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EACEA National Policies Platform


8. Creativity and Culture

8.2 Administration and governance

Last update: 19 March 2024


Policies dedicated to creativity and culture for young people in Italy are defined at national level by various bodies which, on the basis of their political-institutional mission, plan interventions in favour of young people.

The Department of Youth Policies and Universal Civil Service (DPGSCU), through the National Fund for Youth Policies, finances measures aimed at promoting various interventions in favour of young people, including cultural activities and talent development. Among the measures related to creativity and culture, the DPGSCU has promoted national calls to support young people in the expression of their talent and creativity “Support for young talent”, to support job placement and self-entrepreneurship “Orientation and placement of young talent”, to encourage youth aggregation and encourage the production of young people through creativity and innovation “Fermenti” (See1.7 and 8.5).

The Universal Civil Service (See chapter 2) identifies the promotion of historical, artistic and cultural heritage among the sectors of intervention in which its aims are achieved (Article 3 of Legislative Decree 6 March 2017, n. 40).

The Ministry of Education and Merit is responsible for the planning and implementation of training plans for the promotion and valorisation of the humanistic culture and knowledge as well as practice of the arts in young people, pursuant to Legislative Decree 13 April 2017, n. 60 on “Regulations on the promotion of humanistic culture, on the valorisation of cultural heritage and productions and on the support of creativity” which also provides for the adoption of an Arts Plan, implemented with the DPC 30 December 2017.

The Ministry of Culture (MIC)  (former MIBACT) is responsible for the protection, conservation and valorisation of cultural heritage. The Ministry of Culture (MiC) operates both centrally through 12 Directorates General, each with a specific area of ​​competence, and at a peripheral level with the Regions, Municipalities and Metropolitan Cities.

The following MiC General Directorates carry out functions strictly related to the promotion of culture in young people:

  • the General Directorate for Education, Research and Cultural Institutes carries out functions of coordination, elaboration and evaluation of education, training and research programs; manages relations with universities and training bodies and organizations, in particular with the National School of Administration for the continuous training of managers and directors of the Ministry, as well as with the School of Cultural Heritage and Activities for the advanced training of culture professionals;
  • the General Directorate for Libraries and Copyright carries out functions relating to the promotion of books and reading, while also promoting, in schools of all levels, the dissemination of literature and essays relating to the subjects taught, through programs agreed with the Ministry of Education;
  • the General Directorate for Contemporary Creativity promotes creativity and production in the field of contemporary art and architecture, photography, design, fashion, and spreads knowledge, valorising, also through competitions, the works of young artists;
  • the General Directorate for Entertainment carries out functions and tasks in the field of performing arts, live entertainment with reference to music, dance, theatre, circuses, traveling entertainment and theatrical festivals as well as the promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions. Through the Single Fund for Entertainment, it makes contributions to organizations operating in the live entertainment sector, encouraging youth planning and participation;
  • the General Drectorate for Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape (DG ABAP) has the task of protecting archaeological and landscape heritage. It promotes the stipulation of agreements between the Ministry, local and regional authorities and cooperatives of young art historians, archaeologists, archivists and librarians, to increase cultural sensitivity and education about cultural heritage;
  • the General Directorate for Tourism Policies and Planning (now administered by the Ministry of Tourism) deals with the planning, coordination and promotion of national tourism policies, relations with the Regions and development projects in the tourism sector, relations with the European Union and international tourism matters as well as relations with industry associations and tourism businesses. Among its many functions  it also carries out, in the matters of its competence, the verification of interventions for the development and for the economic and social cohesion of the territories.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECIannually provides contributions for the co-financing of Youth Exchange projects aimed at creating socio-cultural training courses for curricular enrichment and professional training for young Italians and foreigners, in Italy and abroad, aged between 18 and 30 years. The projects encourage cultural exchange activities with the aim of developing respect for cultural diversity, communication and tolerance in the new generations, also through the creation of transnational partnerships between two or more entities from different countries.

