Vietnam/ 3. Competence, decision-making and administration  

3.2 Overall description of the system

3.2.1. The Communist Party of Vietnam

In Vietnam, the Communist Party (CPV) plays a very important role in making all policies including cultural ones. The CPV adopts Marxism–Leninism and Hồ Chí Minh Thoughts as its firm ideological foundations, serving as guidance for its activities, promoting the nation's traditions and absorbing other nations' essential ideas. By thoroughly grasping objective laws, epochal trends and the country’s realities, the Party has worked out sound political programmes and revolutionary policies to meet the aspirations of the people. The CPV has established a nationwide political system with the Party serving as the core that assists the Party leadership and mobilises the people to realise the goals of national independence, democracy and social progress. At present, the CPV has worked out a programme for national construction that may be described as: rich people—strong nation—equitable, democratic and civilised society. To achieve these goals, the CPV, in accordance with the principle of "the people as the country’s roots", has set up a wide and diversified political system.

The current political system of Vietnam is composed of the following: the CPV, political organisations, socio-political organisations, socio-professional organisations and mass associations.

The Party organisational system is established in line with the State administrative apparatus from Central level to provincial, city, district and communal levels as well as in administrative bodies, schools, enterprises, political/social/professional organisations, army units and police forces. The Party cells are the Party's grassroots foundation.

3.2.2. The National Assembly

The National Assembly is the highest representative organ of the people; the highest organ of state power of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the sole organ that has constitutional and legislative rights.

The National Assembly decides the fundamental domestic and foreign policies, socio-economic tasks, national defense and security issues, major principles governing the State machinery, social relations and activities of citizens. The National Assembly exercises the right to supreme supervision of all activities of the State.

The National Assembly has the highest authority to make Constitution and Laws. Legal documents promulgated by the National Assembly are the Constitution, codes, laws and resolutions.

The National Assembly has three main functions: legislative, deciding the important issues of the country and carrying out the supreme supervision power of all activities of the State.

The National Assembly has some functional committees including Committee on Education, Culture, Youth and Children. The Committee on Education, Culture, Youth and Children supervises the implementation of the Constitution, Laws and Resolutions of the National Assembly within its respective fields of responsibility. It may require the agencies, organisations and individuals under its supervision to provide documents and reports on the subjects under consideration.

3.2.3. The Government and Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism:

The Government is the executive organ of the National Assembly, and the supreme state administrative agency of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

The Government is in charge of tasks assigned by the State in the fields of politics, socio-economy, national defense, security and external relations; maintains effective operation of the State apparatus from the central to grassroots levels; ensures the respect for, and implementation of the Constitution and laws; promotes the people’s sense of mastery in national defense and construction; ensures stability and improves the people’s material and spiritual life.

Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism is approved by the National Assembly at the Prime Minister’s proposal. He is in charge of the management of his assigned branch or affairs in the State.

In accordance with Decree No.185/2007/NĐ-CP of 25 December 2007, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Vietnam is the government organisation responsible for state management in the fields of culture, family, sports and tourism, and for the state management of public services in the fields of culture, family, sports and tourism, based on the provisions of Vietnamese law.

3.2.4. Other social and political organisations

In Vietnam, social and political organisations have the role of voicing opinions on cultural policies. The biggest one is The Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF). It is a voluntary political coalition of political organisations, socio-political organisations, social organisations and individuals from all classes, social strata, ethnic groups and religions, including overseas Vietnamese. The VFF’s objectives are to gather and build up a whole-people unity bloc, strengthen the people’s political and spiritual consensus, encourage the people to promote their mastership, to implement the CPV’s guidelines and policies and to abide by the Constitution and laws.

The Vietnam Labor Confederation is the socio-political organisation of the working class and is a member of the VFF. The Vietnam Labor Confederation is well-organised, has various levels and operates all over the country. The organisation is governed by the principle of democratic centralism. All its directing organs are formed through elections. The highest directing organ of each level is the Union Congress of that level. In the period between the two Congress sessions, the directing organ is the Standing Committee, which is set up by the Congress. In terms of policy making, it cooperates with State organs in building laws and policies on labour, salary, labour safety and other social policies concerning the rights, duties and interests of workers.

Apart from the Vietnam Fatherland Front and the Vietnam Labor Confederation, in Vietnam, there are other political and social organisations, such as the Vietnam Women’s Association, the Hồ Chí Minh Communist Youth’s Union, the Vietnam Veterans’ Association and professional associations. These organisations played an important role in the struggle for national salvation. In the cause of renovation, industrialisation and modernisation, they have continued to contribute to the implementation of the Party’s guidelines and the Government’s policies.

Chapter published: 30-11-2013