European Future of Ukrainian Culture Discussed in Brussels

March 25, 2024, 10:28 am

Marking two years since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Brussels hosted a workshop on supporting Ukraine’s cultural and creative sectors on March 7-8, 2024. The event was organised by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport, and Culture and the Cultural Relations Platform, having gathered 70 Ukrainian and European cultural experts. CAE’s Secretary-General, Lars Ebert, and Policy Officer, Luiza Moroz, represented Culture Action Europe at the workshop.

Over two days, discussions focused on the impact of culture on Ukraine’s economic recovery, regional development, social cohesion, well-being, and international relations amidst the war. The European integration aspect was particularly highlighted: the European Commission outlined culture’s role in the Ukraine Facility and Ukraine Plan, and EU-funded projects and programmes in Ukraine shared their results and learned experiences.

The speakers advocated for integrating Ukrainian cultural actors into more European networks, peer-to-peer capacity building, and twinning between cultural organisations. Other needs include institutional support, upskilling Ukrainian cultural professionals, and enhancing the global visibility of Ukrainian culture. Suggestions were made on how EU funding programmes could better accommodate the specific needs of Ukraine’s cultural sector. Participants underscored the role of culture in integrating veterans, internally displaced persons, and providing a sense of solidarity.

Lars contributed to the panel dedicated to well-being and social cohesion. He introduced the Culture4Health project implemented by CAE, and emphasised that artists and therapists should complement each other without taking over each other’s roles, highlighting the ethical responsibility when dealing with mental health issues. Luiza talked about the importance of international platforms to amplify Ukrainian culture’s voice, the integration of creative sectors in reconstruction, and the significance of gender-sensitive economic policies to address the brain drain in Ukraine.

The workshop resonated with the Cultural Deal for Ukraine, a specific call of the Cultural Deal for Europe campaign led by Culture Action Europe, the European Cultural Foundation, and Europa Nostra. The Cultural Deal for Ukraine advocates for including Ukraine’s culture, heritage, and creative sectors in the EU’s relief package and EU humanitarian support to Ukraine.

The event’s leitmotif focused on the importance of national advocacy and unifying the sector by establishing national cultural networks. Hence, Culture Action Europe reaffirmed its proposal for free membership for Ukrainian organisations and extended an invitation to Ukrainian participants to join the network. We are eager to share our expertise in network building and ready to offer our support to Ukrainian friends.


Copyright Photo: Valentyna Rostovikova | PRYZM
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