Election 2022: How much is Culture present in election programs?

Home » Election 2022: How much is Culture present in election programs?

An analysis of what is (and is not) found in the proposals of the various coalitions ahead of the September 25 general elections.

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Giorgio de Chirico, 1937, Piazza d’Italia with statue, The National Gallery (Rome)

We are less than twenty days away from voting on September 25, and all the major parties have submitted their election programs for the 2022 elections.

Although the programs try to cover all areas of action (from taxes, to international relations, actions regarding labor, the environment, etc.), tourism-and especially Culture-remains on the margins (if not completely excluded) from the main areas of policy discussion and proposal of all coalitions.

Within their election programs, most parties, in fact, merely express generic statements of direction, with lists of vague goals and actions taken as broad references.

As also reported in an article in the online newspaper The Post, in fact, most of the programs are the result of hasty, hodgepodge work necessitated by the tight timeframe imposed by election deadlines.

And while this has been only a partial problem with regard to more “hot” topics, in the case of Culture it has implied its almost total absence from party proposals for the next legislature.

Therefore, we decided to compare in this article in our magazine, the cultural and tourism initiatives that the major parties would like to undertake.

Election 2022: The election programs of the major parties, compared

The following table compares the electoral programs of the major parties and the actions to be taken in the cultural sphere.

As is often the case in general political and administrative confrontation in our country, the analysis highlights how Culture represents a “of which,” an ancillary on the side of other issues (often arm in arm with tourism), treated with traditional, short-sighted, short-term policy approaches incapable of grasping its potential in economic, social and educational terms with political maturity.

Once again, therefore, it seems to us that an opportunity has been missed and that the premises, regardless of what the outcome expressed after September 25 will be, portend difficult times ahead for the sector.

A sector, the cultural and creative sector for its part, that will have to try to think of other paths, leading away from Rome to local territories, in contact with administrations and with potentials that can closely observe the needs of individual territories, responding effectively to needs and potential expressed at the local level.

Right-wing Coalition

Right-wing Coalition – FOR ITALY. Framework program agreement for a center-right government.Made in Italy, Culture and Tourism:Enhancing the Beauty of Italy in its image recognized in the world; – Protection and promotion of Made in Italy, with regard to the typicality of Italian excellence; – Italians abroad as ambassadors of Italy and Made in Italy: promotion of our excellence and culture through Italian communities around the world; – Establishment of business networks in the tourism sector, for the promotion and marketing of the sector, including at the international level; – Support for the entertainment sector and incentives for the organization of events at the national level; – Support for Italy’s presence in the circuits of major international events; – Protection of boating and seaside businesses: 8000 km of coastline, 300,000 employees in the sector, a heritage that must be protected; – Promotion of cultural, artistic, archaeological, tangible and intangible heritage, and enhancement of the cultural professions that constitute the driving force Italian economy and identity; – Enhancement and promotion of a diversified tourism offer; – Incentive for the digitization of the entire tourism and culture sector supply chain; – Combating the abusive exercise of tourism and culture professions and activities.

