Community cultural council as a form of participation
Act CXL of 1997 enables the representation of local residents in community culture via the system of community cultural councils.
The act was amended in 2017 and the tasks of community cultural councils are now carried out by community cultural roundtables.
This option – available since 1998 – was taken by a larger number of communities in the initial period, but their number has decreased by now. And even where such associations have actually been created, similarly to other manifestations of local civil society, they are not necessarily effective and efficient in expressing and asserting local interests, in aggregating interests and in their joint representation. However, it is difficult to bypass the ‘use’ of this forum – which is suitable for reconciling interests and for exchanging ideas – in the socialisation of institutions. This however, requires initiative on the part of local residents and communities, rather than institutions of local public power. There can be no question about how this forum provides institutional guarantees for the effectiveness of socialisation regarding many of the items listed above; in other words, there is no need for “reinventing the wheel”.
Care must be taken however, not to make the error of over-formalisation: having a committee for its own sake without producing tangible results may quickly curb the enthusiasm of many, typically those who could – through their activity and extensive network of social/community relations – channel most requirements and needs into the scope of activity of such a forum. It is also important that the scope of responsibilities, tasks and powers of such a board, college or other decision making body organised in this way, assisting the local government or some particular institution, should be so determined that they do not extinguish – e.g. through parallel functions – but supplement the activities of other already functioning bodies with similar objectives, such as a local governmental cultural committee comprising civil members as well.
This article based on the following document: