in the cultural and social sector, including official relations.

The European Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008 programme also includes, in its priorities, several bodies on the level of the self-administration regions, which have declared their support for the individual projects in the form of co-financing. The execution of the individual projects within the programme can lead to a more intensive perception of the concept of intercultural dialogue in the Slovak cultural and social context, and open up space for discussion of the contents of this concept in the context of cultural policy and culturological reflections.

For more information, see:
Database of Good Practice on Intercultural Dialogue and our Intercultural Dialogue section.

For more information on the government's National Strategy for the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue please see:

Slovakia/ 4.3 Recent policy issues and debates

4.2.4 Social cohesion and cultural policies

Cultural policy in Slovakia is concentrated on the development of the cultural needs of disadvantaged population groups. The Ministry of Culture creates the conditions for the financial support of the culture of disadvantaged social groups, provides space for equality of opportunity in the area of the culture of health disabled citizens, disadvantaged children and youth, the equality of men and women, and senior citizens. It also creates the conditions for the availability of culture and the support of integration through cultural mechanisms for the marginalised Roma community, migrants, the homeless, and so on.

The Slovak Republic has committed itself to the fulfilment of the Lisbon strategy of 2004 by the approval of the strategic document National Action Plan for Social Inclusion. It also elaborates measures for the Ministry of Culture, which are to secure the development of care for the cultural needs of disadvantaged social groups.

On 1 July 2004, The Slovak Republic National Council passed Act no. 365/2004 Coll. on Equal Treatment in Certain Areas, and on Protection against Discrimination ("Anti-discrimination Act"). Thus, discrimination in Slovakia is forbidden for these reasons: sex, racial origin, national or ethnic origin, religious denomination or belief, health disabilities, age, and sexual orientation.

The priorities for the development of the cultural needs of disadvantaged social groups are in particular to:

To execute these priorities, the Ministry of Culture created a separate grant programme, which is oriented towards support for so-called live culture and to the publishing of periodical and non-periodical press on issues of interest to socially disadvantaged groups. Six million SKK (about 175 438 euro) was allocated for this programme in the 2007 budget, which represents about 1.2% of the entire grant system budget for 2007.

Part of the cultural programme in the area of socially disadvantaged groups is the determination of the legal obligation of public Slovak television to ensure, in its programming, at least 25% of all programmes with hidden or open subtitles, and at least 1% of the programmes on one broadcasting circuit with sign language for the deaf (§ 18, para. 2 of Act no. 308/2000 Coll. on Broadcasting and Retransmission, in the wording of later regulations).

Working out social cohesion with relation to cultural policy and formulating a programme for implementing social cohesion in cultural practice represents one of the challenges for the next period of formulating the priorities and tasks of the Slovak Republic's social policy.

Slovakia/ 4.2 Recent policy issues and debates

4.2.5 Media pluralism and content diversity

The media system in the Slovak Republic has gradually changed since 1989 so that the plurality of media and the diversity of its contents have been assured. For the electronic media sector, an independent regulatory body was established - Council for Broadcast and Retransmission. Its members are elected by the National Council of the Slovak Republic. The telecommunications area is regulated by the Telecommunications Office SR, established pursuant to Act no. 195/2000 Coll. on Telecommunications. Its chairman is elected on a proposal by the SR National Council.

The preparation of laws for the area of the media is the responsibility of the Ministry of Culture, which has established an advisory body for the area of the media - The Council of the Minister of Culture for the Mass-media.

The press is not under any regulation, with the exception of the regulation of advertising pursuant to the Law on Advertising. Supervisory bodies include the Slovak Agricultural and Foodstuffs Inspection (advertisements on foods, cosmetic devices and tobacco products), The State Institute for the Control of Medicines (advertisements of medicines and nursing preparations) and the Slovak Trade Inspection. The Ministry of Culture keeps records of press periodicals and their publishers.

Issues of concentration and economic competition are investigated by the Anti-monopoly Office, pursuant to Act no. 136/2001 Coll. on the Protection of Economic Competition. Dominant positions are not forbidden in the media, and the Office only investigates its potential abuse.

In the area of print materials and press agencies, there are no obligations towards the public in relation to the publication of ownership relations of the individual publishers, nor any regulation in relation to concentration (with the exception of general conditions of concentration pursuant to the Act on Economic Competition). Act no. 308/2000 Coll. on Broadcasting and Retransmission has set restrictions on ownership in the media for so-called cross ownership of press and electronic media. In the case of broadcasters, these obligations are regulated and controlled by the Council for Broadcasting and Retransmission. The issue of the print media will be resolved by the new Press Act, the draft of which was presented by the Ministry of Culture in 2007 for specialist discussion and for the legislative process.

In 2007, there were 111 holders of licences for television broadcasting in the Slovak Republic (in the categories multi-regional monothematic broadcasting, multi-regional full format broadcasting, regional broadcasting, and local broadcasting).

Public service broadcasters are set by law - Slovenský rozhlas (Slovak Radio) with five terrestrial programme circuits and Slovenská televízia (Slovak Television) with two terrestrial circuits.

The largest private television broadcasters (private channels), on the basis of licences for multi-regional full format broadcasting, are TV Markíza and TV JOJ. The licence-holder for TV Markíza is the Markíza - Slovakia company. Its licence is valid until 13 September 2019. The owners of the company are CME Slovak Holdings B.V., A.R.J. company, a.s. (controlled by multi-national holding, CME), and the Slovak company Media Invest has a minority share. The licence-holder for TV JOJ is the MAC TV company, s.r.o., whose only owner is the Slovak shareholding company J&T Media Enterprises, which is united with the investment group, J&T Finance Group. Their licence runs until 27 January 2018.

In multi-regional monothematic television broadcasting, the most significant broadcaster is the news channel, TA3. The holder of the licence for its broadcasting is the C.E.N. company s r.o., whose only owner is the Slovak investment group, Grafobal Group, a.s. Among monothematic television stations are two music stations (Music Box and Mooby TV). Thematic stations oriented to culture or artistic content at present do not exist in Slovakia.

In 2007, there were a total of 31 holders of licences for multiregional, regional or local radio broadcasting, and 159 holders of licences for executing retransmission in cable networks or by means of other technologies.

Each year, the Ministry of Culture compiles statistics on television and radio broadcasting in the Slovak Republic. According to these statistics, in 2006 the share of imported programmes on multiregional television amounted to 22.5%, and the share of domestic programmes was 77.5% (news, current affairs etc.). In dramatic programmes (films and serials) this share is quite different - imported programmes make up 97% of the total volume. The broadcasting of music and entertainment programmes is more balanced, 47:53 in favour of domestic production. In public Slovak television broadcasting, the total share of imported and domestic programmes for 2006 showed a breakdown of 45% (foreign programmes) a 55% (domestic programmes). However, in STV broadcasting, imported programmes had the greatest share in the drama programme segment (88%).

Current discussion in the area of culture in 2007 mainly concerned issues related to a new proposal of the Press Act (protection of sources and information, right to remedy, right to a response, the obligation of the public media to provide information, the responsibility of publishers for content). The new Press Act should replace the present, still valid legal regulation which was adopted back in 1966.

Over the last decade in Slovakia, there has been continuous discussion of issues surrounding the status, management, financing and programme of the public media - Slovak Radio and Slovak Television. The current discussions, in 2007, referred mainly to the system of financing these media, the optimisation of their infrastructures, and their position in the process of digitisation of television broadcasting. The intention of the Ministry of Culture in this area is to prepare the draft of a contract between the state and the public media on the contents and financial provision of the public service in television and radio broadcasting.

Slovakia/ 4.2 Recent policy issues and debates

4.2.6 Culture industries: policies and programmes

In the Slovak Republic, there is no official definition of the "cultural industries" provided in either legislative or cultural policy documents. In acceding to the 2005 UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, one could argue that the Slovak Republic has officially accepted the definition of culture industries as provided for in Article 4 of the Convention.  

The issue of culture industries and the definitions of this concept have been taken up by several educational and research institutions in the Slovak Republic that have culture industry issues included in their study programmes or research plans (Arts and Science Faculty, Comenius University in Bratislava, Arts and Science Faculty, Prešov University, Mass-media Communications Faculty of the University of Sts. Cyril and Metod in Trnava, Slovak Academy of Sciences). However, these institutions do not have any specific educational or training programmes for culture managers or professionals working in the culture industries.

