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Cultural Programs

Conceptualization of cultural policies of GUAM countries (analytical paper )


Elaboration of recommendations on conceptualization of cultural policy of GUAM countries, i.e. Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Republic of Moldova first of all requires determination of space-time coordinates of cultural-political continuum, where the actions that we are interested in - of civil and governmental participation in cultural processes are evolving.

The primary issue, in this respect, is to comprehend that modern cultural policy of GUAM countries have a lot of similarities both in retrospective of staying throughout considerable historical period in famous mega-states and in view of up-to-date geoculturopolitical tendencies of independent states oriented in European integration and international law. The possibilities are ignoring the details of ideological characteristics of the period that precede the declaration of independence of Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova, retro diagnosis of general situation and policy provision instruments' readiness in cultural and art sphere, revelation of strong and weak points, achievements and mistakes in this historical period. This will lay quiet a solid foundation for holding comparative content-analysis of cultural policy mechanisms and instruments in mentioned past period and those that happens nowadays. In turn, achieved results will give necessary impulse to further evolvement of studies dedicated to conceptualization of perspective cultural policies of GUAM countries, working out corresponding cultural-political recommendations.


Legislative, administrative, financial, informative, personnel, infrastructural and international instruments are accepted mechanisms of social intervention into creative processes and mainly on analysis of their state in foreseeable past and present and are based on recommended methodology.

Hypothesis is that, every mechanism of cultural policy is composed of triune cultural-political instruments, and one third of internal space of cultural policy corresponding mechanisms is allocated to every developed cultural-political instrument. Proceeding from this, it is theoretically assumed that there are two fundamental reasons of cultural policy problems, the primary of which can be dysfunction of all three instruments of which corresponding cultural-political mechanism consist.

The second reason can be triune disbalance, when one or two cultural-political instruments cover more space than it is allowed, according to "formal-logistic" legality, and respectively one third of it breaking internal coordination of cultural-political mechanism and bringing disharmony to dynamics of total development of cultural policy.

Demonstration of accents, arranged by national cultural politicians of Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova on cultural-political instruments, activating respective mechanisms of cultural policy, should assist discovering deep potentials of further development of national culture, making clear achieved successes and will be helpful for resolving cultural-political problems.

Utilized matrix of mechanisms for providing cultural policy and corresponding cultural-political instruments looks as follows:

I. Legal provision of cultural policy:

1.     International law

2.     National legislation

3.     Copyrights

II. Administrative provision of cultural policy:

1.     Governmental power

2.     Business structures

3.     Non-governmental organizations

III. Financial provision of cultural policy:

1.     State budget

2.     Sponsors

3.     Self-financing

IV. Informative provision of cultural policy:

1.     conceptions\ programmes\ projects

2.     Conferences\symposiums\seminars

3.     Mass media

V. Staff provision of cultural policy

1.     education

2.     advanced training

3.     Support of public figures

VI. Material and technical provision of cultural policy:

1.     Construction and reconstruction of buildings

2.     Repair of accommodations

3.     Equipping

VII. International provision of cultural policy:

1.     International organizations

2.     Bilateral cooperation

3.     Diaspora

Effeciency of proposed methodology is clearly displayed on material and technical provision of cultural policy instruments of which are declared construction and reconstruction of buildings, repair of accommodations and equipping.

It is clear that none of the mentioned cultural-political instruments can function out of the mechanism without concomitant support of the rest.

There is not a building that doesn't require periodical capital current repairs.

There is not a job without permanent adoption of eagerly developing corresponding cultural and information technologies and not to mention elementary furniture, chancellary and other equipments. Buildings become dilapidated, useless, out of date and consequently, cultural politicians should take into consideration the necessity of periodical reconstructions of old buildings, if necessary, new buildings for culture formation.

At the same time, we can not limit ourselves with the activity of one or two mentioned instruments, to construct, for example, new buildings for culture house, to propose employees to work without computers and chairs, and adopt modern light and sound technology to neglected parks of culture and rest.

Therefore, equal attention should be paid to functioning of all three cultural-political instruments of cultural policy material and technical mechanism and this strict balance should be kept by national cultural politicians of Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova.

Retromonitoring of the pre-post soviet period

As being soviet socialist republics, the cultural policy of Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova, were not so different in pre-post soviet period, i.e. in the period before declaring state independence. In this regard it is reasonable to retrodiagnose the situation shortly and impartially, without dividing into states.

Beside, taking into consideration some "features" of communistic system, the basis of considered matrix of cultural policy retromonitoring in pre-post soviet period will be direct participation and representation of national cultural politicians.

