Culture is considered by the current government as an essential pillar of democracy, national identity, innovation and sustainable development. Fundamental aspects of the government action are the constitutional guarantee of democratic access to cultural creation and fruition, preservation, expansion and promotion of our tangible and intangible heritage, as well as assumption of Culture as an essential factor of innovation, qualification and competiveness of our economy.
A cross-cut cultural policy is in progress, identifying, stimulating and assembling cultural elements in all governance sectors, particularly those of education, training, employment, regional development, tourism and external trade. In the Cultural public sector, priorities are the reform of the sector, endowing it with flexible and effective models suitable to the specificity of its mission, stimulate network between central and local administrations and between public agents and civil society, redefine rules and procedures for financial support schemes.
At the same time, the reinforcement of arts and humanities as central elements of the educational system, the intensification of the public media service as a privileged instrument of cultural policies and the use of ICT to guarantee a large scale access to heritage and creation are needed. Still, measures in the areas of taxation, labor legislation and Social Security, to dignify culture professionals, to support and make more dynamic entrepreneurship and creative industries and stimulate production and consumption of cultural goods will proceed.
Concerning the cross-cut character of cultural policies, priorities are the reestablishment of the Ministry of Culture (accomplished in 2015) as the first promoter of a coherent and sustainable cultural policy and a privileged partner to other Ministries, at the same time that promotes network with the local and regional decision centers, reinforcing its initiative and capacities.
More participated and accessible culture to everyone will demand an integrated approach that mobilizes traditional channels for communication and knowledge and content transfer, and new digital platforms, reducing costs and facilitating access by means of incentives to cultural products consumption.
Tangible and intangible heritage is a major element to cultural and social identity of the country, a factor of enrichment of relations between Portugal and the countries where that heritage can be found, a rich and differentiating element for the attractiveness of regions and the development of tourism. Therefore there’s a shared responsibility to preserve and promote this heritage, guaranteeing a large scale access to its fruition and assuring its transmission to future generations.
Cultural and creative industries are crucial to the promotion of economic activities and jobs creation, promoting cross-cut policies that foster synergies between relevant sectors as tourism and construction (heritage rehabilitation and restoration). Policies that enriches and dignifies authors and artists and improves the conditions for the development of their professional activity through a better protection of their rights, better access to financial support and less labor instability are essential.
Even if the 2005 Convention and its principles are not expressly referred to, they underlie cultural policies defined, namely in the promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions in a digital environment.