The People's Coalition wants to return culture to the people because culture is a public good and must be available to all, representatives of the coalition, led by the Social Democratic Party (SDP), said in Zagreb on Tuesday while presenting the coalition's cultural platform for the September 11 early parliamentary election.

"Culture is freedom, it is a right to be different, it's a risk, an adventure, a search for what is not clearly defined in you," SDP leader Zoran Milanovic told a rally of some 100 supporters.

The four pillars of the coalition's cultural platform are the project "Rijeka - European Capital of Culture 2020", freeing culture from political influence, returning art into the focus of the Culture Ministry's interest and the social dimension of culture.

SDP Main Committee member Bojan Glavasevic said that if it came to power, the People's Coalition would make sure cultural councils enjoyed autonomy, democratise the management of cultural and media institutions, and rid the public broadcaster HRT of political influence and interests.

The Culture Ministry's mission is not to judge what is artistically good and what is not but to ensure a system that will support artistic freedom, Glavasevic said, adding that the Culture Ministry's budget would be increased.

The coalition plans to help establish social cultural centres and decentralise cultural programmes so as to make them broadly accessible, with the help of EU funds, said Glavasevic.

"We will restore the commission for non-profit media and strengthen its role, notably in the area of media culture and education because freedom of speech does not mean freedom of hate speech," said Glavasevic.

Also attending the presentation of the cultural platform was Rijeka Mayor Vojko Obersnel, who spoke about the project "Rijeka - European Capital of Culture 2020".

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