It is necessary to mention that, retromonitoring of pre-post soviet period is referred only to mechanisms and instruments of state cultural policy provision; it doesn't affect the spheres of culture and art and doesn't prejudice recognized artistic achievements of nations of Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova.

I. The legal provision of the development of national cultural policy in pre-post soviet period.

The subject of international cultural law was the USSR with all followed results; that is the national cultural policies of GSSR, USSR, AzSSR, MSSR were in fact deprived of the opportunity to participate directly in international cultural legal system.

If to bear in mind that the leading marxsist-leninist philosophy in USSR viewed culture as an ideological superstructure on economic basis of society, it becomes clear why the cultural legislation was so underdeveloped-the main stress were laid on "basic" laws. One of few exceptions was inevitable Law of 1976 on "Protection and utilization of historical and cultural monuments". In terms of declaration the 1977 - the year of forming "new historical society-the soviet nation" the issue of improving the national cultural legislation physically could not be actual. The protection of human rights, including cultural was declared in constitutions and international agreements. However, undisputed broad limitations of human rights, their violence, repressions, persecutions, etc. create a vivid image of what was happening in reality during that period.

II. Administrative provision of the development of national cultural policy in pre-post soviet period.

The governmental bodies of executive authority in pre-post soviet period are characterized with maximum centralization of vertical power, without giving a place to any decentralized cultural-political initiative out of ideological instructions and decisions given from above.

Monopolization of general political and cultural-political authority in pre-post soviet period, was excluding the development of independent economic structures in cultural management. Formal participation of social organizations in cultural management was provided through wide dissemination and official support of artistic unions and associations. However, absolute governmental control over the activities of these kind of "nongovernmental" organizations shows the lack of "basic" elements of democratic society.

III. Financial provision of the development of national cultural policy in pre-post soviet period.

By the beginning of 1930's the majority of economy, industry and agriculture were national. Culture was being financed from the governmental budget. In absence of private business structures the sponsorship means didn't have the right to exist.

The incomes from the paid cultural services flowed down the state budget, were not self financed and spent for development of cultural and art institutions.

IV. Informational provision of the development of national cultural policy in pre-postsoviet period.

Despite of strong development of fundamental science receiving comprehensive governmental support in times of USSR, the humanities were limited within the frame of "only faithful" Marxist-Leninist conception of best communistic society.

Sufficient number various conferences/symposiums/seminars were also organized, however scholastic in essence, to demonstrate the priority of socialistic system.

Mass media was a mouthpiece of leading and directing Leninist party, instead of being a source of unbiased information and the space of public debates on problems of cultural and non-national policy.

V. Personnel provision of the development of national cultural policy in pre-postsoviet period.

Education, training courses, support of cultural workers and young talents was broadly spread in socialistic republics of Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova.

The only deficiency able to cross out all merits was the content of the system" personnel decide everything"; this was the socialistic realism with its principles of nationalism, party membership and concreteness. Everything that was out of this system had to be reorganized, reclassified and deprived of means of existence.

VI. Material and technical provision of the development of national cultural policy in pre-post soviet period.

Building and reconstruction of buildings for culture and art institutions were broadly spread; opportunely capital and current repairs of cultural institution apartments were carried out.

Best equipments were installed and modernist technologies were introduced.

Although the part of all these wealth was disappearing in hands of furtive "pilferers" and corruptive directors, cultural policy was well provided infrastructurally.

Argument for this was the significance given to material and technical base, equally, given all to material things, by ideologists of dialectic materialism.

VII. International provision of the cultural policy in pre-post soviet period.

Only Ukraine among all considered republics was the member of UN in socialist period and this gave the country formal right to participate in work of the international organization.

Bilateral international cultural cooperation with foreign countries was possible only within soviet delegation passing through careful ideological selection process.

Relations with fellow-countrymen living abroad were excluded within conditions of ‘iron curtain".

Results of the retromonitoring of pre-post soviet period.

1. Practically there was not any legal provision for development of national Georgian, Ukrainian, Azerbaijani and Moldavian cultural policy in the soviet period.

2. Administrative provision of the development of national cultural policy in pre-postsoviet period was limited by maximum centralization, monopolization and antidemocratic cultural-political authority

3. Fully governmental financing made the cultural policy dependent from successes and failures of planned economy, bearing the financing on the leftover principle.

4.     Informational provision was penetrated into the brains of masses of "the truth in final instances" which was reflected in total collections of famous classics.

5. Personnel provision of national cultural policy was directed to evisceration of folk identity in national cultures and bringing them under main parameters of soviet life style.

6. Material and technical provision of national cultural policy in pre-post soviet period was in higher level.

7. Representativeness of national culture and art in international arenas was limited by admission capacity of respective departments of intelligence services.

