Periodic Report Poland

Executive summary

This report provides the summary of measures initiated at the national level to protect and promote the cultural diversity in Poland in years 2008 – 2011. Its content applies particularly to activities of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and state authorities, for which the Ministry is the founding body.

 The first section of this report is dedicated to the role of the cultural diversity within the cultural policy. The main focus was put on areas directly related to the subject of the UNESCO Convention. This includes also the protection of both tangible and intangible cultural heritage, performed actively, among others, by the National Heritage Board of Poland. This report presents also projects aiming at the improvement of the operation quality of museums as the important element in the provision of cultural assets. Many of these projects were initiated during the Polish Culture Congress 2009. The consequence of the debate was the development of the Multiannual Programme CULTURE+. Projects aimed at the intercultural dialogue are of the key importance for the promotion of the cultural diversity. Celebrations of the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008 have significantly increased measures implemented in this area. Furthermore, the importance of the cultural sector for the economic development and the Social Capital building are being increasingly noticed. This modern approach to the culture is being promoted by the campaign “Culture counts”, initiated by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.

However, the issue of protection and promotion of the cultural diversity transcends the scope of cultural policy. Culture is also an important feature of the foreign policy, the policy on national and ethnic minorities, as well as the development policy, which was noted in subsequent sections of this report. Discussing these issues, it is important to mention responsible ministries such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Administration and Digitalization. The priority of Polish authorities in the field of international cooperation are relations within the European Union and the Eastern Partnership. The schedule of the Polish Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2011 was focused on relations with countries of the European Neighbourhood Policy. One of the Polish initiatives was the Eastern Dimension of Mobility Conference dedicated to the issue of the mobility in the culture, education, civil society, science and higher education, youth and sports.

Analysing measures related to the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions, we also highlighted the importance of the civil society. Initiatives related to the this issue are being implemented by numerous non-governmental organisations, frequently with the support of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, which subsidises cultural projects through annually announced operational programmes.

The assessment of direct effects of the ratification of the Convention shall be possible in the long-term perspective. The development of this report is therefore the first attempt to observe measures related to the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions within the framework of the Convention and outlining current needs in the field of the dissemination of assumptions of the UNESCO document. Preliminarily, three main areas, where the intensification of measures is required were identified.