Center and left unite for joint cultural platform

The Norwegian Labour Party, Centre and Socialist Left Party have united to launch a joint cultural platform. The main pillar of the platform is the three parties’ pledge to allot one percent of the total government budget to the cultural field.


In a press statement, the The Norwegian Labour Party, Centre and Socialist Left Party speak with a united voice when the three parties demand a new and far more offensive cultural policy as a contrast to the present Christian Democrat/Conservative administration’s culture platform.

The three parties have come to an agreement on a joint strategy to bolster the Norwegian cultural scene through a number of initiatives. The most central of the proposed initiatives is the allotment of one percent of the total government’s budget to the cultural field. In addition to this drastic measure, the three parties have agreed on a 14-article list of priorities that are to form the foundation for Norwegian cultural politics for the next decade.

Here’s the list of priorities as presented by The Norwegian Labour Party, Centre and Socialist Left:

1. One percent of the total government budget is to be allotted to culture
The Norwegian Labour Party, Centre and Socialist Left pledge to reserve one percent of the government’s total budget for the Norwegian cultural scene. Based on the current budget, this proposition would result in an increase of funds for the cultural sector of app. NOK 1,3 billion (€ 153 mill./USD 187 mill).
2. Introduction of a new cultural law

    The purpose of this new low for the cultural sector is to underline the government’s responsibility for facilitating access to varied and rich culture activities. This law is to contribute to a diversity of cultural activities available for the general public all over the country, and to provide increased status and a strengthened position for the cultural sector.
3. Improved terms of conditions for artists
    Many Norwegian artists work under difficult working conditions. The Norwegian Labour Party, Centre and Socialist Left will initiate a survey among Norwegian artists to map the current living and working conditions. It is also proposed to consider revisions of the present social security programs such as sickness benefits, maternity support, adoption benefits, unemployment benefits and pension plan programmes.
4. Cultural schools for all children
    Not all Norwegian children who want to attend cultural schools are able to enter, due to lack of capacity. The Norwegian Labour Party, Centre and Socialist Left want to secure that all children, regardless of place of residence, are given the the right to attend cultural schools.
5. Continued support for the growing success of Norwegian film
    The three parties pledge continued support for a Norwegian film industry that’s experiencing increased attention and recognition domestically and abroad. The parties advocate increased production support and a revision of the existing ticket subsidies. A purchasing programme for film is also on the three parties’ wish list.
6. Increased support of Norwegian music
    The Norwegian Labour Party, Centre and Socialist Left aim at an improved facilitation for Norwegian music. The purchasing programme for phonograms must be extended to include more titles and recipients. Financial support for venues, local promoters, festival, tours and programme development is also served on the three parties’ smorgasbord. The parties will also aim at increased support for further development of digital distribution technology, management competence development, rehearsal studios, talent support and improved terms of conditions for performers and authors. The Norwegian Labour Party, Centre and Socialist Left support establishment of a national jazz-scene and a national scene for folk-music and –dance. Regional rock- and folk-music centres are also to be established.
7. Increased support for Dance arts
    Increased financial support for more productions and increased public access. Festivals such as CODA and October Dance in Bergen are in for more funds.
8. Increased support of stage arts – new support programmes for institutionalized ensembles
    Increased support for free theatre groups and a more predictable and fixed support programme for institutions that have received government support on an uneven basis for years.
9. Increased support for voluntary work
    Wind bands and amateur orchestras could be granted support for instrument purchase and be exempted from the burden of having to pay TONO (performing rights) fees.
10. Expansion of cultural activities in schools
    The present cultural programmes that cover primary schools could be extended to include kindergartens and high-school levels. A cultural card that grants youths access to cultural events is another proposition.
11. Bolster the Norwegian language’s position – increased support for Norwegian literature.
    The use of New-Norwegian in education must be bolstered and a fund for New-Norwegian journalism, the Vinje Fund, shall be established.
12. Increased use of art in public spaces
    Arts shall be present in all public space, rented or governmentally owned. Support for architecture and design is also to be increased.
13. Satisfactory terms of condition for Sami culture
    In co-operation with the Sami Parliament, the government shall consider initiating work on a new White Book on Sami art.
14. Norway as a multi-cultural nation
    Increased support for players in the multi-cultural field. Recruitment of artists with minority backgrounds must also be improved through a multi-cultural quota in the cultural field-s governing institutions. Aspirant and scholarship programmes are other proposed measures.
15. Increased support for establishment of local cultural institutions
    Funds for establishment of cultural institutions on a local level should be included in the government’s budget and be on a level equal to the support allotted to buildings for sport. A cultural boat that is to travel the entire coast and visit harbours from Halden to Kirkenes is another proposed initiative.

These are the main priorities in the political centre and left’s proposition for a cultural
policy for the next decade. The Parliament’s committee for Family and Culture is now in the process of finalising its comments for the Kulturmeldingen – the White Book on culture that has been prepared by the Royal Norwegian Ministry for Cultural Affairs. The final document which is to be approved by Parliament will create the foundation for cultural life in Norway for the next decade. will monitor the process and bring updates on key decisions made by Parliament.

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