Government Support to Persons That (Independently) Engage in Cultural Activities—Artists and Professionals

Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia
34 representative cultural associations
Describe the main features of the policy/measure: 
The regulatory and financial framework was improved with new decisions and measures during the reported period in terms of cultural expression rights and recognizing the professional contribution of those who independently engage in cultural activities. In early 2019, a decision was made on the status of the representative association in culture for 34 associations in 15 cultural fields. Representative associations in culture are important entities; they are professional groups that bring together artists and cultural professionals to improve their members’ positions and professional development. The Ministry of Culture and Information entrusts representative associations with the task of granting the status of independent artist, or cultural professional. The individual who receives the status of independent artist/culture professional benefits from tax relief in the form of paid taxes and social contributions while independently engaging in cultural activities. The city or municipality where the independent artist or professional resides pays the taxes and contributions. In this regard, a digital register of persons independently engaging in cultural activities was launched at the end of 2020, in close collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and Information and the Prime Minister's Office, to provide precise evidence of persons-independent artists and the legal and financial obligations to them, through the (electronic) networking of all relevant public services in this domain. The second set of obligations allocated to representative cultural associations is to assist in the awarding of national recognitions for outstanding contributions to culture. The Decree on Specific Requirements and Ways of Recognizing Outstanding Contribution to National Culture or the Culture of a National Minority was adopted in early 2020. Representative associations in culture are in charge of issuing official public calls for candidates who have made outstanding contributions to culture, forming a commission for the selection of a maximum of three representatives from each sphere of culture, defining the criteria for selection in their field, conducting the pre-selection of candidates who have left a significant mark in art and culture, and forwarding an elaborated list to the Ministry of Culture and Information, where a special commission decides on the winners. The recognition of outstanding contributions to culture, granted to persons who have earned the right to a pension, brings the attention of the general public to the cultural effort and work of exceptional individuals, and for the recipients, it entails a lifetime monthly payment from the Republic of Serbia.
What are the results achieved so far through the implementation of the policy/measure?: 
The Ministry of Culture and Information sets aside large sums for representative associations' operations every year. These funds support the association’s day-to-day operations, as well as the work of the commissions that recommend candidates for national recognition and approve the status of independent artists. The local self- of territories where the artists or cultural professionals reside pay the taxes and contributions. Currently, there are 3500 representative associations with 3500 artists and cultural professionals. The application of the Decree on Specific Requirements and Ways of Recognizing Outstanding Contribution to National Culture or the Culture of a National Minority and the Digital Registry of Persons Independently Engaging in Cultural Activities will start in 2021, so for now there is only a framework.
Financial resources allocated to the policy/measure in USD: 
In the period 2017-2020, the Ministry of Culture and Information set aside 168,800,000 RSD (1,619,277 USD), 56,266,667 RSD (539,759 USD) annually, for the work of 34 representative associations. For taxes and contributions of independent artists and professionals, the local self-governments set aside additional 378,000,000 RSD (around 3.643.373 USD) annually, or 1,512,000,000 (14,573,494 USD) in the total amount for the reported period. Therefore, in 2017-2020, a total of 1,680,800,000 RSD (16,200,482 USD) was set aside to support independent artists and professionals.
Partner(s) engaged in the implementation of the measure: 
Name of partner
Cities that pay taxes and contributions to persons independently engaged in cultural activities
Objetivo(s) de la Convención 2005 de la UNESCO
Cultural Domain(s)