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EACEA National Policies Platform: Youthwiki
Hungary

Hungary

8. Creativity and Culture

8.2 Administration and governance

On this page
  1. Governance
  2. Cross-sectorial cooperation

Governance

 

Systems related to the ministries and the Parliament

There are no state bodies that administer cultural policies explicitly targeting youth. The most important bodies existing in relation with basic cultural care. Creativity and culture appear in the National Youth Strategy which is administered by the Ministry of Human Capacities (For more information, please see chapter 1. Youth Policy Governance). 

Ministry of Human Capacities - State Secretariat for Culture

In Hungary, since 2010, the framework of policies related to creativity and culture are represented in the Ministry of Human Capacities (Emberi Erőforrások Minisztériuma), under the State Secretariat for Culture (Kultúráért Felelős Államtitkárság).

'The responsibilities of the State Secretariat for Culture are to use available state resources to initiate and promote the creation of new cultural assets, and to preserve national and world cultural heritage assets in Hungary. It defines and organises the guiding principles and programmes for the development of international cultural links, and of activities aimed at further popularising Hungarian culture in the international arena.'

The State Secretariat can convene the ‘Roundtable of Basic Cultural Care and Community Development’ (see the sub-chapter on cross-sectoral cooperation).

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

There are some objectives and fields related to culture outside the Ministry of Human Capacities. The State Secretariat for Cultural and Science Diplomacy and the Deputy State Secretariat for Cultural Diplomacy within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Külgazdasági és Külügyminisztérium) could be mentioned as the ministry dealing with cultural diplomacy and international cooperation in the field of culture. The Ministry operates cultural institutes in 24 cities in 22 countries, in addition to education and cultural diplomats (oktatási és kulturális diplomata) who serve at eight Hungarian foreign representations (külföldi magyar intézetek). Among other tasks, these diplomats are responsible for increasing the number of foreign higher education students in Hungary, as well as to foster student and teacher exchange. 

Prime Minister’s Office

Responsibilities related to cultural policies and heritage preservation are apparent at the Prime Minister’s Office (Miniszterelnökség) too. As of 2020, in terms of real estate heritage the Deputy State Secretariat for Architecture, Construction and Heritage Preservation is responsible for the heritage protection issues. The movable heritage preservation belongs to the Inspectorate of Cultural Goods (Műtárgyfelügyeleti Hatósági Főosztály), directed by the Minister of State for Administrative Affairs.

The Government Commissioner for the Development of Modern Cities and Villages also serves in the Office. The commissioner and the Deputy State Secretariat coordinates, among other things, the cultural developments under this programme.

The Parliament

'The single-chamber Parliament is in charge of legislation. In addition to its role in preparing laws, the Committee for Culture and Press also fulfils supervisory functions by occasionally putting various issues related to culture on its agenda. On the whole, however, the Parliament and its Committees have only limited autonomy, in most cases reflecting the will of the government or the dominant parties.' (Compendium 2016 p. 6)  

Other public institutions

National Cultural Fund of Hungary

One of the most important body of cultural funding has been the National Cultural Fund of Hungary (Nemzeti Kulturális Alap), founded in 1993, and currently chaired by Miklós Kásler, the Minister of Human Capacities.

'Established by the Hungarian Parliament to support the creation, preservation and spread of national and universal values, this separate state fund is now running on 90 per cent of the gambling tax of Lottery 5 as its main revenue. It calls for bids to offer and award most of its disposable money to those who implement the winning programs through a system of social divisions. […] The main objectives of the National Cultural Fund of Hungary include stabilising funds and involving new incomes to increase its available tender budget. To this end, the Fund has signed several cooperation agreements with government agencies and NGOs in the past years, and its professional divisions have announced comprehensive support programs to reinforce the State’s engagement in the field of culture.'

Since 2017 the Fund’s financial issues are handled by the Human Capacities Grant Management Office (Emberi Erőforrás Támogatáskezelő), which has a Directorate of the National Cultural Fund that handles objectives related to tendering. Decisions are made by the divisions of the Fund, but administration belongs to the Office.

