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EACEA National Policies Platform
Republic of North Macedonia

Republic of North Macedonia

8. Creativity and Culture

8.1 General context

Last update: 26 December 2023
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  1. Main trends in young people's creativity and cultural participation
  2. Main concepts

Main trends in young people's creativity and cultural participation

There is very little data available concerning the trends in young’s people’s cultural participation. Most of the available information on the question of cultural participation of young people is presented in the publication Youth Trends in Republic of North Macedonia in 2022 (Истражување на младинските трендови). 

The research shows that the highest percentage is young people who indicate that cultural content intended for young people is rarely offered in their place of residence (39.8%), 27.6% - very rarely, 17.3% - almost never, 15.3% - often. Also the research shows that 14.3% stated that they do not attend cultural events. Regarding the cultural content that young people lack in their place of residence, the largest percentage of them (35.7%) chose concerts, followed by cinema (17.3%), exhibitions (13.2%), theater (9.2%).

In the beginning of 2022, the Coalition “SEGA”, together with SOS Children’s Village Skopje, conducted a Study on the Youth Trends in the Republic of North Macedonia, for the needs of the project “Youth participation for strong and sustainable development in the community”. The survey does not have part exclusively for culture, but it does have some indicators regarding youth and culture. As for that, the research has shown that young people are very dissatisfied with the quality of measures and policies for young people - policies in relation to health, education, employment, housing and culture. Only 19,7% of the CSOs are mainly focusing on culture/sport.  Additionally, CSO representatives had an opportunity on a scale of 1 - 5 to answer to what extent they are satisfied with the government's response to the demands of young people in various sectors. In regards to culture, their response in percent was 3,08. 

However, in the second half of 2022, the Minister for Culture stated that culture and youth have always been in the focus of the Ministry's agenda and that they will include more topics that are of particular importance, such as culture, education and innovations.[1]

According to the  National Youth Strategy 2023-2027, the participation of young people in the creation of programs, cultural contents, or policies in the area of culture in the country is also low. Only one out of five young people is involved in this kind of process. Although 85.7% of young people believe that culture is important for development and quality of life, still theirs

participation in cultural-artistic activity as organizers or participants is low (33.7%) with demonstrated interest in significant growth (77.6%) if they have adequate opportunities. Of course, the participation also depends on

opportunities in the living environment, and some of them are related to the existence of spaces for culture and cultural contents. And this represents a significant challenge because 39.8% of young people think that it is rare cultural contents are offered in their place of residence. The (in)availability of information about existing cultural contents and their visibility is also a high-ranking reason for unsatisfactory cultural offerings.[2]

Main concepts

The Constitution of the Republic of North Macedonia states that the cultural rights are one of the fundamental human rights and freedoms of the citizens. Therefore, it guarantees the freedom of any kind of cultural, scientific and intellectual creation. The Constitution also guarantees the protection and affirmation of cultural heritage as well as the contemporary cultural heritage of all people living in North Macedonia. The Constitution also gives the right and freedom of all communities living in North Macedonia to express and develop their cultural identity, create cultural institutions or other forms of associations.

Besides National Strategy for Development of Culture 2018-2022 (Национална Стратегија за развој на културата во Република Македонија во периодот 2018-2022 година), the country has Law on Culture (Закон за култура) adopted in 1998 which has so far undergone many changes. The Law defines the foundations of culture as a fundamental value of the country, the forms of culture, the manner and conditions of its financing, as well as other issues of interest to the culture. Culture, in terms of the law, covers: creation, publication of artistic creation and the protection and use of creation.The Law states that:

“The country encourages and helps culture, especially through:

1. favorable conditions for achieving cultural values;

2. special conditions for the establishment and operation of cultural subjects;

3. stimulating tax and customs policy;

4. special rights in labor relations in culture;

5. provision and protection of originals or samples, i.e. documentation of published works through purchase, compulsory preservation and protection of works of art and publications, provision and protection of films and film materials, documentation for music and stage works, documentation for performed architectural works etc;

6. determining and awarding republican awards and recognitions in the field of culture;

7. scholarships in the field of culture and

8. insurance especially of prominent artists, rare and expensive instruments, objects and monuments of cultural and historical significance, etc.”

As cultural heritage is very important for our society and reflects Macedonian tradition, in 2004 the Government adopted Law on Protection of Cultural Heritage (Закон за заштита на културното наследство). The Law so far has undergone more changes. The law specifies the types, categories, identification, methods of protection and other instruments for protection of cultural heritage, the regime of protection and use of cultural heritage, the rights and duties of the holders and the restrictions on the right to ownership of cultural heritage in the public interest , organization, coordination and supervision, professional titles and other issues that are of importance for the unity and functioning of the system for protection of cultural heritage in the country.

Cultural heritage in terms of the Law are material and immaterial goods which, as an expression or testimony of human creativity in the past and present or as common works of man and nature, due to their archaeological, ethnological, historical, artistic, architectural, urban, ambient, technical, sociological and other scientific or cultural values, properties, contents or functions, have cultural and historical significance, and for the sake of their protection and use, they are under the legal regime in accordance with the law .

Since the culture is created on the basis of equality of all people, the National strategy for Development of Culture 2018-2022 aims to make culture accessible to all. Therefore, each citizen of the country, regardless of his/her gender, ethic, religious or political beliefs has equal right to access cultural benefits.