The first phase of the programme 2006/2013 was implemented though the work of French-Macedonian tandem organizations. Each tandem was responsible for one the seven themes/axes of cooperation. In this phase Lokomotiva as Macedonian partner of the Cultural Polices and Culture Exchange was working in tandem with several organizations and institutions from Lower Normandy: Centre régional des Lettres de Basse-Normandie (CRL), Agence Régionale de Conservation de l’Image et du Son (ARCIS), Centre Régional de Culture Ethnologique et Technique (CRéCET), Lower Normandy Region and the Mixed Union of the bay Mont Saint Michel.
The first phase was composed of two 3-yeas cycles.
In the first tree-year cycle 2006/2010 the activities developed and led by Lokomotiva focused on strengthening the capacities of employees in public cultural institutions and in the city public administration-cultural department, artistic exchange, analysis of programmes and policies for development of culture on local, regional and national level and exchange of good practices between cultural institutions from Macedonia and Lower Normandy. Additionally, in 2009 and 2010, Lokomotiva was a programming partner of the sixth edition of the festival: ‘Printemps balkanique’ , dedicated to Macedonia.
In the second three-year cycle 2010/2013 the activities developed and led by Lokomotiva had regional approach, placing the Pelagonija Region in focus and working on programme for development of culture on regional level and support of the process of decentralisation in culture. All the activities implemented in this cycle were done in partnership with the Centre for Development of Pelagonija Region (CDPR) and with active participation of the nine municipalities (Bitola, Prilep, Demir Hisar, Resen, Mogila, Novaci, Krivogastani, Krusevo, Dolneni), cultural institutions and civil sector from the Pelagonija Region.
Target groups and groups of users that Lokomotiva addressed were: the units of local self-government in Macedonia with a focus on Pelagonija Region and the nine municipalities that unites; the public cultural institutions and the civil sector active in the field of culture, artists and citizens of the Republic of Macedonia; Ministry of Local Self-Government and the Ministry of Culture.
The Activities of the Cultural Policies axe are dedicated to the development of cultural policy (creating strategies for local and regional cultural development), decentralisation in culture, fostering partnership and collaboration between the national, local institutions and the civil sector, as well as fostering direct cooperation between cultural institutions and cultural actors from Macedonia and the Region Lower Normandy. The activities are developed in accordance with the determination that the culture plays a significant role in the overall development of the country (economic, social), and the core from where the changes and development are initiated is the local community (municipality, city) and the region that connects them.
However, the local and regional context in which theses changes needs to occur is underdeveloped as a result of long-standing system of centralized decision-making and lack of control mechanisms (principles and standards) in the implementation of the overall process of decentralization, including the fiscal decentralization as an important segment of this process.
In some segments the authority over the management and funding of local cultural institutions is unclear; the involvement of civil sector in the planning of cultural development is extremely low; the managers of the cultural institutions are appointed on the base of their relations with the political party in power; there is a need for professionalization of the staff, with a focus on managers who will lead the institutions and organizations; and the need for intersectoral collaboration when creating and implementing various developmental programmes.
In order to contribute in overcoming the above listed problems and improving the working conditions and capacities of local cultural actors, which will lead to creation of applicable strategies for local and regional cultural development and support the process of decentralization in culture, in the period 2007 – 2013 Lokomotiva developed and implemented the following activates:
1. Capacity building – programme for professional education
Within this activity Lokomotiva has developed and implemented programme of several training sessions (thematic workshops) organised in Bitola in 2011, 2012 and 2013. The workshops aimed at straitening the capacities of the cultural sector (public institutions and civil organisations) and representatives of municipalities responsible for culture from Pelagonija Region, in the thematic area coved within the working sessions: strategic planning, project management, financing of culture, networking and tourism in function of education and culture.
Prominent experts as lecturers, presenters and moderators from Macedonia, Serbia and Lower Normandy were invited and lead some of the working sessions, among which: Kristina Kujundzic, head of projects and cooperation in the National Tourism Organization of Serbia; Ivan Dodovski, university professor and expert on cultural policies; Sandrine Poulet, responsible for tourism, culture and communication in the Mixed Union of the Bay Mont Saint Michel (Lower Normandy); Rémy Private, technical assistant to the Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs, and others.