In this way, we can not mention about the existence of complete national cultural policy of Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova in pre-post soviet period, the policy aimed at protection, support and development of national culture and art.

Nevertheless, we have to take into account the fact that since the 1960's there appeared the first signs of withdrawal from principles of communal consciousness and socialistic realism, also gradual release of artistic thought from governmental control, which happened with different intensity in various spheres of culture and art.

Somehow or other, by the end of 1980's the natural result of disappointment in former system became the strong boom of national identity in Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova making there super structural affect on following swift changing political processes.

Content-analysis of modern conditions

Restoration of state independence in 1991 opened unforeseen opportunities of direct integration into international cultural-political community, study and implementation of advanced technologies and know-how for national cultural politicians of Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova.

Along with this, noone canceled social-political and economic crises, under the burden of which the Soviet Union collapsed and its inertia was able to kill all optimistic expectations.

To their credit, peoples of Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova do not only resisted a lot of historical challenges and internal problems, but also laid a foundation of independent governmental existence for long-term perspective, developed strategy and determined main directions for further governmental development of these countries in new conditions, initiated modern national-cultural policy. 

Following the methodological setting of the study on conceptualization of GUAM countries' cultural policy, content -analysis of modern conditions will be conducted in accordance with the structure of mechanism matrix of cultural-policy provision and corresponding cultural-political instruments.


I. Legal provision of national cultural policy development of in modern conditions.

With restoration of state independence GUAM countries began to pay more attention to development and strengthening of international normative activity and relating with this joined several international agreements which are very essential in provision of security and extensive international cultural exchange, demanding in turn conformity with modern standards of international law. Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova have ratified the international legal instruments in cultural sphere such as, International Pact on economic, social and cultural rights 1966, UNESCO Convention and Protocol for the protection of cultural property in the event of armed conflict, Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, Universal Copyright Convention, European Cultural Convention (1998).

Legislative activity of parliaments of Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova in cultural sphere was quiet intensive. Legal basis in culture and different spheres of culture and art were adopted during a short period.

Nevertheless, we should confess that, mentioned work requires further development in working out draft laws concerning cultural spheres without direct legislative regulation, as well as in carrying out adopted laws "on a hot scent".

Potential of completion of legislative basis depends on adoption not only structural (for example, law about culture), but also functional (related with mechanisms and instruments of cultural policy provision) legislative acts.

Fundamental principles of laws on copyrights and adjoining rights of Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova are the same with principles effective in European countries.

Adjoining rights, rights of executors, phonogram producers and broadcasting structures (television and radio), and also inherited rights are recognized. Potential of cultural-political development in this sphere lays in rising juridical literacy of individual cultural right subjects.

II. Administrative provision of development of national cultural policy in modern conditions.

Modern Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova are democratic, legal and secular republics. Constitutions of states provide the principle of power sharing: parliaments carry out legislative power; the executive power belongs to presidents, courts carry out juridical power. Organs of central executive power that are responsible for the realization of state cultural policy in GUAM countries are Ministry of Culture, monuments protection and sport of Georgia, Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova. Cultural policy in regions is carrying out by local organs of culture. All of this demonstrates that, vertical line of state cultural-political executive power is arranged quiet effectively in GUAM countries and structurally ready for transformation into activity on direct provision of mechanisms and activating the cultural policy instruments.

Market economy principles, being chosen on the nations' own free will while restoring the independence, allow private financial-economic structures actively overtake the cultural production and distribution. As it is generally accepted, private capital started with more profitable cultural spheres, i.e. with cultural industry such as audiovisual and computer production, concert-guest performance activity, mass media, partly cinematography and book publishing in terms of free market.  Comparing with cultural industry, much less commercial groups are performing in the sphere of artwork: theatre, music and visual arts.

Processes of social democratization reanimated the so called third sector. On a large scale, civil societies in GUAM countries are on initial stage of their development and it can be observed in essential backwardness of non-governmental organizations' system in functionality plan from the first (state) and second (commercial) sectors.

In spite of the fact that there are a lot of NGOs in the cultural and artistic spheres which can be characterized as really active, most of NGOs suffer from facility and fund, organizational skills, research and staff potential shortage. It seems perspective to attract the third sector into protection of tangible and intangible cultural heritage (monuments, museums, libraries, handicraft, and folklore) which is mainly within the competence of the state now.

III. Financial provision of national cultural policy development in modern conditions.

As the main sponsor of culture and art provision was and is the state, financing of culture and art depends mainly on state budget. Most of cultural institutions have governmental status and are financed by centralized and local budgets. Monuments, libraries, museums and artistic galleries are totally, theatrical-concert organizations are partly financed by state budget.

