8.1.2 Special artists funds
The Law on Culture of 2009 includes a special Award for Extraordinary Contribution to National Culture, often referred to as a "National Artistic Pension". Artists and cultural workers can apply and receive lifetime monthly allocations of 50 000 CSD (500 EUR at that time, now worth 450 EUR). In the first year, 265 awards were granted. Since the beginning, the award has been controversial in relation to the selection of members of the deciding committee, the nomination process and the award receivers. Most often, voices could be heard that many "entertainers" and "lowbrow" artists received the award, which supposedly lowered the reputation of the whole initiative. Up to 2013, 465 artists and cultural workers received the award before the Minister discontinued the programme for 2014. A new proposal for the Law on Culture from late 2014 foresees the cancellation of this programme (those who received the award will continue to receive allocations, although the pensions will be reduced by 10% in accordance with the state austerity programme which reduced all pensions and public salaries by 10%). Following this model, the Ministry of Science granted "national pensions" for researchers - there were only 8 awarded, of which 2 were given to musicologists.