Coronavirus (COVID-19): first measures from the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania to support the cultural sector

Date

2020 03 24

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The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania, in cooperation with the Government and other responsible bodies, is making every effort to minimize the impact of the coronavirus on culture and creative professionals working in the sector.

Artists’ Social Security

To mitigate the effects of coronavirus, it is planned to expand the Artists Social Security Programme, to provide and pay creative downtime for artists who are unable to generate income from their activities due to the emergency. With the significant increase in the number of artists claiming for creative downtime, the need for additional state budget allocations for three months of minimum monthly salary will be € 2 million. The Programme is currently under implementation.

Emergency Relief for Culture, Arts Organizations and Artists

The Lithuanian Council for Culture (LKT), the main funding body for culture and arts projects, has issued information that the spread of coronavirus and the related circumstances that have influenced the operational plans of institutions, organizations, as well as recipients of individual and educational scholarships, may be treated as a force majeure factor, and may result in a review of contractual obligations. This means that the LKT will not request reimbursement of funds already used to carry out activities that have been cancelled or changed due to circumstances related to the spread of coronavirus.

The Lithuanian Film Centre (LKC), the main funding body for the film sector, has stated that any issues related to the spread of coronavirus and the impact on projects funded by the LKC will be addressed individually in communication with the curators of the projects, treating coronavirus as a force majeure factor.

The Economic Stimulus and Coronavirus Mitigation Action Plan

The Lithuanian Government has put in place the Economic Stimulus and Coronavirus Mitigation Action Plan that provides the necessary resources for the efficient operation of the health and public security systems, for jobs and personal income protection, including an extension of the provisions of the Artists Social Security Programme and the allocation of additional funds, as well as the allocation of funds for self-employed persons who have paid social security contributions. Measures are foreseen to maintain business liquidity and to boost the economy, as well as maintain liquidity of the Treasury. More information on the measures undertaken is provided: here