Salaries are guaranteed by state, when expenses for maintenance of buildings or for organization of new stages are covered at the expense of organizations. As a result of budget resources decentralization for culture, more and more percent of funds allocated on local level.

New partnership relations are occurring among state cultural institutions and private sponsors; additional funds are attracting for covering the expenses, patronage traditions are regenerating, charitable actions and other forms of attracting non-budget resources are becoming more popular.

Nevertheless, sponsorship has not yet assimilated the one third from financial support of culture and art, but cultural politicians of GUAM countries have to raise fundraising to the rank of one of main forms of activity on financing the cultural and artistic institutions and events.

The other alternative source - self-financing or resources gained by cultural organizations themselves, for example, fees for services provided by museums, exhibition halls and libraries, cultural tourism and marketing. 

However, indicated sum of money is still small and make up around 1% of total cultural expenses. In this respect national cultural politicians of Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova have something to learn from western European colleagues who are more successful in this sphere.

IV. Information provision of the development of national cultural policy in modern conditions.

The ministries of culture of Georgia, Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova are working out strategies and programmes in different directions of state cultural policy. However, it is important to point that, the conceptualization of cultural policy in GUAM countries' projects and events is in embryo. The programmes and projects are created by traductive method, without any previous monitoring of the situation and collection of important data. In this regard, most of the prepared programmes have a formal character, were written for the sake of something and are in lower level.

Number of regional, national and international scientific-practical conferences, seminars, symposiums and round tables are organizing at the present. The national cultural politics are participating in various events, being organized abroad.

More than thousand registered mass media is existing in GUAM countries; number of TV and broadcasting services is functioning, cultural Internet is getting used to. The mass media bodies, up to their policy, are proposing the variety of regular program and projects with cultural artistic contents, ranking form the popular pop-show to classical heritage. However, there is no enough quantity of special TV and radio channels, "thick" journals and serious Internet resources of culture and art.

V. Staff provision of national cultural policy in modern conditions.

Education in the sphere of art has long traditions in GUAM countries and is known with a high level democracy and access for the majority of population. The responsibility for setting up of cultural education and advance of qualification is divided between culture and education ministries. Child musical and art schools with entry level, secondary special education institutions, cultural-enlightener technical schools and art colleges are with free three-stage education. Appropriate academies and conservatoires, art and culture universities are giving high education in culture and art spheres, by preparing cultural workers and staff to work in cultural institutions.

Retraining and cultural workers' qualification raising in GUAM countries is conducting in appropriate courses on all categories (heads of region and city culture offices, heads of theatres, concert institutions, libraries, museums, child musical and art schools, clubs, culture houses, picture galleries and etc.). The participation in international trainings, master classes, familiarization visits on practice exchange is becoming one of the most famous form of qualification raising of workers.

Creative persons in GUAM counties are supported by centralized and local budgets, providing especially appropriate conditions in support of cultural institutions, salaries, honorariums, pensions and bulletins. The another way of state support of creative potential is an involvement of creative persons into the realization of state programs and projects, organizational and financial support of private projects and initiatives. The organization of festivals and competitions in different spheres of art (theatre, music, fine art), delegation to international events and etc. as well are support methods of cultural workers and talents.

VI. Material and technical provision of cultural policy in modern conditions.

Depending on the variety of economic situation in GUAM countries, cultural and art institutions are materially and technically supported. As far as possible, current and major repairs are conducted, the institutions are provided with the modern information-communication technologies. The reconstruction of historical buildings, in which the cultural and art institutions are acting, is as well conducting according to programs on support of history and culture memorials. The reconstruction of new and specialized buildings for culture objects is more difficult.

VII. International support of national cultural policy in modern conditions.

With the gaining of indepence, international cultural relations had become one of the main methods of new external policy in Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova. Cooperation relations had been established with a number of countries of Europe, Asia, America and Africa, between presenetly acting creative assosiations and persons. Traditional and new forms of bilateral cultural relations (theatre and concert exchange, culture days and etc.) are realizing.

Multilateral cultural cooperation is fruitfully and succesfully developing with UNESCO, Council of Europe, GUAM, ISESCO, TURKSOY and etc. Presently, GUAM countries are participating in Kyiv Initiatiev programme of CoE, in the frames of which multilateral projects-as management of heritage, Alexander Duma in Caucasus, Cultural policy and exchange and etc. are realizing.

One of the new and more important priorities of external cultural policy of GUAM countries is a support of relations with cultural centers and societies of compatriots, living abroad; the forms of active cooperation is conducted; moral and material support is providing. 

Brief overview of Azerbaijan National Cultural Policy provisions example

The cultural policy system in Azerbaijan is very state-supportive in all respects, with the state taking the main decisions, providing financial support and coordinating the activities of the various partners involved in culture, in particular the regional and local authorities and professional organisations. This approach was necessary in order to protect culture and the arts, as well as secure artists and cultural workers, in the transition period.