Research into the infrastructure of culture and the culture industries is partially undertaken at the Cultural Observatorium, which functions as a part of the National Centre of Public Education and Culture Národné osvetové centrum in Bratislava. As regards content, its research programme is primarily oriented to the area of local and regional culture.

The development of the culture industries, as one of the positive results of the informationisation of culture, is also emphasised in the conceptional materials of the Ministry of Culture referring to the informationisation of culture and its strategic development in the years 2007 - 2013.

The document Strategy for a National Culture Policy Stratégia štátnej kultúrnej politiky, which was approved by the government in 2004, also contains provisions relating to the culture industries. In light of the restricted possibilities to place credit and tax policies among the cultural policy financial instruments of cultural policy (advantaged or state-supported credits for investments in the area of culture and the selective reduction of taxes for cultural goods and services), it is imperative to create the conditions for the development of culture industries that are able to generate resources in the private sector. This intention may be achieved mainly through investment stimulants for enterprise in the culture industries and through investments in the building of the culture infrastructure. For this reason too, one of the goals of the culture policy should be to create the conditions for Ministry cooperation with bodies of local self-administration in cultural planning, through:

Regular monitoring of the culture industries does not occur in the Slovak Republic. The Statistics Office, in its basic classification of economic activities, includes performances in the area of culture in the joint entry "recreation, cultural and sports activities". For 2006, the year-long yield of these activities amounted to almost 33 billion SKK (about 961 million euro), and the index of year-on-year growth for 2006 was 108.6.

Partial information on the activities of the individual areas of the culture industries (the publishing of non-periodic publications and print periodicals, television and radio broadcasting, production of audio / visual works) is contained in the statistical findings carried out by the Ministry of Culture. They lack the relevant data on the economic efficiency of the culture industries in Slovakia and on its infrastructure, which should be the starting-point for a strategic decision of culture policy in relation to further support and development of this sector.

Slovakia/ 4.2 Recent policy issues and debates

4.2.7 Employment policies for the cultural sector

According to the findings of the Statistics Office, in the second quarter of 2007, there were 2 337 000 employed in the Slovak Republic. The level of registered unemployment in October 2007 was 7.9% (in the same period of 2006 it was 9.3%). From January 2006, unemployment in Slovakia has taken a marked and continual drop (in January 2006 the unemployment level was 11.8%).

The average monthly nominal salary of an employee in the second quarter of 2007 was 19 598 SKK (about 573 euro). The index of inter-year growth of the nominal wage was 106.7.

Individual and detailed structured statistics of employment in the whole area of culture are not kept in the Slovak Republic. Data on so-called "freelancers" active in the area of culture in Slovakia are also not available. The annual statistical findings of the Ministry of Culture record the number of employees in certain areas of culture.

Table 2:     Number of employees in certain areas of culture, 2006


   Number of employees


1 625

Music bodies and artistic ensembles





1 859


2 567

Observatories and planetariums


Radio broadcasting*


Television broadcasting

2 657

Source:      Ministry of Culture, 2006.

In order to create better conditions for the improvement of employment in culture and for other persons acting in culture (freelancers, entrepreneurs), more detailed monitoring is necessary of the state of employment in culture and the structure of human resources according to various indicators (age, education, area of activity, work classification, etc.).

Slovakia/ 4.2 Recent policy issues and debates

4.2.8 New technologies and cultural policies

In the area of informationisation of culture, the Ministry of Culture has established a permanent advisory body - the Council of the Minister of Culture for the Informationisation of Culture. The Council will concentrate on the area of informationisation of culture, whose productions are stored and diffused in libraries, museums, galleries, institutions of conservation of the Monument fund, theatre, film, music, literature, visual arts, design and other institutions within and beyond the Department of Culture.

The Council discusses conceptional and strategic materials relating to the informationisation of culture, support for priority information projects from the Ministry of Culture budget and conditions for the participation of individual projects in support programmes related with informationisation (Operation Programme for Informationisation of Society). The subjects of professional activity of the Council in 2007 were chiefly in these areas:

In relation to the digitalisation of cultural contents, the Council and the Ministry of Culture, in 2007, concentrated on research into the possibilities of the coordination of digitalisation in the Slovak Republic, and a proposal for a register of standards for digitalisation. In the future, partial digitalisation projects should be submitted to the Council as part of the national project, the Slovak digital library. The Slovak National Library, in Martin in 2007, prepared a working document, Digitalisation Strategy in Slovakia Stratégia digitalizácie na Slovensku, and also an internet site on digitalisation, The programme of digitalisation of cultural contents should also be open to cooperation under a public private partnership.

The basic intention of the process of digitalisation of the cultural and intellectual heritage in Slovakia is to create a network of digitalised workplaces so that digitalisation is decentralised onto the level of specialised competence sectors for the individual areas (libraries, museums, galleries, audiovisual heritage, archives). A strategic intention is the construction of the Slovak digital library, after the model of the European Digital Library in 2010.

In the area of interoperability of information systems, the University Library in Bratislava was authorised to coordinate specialist activities and, in 2006, elaborated a start-up information and methodical document, eCulture - Interoperability of information systems, which includes definitions of the fundamental concepts, the designation of international standards and goals for the interoperability of information systems in culture in Slovakia.

In the area of new technologies in culture, the individual activities in Slovakia concentrated mainly on the usage of these technologies for the conservation, storage and dissemination of cultural heritage. Special support programmes and conception materials for cultural policy, referring to the development and usage of the new technologies in artistic creation, so far do not exist in Slovakia. The individual activities (creation, shows, workshops, festivals) in this area take place on the platform of various artistic groupings, mainly in the environment of visual arts and audiovisual art.

Slovakia/ 4.2 Recent policy issues and debates

4.2.9 Heritage issues and policies

The Ministry of Culture provides protection, renewal, restoration, exploitation and presentation of cultural heritage, in particular for:

The priorities of culture policy in the area of protection, renewal, exploitation and presentation of cultural monuments are, in particular: 

Act no. 49/2002 Coll. on Protection of Cultural Monuments (Monument Fund) came into effect on 1 April 2002. Apart from the provisions on the preservation, renewal and exploitation of national cultural Monuments and Monument areas, the Act stipulates the bodies of specialised state administration, which are, along with the Ministry of Culture, the Monuments Board of the Slovak Republic ( and its organisation units - regional monuments boards. The performance of culture policy in the area of monument care in Slovakia thus gained an integrated and specialist coordinated model. The Ministry of Culture is also responsible for state monument inspection.

The Monument Board (founded on 1 January 1951, as the Monument Institute) is a state budgetary organisation and is a body of state administration for the protection of cultural monuments. It carries out the following tasks:

In the area of museums and galleries, the Ministry of Culture, under Act no. 115/1998 Coll. on Museums and Galleries and on the Protection ofbjects of Museum and Gallery Value, undertakes the following roles and activities:

In December 2006, the government approved the Strategy for Development of Museums and Galleries in the Slovak Republic until 2011 (Stratégiu rozvoja múzeí a galérií v Slovenskej republiky do roku 2011), which defines the special position of museums and galleries in the development of society. The strategy notes a marked disproportion between the public interest (development needs of objects of museums and galleries) and the possibilities for its realisation (long-term shortage of public resources for this development). On the basis of an analysis of the current situation, these priority strategies were determined for the development of museums and galleries in the coming period:

In the area of libraries, the Ministry of Culture, under Act no. 183/2000 Coll. on Libraries, creates the legislative, legal, institutional, financial and specialist conditions for library development, in particular it:

In November 2007, the government approved the Strategy for Development of Slovak Libraries in the years 2008-2013 (Stratégiu rozvoja slovenského knihovníctva na roky 2008 -2013). The strategy defines the special status of the library system in preserving the cultural heritage and in the development of the knowledge society in a Slovak and international context. The current state of libraries in the Slovak Republic and the quality of library / information services are not satisfactory and do not correspond to European trends, according to the findings. The continual decline of public expenditure for the activities and acquisitions of the funds, and the reduction in the number of specialist employees is limiting the library system's ability to maintain public interest and to provide quality library / information services. The result is the complete or partial resignation to the number of tasks and library activities. The strategy specifies the development of libraries as a necessary condition for the development of the knowledge society and the protection of the national and European cultural heritage. The Strategy defines the following priority strategic goals:

Within the priority goals, it is necessary to realise the following strategic tasks:

The competences of the Ministry of Culture and the activities of organisations in its organisational activity (Monuments Board, most significant museums, galleries, libraries - see 2.2) are a sufficient guarantee of the integrated approach in the culture policy for the area of cultural heritage.

