Cultural policy development in Poland began quite recently. In the 1990s the country was recovering after Balcerowicz’s “shock therapy”, totally focusing on political and economic reforms. And only at the beginning of the new millennium did the situation start changing radically...

In 1999 the Ministry of Culture initiated a new cultural policy programme, the goal of which was to promote the Polish culture abroad. An agreement was signed with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is responsible for Poland’s external cultural relations. Once the reforms started, the government developed a long-term National Strategy for Cultural Development for 2004-2020. The number of projects implemented under the new strategy is really impressive.

For instance, in 2000 Kraków was named the European Capital of Culture, and in 2001 Poland became a permanent participant of the EU Culture 2000 Programme, which aims to support cultural cooperation between the participating countries.

Currently, Poland has 21 institutions engaged in overseas dissemination of information on the country’s history, culture, social life, as well as its scientific and educational potential.

The Adam Mickiewicz Institute in Warsaw, established in 2000, is one of the most large-scale organisations in the sector. Over the years of its activity the Institute implemented Polish culture “season” and “year” projects in 26 countries throughout the world. In addition, the Institute launched the major trilingual web portal on Polish culture, which includes more than 40,000 articles and extensive image and video databases. 

To attract “young minds” and exchange experiences, the Neighbourhood Programme was developed (for young people from Ukraine and Belarus), and scholarships for foreign art professionals were created. 

Apart from the promotion of Polish culture throughout the world, the National Strategy for Cultural Development aims to solve cultural issues in Poland itself. In 2007 over 100 million dollars were allocated from the national budget to monument preservation, which is 150% more than in the previous years. The Cultural Heritage programme was founded with the purpose of creating digital resources to support activities of organisations that deal with monument preservation.

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