At the same time, considerable societal changes during recent years have led to the development of a new model of cultural policy. The national cultural policy, following rapid economic development, has a good opportunity to flourish in the near future, combining flexible management at central level with activeness and initiatives at local level, an increase in the state cultural budget, together with improvements in fundraising and marketing skills of independent cultural managers, entrepreneurs and producers.

As outlined in the Constitution and in the Law on Culture, the national cultural policy is based on the principles of equal opportunities to create and use cultural values and to preserve the heritage in Azerbaijan. Every person has the right to create, use and disseminate cultural values, irrespective of their social and material status, nationality, race, religion and gender. The Law guarantees freedom of intellectual and creative expression and provides a legal basis for the development of national culture as a constituent part of world culture. These principles adequately reflect the Council of Europe principles based on humanistic positions, considering people as the highest value, advocating their freedom and overall development, and priorities such as promotion of identity and cultural diversity (e.g. freedom of expression), encouragement of creativity and participation in cultural life.

1. Legislative provision

International legal instruments in the field of culture ratified by Azerbaijan are: the International Pact on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights from 1966 (1992), the Convention on the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and the Protocols (1993), the Convention on the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (1993), the Convention on Cooperation of the States belonging to the Black Sea Region in the sphere of culture, education, science and information (1995), the Convention on Recognition of Studies, Diplomas and Degrees concerning Higher Education in the States belonging to the European Region (1996), the Universal Copyright Convention (1997), the Convention on Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Cultural Property (1997), the European Cultural Convention (1997), the Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (1998), the European Convention of 1992 for the Protection of Archeological Heritage (1999), the European Convention on Joint Film-Making (1999), the UNIDRUA Convention on Stolen and Illegally Exported Cultural Objects (2000), the Convention for Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (2006).

The Government has initiated procedures to join the CoE Convention for the Protection of the Architectural Heritage of Europe and the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. The main ministries dealing with it are the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as the Azerbaijan National Commission on UNESCO.

Parliament's legislative activity in the cultural field was fairly intensive, following independence in 1991, 21 laws on various aspects of culture were passed:


Title of law



on the re-introduction of Roman letters in the Azerbaijani alphabet

25 December 1991


on mass media

21 July 1992


on establishing a copyright agency in the Republic of Azerbaijan

10 September 1993


on the Production Union "Azerkinovideo"

13 December 1993


on author's and related rights

5 June 1996


on advertising

3 October 1997


on culture

6 February 1998


on the protection of historic and cultural monuments

10 April 1998


on subsidies

17 April 1998


on freedom of information

19 June 1998


on the cinema

3 July 1998


on architecture

3 July 1998


on libraries

29 December 1998


on tourism

4 June 1999


on town-planning principles 

11 June 1999


on the National Archives

22 June 1999


on mass media

8 February 2000


on museums

24 March 2000


on publishing

30 May 2000


on protection of folklore models

16 May 2003


on theatre activities

29 December 2006

2. Administrative provision

Following the reforms implemented in state management bodies of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and in order to ensure the best structural formation, the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Tourism was reformed; the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Ministry of Youth and Sport were established by a Decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan in 30 January 2006. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan is an organ of central executive power, realizing state policy and adjustments in the fields of culture, arts, tourism, historical and cultural monuments, publishing and cinematography. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic (NAR), city administrations of culture and tourism in Baku, Ganja, Sumgayit, as well as 64 towns and district departments of culture and tourism, are responsible for local executive cultural policy issues.

The rise in entertainment businesses, the culture industries and cultural tourism has inevitably attracted the attention of private business. The number of private galleries, museums, antique shops and shops for national souvenirs and crafts is growing. Design agencies, the book market, and printing houses are developing.

The culture industries such as book-publishing, the press, audiovisual and phonogram production, entertainment industries and new technologies are undergoing rapid development. Indeed, there is a totally new independent business sector developing in Azerbaijan, which is not yet considered in the overall national cultural policy.

Democratisation processes in society have stirred up the private as well as the third sector. Civil society in Azerbaijan is in the first stages of its development. The Ministry of Justice has registered more than 1 500 non-governmental organisations. There are also many unregistered organisations, although few of them can be described as really active. Most of NGOs suffer from a shortage of funds, organisational skills, research potential and members. Taking all of this into account, the President of the Republic signed, on 27 July 2007, the Decree on adoption of "The Conception on the state support to the non-governmental organizations of the Republic of Azerbaijan". The Council on State Support to NGOs was established under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, which has already announced its first competition, which resulted in grants to 191 NGOs, totaling 1,200 thousands AZN. 