The Ministry of Culture provides support for projects of protection and renewal of the cultural heritage from its budget, by a contribution for the activities of the organisations in its authority, as well as by separate grant programmes:

In the area of conservation and renewal of the audiovisual heritage, the government, on 17 May 2006, approved the Project of Systematic Renewal of the Audiovisual Heritage of the Slovak Republic (Projekt systematickej obnovy audiovizuálneho dedičstva Slovenskej Republiky). The basic intention of the long-term project is the preservation of cinematic and audiovisual works and their distribution to the public. The aim of the project is, in conformity with international standards and agreements, to create the conditions for the protection and renewal of the audiovisual heritage of the Slovak Republic, its preservation for future generations and its systematic distribution to the public. The project should be executed in single stages to2020 . The specialist guarantor of the project is the Slovak Film Institute (member of the International Federation of Film Archives, FIAF) and the average annual budget for the activities associated with the execution of the project is approximately 60 million SKK (about 1.75 million euro).

For more information, see:
European Heritage Network: Country profile Slovakia

Slovakia/ 4.2 Recent policy issues and debates

4.2.10 Gender equality and cultural policies

Information is currently not available.

Slovakia/ 4. Current issues in cultural policy development and debate

4.3 Other relevant issues and debates

Information is currently not available.

Slovakia/ 5.1 General legislation

5.1.1 Constitution

The Constitution of the Slovak Republic, as amended and approved in 1992, refers to the political and cultural heritage of its ancestors and of its Cyril and Methodius spiritual heritage. The preamble also contains a basic attempt at applying a democratic form of public administration, guarantees a life in freedom and the development of spiritual, cultural and economic prosperity.

The Constitution states that the Slovak Republic supports the national awareness and cultural identity of Slovaks living abroad, furthering its support to institutions established for the purpose of achieving the above objective and for supporting their relations with the motherland.

Article 34 stipulates that citizens who form a national minority or ethnic group are guaranteed the right to develop their own culture and, together with other members of national minority or ethnic groups, the right to spread and receive information in their mother tongue, to associate in national associations, and to establish and maintain educational and cultural institutions.

Article 43 guarantees the freedom of scientific research and art. The right to ownership of creative and intellectual property is protected by law. The right to have access to a cultural wealth is guaranteed under conditions stipulated in this special act.

Article 44 guarantees the right to the protection of an environmental and cultural heritage - "Everybody is obliged to protect and enhance an environmental and cultural heritage".

Slovakia/ 5.1 General legislation

5.1.2 Division of jurisdiction

The National Council of the Slovak Republic is the main legislative body. The Ministry of Culture is the central body of the state administration in the area of culture. The responsibilities of the Ministry of Culture include the preparation of laws relating to culture, amendment procedures - consideration of draft laws submitted by other resorts and the assessment of those proposals from the point of view of culture and cultural policy. The Ministry of Culture issues ordinances, directives and other execution regulations relating to legislation in force.

The Ministry of Culture is entitled to establish state organisations operating in the area of culture.

The decentralisation of state power and the transfer of some competences to autonomous regions, towns and villages (see 2.2), in the area of culture were stipulated in Act No. 302/2001 Coll. and by other legal regulations in the area of culture.

Lower bodies of public administration issue generally binding regulations, in accordance with their competences: These regulations must be approved by autonomous bodies (representative bodies) and their legal application is within the territory of the relevant autonomous region (or town or village).

A direct interconnection between legislation at the level of the Ministry of Culture and generally binding regulations issued by lower bodies of public administration is not specified by the law. Individual autonomous regions (and to some extent also towns and villages) form their own strategies of cultural development and concepts of cultural policy. The mutual co-ordination of these concepts and the assessment of their conformity with the strategy and the performance of a cultural policy at the level of a central state administration is neither ensured by any binding legal regulations, nor by an agreement concluded between the Ministry of Culture and public administration bodies.

Slovakia/ 5.1 General legislation

5.1.3 Allocation of public funds

Public resources in the area of culture are distributed in accordance with the budget vote of the Ministry of Culture and the budgets of autonomous regions, towns and villages. The basic distribution of public resources at the central level is stipulated in the Act on the State Budget of the Slovak Republic for the relevant budget year (identical with the calendar year). At the level of public administrative bodies, the distribution of budgets for autonomous regions, towns and villages is predetermined by the decisions made by their autonomous bodies (representative bodies).

Financial Funds, in the budget voted upon by the Ministry of Culture, are distributed to individual budget programmes on the following basic structure:

For more detailed classification and a financial summary of the budget expenditure voted upon by the Ministry of Culture, see 6.4.

The Ministry of Culture itemises funds for the state budget according to the Act on Budget Rules and the Act on the State Budget for the relevant year. The summary of tasks and processes that are provided by individual organisations for the relevant year, in accordance with the subject of activities of the particular organisation, form an integral part of the specification for the subsidised organisations.

Grants from the Ministry of Culture are distributed in accordance with a principle of open competition (tendering) for individual projects and activities. Individual applications for a subsidy from programmes of the grant system are assessed by the relevant special commissions, which are the advisory bodies of the Minister of Culture. The commissions also propose the amounts for the subsidy. On the basis of applications approved by the Minister of Culture, the Ministry concludes Agreements on the Providing of a Grant from the budget of the Ministry of Culture for individual applicants.

At the level of autonomous regions, the distribution of finances designated for culture is based on contributions to activities. A markedly smaller part of the budget for autonomous regions is designated as being distributed by means of tendering. One priority of the cultural policy at this level of public administration should be the gradual increase of the volume of financial resources distributed by means of an open competition for projects (tendering).

Slovakia/ 5.1 General legislation

5.1.4 Social security frameworks

Information is currently not available.

For more information, see our Status of Artists section

Slovakia/ 5.1 General legislation

5.1.5 Tax laws

The tax reform in Slovakia, carried out between 2004 and 2006, resulted in the introduction of a unified individual income tax rate, a corporation income tax rate and VAT in the amount of 19% from the tax base.

With regard to the course of tax reform, the Ministry of Finance dissented from the proposals regarding the application of tax tools (a decrease in tax liability, deductible items from the tax base, tax stimulus) focused on the increase of private investments in culture. Non-profit non-governmental organisations (NGO), focusing their activities in the field of cultural heritage, have been included on the list of authorised recipients of direct allocation of 2% tax from the individual income tax rate and corporation income tax. This direct allocation is on a voluntary basis and every taxpayer can specify such organisations as a recipient. A recipient of these funds must have been in operation for at least one year in the area stipulated by law and must be registered in the central register by Notary Offices.

In order to increase the availability of literature and to promote reading of books, the goods item books and music has been reclassified from 1 January 2008 to receive a decreased VAT rate of 10%. This reclassification includes school books and is in accordance with the European Directive on a common system of VAT. Publishers of books and music consider this tool to be of great assistance to the book market, resulting in the slowing down of the increase in the prices of books and music.

Slovakia/ 5.1 General legislation

5.1.6 Labour laws

Information is currently not available.

For more information, see our Status of Artists section

Slovakia/ 5.1 General legislation

5.1.7 Copyright provisions

The Ministry of Culture is the central body of the state administration for copyright and laws in this field. During access negotiations, in the area of intellectual property, the Ministry of Culture was responsible for the area of copyright and rights connected with copyright. International co-operation in the areas of culture, science, education and commerce, and membership in international organisations (especially World Intellectual Property Organisation, WIPO / OMPI) and the EU, forms the framework for the Slovak Republic's legal basis in the field of copyright.

