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Brussels, 25 January 2000

"Culture 2000": 219 projects selected in the first year

The new Community programme in the area of culture, "Culture 2000", last year provided aid for 219 projects amounting to over EUR 32 million. The projects were selected after seeking the opinion of independent experts and involve cultural cooperation actions and the creation of European cultural networks.

Coming just after the publication of the call for applications for 2001 (available on the Culture site as from 26 January:, the figures for 2000 show the high level of response to "Culture 2000" from Europe's cultural players. The Commission received 1 023 applications last year.

Taking stock of this first year of "Culture 2000", Viviane Reding, member of the European Commission responsible for Education and Culture, expressed her satisfaction at seeing Europe's creators giving increasing commitment to transnational cooperation projects. She added that Europe's strength lies in its linguistic and cultural diversity, and that despite its modest budget a programme like "Culture 2000" helps to build a Europe of the people by providing opportunities for exchanges between our national cultures.

The Culture 2000 programme is intended for the following types of programme:

ACTION 1: cooperation projects involving at three partners and lasting one year. 197 projects in the areas of cultural heritage, books and reading, and the performing and visual arts, currently receive Community support to develop joint productions, to enhance common cultural heritage, to raise awareness amongst young people, and to provide training. The Community is also providing support, as part of cultural cooperation with third countries, to one project concerning the Ptolemaia Festival to celebrate the revival of the Alexandria library in Egypt.

€16 580 962 has already been committed out of a total of €17 770 670 for this Action 1.

ACTION 2: structured multiannual cooperation agreements involving at least five cultural players. From the applications for the year 2000, 19 large-scale projects in the areas of music, cultural history, cultural heritage, theatre, books and reading, currently benefit from Community support. These cooperation agreements last a maximum of three years and involve cultural actions designed to bring added Community value to the sector concerned and to develop the sector in cultural, social and economic terms.

The total amount for Action 2 is €13 786 615 of which €4 611 400 has already been committed.

ACTION 3: €600 000 has been allocated to two European heritage laboratory projects, and €150 000 for the organisation of a European contemporary architecture prize.

As regards the European cities of culture, Community aid of €1 980 000 has been allocated for nine cultural cooperation projects conducted by nine European cities of culture for the year 2000, and €250 000 to the European cities of culture for the year 2001 Porto and Rotterdam (€125 000 each) to prepare cultural events.

The list of projects for which a contract has already been drawn up is available from the spokesman's office.

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