Democratic Party

Partito Democratico – INSIEME PER UN’ITALIA DEMOCRATICA E PROGRESSISTA“Knowledge is Power: Education, Culture, Socialization It is essential to reiterate the role and function of the public dimension of culture, redefine new and virtuous forms of private involvement, evaluate the implications and repercussions that the entrepreneurial approach has on cultural management, and work towards territorial equalization of cultural offerings. If culture represents a tool for sharing cognitive and creative heritage, cultural venues are configured as the basic system of the community that fosters a collective cultural consciousness and constantly reactivates dynamics of aggregation and inclusion while simultaneously enhancing the attractiveness of our country, with the inevitable and positive repercussions in the tourism sector. We want to invest in culture as a space for emancipation, a tool for socialization and personal growth, and a countermeasure to illegality. We aim to enhance cultural offerings in the suburbs of metropolitan cities and in areas with high social marginalization, through projects that combine social inclusion, territorial rebalancing, job protection, and the enhancement of material and immaterial cultural heritage. The national museum system also needs to be strengthened through a strategy that increases autonomous institutes and values museums in rural areas, including through long-term loans of artwork from the storage of major museums. The use of international selections for the appointment of directors of state museums and archaeological parks has proven to be a successful strategy, also for the internationalization of our cultural heritage, which must continue. We want to promote the complete digitalization of cultural heritage. We aim to support the live entertainment sector and the Italian film and audiovisual industry by strengthening the public financing system for the sectors and providing strong incentives for young authors and new productions. We want to enhance tax credits, support international co-productions, safeguard and revitalize cinemas and theaters, and recognize the cultural function of live music venues. We aim to expand and strengthen the Art Bonus. We propose forms of deductibility of expenses incurred for participation in cultural activities, the reduction of VAT for cultural products, and financial support for the cultural consumption of young people in addition to the confirmation of the 18App culture bonus. We also support the structural reintroduction of the 2×1000 for cultural associations. Regarding publishing, a new sector law is needed to support all players in the industry: publishing houses, bookstores, distributors, translators, authors, including illustrators and comic book artists. We need to strengthen the National Plan for the Promotion of Reading, fostering virtuous synergies between networks of schools, libraries, archives, and cultural venues, and enhance the Center for the Book and Reading and investment in the Italian Capital of the Book. For contemporary art and architecture, we propose enhancing the Plan for Contemporary Art, legal recognition of visual arts professions, support for artistic commissions also through new tax incentives, a National Plan for Contemporary Architecture, and a new sector law. We want to support a National Plan for the recovery and revitalization of Italian Villages, countering depopulation of internal areas and providing tax exemptions for commercial activities in small municipalities; sustainable redevelopment of historical rural buildings; enhancement of the National Plan for Major Cultural Projects; and international promotion of the Italian Capital of Culture. This will enrich the offering of cultural tourism, promote sustainable slow tourism experiences, and foster innovative travel experiences, such as with historic trains offering panoramic views. Also included in this logic is the enhancement of cultural offerings in the suburbs of metropolitan cities with projects for social inclusion, territorial rebalancing, job protection, and the enhancement of material and immaterial cultural heritage through performing arts and visual arts.”

5 Star Movement

5 Star Movement – On the Right Side. HEART AND COURAGE FOR TOMORROW’S ITALYOn the side of Tourism: to enhance our cultural and artistic heritage – To enhance the value of our cultural and artistic heritage, establishment of a platform for matching the needs of tourists with the offerings of the Italian territory, useful for increasing the selling capacity of products and services including those of agricultural and artisan SMEs; – Public recruitment plan to overcome the serious undermanning of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and its peripheral institutions; – Curb on outsourcing and counter the distorted use of volunteer and cultural workers; – Measures to protect and enhance Italy’s cultural heritage.

