Be creative with European Union!

Ewa Krakowska

 

dancWe are all aware that European culture is unique, diverse and therefore in times of globalization it needs to be protected and developed on its own way. Creative Europe is a special cultural programme that cannot be missed by aspiring artists and cultural organizations on our continent. The European Commission took necessary steps in order to provide framework programme for support to the culture and media sectors in the period from 2014 till 2020.

If you are an author, filmmaker, actor/actress, musician or involved in any other kind of artistic activity, you can count on EU assistance for your projects. What type of help? There are many options like: working with partners in other countries, training (for example to switch to digital technologies) or audience development (share works across borders). In detail, thousands of creative organisations and audiovisual professionals will acquire new skills and strengthen their capacity to operate internationally. Publishers will benefit from funding to translate than 4,500 literary works.

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Other things like giving prestigious awards to promote best creative talents in architecture, music, culture heritage, literature and filmmaking are also impotrant supporting tools. Every year there are chosen two cities to be titled „European Capital of Culture”. It is certainly a great motivation to increase artistic liveliness of many places.

All of this will be financed with a budget of €1.46 billion. Also the procedure to get money was simplified comparing to previous agenda. Of course, the best thing is that it does not matter how big the organization or project are- there is no possibility of discrimination. Androulla Vassiliou, former European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth said that –

„The cultural and creative sectors have great potential to boost jobs and growth in Europe. EU funding helps thousands of artists and cultural professionals to work across borders and reach new audiences. Without this support, it would be difficult or impossible for them to break into new markets”.

Lastly, it is worth to mention that non- EU countries may also obtain the Creative Europe grants. For example eligible to apply in the Culture sub- programme are Iceland, Norway, Albania, Montenegro and Georgia.

 

Reklamy

High Level EU Meeting – supporting Ukrainian reforms

Emil Wojtaluk

An important high priority meeting about Ukraine took place on July 8. It’s enough to say that representatives of all members states of the EU participated in this talks plus international organizations, international financial institutions or NGOs. The high-level coordination meeting in Brussels was the idea expressed during G7 summit on June 5. Ukraine was represented by its Vice Prime Minister, Volodymyr Groysman. Meeting has started with the address of European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy, Štefan Füle.

Reforming Ukraine

The main goal was to create appropriate measures to support economic and political stabilization of this country. Everything in connection with future accession to the European Union especially signing another part of the Association Agreement about Free Trade Area on 27 June this year. It cannot be achieved without outside help. To effectively deliver economic assistance, International Donor Coordination platform have to be created.

The meeting itself was a great opportunity to discuss short and long-term plameeting-roundtablens of donors for Ukraine, including the EU. It is also important to develop the best possible mechanisms for coordinating donors’ assistance (EU and outside donors). Ukraine presented the Economic Recovery and Growth Agenda 2014-2016 that includes assessment of needs for reconstruction and key priorities of growth recovery to stabilize the economy.

Assistance details and the future

Both international organizations and donors understand how important is newly signed Association Agreement with the EU, especially Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (AA/DCFTA). To make it easier for entry into force of the Association Agreement the so called Association Agenda has to be also properly exercised. Ukraine made the reform agenda for central authority to take care of the implementation of AA/DCFTA. What Ukrainian side also underlined are needs for financial and technical assistance which will lead to stabilize South-Eastern part of the country. Ukrainian representatives expressed their needs which in particular are: strengthening of the state border, ensuring addressing the urgent needs of internally displaced persons, post-conflict rehabilitation program for Donbas region, creation of a Guarantee Fund.

A special coordinating platform of assistance will ensure proper allocation of funds, The Support Group for Ukraine in the European Commission will help in coordination and efficient implementation of international support. Reforms in Ukraine will be based on European Agenda for Reform. Donors’ and Investors’ Conference is planned to be held in autumn 2014. The conference will contribute to creation of Ukrainian reform strategy. All of this will lead to prepare an extended Economic Recovery and Growth Agenda 2014-2016. Funds necessary to complete the priority tasks will be jointly estimated with Ukrainian government and the EU. It is worth adding that all parties positively reacted to growing international support for Ukraine.

EU documents access- finally real thing?

Karol Panas

On July 3, the European Court of Justice has ruled on the very controversial case of boosting access to EU documents. Finally, after 5 years dispute between Dutch Liberal MEP Sophie In’t Veld and EU Council of Ministers we could hear the final verdict in this case. According to the ECJ: „EU institutions must demonstrate that the disclosure of a document effectively harms the public interest if they want to deny publication”. This also concernes papers related to the international agreements as well as the documents on international relations and negotiations.

eu documentsThe dispute mentioned above concerned access to documents regarding the Swift agreement between the EU and US on transferring banking data. In July 2009, In’t Veld had demanded access to a legal opinion by the Council regarding the legal base of the Swift-agreement. The Council refused and appealed a ruling to the Luxembourg-based Court in 2012 which refused publication, arguing that publishing the document would „negatively impact on the European Union’s negotiating position” and that the analysis was „only intended for the members of the council.” After 5 years, the Court changed it’s way of thinking a little bit and said that in order to refuse access to a given document, the institution refusing „must first explain how exposure could specifically and actually damage the [public] interest” – so there needs to be some logical clarification or proof of losses connected with revealing of a given document. Also this explanation has to be „reasonably foreseeable and must not be purely hypothetical” – by doing this, the Court has blocked the option of „what if” principle to be presented.

In the interview done after the judgement the Dutch MEP has expressed her satisfaction on the outcome of the judgement, and asked about her opinion she said that: „Everybody should be able to request access to documents, but right now that is impossible. With such long procedures, the right of access to documents is in practice a dead letter.”

Refreshed by this victory MEP’s are now very positive about reopening discussions with ministers about rewriting the currently 10-years old regulation on public access to documents.