More cultural exchanges between Europe and the Eastern Partnership?

Cultural actors from ‘Eastern Partnership’ countries call for more exchanges on future EU policies.

On May 31, at the Centre for Fine Arts (BOZAR), cultural actors from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine – 6 countries forming the so-called “Eastern Partnership” – met with Brussels-bound experts and politicians to raise their concerns and hopes related to cultural cooperation in our continent during the one-day workshop entitled Building Europe, Forging Common Cultural Space. Its main goal was to discuss the cultural cooperation in the region and to identify the key challenges of building infrastructure for common projects.

The overall aim of the workshop gathering more than 50 persons coming from the fields of Architecture, Cinema, Music, Theatre, Visual arts, but also from the EU institutions such as DG NEAR, EEAS, DG EAC, European Parliament and from Brussels-based cultural institutions was to formulate concrete proposals for developing cultural cooperation between the countries of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) and the EU i.e.: allow EaP countries to share their contemporary artistic activities with EU public and vice-versa; develop joint activities; and stimulate cross fertilisation between the EaP countries and with EU member states.

Topics discussed were the main conclusions of the programme Culture and Creativity, the lessons from successful regional experiences, the main channels of cooperation with EU countries, the missing infrastructures and the possible long-term cooperation that would contribute to further development of structural connections between 6 countries and the EU countries.

Three priority areas were identified:
- to establish an ongoing communication platform between different cultural actors and EU institutions;
- to optimise existing financial tools;
- to support young artists and cultural workers through educational programmes and exchanges.

Overall, the event was able to show that the cultural sector in these countries is eager to develop more collaboration with its EU counterparts and that EU support remains an important source of funding for transnational collaboration with these countries, in line with the conclusions of the EaP summit in 2017 and the focus on achieving 20 deliverables for 2020 that was then decided.

Go to BOZAR to see their past and current activities.