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Minister to Reform Funding for Culture

Mariann Őry 2023.02.06.
János Csák

A new funding system is being developed by the Ministry of Culture and Innovation, and the funds will be accompanied by requirements, Kultura.hu reports.

Minister János Csák, who comes from the business world, said in an interview with the cultural portal that lobbying is over and that the winners of the past decades must take part in maintaining cultural life.

Culture, innovation, higher education, vocational training, science policy, and family are an integral whole, according to the minister.

We are working for the survival and continuation of Hungarian culture, and the family is the key platform for this,”

Csák stated.

According to Csák, the public administration system has to reconcile many interests; there are political aspects and the measurement system is fundamentally different from the business world. In addition, there is lobbying, but the power of argument matters here too. “If someone has a good idea and can make a valid argument for it, it can be implemented,” he explained.

“We spend an outstanding amount of public funds on culture in Europe,” the minister said, regarding the Hungarian cultural funding system. “This is right because there are a lot of talented and imaginative people working in the field. However, these resources are a bit scattered,” he noted.

The minister said that the first step is to make it clearer in the cultural sector: what resources go to which areas and how they are distributed. “It is important to see how the money spent on a particular purpose is used, and how many visitors a project attracts. How much added value is generated by public money,” he stressed. “We develop our own measurement system for each area so we can set realistic standards,” he added.

Attendance is not the only measure. This is where cultural policy comes in, which means we have to look at what is of value,

the minister stressed.

“I spoke to the heads of the main institutions managing public cultural resources and offered to put the applications I receive for the so-called ministerial envelope into a common decision-making system with well-defined criteria,” Csák said. “We will ask each applicant for a project plan, an outline of the expected outcome, and we will also be able to look at the success of previous applications with the help of a technical committee,” he explained.

I want to make transparent decisions,”

Csák underscored.

In addition to state support, the minister also highlighted the need to increase the role of patronage. “It is only fair that the winners of the last thirty years, as intellectuals and leaders, take responsibility for the maintenance and enrichment of their own culture,” he explained.

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Featured photo via Facebook/Csák János

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