Cultural policies grounded in interministerial dialogue (Tunisia)
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Since 2011, Tunisia has undertaken several initiatives to reform cultural legislation and policy and to set up new bodies. Notably, a National Center for Cinema and Image (CNCI) has been created to design new sectoral policies and to foster transparency in the grant giving process. Investments in the creative sector have also been revitalized due to financial and tax incentives introduced in a new law on cultural sponsorship.
Drawing inspiration from the Convention, the goals of the Ministry of Culture include updating the country’s cultural regulations through the adoption of new legislation (i.e. status of the artist); strengthening international cooperation; fostering decentralisation of culture; and supporting the cultural industries. Recent research indicates a slow increase in the percentage of the national budget allocated to culture, which is approaching 1%.
Strengthening inter-ministerial collaboration by signing agreements with the ministries of education, youth, defence and the environment is one of the main priorities of the Ministry of Culture. Inter-ministerial dialogue has already led to the integration of cultural aspects in the 2016 White Paper on the Educational Reform, including an action plan to increase the availability of arts and cultural education in all levels of formal education. This action plan has been preceded by a large public consultation, led by the Ministry of Education with the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Women, Family and Seniors and the Ministry of Youth and Sports. Collaboration between the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Justice, has also directed to the development of the Tunisian reading policy and the reinforcement of the network of libraries in the country. Tunisia is thus committed to fully implement both Goal 1 of the Convention and SDGs 8 and 16. An informed, responsive, transparent and participatory system of governance for culture (Goal 1) is being progressively built. Based on inter-ministerial collaboration and regular participatory dialogue (Target 16.7), the Tunisian policy process successfully promotes local cultural products and production (Target 8.9).