EU cultural cooperation: Belgium second in subsidies rankings

Belgium features in leading 34 countries participating in Creative Europe, a European Commission funding programme to support cultural, creative and audio-visual sectors. Between 2014 and 2016, the country held sixth place in the list of participating countries (38) having regard to the number of partner organisations it worked with. Belgium was in second position in terms of obtaining subsidies for all Culture-based projects. The day after a meeting held at Bozar (the Centre for Fine Arts), involving 150 players from Dutch and French-speaking Belgium cultural sectors, Sven Gatz and Alda Greoli, respectively the Flemish and French culture ministers, confirmed this.

In the course of the last four years, Belgian cultural organisations have been involved in 92 of the 313 projects selected within Creative Europe. These projects integrate 121 Belgian partners, working with 695 partners from 38 countries, for a total of 79 million euros from the European Commission.

Sven Gatz (Open Vld) commented, “We are proud of these figures, as hundreds of projects and requests for subsidies are submitted every year and the selection process is very stringent." He went on, “The high extent of Belgium’s involvement only serves to demonstrate our belief in a “Europe of Cultures”. It is also proof that our cultural activities are synonymous with quality.”

Alda Greoli says that the deepening ties within the European Union are necessitating a process of concrete advances for the citizen, owing in particular to the symbolic power of culture. She elaborates, “It is necessary to strengthen the mobility of cultural artists and professionals, support the networks of cultural partnerships and indeed take other related actions. In addition, culture is a genuine antidote against populism and nationalism.”

The discussions and the negotiation around the financial frameworks of Creative Europe, after 2020, have now started. Cultural organisations are invited to participate in a public consultation until 8th March.

The Brussels Times

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