Action and Italia Viva

Action and Italy Alive – The program of Action and Italy AliveCulture, Tourism, and Sports Italy ranks second to last among EU countries in terms of participation in cultural activities: fewer than one in two Italians visit museums, theaters, concerts, or exhibitions. Nearly 60% of the population, aged 6 and older, reads less than one book per year. Italy has the true roots of Western civilization in its culture and for this reason, it must serve as a vehicle for transmission and socialization among generations and social classes. In this context, we have formulated our proposals. To bring Italians back to reading, we want to enhance and make bookstores places for meetings and community gatherings. Moreover, since the Italian landscape is an open-air cultural manifestation, the connection between culture and tourism is very close. Therefore, in addition to these proposals, we have dedicated a section of the program to tourism. 1. Double every private donation for culture with public funds: We propose a system of double funding: every donation made by a private individual to a cultural institution will be matched by the public sector. This system provides a tangible incentive for cultural venues to attract new private funding as their individual contributions would have a double impact. 2. Facilitate access to cultural venues through a booklet with 10 free entries: People with an ISEE (Equivalent Economic Situation Indicator) below 15,000 euros will have access to a booklet of 10 free entries to theaters, exhibitions, art galleries, museums, archaeological sites, and other art venues. 3. Sponsor twinnings between schools and cultural institutes: To further engage Italian students in the world of art, we propose twinning each school with a cultural institute. This collaboration will allow for the organization of workshops and events such as student-artist meetings, film clubs, and thematic discussions. 4. Introduce Rome to all under 25s with a free trip: Rome’s historical and cultural heritage belongs to the whole country, so all young people should have access to it. Therefore, we propose offering a sponsored trip to Rome to all young people aged 18 to 25. We suggest providing a train journey and 2 nights in a hostel linked to visits to archaeological sites, museums, and art galleries. 5. Fund libraries that offer reading courses: To bring Italians closer to reading, we propose funding libraries that offer reading initiation courses for children. This also enhances the role of libraries as places for exchange and education. Support will also be provided to librarians who establish collaborations with primary schools for these activities during extended school hours. 6. Fund print media: Print media as a means of cultural dissemination is becoming less utilized. To prevent newspapers and magazines from disappearing, we propose allocating to them the portion of the RAI license fee that is currently retained by the Ministry of Economy. 7. Strengthen cultural patronage: We want private support for culture to be simple and convenient. The “Art Bonus,” a means of funding the sector by companies, should be made easier in bureaucratic procedures. 8. Tax credits for the film and audiovisual sector: While the Tax Credit is a useful support tool for the audiovisual sector, it needs some essential corrections. We need to reform the allocation criteria to avoid a logic of indiscriminate funding and ensure a strategic and meaningful participation. The Tax Credit should encourage the birth of ambitious projects and, at the same time, the valorization of actors with proven experience to strengthen the industrial structure of the sector. 9. Strengthen Italian cultural institutes abroad: We want Italian cultural institutes abroad to help the creative energies of our country express themselves globally. Valorizing Italian cultural institutes means strengthening productive relationships and offering Italian cultural actors the basis for an international career. In an increasingly globalized world, Italian cultural institutes abroad must aim to promote the entire cultural sector, networking with similar realities, fostering exchanges and industrial partnerships, expanding the Italian market, and allowing for greater impact. 10. Start-ups and young people: We intend to promote the entry of young people into the cultural job market through a policy of tax deductions for under-40s aiming to create new entrepreneurial realities in the sector. Creating a system that protects the work of new talents, fostering their ideas, experimentation, and technological innovation. 11. Towards tomorrow’s audience: To enhance cultural consumption, in addition to a support policy focusing on the supply side, it is necessary to promote demand at the grassroots level. Current cultural promotion policies are fragmented. To promote access to culture for young people, we propose to establish a single fund that collects all existing funding chapters (for promoting reading, cinema, art, music, and live performances) with the aim of ensuring programmatic initiatives, reducing differences between school realities in different areas, and structurally enriching educational offerings. 12. Live performances: In the two years of closure due to the pandemic, live cultural activities – theater, music, dance, circus, and traveling shows – have incurred significant losses. To protect them, we propose to strengthen the unified fund for live performances and, in particular, to incentivize multidisciplinary projects and cross-cutting activities dedicated to schools to create a virtuous exchange mechanism with the cultural promotion sector. 13. Culture as a bastion of civilization: To boost entrepreneurial realities involved in the regeneration of internal and rural areas, those parts of the territory suffering from demographic impoverishment, lack of human capital, and missed opportunities for exchange and dialogue. At the same time, we intend to promote and support the activities of cultural subjects operating in Italian prisons. Culture remains our most important bastion of civilization and requires strong investment. Tourism: Tourism has been one of the sectors hardest hit during the pandemic. From 2019 to 2021, its contribution to the Italian GDP decreased by over 16%. Our proposals aim to strengthen this sector with short- and medium-term interventions. 1. Harmonize national tourism offerings by attributing competence to the State: Before Title V of the Constitution was reformed in 2001, regional legislative authority in tourism matters was exercised within the limits of principles set by state laws. The current legislative framework leaves each region with veto power over any attempt at harmonization and fragments the national tourism offering. To provide the country with the necessary institutional tools for the development of a systemic policy, it is necessary to re-centralize tourism competence. 2. Reduce the tax burden on sector companies: To lighten the tax burden on tourism companies, it is necessary to: – correlate the TARI (waste disposal tax) to the number of days the facility is open and the occupancy rate; – support the quality of reception and hospitality activities with incentives for the redevelopment of structures, along with a long-delayed definition of their national classification. 3. Invest in Railway Tourism: The National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR) envisages the enhancement of railway lines in Italy: remote and lesser-known territories can be reached by train. The Ministry of Tourism should promote cultural routes in collaboration with railway network companies to enhance involved territories. Train tickets for routes will be sold in packages at discounted prices. 4. Emergency Management: Natural disasters, in addition to causing damage to people and structures, reduce tourist flows in affected areas. To mitigate the negative effects of such calamities and improve emergency management capabilities, we propose to: – introduce measures to protect the income of businesses and seasonal workers affected by the damage; – establish immediate communication tools aimed at conveying correct information and revitalizing the tourist image of affected destinations; – define an agreement between the civil protection system and trade organizations to improve the organization of accommodation for those left without housing. 5. Enhance tourism training: The current tourism training provided by high schools and technical hotel institutes is
The full programs can be read here: Right-wing Coalition – FOR ITALY. Framework program agreement for a center-right government. Democratic Party – Together for a Democratic and Progressive Italy 5 Star Movement – On the Right Side. HEART AND COURAGE FOR THE ITALY OF TOMORROW Azione e Italia Viva – The program of Azione e Italia Viva
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