April 30, 2015 | Thursday

Creative Europe

Culture and creativity contain the core of the European project. Culture shapes our identities, aspirations and how we relate to others and the world shaping the places and landscapes where we live and the lifestyles we lead. The rapid development of technology is creating both opportunities and challenges for Europe’s cultural and creative sectors. The European Union (EU) is committed to helping all those involved in these sectors — from local communities celebrating their cultural heritage to the producers of an award-winning film — to embrace the upcoming chances and overcome the obstacles faced. Cultural diversity is an asset for the EU, but linguistic and cultural differences lead to market fragmentation. The culture sector faces a variety of issues and challenges at an international level in terms of promoting cross-border mobility, encouraging transnational communication and fostering intercultural dialogue.

Programmes such as Creative Europe seek to enhance our shared cultural heritage by supporting cultural cross-border projects such as cooperation actions, platforms and networks as well as literary translation projects. Creative Europe also complements national funding to strengthen European cinema, increase the promotion of new films and make the audio-visual sector more competitive. In order to deliver its agenda for culture, Europe relies on solid partnerships between all stakeholders, including the Member States, regions, cultural organisations and other cultural operators. For instance, grassroots projects to enhance cultural tourism or urban regeneration in culturally significant areas or support for the distribution of independent films — all these and many other goals are best achieved when organisations at different levels combine their efforts and resources.

The EU fosters cultural cooperation with individual countries outside the EU as well as with regional and international organizations. Since the adoption of the European Agenda for Culture, culture has been increasingly perceived as a strategic factor of political, social and economic importance contributing to external policy objectives.

Since 2007, the European Regional Development Fund has allocated €3.3 billion for the protection and preservation of cultural heritage, €2.2 billion for the development of cultural infrastructure and €555 million to support cultural services.

Given this context, “Culture for All” is a successful project of the EU Office in Kosovo to provide more long-term oriented strategic support to the cultural sector. As such, the project makes a real difference for cultural actors and operators, as it established a source of predictable funding, providing valuable support to existing cultural events. Moreover, by supporting small-scale cultural events and initiatives all through Kosovo, the project reaches out to a grass-root level, promoting cultural diversity, innovation and creativity.

With initiatives such as the promotion of urban artistic interventions in various cities, study tours and cultural operators’ capacity building, the project contributes significantly to enhancing innovation and creativity in the cultural sector in Kosovo, along with promoting the crucial role of the EU presence in Kosovo among young artists and establishment of a sustainable network of cultural actors.