Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Twelfth Sitting of the Culture and Information Committee

At the sitting held on 9 June, in the form of a public hearing, the Culture and Information Committee discussed the Culture Bill.



At the sitting held on 9 June, in the form of a public hearing, the Culture and Information Committee discussed the Culture Bill. The sitting was chaired by Vesna Marjanovic, Committee Chairperson.

The Minister of Culture at the Government of the Republic of Serbia, Nebojsa Bradic, said that the Bill is harmonised with European laws regulating the field and expressed an expectation that it shall give a creative impulse to all cultural fields.

Numerous objections and suggestions for the improvement of the text of the law were voiced in the debate. Most of the objections were aimed at the composition of the future National Culture Council, which should have fewer than 37 members, to ensure the new advisory body’s functionality. Concerning it, it was pointed out that the drafting of a national culture strategy should be the Council’s most important task and that due to its extreme importance, the strategy should undergo Assembly procedure. It was also requested that the law defines who can be considered an artist, and that the criteria determining who merits the status of prominent artist be harmonised with the evaluation of a representative association.

Among other things, it was requested that the law clearly specify that cultural institutions of national importance cannot be subject to bankruptcy, and to specify the conditions for the privatisation of venues of cultural importance. It was also pointed out that the law does not include the fields of photography and publishing.

The status of cultural associations was also discussed, as well as the regulation of labour rights and obligations for all employed in culture, and reduced service years for retirement were requested for artists from the field of ballet.

Representatives of the Hungarian and Romanian ethnic minority stated that ethnic minority national councils should participate in the creation of cultural policy, not only in its implementation.

The sitting was attended by representatives of artist associations, ethnic minority national councils, non-government organisations and representative culture unions.


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