Cultural Strategy 2025: Joint Project of the State and Nation

The Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia began work on the unprecedented long-term ‘Strategy 2025’ at the beginning of 2015. During the past year representatives of the Ministry have toured the regions and met with people, organizations, and companies related to culture, in order to reveal the most significant problems and solutions in the cultural field and include them in the Strategy. Minister of Culture, Mikheil Giorgadze, announced the launch of the second phase of the Strategy in early February, adding that it requires the active involvement of population.

The Ministry announced that throughout February they plan to hold 25 presentations of the working version of the Strategy in all regions, four of which will be open to all interested participants wanting to express their views, make comments and take part in discussions. The idea is to make up the final version of Strategy 2025 together with the citizens it will affect.

The working version of the Strategy is already available on a special website and Wikipedia. In this case, everyone has access to the document and can also post comments and amendments online.

“We do not believe that only the government and experts should be in charge of such an important and long-term Strategy,” said Minister Giorgadze. “People have the misconception that culture is just about entertainment or high art. In fact, it is about education and development. We want to convey that culture can help people to overcome everyday problems. And to take the right course in this we need our citizen to participate in this Strategy,” he added.

In an interview with GEORGIA TODAY, Minister Giorgadze noted that the Strategy does not place emphasis on what theater or cinema should be, recognizing it as something that should be done by professionals in these specific areas. “We are talking about the problems that exist in culture. For example, infrastructure and logistic support, which is essential to the industry’s development. There are problems in the legislation and financing, which is one of the biggest challenges for the cultural field, and in the Strategy we offer several alternative methods for that,” stated Minister Giorgadze.

The Strategy has a few interesting suggestions for better financing, one of them being the involvement of the business sector in the cultural field and the possible promotion to the legislative level. Another idea is possible deductions from excise taxes and lotteries to aid sector development.

The Cultural Strategy 2025 is supported by the EU Eastern Partnership Culture Programme, which highly appreciated the Ministry’s work. “It was a pleasure for us to hear Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Mrs. Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni, say that our work on the Strategy for its quality and transparency may serve as a model for other European countries. However, at the same time, it is a big responsibility for us to finish our job to the same level,” said Minister Giorgadze.

The general public can take part in the adjustment of the Strategy before the end of February, after which the final version of the Strategy will be presented at a government meeting in late March.

Eka Karsaulidze

04 February 2016 21:25