Founders

The list below includes the main intergovernmental organisations and initiatives, other than the European Union, which provide financial support relevant to the current survey. Other forms of international assistance (technical cooperation, equipment, fellowships, etc.) are beyond the scope of this report.

Agence Intergouvernementale de la Francophonie (AIF) | Visit Page

The main operator of the ‘Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie’, which brings together fifty-three states and governments which share a language and common values. Culture is one of the agency’s areas of cooperation (alongside education, the media, the economy and good governance) with the key mission of empowering the countries of the South to engender a sustainable development process. Within the field of arts and culture, financial support relevant to individuals and organisations in SEE includes support for the international circulation of artists and works in the performing arts and the conferring of literary awards. SEE Member Countries: Albania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Romania. SEE contact: Antenne r?gionale de l’AIF pour les pays de l’Europe centrale et orientale, Bucharest, eric_thibeault@francophonie.net


The Council of Europe | Visit Page

The Council of Europe is Europe’s oldest political organisation. It was founded in 1949, and currently brings together forty-six countries, including all the countries of South East Europe. It is not a funding but a political organisation. Its four main areas of focus at present are: democracy and human rights; social cohesion; the security of citizens; and democratic values and cultural diversity, with a specific focus on providing assistance for the consolidation and monitoring of Eastern European post-communist democracies. Information Offices or Offices of the Special Representative of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe are established in all SEE countries. The framework of the Council of Europe’s work on culture and heritage is the European Cultural Convention, which was adopted in 1954. This deals with the following key areas: intercultural dialogue and conflict prevention; cultural diversity and cultural citizenship; cultural policy; support for the co-production, distribution and exhibition of European films; European art exhibitions; and cultural heritage. Within each of these areas, the Council of Europe carries out a variety of activities, such as information provision, promotion, networking, training, technical assistance, and research. With very few exceptions, one of which is detailed below, it does not provide direct funding for activities in the cultural field.


Eurimages | Visit Page

Eurimages is the Council’s partial agreement, established in 1989, for the co-production, distribution and exhibition of European films. It has thirty member states and annual funding of some 20 million euros. So far, Eurimages has supported the co-production of around a thousand full-length feature films and documentaries. Two schemes have recently been set up: one for films with real circulation potential and one for films reflecting the cultural diversity of European cinema. Support for distribution and cinemas is available to member states which do not have access to the European Union’s MEDIA programme. All SEE countries, except for Albania, are members of the agreement and therefore have access to funding (Serbia and Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina joined in 2005).


The Council of Ministers of Culture of South East Europe | No Page To Visit 

The Council was officially established in March 2005 with the aim of creating a new forum for dialogue and interaction between the Ministers of Culture and other government and nongovernmental structures. Joint cultural strategies, opportunities and projects, and the exchange of information and experience are intended to result from this. The Council foresees its involvement in a number of activities, such as: “undertaking joint cultural projects; creating joint programmes to facilitate mobility for artists and cultural professionals, as well as the exchange of cultural artefacts and art works in the region; employing the potential of the existing programmes of the Council of Europe, UNESCO, EU and other non-governmental and intergovernmental organisations, in order to achieve synergy between the different international initiatives to the advantage of South East Europe”25. How it will function in practice and whether it will also provide funding opportunities for cultural cooperation projects remains to be seen26. The Charter marking the establishment of the Council has so far been endorsed by Ministers of Culture in Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Turkey. For further information, contact the International Relations Department within the Ministry of Culture of any participating country (contact details are given in 7.1) or the Ministry of Culture and Tourism (former Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport) of the Republic of Albania. The latter holds the presidency of the Council until March 2006.