The Slovak enactment of laws on copyright and rights connected with copyright are based on classical European standards and fulfils any and all criteria of the European Union from the point of view of law compatibility.

The basic legal regulation of the Slovak Republic governing copyright is Act No. 618/2003 Coll. on Copyright and Rights connected with Copyright (Authors' Act). This Act regulates relations originating in connection with the following:

The Act regulates the above relations so that the rights and legitimate interests of an author, performing artist, producer of a sound recording, producer of an audiovisual recording (audiovisual fixation), radio broadcaster and television broadcaster and the maker of a database are protected. The Act defines personal rights and the property rights of authors, performing artists and the holders of rights connected with copyright. It also regulates contract rights and the protection of rights.

The Act further regulates the operation of the collective administration of rights. The authorisation to carry out collective rights management is granted by the Ministry of Culture to individual organisations. Organisations of collective rights management pursuant to the Author's Act, and on the basis of a licence granted by the Ministry of Culture, are as follows:

The Ministry of Culture is the national co-ordinator of Directive 2001/29/ES (the so-called Information Directive). With regard to its operation, which also includes media (internet and other digital media included), and copyrights and rights connected with copyrights, the Ministry also participates in the processes relating to the standardisation of Digital Rights Management.

Slovakia/ 5.1 General legislation

5.1.8 Data protection laws

In the Slovak Republic, the protection of personal data is secured by Act No. 428/2002 Coll. on the Protection of Personal Data. The Act regulates:

The Office of the Slovak Republic for the Protection of Personal Data is a state executive, registration and supervisory body for the protection of personal data.

Slovakia/ 5.1 General legislation

5.1.9 Language laws

See 4.2.2.

Slovakia/ 5.2 Legislation on culture

Legislation in the area of culture in Slovakia began after the change of the political regime in 1989. Acts adopted in the former period were gradually replaced by new legal regulations - in respect of an entire transformation of the political, social and economic system of the Slovak Republic. Only two Acts adopted before 1989 are presently in force - Act No. 4/1958 Coll. on Folk Art Production and Arts and Crafts and Act No. 81/1966 Coll. on Periodicals and other Public Informative Mediums. During the time period between 1990 and 2000, this Act was amended many times, adapting it to changing legal and social conditions. In 2007, the Ministry of Culture submitted a new Press Act into the legal process, which should replace the present legal regulations, dating from1966.

Acts governing the area of media (new Acts on State Media - Slovak Television and Slovak Radio, the Act on Television and Radio Licence Fees and Television and Radio Broadcasting) and Acts governing the area of relations between the state and the Church (Act on Freedom of Worship and the Position of Church and Religious Societies) were the first legal regulations adopted after 1989. With regard to the area of media, the legislative regulation regarding the division of competences and property between the two republics forming the Czech-Slovak Federative Republic was also important. In order to ensure the free organisation of cultural life and artistic work, an Act on Funds for the Support of the Arts and an Act on the Grouping of Persons (enabled the creation of new Art Associations and Cultural Associations) was also important. The realisation of public cultural undertakings is regulated by Act No. 96/1991 Coll. on Public Cultural Events.

Basic legislation covering other areas of culture was also formed- cultural heritage and the preservation and care of historical monuments, audiovisual broadcasting, libraries, museums and galleries, theatre activities, official language etc. Acts on major national cultural institutes - the Slovak National Theatre, the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra and the League for the Advancement of the Slovak Nation were also adopted. In 2000, Act No. 308/2000 Coll. on Broadcasting and Retransmission, governing the area of electronic media, was adopted; the adoption of this Act formed an integral part of the process of access of the Slovak Republic to the European Union.

Presently, the legal system of the Slovak Republic covering the area of culture consists of a set of several laws focused on the legal regulations of individual areas of culture. A general Act on Culture does not exist in Slovakia. The government, in its Programme Declaration for the time period of 2006 - 2010, intends to adopt an Act on the Financing of Culture, which would specify the general directions, types of resources for the financing of cultural activities, and also the mechanism of distribution, control and monitoring of the effectiveness of spending public resources. The legislative regulation covering the financing of development and spreading of the culture of national minorities and ethnic groups shall form an integral part of the Act. The Act should also stipulate the basic conditions of multi-source financing of culture, and specify the possibilities for increasing the share of non-state investment in culture.

Slovakia/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation

5.3.1 Visual and applied arts

Special legislation regarding fine arts and utility art in Slovakia does not exist. This area is covered by some related legal regulations (Act on Museums and Galleries, Act on Artistic Funds, Copyright Act).

Slovakia/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation

5.3.2 Performing arts and music

This area is regulated by Act No. 384/1997 Coll. on Theatre Activities, regulating the establishment, unification, cancellation, position and operational activities of state professional theatres, professional theatres managed by bodies of territorial self-governments, other professional theatres and non-professional theatres, and the operational activities of state administration bodies, municipalities and autonomous regions. The Act also regulates the relations of theatre actors and other employees in this field.

The Act regulates the powers of the Ministry of Culture, autonomous regions, towns and villages as regards to the establishment, financing and supervision of entities performing theatre activities.

Act No. 385/1997 Coll. on the Slovak National Theatre regulates the activities, the position and symbol of the Slovak National Theatre as a professional and representative national cultural institution. The Act also regulates the budgetary control and management of the Slovak National Theatre as a state subsidised organisation subject to the Ministry of Culture.

Act No. 114/2000 Coll. on the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra regulates the activities, the position and the basic administrative structure of the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra as a professional and representative national cultural institution. The Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra is a state subsidised organisation subject to the Ministry of Culture.

Slovakia/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation

5.3.3 Cultural heritage

The most important legal documents in the area of cultural heritage are:

Slovakia/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation

5.3.4 Literature and libraries

The basic legal rule regulating the operation of the library system in Slovakia is Act No. 183/2000 Coll. dated 12 May 2000 on Libraries. This Act regulates the position and responsibilities of libraries, their establishment, the provision of library and information services to the public, the protection, use and access to historic library documents and the Historic Library Fund. According to this Act, the library system is part of a state information system consisting of the Slovak National Library, scientific libraries, university libraries, public libraries, school libraries and special libraries. The Act regulates the establishment of libraries, the rights and obligations of their founders, categorisation of libraries, financing of libraries, provision of library and information services, declaration of historic library documents and the Historic Library Fund.

In Slovakia, no special legal regulations regulating the area of literature, translation and the book market were adopted. The following related Acts regulate this area:

Slovakia/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation

5.3.5 Architecture and environment

In Slovakia, the sphere of culture does not specify any special legal regulations covering this area. The responsibility for architecture lies with the Department of Construction.

Slovakia/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation

5.3.6 Film, video and photography

The basic legal norm regulating this area is Act No. 343/2007 Coll. on Conditions for Taking Evidence, Public Broadcasting and the Preservation of Audiovisual Works, Multimedia Works and Sound Recordings of Artistic Performances and on the change of and amendment to some laws (Audiovisual Act).

The Act regulates the obligations for production, public broadcasting and evidence-taking of audiovisual works, sound recordings of literary or musical works and multimedia works, the position of an independent producer, the position and activity of the Slovak Institute of Film, conditions governing professional storage of original mediums on which audiovisual works were for the first time recorded, sounds-video recordings and sound recordings forming the audiovisual heritage of the Slovak Republic.

The Act also defines some basic terms used in the audiovisual area, namely a Slovak audiovisual work, cinematographic works, producer of an audiovisual work, distributor of an audiovisual work, dubbing and other terms.

The Act stipulates and especially regulates:

By the Audiovisual Act, the European Treaty on the Protection of Audiovisual Heritage was implemented into the legal system of the Slovak Republic.

In Slovakia, no special norm was adopted for the purpose of supporting the audiovisual industry. The Ministry of Culture plans, within its tasks in the area of legislation, to prepare a draft bill on the Audiovisual Fund, which should regulate conditions and resources for the financing of audiovisual works from both public and other sources, and the conditions and possibilities to support capital investment and the development of projects in the area of audiovisual infrastructure and industry. In December 2007, a draft bill was being prepared for expert discussion, and its submission into the legal process was planned for the beginning of 2008.

