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EACEA National Policies Platform
Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina

8. Creativity and Culture

8.10 Current debates and reforms

Last update: 28 November 2023

Currently, a new wave of uncertainty is over the local libraries in RS, since the preliminary Draft Law on Culture announces the transfer of funding competences to the local level. The transfer of funding responsibilities includes salaries and material costs. Whether the law will be adopted in its current form remains to be seen. If this happens, it will be an additional burden on already weak local budgets. The same law deals with decentralization of culture in RS. It follows the RS Culture Development Strategy and indicates the framework of culture management at the local level. It proposes the creation of cultural development strategies at the local level, in cities and municipalities as well as in cultural institutions, then the establishment of councils in culture, confirming the autonomy of cultural institutions and other bodies.

In BD BiH, where cultural administration is integrated into public administration, in 2011 three national cultural societies organized a public debate. The discussion was focused on the development and adoption of cultural policy, in accordance with the BD BiH Development Strategy. Criticizing the current model of cultural management in BD BiH, they concluded, among other things, that it is high time to adopt the law on public institutions and the law on public administration in order to enable the debureaucratization of culture, and the operation of cultural institutions outside the public administration of BD BiH and their autonomy.

Participatory development of local cultural development strategies would enable a more directed, efficient and fair distribution of existing public funds, which would be accompanied by clear and mutually agreed goals. Local authorities would move away from direct management and provision of resources for implementation and focus on providing guidelines, coordination, monitoring and evaluation of implementation, ensuring efficiency and effectiveness and outcomes of allocated funds, all with the aim of a higher degree of satisfaction of all actors in culture, and the public in general. Cultural institutions would assert their autonomy and play a more active role in the organizational aspects of local cultural life. At the same time, creative economies, creative industries and innovative ways of expression would receive support, which would enrich local communities, both culturally and economically.