3. Financial provision

Economic development in recent years, and new oil finds in Azerbaijan, has led to considerable growth in the State budget and correspondingly to levels of expenditure and public financing of culture. Expenditure on culture in 2008 was close to 3% of the total State budget (11,060,600 thousand AZN)), exchange rate: 1 AZN (Azeri New Manat) = 0.9 Euro). Specific expenditure on culture, arts, cinema, monuments restoration, excluding mass media, was more than 2,5%.

Rapid economic development in Azerbaijan influences a continuous yearly increase in the level of public culture expenditure. In 2008, cultural expenditure per capita amounted to AZM 39, 4 which corresponded to 3% of overall expenditure per capita.

Total expenditure is growing rapidly - as the table shows, centralised and regional expenditure both grew steadily, in accordance with the Culture Act. Central expenditure has grown to 45,3% in recent years due to the addition of the tourism sphere, and without it the balance between central and local expenditure is 40% and 60% correspondingly.

It should be noted that additional centralised investments in culture and tourism infrastructures amounted to 220,150 thousand AZN in 2008.

4. Conceptual provision

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism has elaborated strategies and programmes in different spheres of state cultural and tourism policies such as the "State Programme on Development of Tourism 2007-2016", "State Programme on Development of Library-information spheres 2008-2013", "State Programme on Development of Azerbaijan Cinema 2008-2018", a draft of the "Culture Conception of the Republic of Azerbaijan", "Azerbaijan Intangible Cultural Heritage Conception",  "Monitoring of the Azerbaijan intangible cultural heritage provisions mechanisms", "The Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan Program on Peoples Creativity Capitals for 2010-2014",  "Pilot Project on  establishment of the Mugam-tour, Ashyg-tour, Carpet-tour, Novruz-your cultural tourism routs", "Creation of the information bank on Azerbaijan intangible cultural heritage subjects (masters, performers, collectives, researchers, NGO-s, enterprises), etc.

5. Human recourses provision

Responsibility for cultural education and training institutions is divided between the Ministry of Culture and Tourism (children's music, art and painting schools and the Baku School of Choreography) and the Ministry of Education, which supervises the special secondary and the higher arts education in Azerbaijan. At present, there are 266 specialized schools teaching music, dance and painting at primary education level, which children attend for 4 to 7 years (art - 4 years, dance - 5 years, music - 7 years). Music schools teach classical (piano, violin, cello, flute, clarinet, oboe, trumpet, tuba, bassoon, etc.) and folk (tar, kemancha, nagara, canon, balaban, etc.) instruments, as well as classical and folk singing. Music and art schools are almost totally (99.4%) state-funded. Only 0.6% comes from parents, who pay approximately 0.8 AZN per child, per year.

There are 16 specialized schools providing education in culture and the arts at secondary professional education level (11 music schools, 3 cultural technical schools, a college of art and a dance school). Technical schools specializing in music (there are 8, including the Music College of Azerbaijan National Conservatoire) train performers in classical and folk instruments, and also teachers for children's music schools. The Arts College of the Azerbaijan State Academy of Arts teaches painting, sculpture, carpet-making, ceramics, model-making, theatre design and the decorative and applied arts. Technical schools specializing in culture provide training in the following fields: culture and arts management, museum management, monument conservation, decorative and applied arts, librarianship. They also have music departments, which train music teachers for pre-school institutions and music schools. The second-level course runs for three years, the first-level course for four. Some specialised schools offer both as a continuum; the Secondary Special Music School, named after Byulbyul, of the Baku Academy of Music and the Baku School of Choreography - the country's only training school for ballet and folk dancers - are among them. Training in these institutions lasts 11-12 years, is provided free of charge, and students with good grades also receive scholarships.

The Baku Academy of Music, the Azerbaijan National Conservatoire, the Azerbaijan State University of Culture and Arts, and the Azerbaijan State Academy of Art offer courses in culture and the arts at high professional education third-level. Some universities also run courses for students intending to work in cultural institutions. Composers, musicologists, choir-leaders, classical and folk instrumentalists, and singers receive their training at the Baku Academy of Music, whose graduates have won international recognition, both as teachers and performers. The State University of Culture and the Arts runs courses in the following fields: theatre, cinema and TV (directing, acting, scriptwriting, camera operating, etc.), choreography, museum management, monument conservation, cultural management, performing arts, decorative and applied arts (carpet design, industrial graphics, commercial art, fashion design, interior design, etc.). The Azerbaijan State Academy of Arts offers courses on painting, graphics, sculpture, architecture, decorative and applied arts, theatre design, the history and theory of the performing arts, interior design, carpet design, advertising and model-making. Architects are trained at the College of Architecture and Building Techniques. The State University of Azerbaijan offers graduate course for librarians and bibliographers.