Slovakia/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation

5.3.7 Culture industries

In Slovakia, no special legal rule was adopted covering the area of support and development of the private sector in the culture industries. Related tax laws - see 5.1.5.

Slovakia/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation

5.3.8 Mass media

Basic legal rules governing the area of electronic media (television and radio broadcasting):

The Acts on Slovak Television, Slovak Radio and Television and Radio Licence Fees regulates the function, tasks, activities, financing, budgetary control and management of public service media. According to the law, the above organisations are defined as national, independent, informative, cultural and educational institutions, providing their services to the public in the area of television and radio broadcasting. Financing of both institutions is ensured by the Act on Television and Radio Licence Fees (concessions). In 2007, the Ministry of Culture submitted a draft of a new law which should amend the definition of public fees and regulate the manner of collection and use thereof designed for ensuring services provided to the public in the area of television and radio broadcasting.

Act No. 308/2000 Coll. on Broadcasting and Retransmission is complex legislation regulating the area of television broadcasting, radio broadcasting and retransmission of programme services in the Slovak Republic. The body entitled to grant licences for television broadcasting, licences for retransmission, and the body in charge over the supervision of the observance of the laws on radio broadcasting is the Board for Broadcasting and Retransmission. Its members are appointed by the National Council of the Slovak Republic for a period of six years. The administrative, legal and expert activities and the monitoring of broadcasting is provided by the Office of the Board.

The Act, apart from defining the main terms, regulates the conditions governing the process of granting licenses for broadcasting, advertising, teleshopping and sponsored programmes broadcast, the protection of human dignity, the protection of under age persons and the right to remedy, access to information and important events through broadcasting to the public, the conditions governing the broadcasting of European works and works of independent producers, the transparency of financial relations of broadcasters (prohibition of property interconnection of broadcasters with each other and between broadcasters and publishers of national periodicals) and sanctions in case of a breach of the law.

The main obligations of broadcasters in relation to the content of the programme service are as follows:

Special obligations of a broadcaster relating to the Public Service Broadcasting Act are as follows:

According to this Act, programmes of public interest are programmes focused on the informative and cultural needs of listeners or spectators within the territory covered by the broadcaster's signal, in particular:

Act No. 220/2007 Coll. on Digital Broadcasting regulates the conditions governing digital broadcasting of programme services and the provision of other content services by means of a digital transmission within the territory of the Slovak Republic, the rights and obligations of natural persons and legal entities in connection with digital broadcasting of programme services and the provision of other content services broadcast by means of  digital transmission, and the scope of action and competences of the public administration bodies on the regulation of the digital broadcasting of programme services and other content services provided by means of a digital transmission. The Act does not apply to content services accessible through the internet if this service isn't accessible by another manner of transmission.

The Act comprehensively regulates the process and the conditions governing the installation of digital transmissions in the Slovak Republic and the operation of supplemental content services. The Act also regulates the conditions governing the allocation and operation of a terrestrial multiplex in a television broadcast band, and specifies an individual, special public-legal multiplex. The Act also stipulates the mandatory offer regarding the allocation of a position in terrestrial multiplexer for a broadcaster having a licence for regional television broadcasting. The mandatory offer for a public broadcaster and a broadcaster having a licence for regional television broadcasting shall also apply in the case of allocation of a terrestrial multiplex within a broadcast band.

The Act prohibits the financial interconnection and personnel interconnection between authorised broadcasters and the operator of a terrestrial multiplex and a broadcaster with a nationwide licence. The Act also prohibits the concentration of ownership of operators of several multiplexes, if their signal can be received by more than 50% of all the inhabitants of the Slovak Republic.

The Act stipulates the conditions and procedures governing the transition to TV digital terrestrial broadcasting, which should be completed in the Slovak Republic by 2012.

Slovakia/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation

5.3.9 Legislation for self-employed artists

In the Slovak Republic, no special legislation covering this area has been adopted. See also 4.2.7.

For more information, see our Status of Artists section

Slovakia/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation

5.3.10 Other areas of relevant legislation

In accordance with Act No. 41/1958 Coll. on Folk Art, Artistic Production and Arts and Crafts, an expert organisation on folk art and artistic production, the so-called ULUV (Ústredie ľudovej umeleckej výroby, Centre of Folk Art and Artistic Production), was established, based in Bratislava. Presently, ULUV is an organisation managed by the Ministry of Culture and provides protection to and promotes folk art and artistic production as an integral part of cultural heritage.

Act No. 394/2000 Coll. on Religious Liberty and the Position of Churches and Religious Associations defines churches and religious associations as legal entities, which may associate, form communities, religious orders, companies and similar associations. The Ministry of Culture keeps records on churches and religious associations.

Slovakia/ 6. Financing of culture

6.1 Short overview

Financing of culture in the Slovak Republic primarily comes from public sources. The public administration finances culture from budgets on the national level, regional level (self-governing regions) and local level (budgets of towns and villages).

At all levels, public expenditure on culture is, in principle, divided into three areas, which provide conditions for the development of culture at individual levels of public administration:

Supplementary funds and funds for development also form a part of the system of financing culture; these funds come from the various funds of the European Union (especially the Structural Funds), as well as from the private sector and the non-profit sector. The cultural statistics of the private and the non-profit sector were never compiled in such a manner that would enable an analysis of the conditions and possibilities regarding the support of development of private and non-profit investments in culture.

Table 3:     Co-operation of financial tools of the public sector for cultural development in Slovakia, 2007

Public sector

National level

Regional level

Local level

Cultural institutions

National cultural institutions

Regional cultural institutions

Local cultural institutions

Own cultural activities

The Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic

Self-governing region

Towns and municipalities

Programmes  from grants and supporting mechanisms

State grant programme and support of private entities

Regional grant system for the area of culture

General grant system for culture (in selected towns and municipalities)

The priority of the government during the period of 2006 - 2010 is the gradual increase of contributions to the financing of culture and thus to create the precondition that the same share of public funds will be spent in support of culture in the Slovak Republic as is usual in member states of the European Union.

Slovakia/ 6. Financing of culture

6.2 Public cultural expenditure per capita

In 2006, public expenditure on culture from the state budget was SKK 846 per capita (ca euro 24.5). In 2006, public expenditure on culture from the budget of territorial self-administration was SKK 734 per capita (ca euro 21.3). In 2006, total public expenditure on culture from the budget of public finances was SKK 1 580 per capita (ca euro 45.8). It is important to note that the per capita calculations were elaborated according to the number of inhabitants of the Slovak Republic on 31 December 2006 - 5 393 637 persons.

Table 4:     Development of the share of expenditure in cultural and public education activities to GNP in the Slovak Republic, 1999-2006


Development Index (1998 = 100)

Share of GDP (%)

Share of all public budgets (%)

































Source:      Národné osvetové centrum (Analysis of local and regional culture, 2007).

In the study paper The Analysis of Local and Regional Culture (Analýza miestnej a regionálnej kultúry) (National Education Centre, 2007), it is stated that the absolute growth of expenditure invested in culture in the Slovak Republic, during the period of 1993 - 2006, gives evidence of a global trend - the support of culture from public sources. In order to calculate correct data on the real growth of expenditure invested in culture, it is necessary to correct the nominal growth by the inflation index during the monitored period. This corrected trend of real growth (calculated by the inflation index) is given in the following Table.

Table 5:     Updated index from public budgets, 1993-2006


Updated index from public budgets, total





























Source:      Národné osvetové centrum (Analysis of local and regional culture, 2007).

Slovakia/ 6. Financing of culture

6.3 Public cultural expenditure broken down by level of government

The overall budget in relation to the budget for the Ministry of Culture, for the period 2005 - 2008, is outlined in Table 6:

Table 6:     State budget and budget of the Ministry of Culture, in SKK, 2005-2008


Total state expenditure*

Expenditure of the MKSR**

% share of total


318 749 891 000

3 786 622 000



302 787 092 000

4 563 583 000



319 775 334 000

4 093 610 000


2008 (draft)

344 248 371 000

5 114 567 000


Source:      Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Republic
*                 Expenditures from EU budget not included.
**              Budget funds spent on programmes by the MK SR (including contribution to religion).

