Lebanon/ 3. Competence, decision-making and administration  

3.3 Inter-ministerial or intergovernmental co-operation

The following chart shows the ministries fully or partially involved in culture:

 

The Ministry of Tourism for example is in charge of staging the art festivals that form a large contribution in creating the cultural, artistic, heritage and archeological tourism all together.

Creating a cultural center however is subject to the Associations Law of the Ministry of Interior and Municipalities.

On the other side, the Ministry of Youth and Sport, through the Youth Department, is in charge of implementing public, youth, and scouting policies in all of the educative, ethical, civil, social and promotional fields and also implementing the relevant plans and programs.

While the General Directorate for Higher Education is in charge of public and private higher education affairs in Lebanon and it seeks to develop these areas.

This directorate is in charge of conducting studies concerning the latest higher education trends and developments in Lebanon and overseas, laying down certificates and scholarships awarding rules and policies, organizing and sponsoring conferences and seminars on higher education issues, establishing and documenting a higher education database, providing advice and guidance service for specialized students, boosting scientific research efforts in coordination with the Lebanese University, the National Council for Scientific Research and other universities home and abroad in order to enhance the quality of university and academic education and scientific research and organize the relationship with the UNESCO and ALESCO in the relevant fields.

The Department of Cultural Affairs & Fine Arts is established under the authority of the General Directorate of Culture and Higher Education under the Ministry of Culture & Higher Education, and assumes all powers attributable to the Department of Culture Affairs & Fine Arts as listed in decree No. 2869 dated 16121959. The powers given to the aforementioned Department located at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (headed by professor Fares Khoury) are limited to the cultural as well as school technical affairs including relations with international organizations and foreign parties regarding cultural and art affairs limited to school stages.

All files belonging to the Department of Cultural Affairs & Fine Arts shall be forwarded from the department located at the Ministry of Education, Youth & Sport to the recently-established department in the Ministry of Culture & Higher Education, with the exceptions of files belonging to the school education stages. All assets as well as artistic and cultural works shall be transferred to the newly-established department in the Ministry of Culture & Higher Education where it acts as the trustee of such things.

All staff and employees working in the separate Department of Cultural and Artistic Affairs shall be transferred to the cadre of Ministry of Culture & Higher Education – General Directorate of Cultural & Higher Education, with the exception of staff concerned with cultural and artistic affairs of schools as well as employees required by the Ministry of Education, Youth & Sports to pursue the activities of cultural and artistic affairs of schools. This Directorate is now under the Ministry of Education & Higher Education since the Ministry of Culture has seceded from the Higher Education by virtue of law No. 247, 782000.

The decree stipulates the Department shall be responsible for the cultural movement and proposing means of activation and enhancement – taking care of documenting cultural relations with international cultural institutions, Arab and foreign cultural delegations in cooperation with the relevant departments – fostering the artistic movement and encouraging fine arts – all other matters related to culture and fine arts. 

The Ministry of Culture: between education and higher education

Prior to the establishment of the Ministry of Culture, there was the so-called Ministry of Culture and Higher Education and before that, culture was linked to the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. The Ministry of Culture and Higher Education, transferred to the Department of Culture and Arts all the powers of the benefit of Cultural Affairs and Fine Arts mentioned in the Decree No. 2869, dated 16/12/1959

The Cultural Affairs Bureau of the fine arts in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports remains with limited powers in regards to the cultural and artistic affairs school, including relations with international organizations and foreign affairs in cultural and artistic phases which is confined to the school system.


The development of the Ministry of Culture and Higher Education has included the referral of all files belonging to the benefit of Cultural Affairs and Fine Arts from the Ministry of National Education, Youth and Sports (except for files about stages of school education).


Employees and other workers in cultural and artistic affairs were segregated to staffing the Ministry of Culture and Higher Education - the Directorate General of Culture Higher Education - except for staff concerned with school systems, cultural and artistic affairs, and staff needed at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.

Cultural and artistic activities reports to the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, now that the Ministry of Culture has separated from the higher education under the law No. 247 Date of 7/8/2000.

The Decree states that the Bureau will take care of cultural movements and propose means of activation and promotion, and will attend to documenting cultural relations with international institutions and foreign Arab cultural missions in collaboration with the relevant departments. The Bureau consists of: the department of cultural relations (cultural activity, missions and grants section) and the department of the Fine Arts.

 

The only functions of this Bureau are related to students in the schools system,  excluding universities. The Bureau does not have an allocated budget even though it is the highest body in the administrative pyramid. Sometimes this forces the Bureau to request support from others, or from the sports activities in accordance with its terms. As for the department of Fine Arts, there was a parallel committee for Fine Arts that was created, which forms a possible duplication of work and waste in spending.

The Ministry of Social Affairs has a section called Handicraft Section, which consists of two departments: Handicraft Development Department and Production Marketing Departments.

The Handicraft Development Department is in charge of listing and locating handicrafts, identifying the number of workers in this sector, conducting a comprehensive study on all the country's handicrafts and proposing measures to develop and preserve them. It is known that the Lebanese Professional House is affiliated to the Ministry of Social Affairs.

The Awareness and Guidance Department at the Ministry of Environment is in charge of spreading and consolidating the concept and objectives of environmental education in cooperation with the Ministries of Information, Education and Higher Education, Vocational and Technical Education, Youth and Sport and Culture, in addition to private universities and institutes, the media, environmental associations, popular and sport organizations.

It is also in charge of organizing conferences, training courses, lectures and exhibitions and communicating and coordinating with local and overseas actors and with all countries and regional and international agencies involved in environment, supervising all matters related to environmental public awareness and developing the Ministry's library and all documentation works.

As regards municipal work, municipal councils, within their jurisdictions, may create, manage by themselves or by third parties and take part or assist in creating museums, public libraries, stages, movie theatres, places of entertainment, clubs, playgrounds and other pubic and sporting facilities, social, cultural and art institutions.


Chapter published: 07-04-2016


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