Hungarian Academy of Arts

Since 2011, besides the Fund, a newly emerged organisation has become of central importance. The Hungarian Academy of Arts [Magyar Művészeti Akadémia (referred hereinafter to as MMA)], which existed as an NGO since 1992, but got recognised by the Fundamental Law and upgraded to a public foundation in 2011. Since then, its role in cultural policy-related decision making and funding is central.

'The main task of MMA is to facilitate the prevalence and protection of the values of Hungarian and universal culture, the respect of the traditions of Hungarian arts and the birth of new and significant artistic works.

Furthermore MMA represents the arts in public life as well as in bodies to which law obliges it or in which its participation is requested by a governmental or other state body with national power; facilitates art education and the training of artists as well as scientific activities related to the arts; undertakes a supportive role with scholarships, awards and other methods in the Hungarian artistic sphere, putting great emphasis on the popularisation of young artists and art itself; […] contributes to the appreciation of Hungarian artists and with grants, awards and scholarships assist the publication of new artistic works as well as providing career opportunities for young artists.'

 

National Film Institute The Hungarian National Film Institute (Nemzeti Filmintézet) contributes

'to the production of Hungarian films or co-productions that provide art and entertainment for the audience on all platforms, and bring significant success both domestically and on an international level.'

The Fund is financed by the Hungarian National Asset Management Inc. with ownership entity of the Ministry of Finance.

National Cooperation Fund

Another public body worth mentioning regarding cultural funding is the National Cooperation Fund [Nemzeti Együttműködési Alap (referred hereinafter to as NEA)]. (For more information about NEA see sub-chapter 1.7 Funding Youth Policy.) Its Board of Social Environment (Közösségi környezet kollégium) provides funding to civil organisations active in the field of

  1. cultural activities,
  2. community culture,
  3. science and research,
  4. preservation of traditions, etc.

 

NMI Cultural Institute Non-profit Public Utility Ltd.

The most important public institution regarding community culture is the legal successor of the National Institute for Culture [Nemzeti Művelődési Intézet (referred hereinafter to as NMI)], NMI Cultural Institute Non-profit Public Utility Ltd. (NMI Művelődési Intézet Nkft.) In 2017 the former budgetary body’s tasks moved to a private foundation owned by Lakitelek Folk High School Foundation (Lakitelek Népfőiskola) which is chaired by Sándor Lezsák (Lezsák Sándor), MP of Fidesz. The institute’s operation is based on a public service contract with the Ministry of Human Capacities.

'NMI displays the whole of Hungarian community culture in the broad sense and coordinates it via their county offices. Through model projects of value exploration and preservation, it helps and supports the survival of local communities; the folk culture and traditions, and addresses and involves young people to these processes in various ways.' (Böröcz, 2016)

Non-public actors

Naturally, a huge number of cultural NGO-s exist, but few of them have the capacities to initiate large scale projects, especially youth-related ones. Among these, Artemisszió Foundation (Artemisszió Alapítvány) can be mentioned.

The Foundation

'has been operating since 1998 as a non-profit organisation of public interest. The founders were young anthropologists who wanted to apply their theoretical knowledge and the results of their scientific research to foster social and personal development and open-minded thinking. The Artemisszió Foundation is aiming to achieve its objectives through the research, promotion and use of the theory and practice of intercultural communication.

The goals of the Artemisszió Foundation are to encourage continuous dialogue and interaction between culturally, ethnically and socially diverse groups; to foster their mutual understanding; to support the social integration of socially and culturally disadvantaged groups; to strengthen scientific and cultural relations internationally and to develop and disseminate intercultural training courses, educational materials and methods.'

The Creative Europe Programme in Hungary is coordinated by Creative Europe Non-profit Ltd. (Kreatív Európa Program). As a successor of the national coordinating offices of the Culture and MEDIA programmes, the institution mostly focuses on providing information and support and the technical coordination of the Programme.

