The 2022 state budget, which passed at the Riigikogu Wednesday, includes a component for the cultural sector, which totals close to €300 million.
The total culture budget comes to €290 million (or two percent out of the total €13.633 billion expenditures), with €2 million of this going towards support for the film industry.
The latter will include entries for regionally-made films.
Culture minister Tiit Terik (Center) said: "The state budget for the area of culture for 2022 is distinctly forward-looking. New initiatives such as the cultural backpack and promotion of exercise habits maintain and foster the habit in children and young people to take part in what is being offered in the areas of culture and sport."
"These budgetary decisions instill confidence with regard to the future that the area of culture and healthy lifestyle are natural parts of our people's lives," Terik went on.
Support measures have been earmarked towards Estonian-language instruction for adults, as well as research and development in Estonian culture.
The budget also includes investments in sports grounds available for use year-round.
State budget 2022 cultural component breakdown
- Sports coaches' support to rise 6.7 percent to €7.8 million.
- €2.8 million towards cultural workers' salary growth, with their minimum salary to grow by 7.5 percent, from €1,300 to €1,400, in the case of staff with higher education, and a 2-percent rise for everyone else.
- €2.7 million in support for participants of national song and national dance festivals.
- €1 million for cultural backpack initiative, involving cooperation between schools and local governments to allow young people to visit theater performances and other cultural events, with the intention of addressing regional inequalities in the field.
- €600,000 for promoting public health via better exercise practice for all age groups, after research revealed less than half the populace exercises at least twice per week for at least 30 minutes at a time (compared with 70 percent who do same in the Nordic countries).
Public broadcaster ERR's annual budget also falls under the state budget's culture section.
The 2022 state budget passed its third and final Riigikogu reading on Wednesday, with 59 votes in favor and 37 against, at the 101-seat house (three MPs abstained; the outstanding two votes may have been spoiled papers or similar).
Editor: Andrew Whyte