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On 4 December 2015 the Eastern Partnership (EaP) Culture and Creativity Programme, supported by the European Union in Armenia, was officially launched at the Cafesjian Centre for the Arts. The programme is aimed at making culture and creativity a source of income by taking the experiences of European countries into account.
The programme will be implemented in 6 EaP countries; Armenia, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova and Azerbaijan. While it is a regional programme, it will be heavily country focused. The programme will run for three years with a budget of €4.2 million.
12341170_932400963480500_3536446454691660206_nThe Head of the European Union Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Piotr Antoni Świtalski, congratulated the programme launch and noted that Armenians had been precious to European heritage. The Ambassador recommended that participants to make best use of this opportunity, make as many European friends as possible, and develop contacts to help them be part of a bigger European family: ‘Armenians are part of European heritage, a very precious part. We at European Union Delegation would like to put special emphasis on having open windows, open channels, and open doors linking Armenia with the cultural developments in the European Union, because it is part of your identity’.
The culture and creativity sub-sector supports 7% of international GDP income. Cultural and creative industries are growing faster than manufacturing and services. The culture and creative sub-sectors include architecture, archives, libraries and museums, arts and crafts, audiovisual media (film, television, video games and multimedia), tangible and intangible cultural heritage, design, festivals, music, literature, performing arts, publishing, radio, and visual arts. The number of young employees in these sectors in EU countries is the highest; indeed, they are now the third biggest employer in the region. If the profit of the culture and creativity sub-sectors in Great Britain is €11 million per hour, then it can offer Armenia considerable incentive to develop these sectors.
The Eastern Partnership Culture and Creativity Programme will support policy development and capacity building in these sectors. Programme activities will be carried out through workshops, intensive training, online learning platforms, study visits and partnership fairs, bringing together public and private actors, government and civil society.
Following a competitive tendering process, the programme will be managed by a consortium led by the British Council, in partnership with Soros Foundation Moldova, the National Centre for Culture of Poland, and the Goethe Institut. The Programme builds on the Eastern Partnership Culture Programme I (2011-2014), that consisted of technical assistance and grant-funded projects.