The Nordic Council of Ministers | Visit Page

Established in 1971, the Nordic Council of Ministers is the forum for Nordic governmental cooperation between Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Finland. It also operates in close cooperation with several international, regional and national organisations outside the Nordic countries (priority is given to the Adjacent Areas Programme, which is directed at the Baltic States, Russia and the Arctic area). Since the 1980s, the Nordic Council of Ministers has initiated and organised cultural projects with countries and regions outside the Nordic region. These are designed and executed in close cooperation with Nordic and national institutions and organisations and in collaboration with the organisers in the host countries. The following are relevant to this survey:


Norden Balkan Culture Switch | Visit Page

Cultural exchange project with the Western Balkans (i.e. Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, and Serbia and Montenegro), initiated in 2003 and to be continued throughout 2005. The goal of the project, which focuses on young professionals, is to build new cultural networks between the Nordic countries and the countries of the Western Balkans. All projects must be multilateral, which means every project must include participants from at least three Nordic countries and at least three countries from the Western Balkans. The planning and implementation of the project were organised through the Nordic institutions and committees, along with institutions and individuals from the Western Balkans, and in partnership with BalkanKult (Belgrade).


Nordic Cultural Fund | Visit Page 

The Fund’s aim is to further cultural cooperation between the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden), as well as the self-governing areas (the Faroe Islands, Greenland, and the ?land Islands). The Fund supports cultural cooperation both within and outside the borders of the Nordic countries. It covers a wide range of areas connected with arts and culture, involving both professionals and amateurs. Contributions can be made towards supporting conferences, concerts, tours, exhibitions, festivals, general education, higher education, research, etc. A project may be completed both within and outside the Nordic countries. Private persons, associations/networks, organisations, as well as private and public institutions may apply for contributions. The applicant may live or work within or outside the Nordic countries. For participation in Nordic/international events, the organiser of the event, not the individual participant, should apply.


The Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe | Visit Page

Launched in 1999 on the initiative of the European Union, the Stability Pact for SEE is the international community’s first comprehensive conflict-prevention strategy in the region. It aims to encourage the states of SEE in their efforts to foster peace, democracy, respect for human rights, and economic prosperity. The Stability Pact is not a new international organisation, but a political declaration of commitment and a framework for developing a shared strategy for all committed partners (ranging from national governments to intergovernmental organisations). In terms of potential financial support, it must be stressed that the Stability Pact does not have any independent financial resources or implementing structures. Rather, it seeks to bring the participants’ political strategies in line with one another, to coordinate existing and new initiatives in the region and to help avoid duplication of work. Organisationally, the Stability Pact relies on the Special Coordinator, Erhard Busek, and the Pact’s Brussels-based secretariat. The latter is organised in three units, with none having a specifically formulated place for culture. However, within Democratisation and Human Rights (Working Table I), there are three (out of five) task forces that are potentially relevant to our survey: those dedicated to Media; Education and Youth; and Local Democracy and Cross-border Cooperation. Indeed, some Stability Pact partners have dedicated part of their support for the region to culture and/or media.


UNESCO | Visit Page

The principal mission of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) is not the funding of projects and fellowships. Rather, its activities focus on the sharing of knowledge, realising prospective studies, preparing and adopting international instruments and statutory recommendations, providing expertise in the form of technical cooperation, etc. Nevertheless, within its fields of competence (education, sciences, social sciences, culture and communication), UNESCO finances many pilot projects, for which applications should generally be submitted to the competent national authorities of each Member State (i.e. the National Commission for UNESCO, established in all SEE countries) 29. It also proposes a limited number of funding schemes (funds and fellowships). In SEE, after the changes of 1989 and the ensuing disintegration of Yugoslavia, UNESCO gave priority to the protection and restoration of cultural heritage. Some funding schemes relevant to SEE cultural operators are listed below.


