Describe the main features of the measure/initiative:
Based on the original research conducted by one of the ICSS members, the Center for Empirical Studies of Culture of South-East Europe (CESC) in collaboration with the ICSS Association, on the subject of allocating funds for culture in countries in the region and their cities, a multi-month campaign dubbed “1% for Culture” was launched. This comprehensive study drew on publicly available data on cultural allocations at both the republican and capital levels. The findings revealed that the Republic of Serbia and the City of Belgrade have the second-highest total budgets in the region, but that allocations for culture in both Serbia and Belgrade are lower in percentages than in all other states and capitals in the region. As a result, the Association Independent Culture Scene of Serbia has launched a campaign to reform the finance policy culture, inviting all other entities to join them, including artists, culture managers, curators, researchers, cultural organizations, and educational and cultural institutions. This campaign was launched in 2019 at the local level in Belgrade, in collaboration with a number of individuals and organizations that joined the initiative. The campaign entailed holding public events, writing statements, and media appearances, as well as consultations with the decision-makers. The initiative advocated for clear and transparent procedures that would allow for responsible management and distribution of public funds in culture, as well as the inclusion of all cultural entities in the decision-making process regarding managing the public budget and other cultural resources. Increases in cultural foundations should be used to increase finances for cultural programs and budgets for calls for projects as well as for cultural research, decentralizing culture, audience development programs, and bringing culture back to schools. Three public discussions were held during the campaign, with decision makers in attendance in addition to the initiators. The campaign’s goal was to bring together as many cultural entities as possible to push for a common vision of reforming Serbia’s system of (co)financing cultural programs and projects. The project was aimed largely at the line Ministry of Culture and Information, as well as the Ministry of Finance and the Secretariat for Culture of the City of Belgrade. Novi Sad, as the then-future European Capital of Culture, hosted one of the discussions. A special emphasis was placed on the media, as potential collaborators in this process, which significantly increased the visibility of the advocacy initiative and indirectly paved the way to decision-makers.
What are the results achieved so far through the implementation of the measure/initiative?:
Given that a continued conversation with decision-makers was never established, the campaign ended the same year it began. Even though the republican budget for culture was increased, no major progress was made in terms of changing the finance system.