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professional  and  public  decision making. The  general  discussion  on  cultural  develop 
ment, held in Trako Ean with the participation of some hundred cultural professionals,
resulted first in the book Croatia in the 21st Century: Strategy of Cultural Development;
Draft (Zagreb, 2001) and in two other books and a Notebook. These publications and the
ensuing  controversy  led  to  the  formulation  of  a  broad  framework  for  meeting  the
requirement of  a democratic and professional  public discussion on culture. 
Needless to say, political changes require political explanations. If the image of Croatia s
culture was assessed as conservative, nationally contained, it had to be changed after a
modern, European model; if alternative culture and the culture of the young were ne 
glected, they needed to be recognized and encouraged; if decision making in culture was
considered non public and non transparent, it had to be made public and transparent; if
culture did not have sufficient funds for program activities, protection of cultural her 
itage, renewal of cultural infrastructure, etc., additional funds needed to be raised.
Much can in fact be achieved through political will itself, and much was actually done
in the first few months of work of the new Ministry of Culture. For the first time new
cultural activities, groups, individuals, festivals with a new type of cultural sensibility
appeared; new departments for cultural development and youth culture were established;
for the first time all decisions were made public on the Ministry s, likewise newly creat 
ed, Web site, or in the periodic gazette Kulturni razvitak (Cultural Development) also
published  for  the  first  time;  in  addition,  financial  resources  earmarked  for  culture
reached, also for the first time, over 1% of the state budget, while those intended for pro 
gram  activities,  which  account  for  nearly  2/3  of  the  Ministry s  budget,  rose  by  48%.
Finally, at a time when budgetary restrictions were in place for the administration and
public services, the fact that culture was not included in the cuts and that, contrary to tra 
ditional employment trends in such circumstances, not a single work place was lost in
culture, all speak not only of positive intentions but also of overcoming the previous con 
ception of culture as mere consumption, whereby restrictions in consumption affected
culture first.
It  was  possible  to  ensure  all  such  and  similar  advances  through  a  new  political  will.
However, all, or at least the most important, structural advances in the new cultural pol 
icy had to be protected from political will when it produced arbitrariness, incompetence,
preferential, or downgrading treatment. If evaluation in culture was considered partisan,


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