The South – East European Culture Heritage Trust Fund | Visit Page

Established in 2004, following the International Conference of Ministers of Culture of South- Eastern Europe, which was held in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, in July 2004. The Trust Fund seeks to contribute to the political stability and the social and economic development of South East Europe by enhancing regional cooperation in culture and cultural heritage. In 2004, the Italian Government made a voluntary contribution of EUR 800,000 to this fund in order to ensure that it could operate immediately. The sum was allocated to the definition and implementation of a pilot project for the development of cultural tourism within the region. The Trust Fund is intended to be an international, subsidiary tool, complementing the Mostar Action Plan (which involves all SEE countries addressed by the present report and Moldova) in ensuring that state budgets allow adequate resources for cultural cooperation and cultural heritage preservation and management. The Fund is administered by the Section for Culture of the UNESCO-ROSTE (Regional Bureau for Science in Europe) in Venice. Set up in 2002, this has as its mission the strengthening of European cultural cooperation in favour of Central and South East Europe, in close cooperation with national, regional and local authorities (and with particular attention to the safeguarding and restoration of heritage damaged in recent conflicts in the Balkans).


The UNESCO – Aschberg Bursaries for Artists Programme | Visit Page

UNESCO’s main mobility programme for artists, established in 1994 in order to open up new career prospects for young artists and provide them with further training in specialised institutions in countries other than their countries of origin. The programme is open to young professional artists from all over the world (although each partner institution has specific eligibility criteria) in a large variety of arts disciplines (for 2005/2006: visual arts, music, dance, creative writing, the performing arts and media arts). For 2005/2006, the programme proposes to have sixty-two fellowships offered by fifty partner institutions in thirty countries (none of which is in SEE). Applications to be made directly to the programme secretariat.


The International Fund for the Promotion of Culture (IFPC) | Visit Page

Created in 1974, the IFPC has developed into a financial fund that supports cultural development projects worldwide and aims to help creators and cultural entrepreneurs to find additional funds. IFPC part finances projects which pursue a development strategy through cultural activity, with a focus on safeguarding cultural diversity; on making a modest contribution to the economic, social and educational welfare of an underprivileged social group (notably by the creation of stable jobs, and through training to improve cultural management know-how), and on the innovative use of new technologies. The fund is open to institutions, organisations, associations and individuals (operators from all SEE countries are eligible to apply). Applications are to be made directly to IFPC Secretariat.


The UNESCO Fellowships Programme | Visit Page

A limited number of general fellowships, study and travel grants (with no specific focus on culture) are made available by this programme. Applications to the National Commission in one’s respective country. For more details concerning cooperation between UNESCO and its South-East European Member States, consult the publication bearing this title at: Download


The World Bank | Visit Page

The World Bank is a Development Bank that provides loans, policy advice, technical assistance and knowledge-sharing services to low and middle income countries in order to reduce poverty and improve the living standards of people in the developing world. The provision of this support is based on bilateral agreements between the World Bank and the recipient country’s government and on the basis of the needs and policy of the latter. Thus, several countries in SEE have made use of such loans to invest in the cultural sector, particularly in the field of cultural heritage (e.g. for local development), and infrastructure development related to tourism (see box for some examples). Additionally, each national World Bank office in the countries of the region directly awards small grants for projects initiated by NGOs in the field of civil society development, with possible specific country priorities. Even though arts and culture are not specifically eligible, projects using arts and culture in a developmental approach could potentially be eligible for small grants, usually of USD 5,000 maximum. Finally, it is worth mentioning that other intergovernmental organisations, such as UNDP (The United Nations Development Programme – www.undp.org) and OSCE (The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe – www.osce.org) have also provided limited and sporadic support in the framework of projects in the countries of South East Europe to actions related to the cultural field and to the use of cultural resources for development. These projects seek to promote democratic governance, human rights, poverty reduction, etc. Independent foundations outside SEE Besides the national and regional support for arts and culture in SEE provided by the Soros Foundations since 1993, many other foundations have helped the cultural sector to develop and strengthened cooperation with (East-West approach) or within (East-East) the countries of Eastern Europe or specific EE regions. They have done so in accordance with the evolution of the political and economic context and with their own particular policies. Most of these foundations, which in many cases continue to support cultural projects, are European foundations. The most important ones are listed below. Major American donors investing in the arts, such as the Rockefeller Foundation and the Ford Foundation, have defined their focus interest outside the SEE region, while some of the few major American donors remaining in the Balkans do not provide specific funding for cultural projects. It is worth mentioning, though, that some of these donors (such as the German Marshall Fund of the US, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, and their joint initiative with USAID – the Balkan Trust for Democracy) do not exclude cultural organisations from their funding as long as the issues addressed by the proposed projects fall within the priorities they have set for the region: regional cooperation, civic participation, improvement of ethnic relations, community development, etc. Below is a list of the main independent foreign foundations currently supporting cultural projects – particularly cultural cooperation projects – in the countries of SEE. It also includes the key foundations providing extensive SEE support for which cultural projects may be eligible in the framework of ‘non-cultural’ programmes.


