VIENNA, March 10-11, 2011
The country holding the EU chairmanship organizes at least one large conference on the topic of culture, cultural politics, cultural production of art. Hungary, as the EU chairman, has continued this practice. This year’s topic was cultural cooperation in the Danube region.
The following topics were discussed during the forums:
– Cultural cluster potential in the Danube region
– The brand “Danube” as part of European identity
– The cluster potential for festivals, cultural institutions and productions, artists’ colonies and residences programmes
– Strengthening the brand “Danube” through new networks, cooperation, and marketing
In the general discussion, three topics turned out to be especially important:
– The three NOs from Brussels: “No new money, No new legislation, No new institutions.”
– In the previous EU Baltic Sea Strategy, culture was not seen as a pillar within the political realm. However, in the Communication from the European Commission on the EU Strategy for Danube Region culture is listed as one of the first pillars in “Connecting the Danube Region” – this is regarded as a progress.
– The varying degrees of development within the Danube region: it includes both Europe’s poorest country (Republic of Moldova) as well as extremely wealthy regions (Baden-Wurttemberg, Vienna, Bavaria). It is about capacity building whereby culture plays an important role as an essential engine and economic factor. There is a massive “brain-drain” of young creatives who leave the southeastern part of the Danube region because they simply have no opportunities there to build up an existence.
Alongside two plenary meetings, at the beginning and the end of the conference, there were two panel discussions, namely expert forums. One was on the topic of creative industries development, namely the Creative Industries, and the other on the topic of Culture and eco-tourism.