Memo January 2005


A memo sent to correspondents, friends and acquaintances of the Budapest Observatory (BO) in January 2005

This memo is late. There is a reason. We hoped to provide you with the latest information on the major conference BO is working on.

November in Budapest
The Board of the European Forum for the Arts and Heritage discussed the preparations of this year's annual conference. BO attended, on behalf of the local organisers. Preparations were approved, date proposed to change, theme asked to be less broad. The main initiator of the conference, the Hungarian culture ministry has endorsed the changes. The meeting will take place between 17-19 November. 

If you are interested, and you are a member of EFAH, you will be kept informed by the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Otherwise use us, BO.

Berlin - Paris - Budapest
You may remember that the Budapest conference was announced at the Berlinerkonferenz, as a follow-up event to that European cultural summit; similarly to a French proposal. Indeed, news came through network channels about the preparations of a large gathering in Paris around 3rd May. (Google resisted all interrogation attempts, the most ingenuous cross-questions have failed to tell more about the Paris event.)

Steering the Lab
You may have come across the label of ‘the Erasmus generation'. The Amsterdam based European Cultural Foundation is proud to recall that for several years they, the ECF were in charge of this successful community project. There are hopes that the Laboratory of European Cultural Co-operation (the Lab) will be a similar European achievement.

The Steering Committee of the Lab held its first session on 21st January. This committee has eight members, representing four groups by two people each: private and public financial supporters, the ECF and the stakeholders. Mats Rolen (Jubileumsfond of the Steftelsen Riksbanken in Sweden) was elected chairperson of the committee. 

The primary function of this initial meeting was to establish the framework for this programme. More substantial discussions about on-going activities and future plans will be expected from the next sessions of the Steering Committee.

Remark to BO friends in the east: although the Lab is closely related to the EU, it is conceived from the very start as a pan-European project. For more, go to the ECF site.

The Stakeholders' Forum
As reported in an earlier BO memo, a stakeholders' forum meeting was held on the occasion of the annual EFAH conference in Lille. Besides the operations that are officially associated to the Lab, the organisers invited formations that together constitute a broad enough representation of the cultural actors of Europe. The forum elected two representatives: Carla Delfos and Péter Inkei. The Stakeholders' Forum will meet twice in 2005, attached to major gatherings. The time and place of the first will be announced soon; the second will take place in Budapest in November. As a kind of arm's length conduct, these meetings will not be organised by the management of the Lab: EFAH office is in charge.                                 

Laborious support
You may read here which part of the Lab the European Commission chose to financially support, and with how much. The G2CC undertaking is the core of Lab activities: do not give up if you cannot master the enigmatic name and complex project set-up at first attempt.   

Experimenting with the support of the Commission
G2CC is one of the six preparatory actions that the Commission decided to support in 2004 (announced in January 2005). BO is holding a stake in one more experimental action, in the survey of cultural diversity in six cities, reported to you in the previous memo.

The other four supported projects were:

  • ‘Generation Europe' is a project - judging by the participating organisations - on contemporary art management, co-ordinated by the Centre for Art Management and Information (MMIC) in Latvia - 293 thousand euros;
  • An initiative in favour of the development of a network for young European architects, done by organisations from five countries (including Czechia and Slovakia) - 133 thousand euros;
  • Joint European stands at book fairs on other continents - 343 thousand euros;
  • Promoting European music - 460 thousand euros.

These are nice amounts. Those of you involved, see to it that they are best spent in the interest of European culture.

Border breakers
This is the name of an interesting award, given to original debut albums that achieved the highest sales in other EU member states. Besides western records - in order to mark the enlargement - at this year's MIDEM a special prize was awarded to the Polish group Myslovitz for its album produced by EMI.

With a little help from our friends
BO survey on festivals is approaching its end. As part of it, we made inquiries about how festivals are funded abroad. Encouraged by the friendly advice received from the Arts Council England, East Midlands, BO turned to Ifacca for more help. Our query was taken up and we are looking forward to responses from colleagues - yours, too. 

Munching on C2000 figures
Finally, a few pieces from BO analysis of eastern support from Culture 2000 coffers. The Commission published detailed scores for 2004 in December. Last year the ex-communist countries marked uneven results: middle Europe made advances, Baltic and Balkan countries (temporarily) lagging behind. This was manifested in the number of winning projects led by operations from these countries:

  2000-2003 2004 2000-2004
BG 1 0 1
CZ 9 6 15
EE 2 0 2
HU 5 4 9
LT 5 1 6
LV 3 1 4
PL 11 4 15
RO 7 2 9
SI 3 6 9
SK 2 0

Although Slovaks appear to contradict the trend, their dynamism is manifested in the number of co-operation links: cases when operators from Slovakia were involved in a C2000 projects nearly doubled last year (18 new links against 21 cases in the previous four years).

  Selected by a leader in another new member country Selected by a leader in an old member country Total
2000-2003 2004 Five years 2000-2003 2004 Five years 2000-2003 2004 Five years
BG 2 0 2 26 11 37 28 11 39
CZ 4 6 10 35 14 49 39 20 59
EE 6 0 6 19 7 26 25 7 32
HU 6 4 10 53 28 81 59 32 91
LV 5 2 7 17 6 23 22 8 30
LT 6 3 9 27 7 34 33 10 43
PL 6 8 14 52 32 84 58 40 98
RO 3 3 6 34 15 49 37 18 55
SK 5 7 12 16 11 27 21 18 39
SI 5 4 9 41 10 51 46 14