Evens Foundation, Antwerp, Belgium | Visit Page

Operating since 1996, the Evens Foundation aims to ‘promote “tools” in all disciplines that improve the dialogue between human beings, combat any form of discrimination, detect potential conflicts, try to intervene in a courageous way and develop the sense of responsibility, both individually and collectively’. It does so by supporting and developing projects likely to have a long-lasting influence on European integration. The Foundation focuses its activities on two main fields: Intercultural Education (understood in a broad sense as active learning to deal with racism, and social and cultural diversity) and the Arts. It is also active in the fields of Literature and Science. In the field of art, the Evens Foundation supports contemporary artistic projects that serve as a lever to make the social tissue more dynamic, offering theoreticians and artists a platform to reflect on the vision of art in our society; it also organises conferences and research on the integration of art in civil society. Support is generally granted to projects from or relevant to EU member or candidate countries, i.e. in SEE: Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania. However, projects may include components and partners from other SEE countries.


The King Baudouin Foundation, Brussels, Belgium | Visit Page

This is an independent public benefit foundation which works to improve people’s living conditions. It runs programmes in a variety of areas, with a Belgian or international focus, and has a series of specific projects targeting the countries of SEE. The latter are set up with local partners and deal with such issues as minority rights, ethnic relations, and young people at risk. Since 2001, the Foundation has also developed a programme in the field of cultural heritage:


Living Heritage | Visit Page

An initiative of the King Baudouin Foundation developed in partnership with local organisations in four countries of SEE: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Macedonia and Romania. A grant-giving and capacity-development programme, which has sought to enable local community development in South East Europe through the promotion of sustainable culture and heritage initiatives, while also building a regional network. The programme is coming to an end in 2005. The project’s long-term developmental approach and its focus on regional networking and capacity-building can already be described as successful, given the fact that the regional network of partners has managed to find other resources following the withdrawal of the initiator’s funding support, thus permitting activities within the programme to continue.


Daniel Langlois Foundation for Art, Science, and Technology, Canada | Visit Page

Established in 1997, the Foundation is a private, non-profit charitable organisation with international activities. It aims to further artistic and scientific knowledge and understanding. Through its actions, it seeks to bring art and science closer together within a technological context. The Foundation promotes contemporary artistic practices that use digital technologies to express aesthetic and critical forms of discourse; encourages interdisciplinary research and assists the development of projects that call for cooperation between people from a variety of fields, such as artists, scientists, technologists and engineers; it also makes available the results of research supported by its programmes. The Foundation gives support to organisations and individuals worldwide, with applicants from all SEE countries eligible to participate in all its programmes: Researcher-in-Residence Program; Research and Experimentation Residencies in Montreal for Professional Artists from Emerging Countries or Regions; Research and Experimentation Grants in Art+Science+Technology; Strategic Grants for Organisations.


