The Ministry of Culture and Information of Serbia announced on April 29 that it had received assurances from the Government that assistance for independent artists would be considered within the next phase of sectoral support measures. At the same time, the Ministry announced that the funds it has in 2020 have been reduced by budget rebalancing and that it does not have a magic wand to solve problems in the culture, but will make efforts to finish the started competition activities as soon as possible, which should lead to a certain stabilization of opportunities .
In an open letter Association of Professional Publishers of Serbia (UPIS), which proposed a series of measures to mitigate the effects of the publishing virus coronary pandemic on April 23, the Ministry of Culture and Information stated that from the outset of the state of emergency it was the view that independent artists, as well as all other citizens in different social fields who due to the Kovid-19 virus pandemic, they were unable to carry out business activities and should be covered by state aid measures.
“The fact that the first package of measures adopted by the Republic of Serbia does not include independent artists does not mean that it will remain so in the future,” the Ministry of Culture and Information said, adding that received assurances from the Serbian Government that assistance for independent artists would certainly be a topic when sectoral support measures are considered in the next phase ”.
The Ministry of Culture and Information has also stated that it will do its utmost to ensure that independent artists “in this difficult situation in which the whole world is found are not circumvented in terms of assistance”.
While stating that she fully understands the situation in which publishing in Serbia has emerged from the declaration of a state of emergency, the Ministry of Culture and Information has stated that the pandemic of the virus corona has stopped most economic activity on the planet, and that the principle of overflowing courts is not only publishing, but also others branches of the cultural industries: distributors and screeners of films, theaters, musical ensembles and other artists and cultural workers, deprived of more or less of their planned income.
“In order to help the economy, the Government of the Republic of Serbia has taken a number of measures aimed at alleviating the situation for all business entities, including publishers, which you yourself have correctly observed,” the Ministry stated in a letter to UPIS, expressing its readiness to speak with the association. as with all other publisher associations.
The Ministry of Culture and Information stated that to bear the burden of adverse economic circumstances and the budget earmarked for it.
“It’s something we reluctantly agree to, but aware of the time we are in. Within the given framework, we have made a great effort to change as little as possible precisely in the part of spending funds intended for the competition, ”the Ministry of Culture and Information stated.
On the basis of the concrete measures proposed by the Register, the Ministry of Culture and Information considers that the requirement that the funds for the implementation of one of the competitions be doubled is neither realistic nor in solidarity with other sectors of cultural activities. In this context, it reiterated that the Publications Buying Contest is an important instrument of its cultural policy, but that it is not adequate as a way of providing extraordinary assistance to publishers due to special conditions and restrictions.
The ministry also stated that the UPIS proposal for the creation of special competitions for the purchase of publications intended for school libraries, as well as libraries of other educational institutions, deserves special attention, but added that it was a matter for the Ministry of Education.
“We will be ready to assist all colleagues in the Ministry who has legal authority in the field of education, because this type of work requires a number of changes related to budget expansion and organization of work,” the Ministry of Culture and Information said, adding that the same is true of the proposal -a establishment of specialized libraries in hospitals, old people’s homes, children’s shelters, safe women’s homes and other social institutions where a large number of people reside continuously.
According to the Ministry of Culture and Information, these proposals are under the authority of the Ministry of Health.
The Ministry of Culture also stated that does not have a magic wand to solve the problems of the publisher, or other cultural entities.
“We have a difficult year ahead. The Ministry will endeavor to conclude the competition activities as soon as possible, which, we believe, will bring some stabilization of opportunities. The fight against infectious disease will not stop for some time, and the fight to repair the consequences of which the spread of the disease has left will take even longer. Responsibility, effort and patience will be shared and shared by all, if we are ready to cooperate and understand, “the Assistant Minister of Culture and Information in the Open Letter to UPIS stated in the Sector for Contemporary Creativity and Creative Industries Ivana Dedić.