The territorial self-administration share of the financial support of culture is approximately equal to the share spent by the Ministry of Culture. This balance is a result of the transfer of competences in the area of local and regional culture and the public finances of the territorial self-administration (see 2.2). As regards the coming years, it will be necessary to implement a more detailed methodology regarding the monitoring of public expenditure invested in culture at all levels of the public sector, in order for it to be possible to monitor the structured funding of public investment in culture, and to define a joint common strategy for furthering cultural development with the participation of central, regional and local public administrations. The basic regulation in the area of the financing of culture in the Slovak Republic should become the Act on Financing Culture, currently being prepared by the government.

The volume of funds earmarked for culture from the budgets of public administration is outlined below:

Table 7:     Public cultural expenditure: by level of government, in million SKK, 2006

Level of government

Total expenditure

% share of total


4 563.6


Regional (self-governing regions - VÚC)

1 387.5


Local (municipalities)

2 572.9



8 524.0


Source:      Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Republic, Datacentrum.

Slovakia/ 6. Financing of culture

6.4 Sector breakdown

In the Slovak Republic, there are no central, detailed statistics regarding the distribution of public finances according to the purpose of their use, with regard to individual areas of culture, and types of cultural activities made at the level of regional and local self-government.

The specification of itemisation of public expenses invested in culture therefore exclusively includes the itemisation of the budget of the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic according to individual areas.

Table 8:     State cultural expenditure: by sector, in thousand SKK, 2005-2007

Programme / area of activities




2007 -% of programme

2007 % of Total

A. Creation, propagation, protection and presentation of cultural values - cultural organisations - of the MKSR


2 033 018


2 101 842


2 193 696





theatres and drama

629 000

632 727

640 896



music, concerts and chorus lines / troupes

284 961

345 686

423 903



fine art, architecture, design

31 230

31 035

36 755



Audio-visual and media

126 524

114 828

164 344



libraries and library services

351 290

321 203

326 045



museums and galleries

342 954

394 383

319 318



public education and folk art

97 613

82 964

84 518



protection of monuments

125 769

134 196

133 844



literature and book culture

18 460

18 556

20 573



other activities

9 217

9 264

3 500



                  Matica slovenská

16 000

17 000

40 000



B. Creation, propagation, protection and presentation of cultural values - grant system of the MKSR


470 000


738 590


490 961






100 000

100 000

110 277



culture of national minorities

80 000

160 000

87 628



‘Renewing Our House' (historic landmarks)

105 000

117 000

107 783



Ex libris

80 000

85 000





85 000

150 000

109 905



Pro Slovakia

20 000

26 590

20 676



Support for attendance of cultural activities


100 000




Culture of disadvantaged groups



6 000



Intangible (Immaterial) cultural heritage



23 280



Activities of national memorial institutions



25 087



C. Creation and implementation of policies

1 283 604

1 723 151

1 408 953



Conception of cultural policy, management and co-ordination of programmes

408 127

843 122

479 987



Churches and religious associations

875 477

880 029

928 966




3 786 622

4 563 583

4 093 610



Source:      Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic.
*                 Apart from budgetary expenses disposed by the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic designated for co-financing of sub-programmes within budgetary programmes of other sectors (the National Economic Development Office of the Slovak Republic).

Slovakia/ 7. Cultural institutions and new partnerships

7.1 Re-allocation of public responsibilities

Fundamental changes in the structure of cultural institutions, due to changes in ownership relations, were carried out in Slovakia in the 1990s. The restitution of property to individuals and churches had an impact on changes in the ownership structure of historic landmarks. The privatisation of former state institutions was carried out in some sectors of the cultural industries (publishing houses, magazines, music companies, agency activities, audiovisual production). The promotion of private undertakings brought considerable development to the creative industries, in some sectors (advertising, graphic design, industrial design, architecture). An important step was undertaken by implementation of the so-called dual system of television and radio broadcasting and the entry of private broadcasters into the media market.

The above structural changes were followed by the transformation of the public administration and the transfer of some competences in the area of culture from the central level to regional and local self-administration (see 2.2 ).

In 2007, a system of the division of competences in the area of culture was stabilised in the Slovak Republic.

Slovakia/ 7. Cultural institutions and new partnerships

7.2 Status/role and development of major cultural institutions

The Ministry of Culture directly manages 32 cultural institutions, which have the status of state budgetary organisations or allowance organisations. In the case of some of these organisations, the Act itself regulates their position, tasks, activities and management (see 5.2 and 5.3).

The list of national cultural institutions supervised by the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic:

The list of stated institutions illustrates the diversity of the controlling influence of the Ministry; it also illustrates partial differences in the scope of activities of individual organisations. Apart from these traditional cultural institutions of national importance, the Ministry has also been managing some organisations of regional importance, artistic choral groups, folk art, or institutions dealing with the issues of minority groups or ecclesiastical matters. A great number of the management activities of the Ministry are taken up with the gradual devolution of competences to lower bodies of public administration (self-governing regions). Many entities remain under the direct supervision of the Ministry, especially due to a lack of regional financial sources necessary for the preservation of their activities.

Public cultural institutions neither on national level nor on regional level have not apply any major reforms concerning their legal status or financing system in recent years. All of these institutions are mostly financed by public funds (state budget - Ministry of Culture, regional budget - self-governing regions). In 2003-2004 on ministerial level there were discussions on transformation possibilities of some public cultural institutions into non-profit organisations or "public serving" organisations, mostly based on combination of public sources (finances, property) and private investments. This discussion has not been developed into a draft of a detailed transformation process. Recently a discussion is mostly focused on financing schemes (grant programmes) and contract model applied in financing system of public cultural institutions.

Slovakia/ 7. Cultural institutions and new partnerships

7.3 Emerging partnerships or collaborations

Partnerships between the public and private sector in the area of culture exist in the Slovak Republic, especially in the form of providing support to specific cultural projects and activities (sponsoring) or in the joint financing of artistic production, renewal and propagation of cultural values.

One example of a partnership at the level of state administration and the private sector is the SPP Foundation (SPP = Slovenský plynárenský priemysel, the Slovak Gas Industry), a priority of which is also supporting cultural heritage. In 2006, the SPP Foundation, jointly with the Ministry of Culture, supported -within the grant programme ‘Renewing Our House' - the restoration of historic landmarks in Slovakia, by providing 7 grants totalling SKK 50 million (ca euro 1 462 000).

The formation of conditions for the creation of new partnerships and combining private and public funds for cultural activities is the priority of the Ministry of Culture, in order to improve conditions for the multi-source financing of culture. A positive example of combining public and private funds is the Audiovisual Fund, currently under preparation, which should draw funds both from the public and private sector (payments of users of audiovisual works) and distribute these funds between projects aimed at the production and distribution of Slovak audiovisual works. Furthermore these funds will be invested to support the development of the audiovisual industry in the Slovak Republic. The Act on the Establishment of the Fund is being prepared by the Ministry of Culture and should be submitted for legislation by 2008.

A positive example of a strategic partnership at regional level is the co-operation of Žilina Self-Governing Region (ZSK, Žilinský samosprávny kraj) with the Centre of Contemporary Art Foundation, on the project The Cultural Policy from Amsterdam to Zilina. The project, supported by the European Cultural Foundation, the Ministry of Culture and the Matra Programme of the Netherlands, was implemented between 2005 and 2007, and the result is the document From Cultural Values to the Value of the Culture - the Strategy of  Culture Development in the Žilina Self-Governing Region. A representation from ZSK approved the document in October 2007 and the material forms the basis for the plan of cultural development in ZSK, in the period of 2008 - 2013.

Slovakia/ 8. Support to creativity and participation

8.1 Direct and indirect support to artists

See 8.1.1 to 8.1.3.

Slovakia/ 8.1 Direct and indirect support to artists

8.1.1 Special artists funds

The Art Funds represent a special tool for authors and interpreters in Slovak culture. Pursuant to Act No. 13/1993 on Art Funds, the art funds are public, non-profit institutions with self-governing administrations. The funds have been established with the purpose to support creative literary, scientific and artistic activities in the following areas:

Financial sources for the funds come from:

The funds provide scholarships, production grants, awards, travel contributions, loans for supporting creative activities and other forms of support (social contributions for pensioners etc.). The funds may establish and administer their foundations in accordance with special regulations. The funds administer facilities designated for creative or recreation activities of authors, performance artists and other people actively involved in the artistic circles.