Roberto Cimetta Fund, Paris, France | Visit Page

The Roberto Cimetta Fund is an international association promoting artistic exchange and the mobility of professionals in the field of contemporary performing arts and visual arts within the Mediterranean area. In collaboration with the European Cultural Foundation, the Roberto Cimetta Fund has set up a programme for awarding individual travel grants. The mobility programme supports travel which is linked to exchange and to forthcoming projects and covers travel and visa costs for trips such as attending professional cultural network meetings, workshops, artist’s residences, festival, symposiums etc. It is open to all professional artists, cultural operators or technicians working in the fields of contemporary performing arts, visual arts or cinema in the Mediterranean (the countries on the north shore from Portugal to Turkey – including SEE Adriatic countries, and on the south side from the Near East to the Maghreb).

The political foundations, Germany | Visit Page

A distinctive feature of the German system, political foundations (listed below) play an important role in promoting the social and political education of individuals in Germany, while strengthening democratic political and societal structures abroad. Since the early 1990s, the countries of Eastern Europe have represented a specific focus of their international cooperation activities. With important differences from one foundation to another, funding initiatives usually assist projects for civil society development and democratisation, within which cultural projects may also be eligible.
Friedrich Ebert Stiftung: www.fesdc.org
Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung: www.fnst.de
Heinrich-B?ll-Stiftung: www.boell.de
Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung: www.hss.de
Konrad Adenauer Stiftung: www.kas.de

Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung: www.rosaluxemburgstiftung.de


Volkswagen Foundation, Germany | Visit Page

The Volkswagen Foundation, established in 1961, is an independent foundation based in Hanover. It is not affiliated to the car manufacturer of the same name; the Federal German Government and the Government of the State of Lower Saxony nominate its Board of Trustees. Its objective is to support science, humanities and technology in research and university teaching. Provided the project falls under one of the current funding initiatives and involves substantial cooperation with researchers in Germany, applications are also invited from academic institutions located outside Germany. Some of the foundation’s funding initiatives are directed especially at promoting international cooperation and target support for institutions and projects abroad. In this arena, too, specific funding instruments are constantly being developed to take account of the specific situations in the different countries involved, in order to achieve the desired cooperation with German researchers and institutions. Among the initiatives which address Central and Eastern European countries, the foundation has launched the funding line:

J.F. Costopulous Foundation, Greece | Visit Page

The Foundation’s mission is to work for the public good in Greece and promote Hellenic culture through the subsidy of scientific, educational and cultural activity both within and beyond Greece’s borders. Support for cultural activities involving Greek participation is provided in the fields of cultural heritage and the contemporary arts.

The European Cultural Foundation (ECF), Amsterdam, The Netherlands | Visit Page

The European Cultural Foundation was founded in 1954 as an independent foundation seeking to promote cultural cooperation in Europe. Since the early 1990s, it has given clear priority to Eastern Europe, and subsequently South East Europe, in the support it offers. This support takes the form of grants to artists and organisations in the region, and of programmes such as Art for Social Change, Kultura Nova (both ended in 2004) and Policies for Culture developed in partnership with organisations from the region. Its current activities are based on three main pillars: grants, programmes, and cultural policy development. The grants scheme is detailed below. The programmes, which can include grant-giving schemes, are currently in preparation within three areas of focus: arts, media, and mobility. Specific initiatives within the Cultural Policy Development action-line might include a small funding component. For example, the ECF, along with the Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation, present an annual Cultural Policy Research Award (CPR Award), amounting to EUR 10,000, for which SEE researchers are eligible to apply.

The Grants Scheme | Visit Page

The ECF provides support to cultural projects in all disciplines and art forms. The projects must be developed by small to medium-sized cultural organisations and be relevant to one or more of the foundation’s current areas of interest: intercultural competence and collaboration across borders; increased participation in the arts and the media; the cultural dimension of EU enlargement; strategies for change within cultural infrastructures; creative responses to current political issues; and the development of a common public and cultural European space. All SEE operators are eligible to apply. It is worth mentioning that, since 2004, the ECF has been developing a three-year collaboration with HIVOS – the Dutch Humanist Institute for Cooperation with Developing Countries – to strengthen its support of projects in South East Europe (Albania, Bosnia Herzegovina, Macedonia, Moldova, Serbia and Montenegro, and Kosovo). Grants vary between EUR 5,000 and 30,000, with an average of EUR 10,000-15,000.

