Since 2010, cultural initiatives attending the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum WG 4 collaborate as a sub-working group which promotes ideas for participative cultural policy reform and sustainable cultural development in the Eastern Partnership.
On political level Subgroup Culture has been advocating for the initiation an ongoing Regional Structured Dialogue for Cultural Policy Reform in the Eastern Partnership since 2010.
On practical level Subgroup Culture proposes the establishment of an Independent Eastern Partnership Foundation to follow-up and consolidate first steps already taken in/for the EaP region in the past (proposal endorsed by the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum in Chisinau 2013)
An Independent Eastern Partnership Foundation could bundle, focus and extend ownership, programmatic actions and (financial) resources of all relevant cultural players in the Eastern Partnership and would integrate the efforts of numerous stakeholders from the fields of:
- civil society and independent initiatives in the field of culture (and other social fields/sectors)
- national, regional, local governments in the EaP countries and the EU
- governmental and inter-governmental institutions and programmes operating in the Eastern Partnership culture field (local, regional and national authorities in the EaP and EU countries, European Commission, EU Delegations, RMCBU Kiev, Council of Europe, UNESCO)
- private stakeholders, donors, businesses, sponsors, creative enterprises, etc.
The overall aim of an Independent Eastern Partnership Cultural Foundation would be to support, promote and give access to cross-border cooperation, networking, capacity building and participative cultural policy reform for sustainable cultural development across the region. Next to on-the-ground technical assistance programmes (to be further developed) specific cultural policy working areas of such a foundation should include but are not limited to:
- initiating regular monitoring of the implementation of the UNESCO Convention on Protection and Promotion of Cultural Diversity in the EaP countries
- propose a collaboration framework for exchanging/debating new cultural policy standards, best practices, reform experiences/tools applied, etc. among civil society actors, public institutions, experts, policymakers from all EaP countries and EU member states and European/international institutions concerned
- assist governments in the elaboration of roadmaps for cultural policy reform which indicate tangible reform goals and milestones to achieve within a reasonable timeframe
- advise on congruency of EaP national reform agendas with relevant EU policies (cultural components of EaP policies, Agenda for Culture, etc.) and monitor overall reform progress
All policy recommendations of the EaP CSF WG4 Subgroup Culture listed above were endorsed as part of the Joint Declaration of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (Chisinau, October 4-5, 2013) as follows:
“Cultural policy: The Forum calls all relevant governmental and inter-governmental institutions in the field of culture (local, regional and national authorities, European Commission, EU delegations, Council of Europe, UNESCO etc.) to follow-up and consolidate first steps taken by establishing an independent Eastern Partnership Cultural Foundation which supports, promotes and gives access to cross-border cooperation, networking, capacity building and participative cultural policy reform for sustainable cultural development across the region, and proposes to initiate regular monitoring of the implementation of the UNESCO Convention on Protection and Promotion of Cultural diversity in the EaP countries.” (www.eap-csf.eu/en/news-events/articles-analytics/summary-resolutions)