Slovakia/ 8.1 Direct and indirect support to artists

8.1.2 Grants, awards, scholarships

In the majority of artistic areas, a number of awards are granted and annual contests in various categories are organised in Slovakia. The activities are organised by professional artists' associations, foundations, private sponsors, as well as by some governmental institutions or organisations administered by regional public administration (regions). Some of the awards are financial in nature. The best-known awards are:

The Art Funds (see 8.1.1) grant scholarships to artists for the preparation and production of new artistic or scientific works or translations.

The awards and contests are also part of several culture events organised in Slovakia (see 2.4.4).

Some non-profit organisations provide grants for artistic production, and organise training and educational programmes, and other events. One of the most important non-profit organisations in the area of arts is the Centre for Contemporary Arts Foundation (former Soros Centre for Contemporary Arts) that has been active since 1993. Besides its support activities (grant schemes), some of its most important activities include organising training and workshops for artists and culture managers, and exhibition activities, publication activities and an annual auction of contemporary Slovak visual arts.

Slovakia/ 8.1 Direct and indirect support to artists

8.1.3 Support to professional artists associations or unions

In Slovakia, there are professional artists associations in every area of artistic professional production, amateur production, artistic translation, journalism and film clubs. In the database of the non-profit entities that are active in the area of arts and culture, which can be found at http://www.mksr/adresare, there are 66 associations registered, of which 4 deal with the administration of authors' rights. A number of these associations are members of various international professional associations.

The non-profit sector in the area of culture and arts may draw subsidies for their activities from the grant programme of the Ministry of Culture. In Slovakia, there are no special grant programmes for supporting overhead costs of non-profit art and cultural organisations (capital grants).

Slovakia/ 8.2 Cultural consumption and participation

8.2.1 Trends and figures

There is no complex survey available in the Slovak Republic regarding the cultural consumption of the citizens, based on the continual collection of statistical data in combination with topical sociological surveys focused on cultural consumption and participation.

A survey of cultural consumption and citizens' expenses for culture is being compiled by the Cultural Observatory, which is a part of the National Centre of Public Education and Culture (an organisation under the Ministry of Culture). However, its research activity has been focused mostly on local and regional culture. This orientation is due to the basic activity and tasks of the National Centre of Public Education and Culture (NOC).

The statistical data regarding real and nominal expenses for culture by citizens is not available in the form that would allow an observation of long-term development trends.

The research project of the NOC, entitled Analysis of Local and Regional Culture, shows that the citizens of the Slovak Republic spend most of their expenses for culture on the concessionary fees for public media. In second place, there are expenses for purchasing and borrowing electronic media (VHS, DVD and CD). The monitoring shows continually increasing expenditure on literature. Expenditure on visits to the cinema and theatre remain at the same level. Concert attendance is increasing. Magazines on culture and arts and consumption of cultural heritage represent the smallest portion in the expenditure on culture.

Figure 1:    Cultural consumption in Slovakia, 2005-2006 
Source:      National Centre of Public Education and Culture.

The amount of the expenditure for culture is determined by the net monthly income per person in each household, by the education level and the age of respondents. Expenditure on culture, by citizens that live in cities, is significantly higher than that spent by the citizens of rural areas. Besides that, people between the ages 30 and 65 years are more willing to spend their money on cultural activities.

The monitoring performed by the NOC shows that all categories of citizens consider visiting a cinema, museum, exhibition or folklore event economically most affordable. Almost 50% of the respondents view some of these events financially affordable. The least affordable is buying literature and magazines on culture and the arts.

Slovakia/ 8.2 Cultural consumption and participation

8.2.2 Policies and programmes

A special tool for increasing the cultural consumption of citizens was the programme of cultural vouchers organised by the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic in 2006. The cultural vouchers (each with the value of SKK 200, approximately euro 6) were distributed free to students and teachers of elementary and secondary schools. The vouchers could be used for visiting a cultural event or for access to cultural heritage (museums, galleries, libraries) in the organisations that were registered as recipients of the vouchers. Among the recipients of the vouchers, were some cultural organisations administered by the central government, by regional or local public authorities, as well as some non-government cultural institutions. The Ministry issued a total of 900 thousand vouchers for students and 100 thousand vouchers for teachers. The Ministry then reimbursed individual cultural organisations the amount of money for all vouchers that any given organisation received.

A total of 836 650 students and 66 363 teachers, which represent 903 013 eligible individuals that received the vouchers, participated in the project. A total of 453 cultural organisations applied for registration to this project. Altogether, 527 194 vouchers were applied, with a total value of  SKK 105.5 million (euro 3.1 million).

The Ministry of Culture has been evaluating the whole project during 2007. The important aspect is the real effectiveness of the project in terms of increased access to cultural values, and the analysis of the applied vouchers in terms of the recipients and / or in terms of the type of individual cultural events (according to unofficial statistics, the highest percentage of the vouchers was spent on visiting the cinema). Based on the project evaluation, the Ministry will decide on the possible continuance of the project for the next period.

A number of cultural institutions on the national or regional level have their own programmes of communication with their audiences, as well as their own projects for increasing attendance. Among the most frequently used tools are reduced entry prices for frequent visitors of cultural events or for other target groups (students, pensioners, disabled people), advantageous group tickets, special seasonal offers or clubs of friends of individual cultural institutions.

Slovakia/ 8.3 Arts and cultural education

8.3.1 Arts education

The educational system in the Slovak Republic is regulated by Act No. 131/2002 Coll. on Higher Education and by the Decree of the Ministry of Education of the Slovak Republic No. 614/2002 on a Credit System. The central authority of state administration for the educational system is the Ministry of Education, which is also the main political actor for the Bologna Process in Slovakia. The Slovak Republic has signed all of the political documents relating to the Bologna Process after 1999, and the goals set forth by these documents have been applied to the Slovak legislation regarding the institutions of higher education. The Ministry of Education monitors the status of the Bologna Process in the Slovak Republic on a regular basis.

Specialised and complex higher education in the area of arts is provided in the Slovak Republic by three academies of arts:

Other institutions of higher education in the Slovak Republic that provide higher education in some areas of arts and culture are the:

The institutions of higher education provide study courses in the study fields that are being accredited on a regular basis, according to criteria set forth by the Accreditation Commission (an advisory body of the government). The Commission evaluates the content of individual study courses, as well as pedagogic and professional guarantees of the study at individual institutions of higher education. On the basis of this evaluation, the Commission grants or withdraws the right to grant degrees at individual levels of study.

The higher education system in the Slovak Republic, for the area of arts and culture, is adequately diversified and it covers all areas of artistic production, cultural studies, theory and history of arts, as well as culture and media management. What is still missing is a research and scientific centre focused on the continuous development of culture in Slovakia, and a specialised educational centre focused on higher education in the area of cultural policy and public administration in culture.

Second level education in the area of arts and culture is provided by secondary arts schools and conservatories (a total of 5 conservatories and 8 specialised secondary schools). The founders of the secondary schools are the self-governed regions.

A special part of the educational system, in the area of arts and culture, represents a network of public and private elementary schools of arts that focus on the specialised basic education in the individual areas of arts performance and production - music, dance, fine arts and literary-dramatic arts. The founders of the public elementary schools of arts are the self-governed regions.

Slovakia/ 8.3 Arts and cultural education

8.3.2 Intercultural education

Information is currently not available.

For more information, see our Intercultural Dialogue section

Slovakia/ 8.4 Amateur arts, cultural associations and community centres

8.4.1 Amateur arts

Amateur artistic production has a long tradition in Slovakia. Among the tools for supporting this production, are amateur arts associations in various areas (especially theatre, fine arts, music, dance, folklore, film and video, photography, literary activities, artistic recitation), festivals, shows and workshops of amateur artistic production and special-interest artistic courses as a part of leisure-time centres (school and non-school centres under the supervision of the municipality self-government authorities).

The country-wide methodology and documentation centre for the area of the amateur arts is the National Centre of Public Education and Culture - NOC (a governmental organisation under the authority of the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic) and its organisational unit, the Institute of Amateur Artistic Production.