Training and further training courses for cultural workers have been functioning since 1966. These help people working within the Ministry of Culture and Tourism system (directors of municipal cultural centers, theatre and concert hall managers and staff, librarians, and staff of museums, children's music and art schools, adult art schools, cultural associations and centers, picture galleries, etc.) to improve their skills. The number of students, and the range of categories from which they come, are increasing yearly.

6. Infrastructural provision

The majority of cultural institutions have state status, being financed by centralised or local budgets. Libraries, museums and art galleries are fully financed by public budgets, and the theatre-entertainment organisations are partially financed by the state. Salaries are guaranteed by the state, while expenditure on maintaining buildings, or to build new stages, etc., are carried out at the expense of the organisations themselves. A high percentage of centralised expenditure goes on libraries and museums of national importance, subsidies to state theatres, centralised events, theatrical and musical performances, the visual arts, restoration of cultural monuments, creation of new monuments, and conduction of events in foreign countries, etc.


Total number



Concert organisations




Palaces and houses of culture, clubs

2 708

Child music, art and painting schools


Baku School of Choreography


Scientific-methodological centre for culture


Centre for the cultural institution workers' training and professional development


State museums


State reserves


Art galleries


Exhibition Hall


Culture and recreation parks




Leisure centres


State Film Foundation (with filial)


State film studios


City and district cinemas


Film distribution bases


Editorial and publishing houses


Scientific-Research Project Institute "Azerberpa"


Scientific restoration-production agencies and departments


Republican Library Collector


National Culinary Centre


Historical and cultural monuments

6 308

7. International provision

Since Azerbaijan regained independence, international cultural ties have become one of the important instruments of the new foreign policy Collaborative links have been formed with many countries in Europe, Asia, America and Africa, at regional and city levels, and between artists' associations and individual artists, which now operate autonomously. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism is developing, in a very successful and productive way, multilateral cultural co-operation with international organisations such as the UN, UNESCO, Council of Europe, EU, WTO, OIC, ISESCO, TURKSOY, CIS, GUAM, etc and participates in a series of multilateral cultural projects.

Azerbaijan joined UNESCO in 1992. Since then, special celebrations have been organised at UNESCO headquarters in Paris to mark the 1300th anniversary of the epic Azerbaijani legend Kitab-i Dede Qorqud (1998), the 800th anniversary of the birth of Nasir ad-Din Toosi (2001), the 200th anniversary of the birth of Mirza Kazem-Bey (2002), the 100th anniversary of the birth of academician Yusif Mammadaliyev (2005), the 100th anniversary of the birth of carpet-maker artist Latif Kerimov (2006), the 100th anniversary of the first opera in the East: "Leyli and Majnun" (2008), the 100th anniversary of the birth of Mir Jalal Pashayev, writer (2008), etc. The cultural exhibition and gala-concert "Azerbaijan - a crossroad of civilisations and cultures" was organised in the framework of the jubilee cycle "Dialogue of civilisations", dedicated to the 60th anniversary of UNESCO in the UNESCO headquarters, on 19 October 2006.

Azerbaijan has active links with UNESCO. The Walled City of Baku, with Shirvanshakhs Palace and the Maiden Tower, was added to the World Heritage List in 2000 and in 2007 Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape was added to the World Heritage List. A number of monuments have been submitted to the Tentative List: Surakhany, Atashgyakh (Fire - worshippers, temple - museum at Surakhany) (1998), The Mausoleum of Nakhinchevan (1998), Hyrkan State Reservation (1998), The Caspian Shore Defensive Construc­tions (2001), Susha historical and architectural reserve (2001), Ordubad historical and the architectural reserve (2001), and Sheki, the Khan's Palace (2001). The Azerbaijani Mugham (2003), the Art of Azerbaijani Ashiq (2009) and  Novruz (multinational: Azerbaijan - India - Iran - Kyrgyzstan - Uzbekistan - Pakistan - Turkey, 2009) had been included to the Representative Intangible Heritage List of UNESCO.

Proceeding on the interregional specifics of Azerbaijan, resulting from its geographic situation, social-political aspirations, and historical-cultural traditions, which has contributed historically to the transmission of this region as a meeting place of the East and the West as well as the South and the North, with the modern Republic of Azerbaijan being the only state member both of the Council of Europe and the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), the Baku Process has been initiated by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan recently in order to bring closer these regions consisting of CoE and ISESCO member states.

