First Eastern Partnership Ministerial Conference: Culture is a key to Development

Culture is an essential element for socio-economic development, as well as political reforms. This is the message coming out of the first Eastern Partnership Ministerial Conference on Culture, which was held in Tbilisi from 27th till 28th June, with the participation of Androulla Vassiliou, the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth.

The conference, hosted by the Government of Georgia, gathered several Ministers from Eastern Partnership countries and the EU, representatives of local and regional authorities, of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, UNESCO, the Council of Europe, as well as other civil society stakeholders. The conference enabled an open, informal exchange about challenges faced by the Partners in promoting a broad, strategic vision of culture and provided an opportunity to assess the impact of the Eastern Partnership Culture Programme, which involves the EU, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.

The conference underlined the need for reform in cultural policies, to improve inter-Ministerial cooperation and to take more account of the broad contribution of culture to growth and stability in the region.

The Ministers and Heads of delegations participating in the first Eastern Partnership Ministerial Conference on Culture adopted the Tbilisi Declaration.

The €12 million Eastern Partnership Culture Programme aims at assisting the partner countries in their cultural policy reform at government level, as well as capacity building and improving professionalism of cultural operators in the region. It seeks to strengthen regional cultural links and dialogue within the Eastern Partnership region, and between the EU and ENP Eastern countries’ cultural networks and actors.

Source: ENPI-info

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