8.3 National strategy on creativity and culture for young people
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In North Macedonia there is one single National Strategy for Development of Culture in Republic of Macedonia 2018-2022 (Национална Стратегија за развој на културата во Република Македонија во периодот 2018-2022 година). The question of creativity and culture for young people is a cross-cutting issue that is related to two national strategies:
National Strategy for Development of Culture in Republic of Macedonia 2018-2022 was adopted in 2018, followed by one Action plan. The Strategy is continuation of the previous one adopted for the period 2013-2017. The previous strategy was also followed by the Action plan for the Implementation of the National Strategy for Development of Culture 2013-2017 (Акциски план за имплементација на Националната стратегија за развој на културата 2013-2017).
It’s important to emphasize that this Strategy does not apply only to young people, but to general population and it also covers youth as part of the general public.
The strategic plan of the Ministry of Culture 2021 (Стратешки план на Министерството за култура 2019-2021) features the following goal: „Support the literary work of young authors“.
National Youth Strategy 2016-2025 as a Strategy that applies only to young people, besides other chapters has thematic area on culture, and as stated, the focus here is only to youth.
National Strategy for Development of Culture of Republic of Macedonia 2018-2022
The National Strategy for Development of Culture 2018-2022 is a strategic document which starts from a clearly defined vision for development of culture in the country. For implementation of the measures foreseen in the Strategy, the Strategy is complemented with an Action plan.
The strategy is guided by the vision of a democratic, plural, secular, free, dynamic, balanced and sustainable cultural development based on equal access and participation, starting from the belief that the right to culture is a fundamental and inviolable human right. The main mission of the strategy is to encourage and coordinate the development of effective cultural policies for free creation and protection of cultural heritage by establishing sustainable legislative, organizational, financial and staffing conditions, introducing transparency and participation in decision making and critical evaluation of artistic and cultural practices.
The Strategy notes the current weaknesses of cultural policy in North Macedonia, such as its reactivity, insufficient transparency, adoption of acts and prioritization without prior analysis and assessment, lack of qualified managers in the culture, absence of initiatives for substantial reform in cultural sector, minimal cooperation with civil society organizations, interference of central government and political parties in cultural institutions, etc.
The Strategy also defines the basic principles of the strategic development of culture: equality, access, participation and rights.
As the culture in the Republic of North Macedonia is a set of multiple cultural traditions, the Strategy puts special emphasis on interculturalism and fostering diversity and plural cultural identities. The Strategy points out that in the following period, special attention will be paid to persons with atypical physical development, persons with developmental disabilities, children and juveniles without parents and single parents.
The Strategy mentions young people in a very obscure narrative. One of the priorities is stated planning of special measures and programs for promotion of cultural participation of youth, as well as persons with disabilities and elderly people. In the directions for future development it is stated that institutions have to be more open for the needs of every category of people, and especially for kids and young people, persons with disabilities and elderly needs.
In terms of educational policy in culture, the Strategy foresees the culture to be more included in the curricula of primary and secondary education; supplementing the study programs in higher education with subject programs and modules for better qualification of graduates for work on protection of cultural heritage, such as the study programs in architecture, art history, construction, archeology, etc.; establishment of a higher education facility that will offer study programs for the conservation and restoration of cultural heritage; establishment of a scientific institute for realization of research in the area of protection of cultural heritage, etc.
Regarding the publishing activity, and in relation to young people, the Strategy envisages encouraging literary work for children and youth, creating literary magazines intended for presenting young authors and priority support for translating production, and the creativity of young people.
National Strategy for Development of Culture 2013-2017 (Национална стратегија за развој на културата 2013-2017) also had general focus with few notes to young people. In the chapter Basic principles and priorities of cultural strategy there was a subtitle Cultural education of citizens and the role of young generations. The previous Strategy emphasized that institutions in the field of culture in a systematic way will need to explore the cultural needs of young people by designing programs intended for them and projects that young people will independently realize, as well as creating conditions for participation of young people in projects of cultural institutions, developing critical attitude towards cultural events, innovation and creativity, awareness of cultural pluralism and familiarization of the culture of others will advantageously influence the development of young people and their further professional determination.
There is no publicly available document about the level of implementation of the previous Strategy and its Action plan.
National Youth Strategy 2016-2025
is the key policy document for youth development in the Republic of North Macedonia. It aims to improve the social and economic situation of young people as well as to create an environment that will enable youth to fulfill their rights, needs and interests. The Strategy is divided in 9 key areas:
- Youth participation
- Youth information
- Local youth work
- Employment and pre-employment support
- Quality of life.
Culture is one of the key areas in the National Youth Strategy. In view of the key challenges identified in the area of culture, this Strategy provides appropriate long-term objectives and specific measures for addressing the respective problems:
- An improved and sustainable system of creative and cultural practices among young people
- Improved quality of cultural life and entertainment of young people
- Equal access for young people to quality cultural events and opportunities for cultural cooperation
- Young people are involved in drafting and implementing cultural policies
 National Strategy for Development of Culture of Republic of Macedonia 2018-2022 (“Official Gazette of Republic of Macedonia” Nb.81, 08.05.2018), p.2 https://drive.google.com/file/d/1gfzA76RBOTS1_A00fNn62n352E3nr8kB/view (Accessed December 18, 2018)
National Strategy for development of culture 2018-2022
The Ministry of Culture is responsible for implementation of the National Strategy for Development of Culture 2018-2022. Other bodies responsible for the measures listed in the Action plan are: local self-governments, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Education and Science, Ministry of Information Society and Administration, all national cultural institutions (National Opera and Ballet, Macedonian Philharmonic Orchestra...), Universities in North Macedonia, National and local libraries and other.
Information about responsible authority for the implementation of the National Youth Strategy 2016-2025 can be found in chapter 1.3.
There is still no revision, neither update of the Strategy.
The National Strategy for Development of Culture 2013-2017 preceded the current National Strategy for Development of Culture 2018-2022. Both strategies have general focus and are not referring exclusively to young people. When it comes to young people, they are mentioned in both strategies very few times. There are no structural changes when it’s coming to youth and culture in given strategies.