The Baku Conference of Ministers responsible for Culture met on 2-3 December 2008, on the theme of "Intercultural dialogue as a basis for sustainable development and peace in Europe and its neighbouring regions". This meeting was organized a few months after the adoption and launch of the "White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue" and is a follow-up to the Third Summit of Heads of State and Government in 2005, as well as the implementation of the "Faro Strategy" for developing intercultural dialogue. VI Ministerial Conference of Ministers of Culture of the Organisation of Islamic Conference member states had been organised in Baku, 13-15 October, 2009, following the Baku Process, and celebration Baku as Islamic Culture Capital for 2009.

Resume on content-analysis of modern conditions

1. Government bodies of the executive power, with an effective vertical of realization of governmental authority, can limit their perspective activity to mechanisms and methods of cultural policy provision. Private culture and art managements, gradually taking root into the cultural industries and other branches of culture and art have all possibilities for the revival of mentioned spheres. Non governmental organizations can undertake considerable proportion of non-profit-making events on preservation of cultural heritage.

2. Legal provision of the development of national cultural policy in modern conditions has passed its stage of extensive development, active connection to international conventions, creation of a new legislature, and establishment of copyright regulations. The period of the intensification of the mentioned process, concrete implementation of international and national legal basis, raising of effectiveness of juridical practice has come.

3. The state budget is still remaining one of the main resources of culture and art financing. However, cultural politicians and civilized fundraising habits' gradual development for attracting of sponsor stocks; and cultural marketing's development for qualification raising and attracting of paid cultural services, give grounds to suppose that, the cultural policy of GUAM countries will get their second and third wind in development of financial resources.

4. The international practice is evidencing that, the economy on conceptualization of cultural policy brings down the activity of responsible workers in the sphere of culture and art to the level of functionals of the "ministries of music and dance", being able to produce short-sighted and not well grounded events. The quantity of organized local, national and international conferences/symposiums/workshops have to press towards the transfer to all new quality levels of activity; otherwise not favorable form of "cultural tourism" is amidst officials. Notwithstanding the abundance of mass media, practically, whole market of culture information has been leased out to glossy and yellow press, which forms the next consumer wave with modest taste. In this regard, the establishment of a state support of serious mass-media bodies is important.

5. Cultural politicians of GUAM countries inherited well developed education infrastructure, cultural worker's training and support. Being deprived from previous ideological dogmas and cliché, and updated of necessity, the given system could be a good support in organization of cultural-political reforms according to the European standards.

6. Different economic conditions, in which GUAM countries found themselves after a lapse of the second decade beginning from the state independence, affect different levels of material and technical support of cultural-political infrastructure, reconstruction of buildings, repair and arming of culture and art accommodations. The general situation of the actions in this field is striving to approach the pre-post-soviet analogue.

7. The main goals of external policy are the strengthening of mutual understanding relations and confidence with foreign countries, development of equal and mutually beneficial partnership, provision of the objective perception of the country in peace. Multilateral cultural cooperation by means of realization of long-term programs and projects possesses unused potential and in particular in this direction it is important for cultural politicians to stir up their external activity.


Model structure of the conception on national cultural policy

1. Implementation of modern methods of culture management:

  • Continuation of decentralized processes in management by ways of development of adequacy between central and local executive powers
  • Realization of demonopolization, by means of establishment of art-management, producer institute and enlargement of business administration
  • Stable democratization with a view of formation of civil society, preservation of identity and demonstration of private initiatives

2. Improvement of legal provision:

  • Enlargement of cooperation in the frames of international conventions and bilateral agreements
  • Complex development of the national cultural-political legislature
  • Perfection of the practice of copyright protection

3. Diversification of financing resources

  • Optimization of state budget for culture
  • Attraction of alternative financial resources (sponsors, Maecenas)
  • Implementation of modern marketing for improvement of paid cultural services system

4. Programming of scientific-information provision:

  • Establishment of data base, working out and realization of appropriate programmes and projects
  • Implementation of methodological investigations and public-opinion poll, organization of specialized conferences, workshops and etc.
  • Informing of mass media

5. Forming of staff resources:

  • Perfection of educational and professional teaching system
  • Development of preparation system and qualification raising
  • Moral and material provision of cultural workers' needs

6. Modernization of material and technical infrastructure:

  • Construction of specialized buildings for art and culture enterprises
  • Servicing and major repairs of culture objects
  • Equipment of culture enterprises with modern engineer and information-communication technologies

7. Development of international cooperation:

  • Development of multilateral cooperation in the frames of international organizations
  • Strengthening of bilateral relations with leading States of the world
  •  Support of national cultural centers, functioning abroad


The authors are responsible for the choice and the presentation of the facts contained on this website and for the opinions expressed therein, which are not necessarily those of UNESCO and do not commit the Organization

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Information Observatory on Cultural Policy of the GUAM Countries