New EU programme for culture and creativity launched for the Eastern Partnership region

The Eastern Partnership Culture and Creativity Programme was launched in June by the European Union to support the cultural and creative sectors’ contribution to sustainable humanitarian, social and economic development in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.

“The Programme will reframe the debate on the 21st century concept of culture among state bodies and key cultural players in the region and  promote an understanding of the positive impact creative industries can have on employment, small and medium businesses, the role of municipalities and social engagement,” said Renate Utzschmid, Programme Manager, EC Directorate-General Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations.

Although a regional programme, it will be heavily country-focused with designated professional country coordinators as an essential part of our core team. The Programme will run for three years. The budget of the Programme is €4,2 million.

The Programme will focus on four main areas including research development of evidence-gathering mechanisms, capacity-building, raising awareness and providing opportunities for international cultural cooperation. Topics covered by the Programme will include project cycle management, cultural leadership, cultural and statistical research, advocacy, fund raising, cultural journalism and communication capacities.

The Programme’s activities will be carried out through workshops, intensive training, online learning platforms, study visits and partnership fairs, bringing together public and private actors, government and civil society.

“The need for partnership between the state, civil society and the commercial sectors in culture is central to any modern state. This can only be achieved through inclusive, jointly formulated national policy initiatives which have as their starting point a wide but clear understanding of culture and the role of culture in reform and positive change”, said Terry Sandell, Head of Programme.  

The culture and creative sub-sectors includes architecture, archives, libraries and museums, artistic crafts, audio-visual (film, television, video games and multimedia), tangible and intangible cultural heritage, design, festivals, music, literature, performing arts, publishing, radio and visual arts. Together they provide jobs in the EU for 8.3 million people and are worth €558 billion. The cultural and creative industries are also growing faster there than the manufacturing and the service industries.

Following a competitive tendering process the Programme will be managed by a consortium led by the British Council, in partnership with the Soros Foundation Moldova, the National Centre for Culture of Poland and the Goethe-Institut. The Programme builds on the Eastern Partnership Culture Programme I (2011-2014) that consisted of technical assistance and grant-funded projects.

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