This was the first regional seminar on the application of the 1989 Recommendation and it was held in Strá nice in June 1995 on the basis of completed questionnaires submitted by twelve countries of the Central and Eastern European region. Experts from thirteen countries took part in the seminar.
The responses showed that, in the majority of countries in the region, preservation of traditional culture and folklore is not a priority in cultural policy although most Ministries of Culture support the work of professional institutions and civic associations in this area. Following the transformations in post-Communist states, all-round support for contemporary international mass culture emerged in reaction to the state’s previous support for folk cultures. Bodies active in protecting elements of traditional and folk culture face difficulties arising from the weak economies and ensuing lack of technical capacity in most post-Communist countries. In many states in the region, the 1989 Recommendation has become a significant instrument for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage.
Other issues highlighted in the seminar include the following:
- the importance of traditional and folk culture for safeguarding national identity;
- the overall lack of coordination between central authorities and institutions working towards the safeguarding of traditional culture and folklore, and the lack of coordinated supranational classification and typological systems in all countries;
- the absence of a unique system for folklore education at the primary level;
- the lack of finances to support the promotion, research, and dissemination of folklore;
- the need to develop infrastructures for disseminating folklore in public mass media;
- the lack of specific regulations concerning only and solely the folk artists; and
- the desire to intensify legal obligations for the safeguarding of traditional culture and folklore at the international level.