The National Youth Council (CNG) (See 5.3) is the consultative body to which the representation of young people is entrusted in dialogue with the institutions for any discussion on policies affecting the world of youth. As indicated in its 2019/2020 programmatic lines, the CNG encourages the possibility for young people to access cultural opportunities in Italy and abroad; promotes the possibility of creating spaces and opportunities for creativity together with other young people; it encourages the possibility of visiting, at favourable economic conditions, the museums and monuments of the national territory, networking different artistic and cultural experiences. It promotes tourism, as a tool for economic growth and job opportunities for young people, as well as a driving force for the promotion of the Italian historical, artistic, cultural and environmental heritage.

Cross-sectoral cooperation

The Department of Youth Policies and Universal Civil Service and theNational Association of Italian Municipalities (ANCI) have signed agreements to co-finance interventions implemented by Municipalities, Provinces and Metropolitan Cities to encourage the meeting of young people, urban regeneration, development youth creativity, social innovation and the prevention and contrast of youth discomfort.

The MiC, in agreement with the Ministry of Education and Merit adopts the National Action Plan for the promotion of reading every three years through a special Fund, managed by the Centre for books and reading (Cepell) with the aim of promoting reading as a tool for individual growth as well as for the civil, social and economic development of the nation. Municipalities and regions adhere to the Action Plan through the stipulation of local reading pacts intended to involve libraries, private and public entities, especially schools, operating in the area and interested in promoting reading. The main initiatives for young people carried out by Cepell in collaboration with other institutional bodies include:

  1. Il Maggio dei Libri (May of Books), an initiative carried out in collaboration with the MAECI, the Ministry of Education, the Conference of Regions and Autonomous Provinces, the National Association of Italina Municipalities (ANCI) and with the patronage of the Italian UNESCO Commission. The initiative aims to encourage and stimulate the habit of reading, considered a key element of personal, cultural and social growth, especially among young people.
  2. Libriamoci a scuola, an initiative founded from a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Education and the MiC which every year involves Italian schools of all levels, both nationally and abroad.
  3. Città che leggean initiative in collaboration with ANCI, to promote and valorise those municipal administrations committed to continuously carrying out public policies to promote reading on their territory.

MiC also cooperates with universities through specific Conventions and agreements for study and research purposes, with research institutes such as ISTAT (See 8.1) and with the Società Italiana degli Autori ed Editori - Italian Society of Authors and Publishers (SIAE) (Italian Society of Authors and Publishers) to carry out research, studies and other cognitive activities in relation to cultural heritage. The SIAE, in agreement with the Ministry, promotes studies and initiatives aimed at encouraging the creativity of young Italian authors and facilitating the public use of intellectual works disseminated through telematic networks for didactic and educational purposes.

The CRUI Internship program is the result of a collaboration between the MAECI, the Ministry of Universities and Research and the Italian Universities, through the organizational support of the Conferenza dei Rettori delle Università Italiane (CRUI) (Conference Foundation of Italian University Rectors) for carrying out of curricular internships at the foreign branches of the MAECI and the Italian Cultural Institutes which are a place of meeting and dialogue for intellectuals and artists, for Italians abroad and for anyone who wants to cultivate a relationship with our country. These institutes promote the image of Italy and its culture abroad. The 2023 Call includes 308 curricular internships at diplomatic offices in Italy abroad.

The coordinated system for the promotion of creativity was created for the promotion of humanistic culture in schools involving the Ministry of Education and Merit, MiC (former MiBACT), online educational institutions, the institutions of Higher Education in Art, Music and Choreutics (AFAM), universities, higher technical institutes (ITS), Italian cultural institutes.

 Inter-ministerial decree 14 August 2019, n. 764 established the accreditation of public and private entities who will be able to collaborate with schools for projects related to the implementation of the Arts Plan in order to expand the training offer for young people and promote the development of transversal skills through projects and activities related to art and creativity.