Kosovo joins Creative Europe
by Vassilis Economou
- With the agreement signed in Brussels, Kosovo has become the sixth state from the Western Balkans to participate in the European cultural programme
Kosovo has joined the Culture sub-programme and the cross-sectoral strand of Creative Europe after an agreement that was signed on 5 June in Brussels between Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, and Kujtim Gashi, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports of Kosovo.
As underlined by Commissioner Navracsics during the signature ceremony, the participation of Kosovo in Creative Europe will strengthen the cultural cooperation between the European Union and Kosovo and will help to create opportunities for co-creation, and both cultural and interpersonal connections. It is also a great coincidence, as this is happening as the EU is celebrating the European Year of Cultural Heritage, which may provide an opportunity to increase awareness of Europe’s common cultural heritage.
This was also the focus of Minister Gashi, who remarked: “Taking into consideration that Creative Europe contributes, among other things, to the conservation of Europe’s cultural and linguistic diversity, as well as assisting the cultural sector and creators to adapt to a globalised and digital environment through the creation of new international opportunities, in new markets and audiences, the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports considers Kosovo’s participation in this programme to be of immense importance.”
The director of the Kosovo Cinematography Center, Arben Zharku, expanded on the impact for the local industry: “Creative Europe membership is another crucial step forward in the development of the creative sector in Kosovo, especially the audiovisual field. Furthermore, it presents some great opportunities for growth regionally and to enhance collaborations and cultural exchanges among European members.”
With this agreement, Kosovo becomes the sixth state in the Western Balkans to join Creative Europe, thus intensifying the EU focus and enhancing international cultural relations. Moreover, now that Kosovo is a member, the whole region is now participating in Creative Europe, and this is in line with the recent EU-Western Balkan strategy: "A credible enlargement perspective for and enhanced EU engagement with the Western Balkans."
It should be noted that the agreement will still have to be ratified by the Kosovar Assembly before applicants from Kosovo become eligible to participate in the 2018 Creative Europe calls for proposals.
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