Also this activity included professional internships for employees in public cultural institutions and in the city public administration-cultural department from Macedonia in Lower Normandy. In the period 2007-2010 four internship were realised: one for the Advisor for Culture of the Municipality of Ohrid in the administration of the city of Caen, Lower Normandy and three for employees in national cultural institutions (Cinematheque of Macedonia, National Theatre “JHK-Dzinot”, Veles and Macedonian National Theatre, Skopje) in same types of institutions in Lower Normandy. These programmes straightened the human and professional capacities of the involved institutions and opened up opportunity for future cooperation between municipalities and institutions from Lower Normandy and Macedonia.
2. Strategy for Cultural Development of Pelagonija Region 2013 – 2016
The strategy resulted from the activities implemented in the frame of Cultural Policy axe, on the territory of Pelagonija Region, in which representatives of the 9 municipalities, public cultural institutions and civil sector working in the field of culture, took active participation. This document reflects the actual needs for cultural development in the region defined on the basis of the conducted discussions, working sessions, researches and analyses. The strategy is developed in accordance with the applicable regulations and legal frameworks adopted in the domains of culture and territorial development in the Republic of Macedonia. The strategy includes: analysis of the cultural sector in the country, with special emphasis on decentralization in culture; review of the regional and local policies in the country; basic characteristics of Pelagonija Region; working methodology and results of the implemented methodology; vision and mission of the region; strategic goals and action plan with expected outcomes and indicators for monitoring the process of achieving the goals. Through the implementation of this document, in accordance with the action plan we believe that in the next three years we will act positively on creation sustainable structures and mechanisms for the development of the region, increasing the quality of collaboration and the quality of cultural production, enhancing visibility and international cooperation of the region, and therefore raising the quality of the cultural life for the citizens in Pelagonija.
3. Network for Cultural Development of Pelagonija Region
This type of network was established in Macedonia for the first time and it aims to strengthen collaboration between municipalities and cultural sector within the Pelaognija Region, as well as cross-border and international collaboration of Pelaognija with other regions. The network has a Coordination body, principles, goals and method of decision making. Since, 2012 the Network, under the coordination of CDPR is organising the annual manifestation “Regional Days of Culture”
4. Platforms for exchange of information and good practices for governance, management and decentralisation in culture between Macedonia and the Region Lower Normandy
2008: Exchange of experience and knowledge between representatives of local authorities and cultural institutions from both territories. Working visit of municipalities and cultural institutions in the cities Caen, Cherbourg and Ifs in Lower Normandy. Representatives (directors or head of departments) from the Department of Public Affairs in the City of Skopje, Museum of the City of Skopje, National Gallery of the Republic of Macedonia and Macedonian National Theatre participated in the exchange.
2 Conferences: “Decentralization in culture in Lower Normandy and Macedonia” held in Skopje, Macedonia (2009) and ‘’Problems in decentralization and territorial challenges” held in in Caen, Lower Normandy (2010) that gathered relevant representatives of central, regional and local governments of Macedonia and Lower Normandy and cultural policy experts, representatives of cultural institutions and civil sector that discuss how national/local cultural policies are created and the way cultural sector is organised on both territories.
2011, 2012 and 2013: Exchange of experience and knowledge between members of local authorities and cultural institutions of both territories. Visit to the municipalities and cultural institutions in the cities Caen, Cherbourg and the cities/municipalities of bay Mont Saint Michel (Avranches, Mortainais, Saint-James, Villedieu-les-Poêles, Ducey, Granville, Saint-Pierre-sur -Mer, Bréal, Lucerne-d’Outremer etc.) Mayors, head of Cultural and Local Development Departments, representatives of civil sector from the Macedonian municipalities Veles, Bitola, Prilep, Resen, Krusevo, Demir Hisar and Mogila participated in the exchange.
5. Artistic exchange and cooperation between cultural institutions and organizations from both territories
2008: World premiere of the performance EXPRESS 2 TEMPS in Skopje, Macedonian National Theatre. Choreography: Hela Fattoumi and Eric Lamoureux, Production: Centre Chorégraphique National de Caen – Basse Normandie
2009: Exhibition of photography DANSE L’ÉTREINTE by Tristan Jeanne-Valès, in Skopje, Museum of the City of Skopje
Decentralised cooperation programme web page: http://new.bn-mk.org/bnmk