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Russia-EU Cooperation in the Sphere of Culture

In its spirit and its historic and cultural traditions, Russia is part of the "European family”. There is no European or international issue nowadays that would not be on the of Russia-EU agenda.  Successful development of the European continent is impossible without close interaction between Russia and the European Union.

 The eighteenth Russia-EU summit that took place on November 24, 2006 in Helsinki, as well as the subsequent summits in Samara, Maffe (Portugal), Khanty-Mansiisk, Nice (France) and Khabarovsk proved that Russia-EU interaction is a truly strategic one, and our mutual interest lies in the development and deepening of our cooperation.  The dialogue in the sphere of culture and arts is continuing too.

In February 2007, a Joint Working Group was created in Moscow in order to develop a plan of action for Russia-EU cooperation in the sphere of cultural projects.  On May 7, 2007 the Joint Working Group Statute was signed.

In February and September 2007, the Joint Working Group discussed cultural cooperation at its  meetings in Moscow and Brussels.  By that time the Russian side had prepared a document that defined the main approaches to Russia-EU cooperation in the sphere of culture.  At present, the list of joint events, as well as the means of their realization and funding, is being reviewed.

One of the methods of the realization of the fourth ‘road map’ is consultations and development of cooperation in the framework of existing international forums, such as UNESCO, the Council of Europe, etc.  The plan of action must be a flexible instrument, but at the same time it should be as concrete and well-defined as possible.  Our common interests, goals and values must not only be formulated in official documents, but they should also find support in our community from the Atlantic to the Pacific.  This is impossible to achieve without direct, open and uninterrupted dialogue.

On October 25, 2007, on the eve of the 20th Russia-EU summit, the first meeting of the EU-Russia Permanent Partnership Council (PPC) took place.  The participants of the meeting formulated a Joint Statement of EU-Russia PPC on culture.

The culture of peace and tolerance as aspiration for dialogue and compromise is a two-way movement.  Only the reciprocal interests of both parties, Russia and the European Union, can secure a sustainable democratic development of ‘Europe without Borders’.  We are for a strategic partnership with the European Union.  The economic and humanitarian spaces between us must be truly common.

July 20, 2009

AVDEEV Alexander

Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation

Source: The EU-Russia: Partnership and Success

See also:

 Delegation of the European Union to Russia


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