STEP beyond Mobility Fund | Visit Page

Launched in 2003, following an earlier programme called APEXchanges, STEP beyondencourages cross-border cultural cooperation and exchange between all European countries(including Turkey and the Caucasus countries), through small individual travel grants. It isopen to arts professionals, cultural operators, cultural journalists, cultural translators andcultural researchers who wish to travel for exploratory, networking and projectdevelopment-related purposes. All SEE professionals travelling to any European country areeligible for support, as are all professionals from other European countries travelling to SEE.

The Felix Meritis Foundation, Amsterdam, The Netherlands | Visit Page

The Felix Meritis Foundation – A European Centre for Arts and Sciences is an international platform which promotes independent thinking and reflection and the transfer of knowledge and enjoyment of the arts. It facilitates meeting points for artists, scientists and other thinkers in the Netherlands and in Europe. In line with its motto, ‘Connecting Cultures’, it has initiated many international projects, two of which are relevant to the present survey. Although the Felix Meritis is not a grant-giving foundation, most of its projects include grant schemes for individuals.
 

Gulliver Connect programme – Mobility and Arts Work Placement Programme | Visit Page 

The main objective of this programme is to enable young arts practitioners from Central and Eastern Europe (including all SEE countries as well as the former Soviet Union) to set up work placements in cultural organisations in the targeted region (other than the country of residence). By so doing, the individuals involved gain more international work experience and enlarge their networks. Placements of up to six weeks’ duration are intended to be mutually beneficial for the visitor and the host organisation. The programme was set up in 1997 and currently operates as a partnership between the Felix Meritis Foundation, KulturKontakt (Vienna), NCDO (Amsterdam), the New Theatre Institute of Latvia (Riga), the Open Society Institute (Budapest), the Red House (Sofia) and Theorem (Riga).
 

The Amsterdam-Maastricht Summer University (AMSU) | Visit Page

The AMSU was initiated by Felix Meritis, of which it is now an autonomous partner organisation. Each summer it runs a multi-disciplinary curriculum of masterclasses, workshops and seminars on a variety of topics, but always dealing with issues of present day civil society, for over five hundred young professionals from all over Europe, mostly aged between twenty-five and thirty-five. The lecturers come from widely varied academic and professional backgrounds and from many countries. Partial support to SEE participants is provided on the basis of open competition.
 

HIVOS (Humanist Institute for Cooperation with Developing Countries), The Hague, The Netherlands |

Visit Page

HIVOS is a non-governmental organisation providing development support with the aim of contributing to a free, fair and sustainable world where citizens, women and men, have equal access to resources, opportunities and markets and can participate actively and equally in decision-making processes that determine their lives, their society and their future. It does for the most part by providing financial and political support to local NGOs in its target countries. The HIVOS Culture Fund (HCF), introduced in 1995, supports artists and cultural organisations in the South (Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as Eastern and South East Europe). The Fund’s fields of work include production, exchange, promotion, marketing and distribution, as well as capacity-building. Its purpose is to support, within developing countries, independent artistic initiatives that take a critical view of social developments, that help to develop and professionalise the cultural sector, that work for the broad dissemination of cultural products, and that promote equality of exchange between artists nationally and internationally.
 

XminusY Solidarity Fund, The Netherlands | Visit Page

XminusY Solidarity Fund is an independent funding organisation in the Netherlands. In striving for greater justice in economic, political and social relations, it provides financial support to social movements and small-scale initiatives worldwide. The Fund supports groups and organisations in the South and in Eastern Europe, helping them set up programmes for social justice and political self-determination. Cultural projects with a strong political component are eligible for funding. The maximum grant award is EUR 5,000.