Tunisia/ 3. Competence, decision-making and administration  

3.3 Inter-ministerial or intergovernmental co-operation

In addition to restricted inter-ministerial meetings dedicated to the culture sector at the level of Prime Minister or the Presidency (since 2011, they took place at the presidency of Government), inter-ministerial co-operation is carried out through agreements and joint committees that are set with a common domain of interest (Example: cultural tourism development between the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Tourism).

At the political level and till 2010, the Supreme Council of Culture was the most important and visible structure for cooperation between ministries and the culture sector. After its suspension in 2011, most of the coordinated and interrelated decisions were taken at the Presidency of Government, or at Cabinet level, and occasionally through the National Constituent Assembly.

The regional delegations for culture play a key role in coordinating with representatives of other sectors in the region to formulate mutual sector projects and programs. Moreover, there is a continuous coordination with Regional councils (Governorate level) and municipal councilsat regional level.

Cultural policy is applied at the regional level through a network of 24 regional delegations for culture (established in 1992 , changed in 1994 and restructured in 2013) (Decree 1440 of 22th April 2013 on the administrative and financial organization, and management for regional delegations of culture) representing 24 Governorates. Regional cultural committees and the newly created Advisory Board of culture (in 2013) participate with the regional delegation for culture in the preparation of annual work plans thatare later submitted to the central administration (Ministry of Culture) for evaluation and funding , after their approval. The regional delegations for culture represent the culture sector at the regional level and are mandated to administer and supervise their respective network of Houses of culture, public libraries and any other regional culture sector organization (i.e. regional music conservatories ; dramatic arts centers etc…) including their responsibility to promote local cultural activities and events.

The newly created Advisory Board of culture in2013wasadministratively annexed to the regional delegation of culture and is expected to replace regional cultural committees and the national cultural committee that were a semi-public and semi-associated entities. The new structure of regional delegation for culture is expected to permit a wide range of interaction with the local culture sector stakeholders and to advance their involvement.

The Advisory Committee for culture has the following tasks (extracted from the legal text):” ………….

  • Submission of plans and proposals targeting the development of programs, projects and cultural activities of the governorate in terms of programming, implementation and follow-up,
  • The development of participation in cultural life in the governorate, and highlighting its cultural specificities and its influence in various cultural fields,
  • Reinforcing the participation of cultural field associations in cultural programs and activities formulation, implementation and evaluation,
  • Follow-up and evaluation of cultural events and activities and evaluation of infrastructure projects with the provision of insights for their advancement.
  • Submission of proposals and recommendations targeting the strengthening ofthe decentralization of culture and improving the performance of the regional delegation for culture and its related institutions. In addition, strengthening its human and material resources and the establishment of principles for better management and better governance.
  • Boost the interaction of regional delegations of culture and its related structures with its cultural, social and economic environment, and support its communication with governorate intellectual sand creative individuals in various artistic and cultural fields.
  • Submission of recommendations and plans for the promotion of private investment in governorate culture sector.
  • Strengthening coordination between regional delegation for culture and various public and private structures involved in governorate cultural affairs.
  • Propose options for an intensified protection and development of heritage in the governorate and for the promotion of cultural tourism…”

The composition of the Advisory Committee of culture is as follows:

  • Regional delegate for culture:  President,
  • Representative of the governorate: member,
  • Representative of regional delegation for tourism: member
  • Representative of regional delegation for education: member
  • Representative of the National Heritage Institute: members
  • Representative of the Agency for the Development of National Heritage and Cultural Promotion: member,
  • four representatives of associations from the governorate operating in cultural field: members,
  • two representatives of cultural institutions in the governorate: members,
  • Two cultural personalities with renowned qualifications and outstanding contribution to cultural field in the governorate: two members.

The President of the Advisory Committee on culture can invite any proficient person in cultural and artistic fields to attend the meeting of the Committee as to present his/her opinion on one of the issues discussed by the Committee.

The members of the Advisory Committee on culture are appointed upon a decision from the Minister of culture for a period of three (3) years, renewable once, on the proposal of relevant structures and institutions. The representatives of associations are appointed through designation by each association of the four represented in the Committee. The choice for associations is based on the criteria of the diversity of cultural and artistic fields covered by proposed associations and their respective contribution to the development of the culture sector in their governorate.

Chapter published: 05-05-2015