17 Recommendations for culture and creative industries development in Ukraine

Over the past six years the Eastern Partnership has engaged a wide range of tools to review and analyse the key challenges facing the Culture and Creative Industries Sector.

In Ukraine the two phases of the EU Programme have developed the tools and skills to research the sector at the national, local and professional sub-sector levels. Do the conclusions of this work tell us anything?

The table brings together an overarching view of what all of this research has recommended to date. This is by no means comprehensive, but the table attempts to identify if there are unifying, top level and consistent recommendations in Ukraine.

According to the experts over the past six years there are four top priorities in Ukraine:

  • Audience development

  • Cultural management

  • Participatory approaches

  • Mapping and strategy

All of this suggests that Ukraine still needs to continue and develop the preconditions for developing a favourable environment for CCIs. The need now is for more in-depth and specific analysis and strategy development at the sub-sector and regional levels. Naturally, this only makes sense if the strategies are integrated across the sector, society, the economy and all government departments.

Secondly, the professionals working in the sector (both in administrations and the sector) need to strengthen their skills. This work is the foundation of the next level of developing CCIs: i.e. developing the sector into a competitive industry that can also export.

These recommendations mirror the EU Programme’s activities, and show that there is now wide recognition in Ukraine that there is both more and deeper work to be done in an industry that constitutes 5.5% of the workforce. This recognition of the need to reform the sector is in itself an outcome of the EU’s intervention in Ukraine.

The recommendations, therefore, suggest that the debate has moved on from the request for and reliance on government funding as the main priority for the sector. While there is mention of state funding, the recommendations are targetted and focussed. There seems to be a recognition that in order to get CCIs development right, first the sector together with society need to be clear what Ukraine wants to do, and how Ukraine wants to achieve its goals. 

The next group of recommendations are more specific and look at tools and structures that will be needed to develop the sector. They include improving:

  • International competitiveness

  • State Funding Mechanisms

  • Tax Incentives

  • Alliance building across the culture and IT sectors

  • Decentralisation

  • Alliance building within each cultural sub-sector

  • Legislative Framework 

The CCIS architecture remains a task ahead. This includes a change in how the state engages with the sector and how the sector itself self-organises. The shift in focus is that while state funding and legislative framework are mentioned, the improvements proposed are about releasing the state culture sector from bureaucratic burdens, and financing targeted initiatives to temporarily kick start development and initiatives. 

What is encouraging is that these recommendations also look outwards to the IT sector and international markets.

The recommendations that received one mention focus on inclusion and IT:

  • Freedom of expression and self-determination

  • Support youth

  • Gender equality

  • New local initiatives

These four recommendations look at greater inclusion of all sectors of society both as cultural operators and as audiences in the process of developing CCIs. The new local initiatives stress inclusive decision making in small towns. Greater inclusion leads to audience development. This is something the state sector and the CCIS professionals should reflect upon.

  • Internet connectivity

  • Digitisation (of museum collections) 

These two recommendations link how the growth of IT is affecting and of benefit to the sector. Internet activity needs to expand, and the sector has the opportunity to exploit greater internet access as an opportunity to develop audiences by providing materials that develop an interest in culture and society.

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