Applications for the Culture for the Eastern Partnership Congress in Lublin on 4-6 October 2013 are now open. The congress will bring together artists, intellectuals and practitioners of culture from the EU and the EaP countries, who strive for changes in culture and are ready to engage in implementing those changes.
Participation in the congress is free of charge and registration is possible until 31 August 2013 via http://epccongress.eu/en/registration/
Within the framework of the congress a joint project called “The East of Culture” is implemented by the three largest cities of Eastern Poland Białystok, Lublin and Rzeszów. The project is a new form of cultural cooperation between cities of Eastern Poland and countries of the EaP.
Within the project on 1-6 October the “Integrations-Mediations” festival is organised in Lublin. The organisers of the festival are still searching for artists dealing with various forms and fields of art and cultural activity from the EU and the EaP countries within two thematic areas:
More information on the project “The East of Culture” is available here.
The EU and Armenia are at a significant moment in their relations, developing a partnership which is both wider and deeper than it has been up to now, EU Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle has told an audience of students, civil society, media and think tanks in Yerevan.
He said the two sides were very close to finalising the Association Agreement, which would bring “concrete benefits and new opportunities to all citizens,” stressing that “human rights, democracy and fundamental freedoms will be so-called ‘essential elements’ of our new Agreement, in other words the absolute core that both sides must respect and promote.”
The Commissioner said the agreement should “open a new chapter not only in European Union-Armenia relations but also in Armenia’s own development,” with the EU standing ready not only to provide financial support of its own, but to encourage other international donors to support reform projects.
In the broader contexts, Füle said, EU-Armenia relations are developed through the Eastern Partnership, in which the political aspects of the dialogue are complemented with practical sectoral cooperation. The Commissioner cited in particular an informal dialogue of Eastern Partnership ministers of education due to be held in Armenia in September, which he was planning to attend alongside the EU’s Education Commissioner Androula Vassiliou.
The EU and its partners will be in a better position to face the challenges and opportunities if they join forces within the Eastern Partnership, Füle emphasized, adding that he saw “a strong case for participation in a multilateral format of this sort for a country with no access to sea, whose borders with two of its neighbours are currently closed.”
The Commissioner used the opportunity to dispel the “myth that the Eastern Partnership is based on a one-size-fits-all-approach leading to uniform relationships in which the individuality of each of the partners gets lost.” Exactly the opposite is true, he insisted: “While we do use a common tool box, including mobility, approximation to European Union standards and values, we work with partners to find tailor-made solutions. Differentiation is a key concept in the Eastern Partnership, and Armenia is no exception.”
In Yerevan, the Commissioner discussed with government, parliamentarians and civil society ways of addressing some of the main priorities in EU-Armenia relations, including:
- human rights;
- fundamental freedoms;
- intensifying the fight against corruption;
- reforming governance and strengthening institutions.
Turning to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Füle urged Armenia to step up efforts with Azerbaijan to reach an agreement on the Madrid Principles, pledging the EU’s assistance.
The EU “has a clear goal of forging deeper relations with all Armenians, across the political spectrum, from business, from civil society and among the population. In other words: an inclusive partnership,” the Commisisoner concluded. (EU Neighbourhood Info)