The NOC is responsible mainly for the following activities:

In cooperation with the Ministry of Culture, the NOC compiles annual statistics on cultural activities and cultural education in the Slovak Republic.

During 2006, there were 5 822 groups, with a total number of 89 511 members (adults, young people aged 15 - 26, and children) involved in various special-interest artistic activities. Altogether, 47 888 special-interest activities took place in Slovakia during 2006 (source: National Centre of Public Education and Culture, Statistics on local and regional culture).

In 2006, more than 3 000 local cultural-educational centres employed a total of 3 172 people.

Founders of these centres are: the government (0.13%), self-governed authorities of regions and municipalities (73.37%), churches and religious societies (6.31%), Matica slovenská (2.4%), non-profit NGOs (14.26%) or various individuals (3.53%).

Table 9:     Overview of special-interest artistic activities according to individual areas of artistic production and performance, 2006

Production area

No. of activities



5 863


Artistic readings

1 811









11 147


Choral singing

6 053



9 392



4 307


Traditional crafts

1 877


Visual arts

1 350


Photo, audiovisual, video

1 023



2 065






1 951



47 888


Source:      National Centre of Public Education and Culture, Statistics of Local and Regional Culture 2006

Slovakia/ 8.4 Amateur arts, cultural associations and community centres

8.4.2 Cultural houses and community cultural clubs

In the Slovak Republic, there is a network of regional cultural centres (CC) that are focused, especially, on the development of amateur artistic activities and on cultural activities of citizens. The cultural centres are administered by the self-governed regional authorities:

Table 10:        Number of regional cultural centres (CC), 2006

Self-governed Region

Number of CC











Banská Bystrica






Source:      National Centre of Public Education and Culture, Statistics on Local and Regional Culture

According to Act No. 61/2000 Coll. on Public Education and Cultural Activities, public education and cultural activities involves activities that contribute to the development of personality and the formation of a cultural way of living, based on the principles of voluntary participation, interest and the creative abilities of citizens.

The public education and cultural centres are cultural and educational institutions, with the purpose of developing non-material and material culture and maintaining traditions in cities, villages and regions. The centres contribute to a individual creativity by offering artistic activities, special-interest education, cultural-education and cultural-social activities and other special-interest activities. They participate, also, in social prevention work, work with national minorities and marginalised groups of citizens. They also are involved in investigating, protecting, preserving and providing access to folk traditions, emphasising traditional and folk culture, as well as developing and using them creatively. They organise cultural and educational events, competitions, shows, seminars, training, workshops and festivals of regional, country-wide and cross-border and international character.

In towns and villages across Slovakia, there is a network of cultural houses (centres) that are used, regularly or occasionally, for various cultural activities and events. These centres exist in 92% of villages and towns in Slovakia. During 2005, the Cultural Observatory of the National Centre for Public Education and Culture compiled a database and detailed inventory of the cultural houses (according to this detailed inventory, the culture house is a house containing at lease one hall that is being or has been used for cultural activities) in Slovakia, according to their address, name, owner, condition and size of the centres and their use. Altogether, there were 2 491 venues designated as cultural houses in Slovakia, in 2005. Most frequently, the owner of these venues is the municipality or local self-government (94.8%). The second most important owners of cultural houses are the church (1.6%). Companies own more than 1% of cultural houses and a minimum of cultural houses are owned by the state (0.5%).

The results of the detailed inventory showed that 75% of cultural houses were built between 1950 and 1989. Less than 20% of cultural houses and cultural venues are older (they were built before 1950). Only more than 5% represent new venues that were built after 1989. Seventy nine percent of the venues are in good technical order; some 2% of the objects are inoperable; while the remaining venues (19%) are in poor technical condition.

As much as 98% of the venues are used for culture, of which 32% are used exclusively for cultural events and 65% are also used for other purposes.

An active part of the cultural life in Slovakia is played by film clubs, organised by the Association of Slovak Film Clubs (ASFK, civic association), which has been a member of the International Federation of Film Societies, FICC since 1955. In 2006, the association registered 60 film clubs. ASFK is the biggest distributor of non-commercial (alternative) cinema in Slovakia (its programme offer in 2007 represents 467 films). It also provides a programme for film clubs from other distribution companies and from domestic and foreign film archives. It organises non-commercial film shows and festivals in Slovakia. The ASFK is also the publisher of the only Slovak magazine for film and motion picture science entitled KINO-IKON. It participates in organising film workshops and seminars. In 1996, it introduced the tradition of Czech-Slovak film conferences that are organised, alternately, in Slovakia and in the Czech Republic.

Slovakia/ 9. Sources and Links

9.1 Key documents on cultural policy

Kolektív autorov: Národná správa o kultúrnej politike Slovenskej republiky. Bratislava: Ministerstvo kultúry, 2002. (National Report on Cultural Policy in the Slovak Republic)

Ministerstvo kultúry Slovenskej republiky: Stratégia štátnej kultúrnej politiky a Akčný plán úvodnej fázy jej implementácie. Bratislava: Ministerstvo kultúry Slovenskej republiky, 2004. (Strategy of National Cultural Policy)$FILE/Zdroj.html

Programové vyhlásenie Vlády Slovenskej republiky a rozpracovanie v pôsobnosti Ministerstva kultúry Slovenskej republiky na roky 2006 -2010. Bratislava, 2006. (Programme Declaration of the Government of the Slovak Republic)

Ústava Slovenskej republiky (The Constitution of the Slovak Republic)

Deklarácia Národnej rady Slovenskej republiky o ochrane kultúrneho dedičstva, 2001 (Declaration of the National Council of the Slovak Republic on Cultural Heritage Protection).

Slovakia/ 9. Sources and Links

9.2 Key organisations and portals

Cultural policy making bodies

Ministerstvo kultúry Slovenskej republiky (Ministry of Culture)

Ministerstvo financií Slovenskej republiky (Ministry of Finance)

Grant-giving bodies

Pamiatkový úrad (Monuments Board of the Slovak Republic)

Národné osvetové centrum Bratislava (National Centre of Public Education and Culture)

Literárny fond (Literary Fund)

Hudobný fond (Music Fund)

Fond výtvarných umení (Visual Arts Fund)

Nadácia centrum súčasného umenia (Centre for Contemporary Art Foundation)

Professional associations

Asociácia organizácií spisovateľov Slovenska (Association of Writers)

Asociácia slovenských filmových klubov (Associtaion of Film Clubs)

Asociácia súčasného tanca (Association for Contemporary Dance)

Design Slovakia

Komora architektov, Spolok architektov Slovenska (Chamber of Architects)

Komora reštaurátorov (Chamber of Conservators / Restorers)

Slovenská asociácia knižníc (Association of Libraries)

Slovenská asociácia producentov v audiovízii (Association of Audiovisual Producers)

Slovenská filmová a televízna akadémia (Association of Filmmakers)

Slovenská hudobná únia (Association for Music)

Slovenská výtvarná únia (Associtaion of Visual Artists)

Spolok koncertných umelcov (Association of Music Performers)

Spolok slovenských spisovateľov (Association of Writers)

Združenie vydavateľov a kníhkupcov SR (Association of Book Publishers and Distributors)

Zväz múzeí na Slovensku (Association of Museums)

Zväz slovenských fotografov (Association of Photographers)

Cultural research and statistics

Štatistický úrad Slovenskej republiky (Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic)

Centrum pre výskum etnicity a kultúry (Centre for Ethnic and Cultural Research)

Katedra kulturológie Filozofickej fakulty Univerzity Komenského Bratislava (Department of Culturology, Faculty of Philosophy, Comenius University Bratislava)

Culture / arts portals

Portal on clutural activities in Slovakia

Portal on arts

Portal on film - Czech and Slovak portal on cultural heritage

Audiovizuálne informačné centrum (Audiovisual Information Centre)

Divadlo na Slovensku (portal on theatre in Slovakia)

Kultúrny kontaktný bod (Cultural Contact Point)

Kancelária Media Desk Slovensko


The Council of Europe/ERICarts "Compendium of Cultural Policies and Trends in Europe, 9th edition", 2008