General distribution of responsibilities

'Besides the central government, the only level that really matters is that of the nearly 3 200 local (municipal) governments. This number includes 328 towns as well as 23 districts of Budapest.' (Compendium 2016 p. 25)

The local level is regulated by the 'cultural law' (Act CXL of 1997 - for more information see sub-chapter 8.1 General context.) and Act CLXXXIX. of 2011 on Local Governments of Hungary (2011. évi CLXXXIX. törvény Magyarország helyi önkormányzatairól). The latter states that municipal governments must

  • support local community culture,
  • preserve local cultural heritage and
  • provide tasks related to tourism.

Act XX of 1991 on the Tasks and Scope of Authority of the Local Governments and their Organs, of the Commissioners of the Republic, and of Certain Centrally Governed Organs (1991. évi XX. törvény a helyi önkormányzatok és szerveik, a köztársasági megbízottak, valamint egyes centrális alárendeltségű szervek feladat- és hatásköreiről) regulates the ways of fulfilling the tasks. According to the law, local governments

  1. provide local management and monitoring of activities related to community culture, public collections and arts, moreover
  2. operate and maintain institutions of these activities.

As a voluntary activity, self-governments may support

  1. cultivating traditions,
  2. communities organised for cultural activities,
  3. cultural organisations and art initiatives.

 

Tasks of municipalities

The cultural law states tasks of municipalities related to community culture. Among others, these include

  1. educational activities outside the school system;
  2. exploration and awareness-raising of local environment;
  3. intellectual and artistic values and traditions;
  4. cultivation of local cultural customs;
  5. recognition of universal and national culture, as well as that of nationalities and other minorities;
  6. supporting understanding and inclusion;
  7. supporting amateur creative, cultural community activities;
  8. building intercultural relationships and creating the conditions of cultural leisure time spending.

The obligatory tasks might be realised through operating community spaces or institutions of community culture, while voluntary activities can be fulfilled by operating or supporting libraries and museums.

'A traditional feature of the Hungarian system of cultural finances is the contribution from the central budget to the ''cultural tasks'' of the local governments. This does not appear in the chapter of the Ministry for Culture but in that of the Ministry of the Interior […] In 2015, the minimum amount of the normative cultural support for towns was introduced. This means that a village or town – regardless of its population – would receive a minimum of HUF 1.2 million (about EUR 4 000) contribution to culture. Nevertheless, the majority of municipalities spend several times more on culture than the ''per capita'' central redistribution.' (Compendium, 2016 p. 25).

As of 2019 (2019-től) the cultural contribution of the settlements is HUF 1.210 per capita with a minimum amount of HUF 1.8 million (about EUR 5 500). 

 

Cross-sectorial cooperation

 

'Since the responsibility for culture is distributed between several high-level authorities, inter-ministerial or intergovernmental co-operation in cultural matters is mandatory.

Besides EFOP, the Human Resources Development Operational Programme of Hungary 2020, two or three further OPs may contain culture-related projects under the EU 2014-2020 Cohesion Policy. Co-ordination is carried out by the Prime Minister’s Office (Miniszerelnökség).' (Compendium, 2016 p. 7)

'In 2014 the new Cultural State Secretary initiated the Round Table of ''Cultural Basic Provision'' (Kulturális Alapellátás Kerekasztala) so that quality culture reaches the broadest possible audiences all around the country with special attention for small villages in the countryside. The Round Table entails representatives of twenty expert organisations.' (In Youth Wiki, in accordance with the official translation, ''kulturális alapellátás'' is translated as ''basic cultural care''.) (Compendium 2016 p. 21)

The most important events of the Roundtable were three conferences organised in the Parliament. The proceedings have been published by the State Secretariat for Culture.

According to the 'cultural law' (Act CXL of 1997), the involvement of local cultural institutions might be realised through the system of Community Culture Roundtables. The roundtables are formed for three years and can formulate opinions and recommendations in questions related to

  • local community culture,
  • community culture funding, and
  • supports the cooperation of the institutions. 

The aim of Community Culture Roundtables are

  • to highlight public demands related to community culture,
  • to coordinate community cultural activities at the municipal level and
  • to provide space for cultural advocacy.

Formation of these roundtables is not mandatory, since many settlements lack the presence of cultural NGOs. (NMI, 2018)