Memo April 2017


A memo sent to correspondents, friends and acquaintances of the Budapest Observatory (BO) in April 2017

660 words and six illustrations (or nine if the bicycles are dissected).

Urban ambitions

How can culture defy lasting legacy of an early spring evening in 1945 (a good and easy mission for tough guys) and of forty years’ GDR experiment (the Karl-Marx-Stadt period)? Chemnitz is determined as BO could witness.

Heritage labels

BO believes that sites of dissonant historic events like the terror bombing of Chemnitz (and especially Dresden) could fit the list of European heritage labels, to which new proposals have been offered. Some of these latter do not seem to observe the principle of visitor friendliness still strong in the original programme (“visitors can get a real feel…”).

28 networks

BO would be surprised if you were not connected to one or two of the European networks that received funding from the Creative Europe programme. They will receive typically 250 thousand euro annually for four years but subject to annual monitoring. It is a matter of course that half of them have their seat in Brussels and none in the east.

81 winning projects

The 2017 (onetwo) lists of winners of the cooperation projects – the best known cultural grants of the European Union in the frame of Creative Europe – have been published. 548 consortia have applied and 81 won.

Leaders of the 81 projects come from 24 countries, in the greatest number from Italy – 13 cases out of 106 applications, which is 12.3% success rate, close to the 14.8% average of the 24 countries. Guess, which country came nearest to this average (which is thus the most typical European state)? The United Kingdom with 14.6% of submitted projects winning a grant. But the champion is again Slovenia with a 35% success rate – are Slovenes born cultural managers? The main losers are Czechia and Finland with no winning project to lead from 19 and 10 submissions, but Austrians cannot boast the single winner from the 17 tries either.

342 involved partners

On another level this round of grants brought about great eastern advance. Operations from post-communist countries were chosen a lot more often than in the three previous years118 out of 342 of all organisations involved into the 81 projects operate in the area, i.e. 35%; between 2014 and 2016 this share was 30%.

This year the 342 bonds showed a more balanced and at the same time diversified pattern than before. See for example the five Bosnian and two Georgian organisations (BA, GE) and newcomer Ukraine with four (UA). Czechs, Finns and Austrians have compensated the loss in leadership with many operations involved into projects administered from other countries. 

1450 bonds

Complete with the data from this year here is the distribution of 1450 bonds that have connected project leaders and cooperating partners in the past four years of the culture sector of the Creative Europe programme. (Beside the cooperation grants the data of the eight platforms approved in 2014-2015 are also included.)

3 country profiles

Let us have a look at the patterns of three countries. With one more in 2017, there have been only three winning projects managed by a Polish organisation, cultivating almost exclusively eastern connections. The four-year balance remains tilted as on the other hand, Polish partners are invited to other projects in great numbers.


Czechs failed to win a leading position in 2017, leaving the wheel on the left unchanged, expressing a primary attraction towards French partners. Among the 11 Czech organisations involved in the newly granted projects the greatest number was welcomed into German-led projects, just like before.


Who did Finns invite between 2014 and 2017, and who invited Finnish partners into cooperation projects? Another nation withour a winner this year, whose operations received 11 invitations, strengthening especially the French connection.


Promoting creatives

Concerted exploratory action aims at exploiting the treatment of culture in conjunction with its broader environment in Romania. The 75-page study clarifies concepts of the creative sector, maps its manifestations, argues for its potential in the economy and employment and formulates recommendations in four headings.