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Brussels, 12 December 2003

Culture 2000 programme : 201 European cultural projects supported in 2003

The European Commission's Culture 2000 programme has provided grants to 201 projects during 2003, most of which focus on the performing arts, this year's priority field . These projects will share more than 30 million Euro in funding. 30 European countries are taking part in Culture 2000 (2000-2004), which, this year, is helping more than 750 cultural operators to cooperate on projects with a European dimension.

In 2003, the programme is supporting projects in all artistic fields, cultural heritage, books, reading and translation. Of the 201 projects that have been proposed for selection, 98 concern the performing arts, the priority this year. In 2004 the priority will be cultural heritage. The Commission has proposed extending the Culture 2000 programme for a further two years, meaning it would end in 2006. This plan is currently being examined by the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers.

Early 2004, the European Commission should table a proposal for a new cultural programme, due to start in 2007. At a recent meeting of the ministers in charge of culture of the 25, Viviane Reding, European Commissioner for Education and Culture, announced that she is currently working on a draft programme based on three priorities: mobility of artists and cultural workers, mobility of works and intercultural dialogue.

Viviane Reding, European Commissioner for Education and Culture, said : "Transnational cooperation between cultural operations in the framework of the Culture 2000 programme has helped throughout Europe increase the exchange of experiences and cultural networking between cultural operators in the different countries. This has been shown once again by the good response to the Culture 2000 programme this year. The role of Culture 2000, in highlighting cultural diversity, contributes significantly to the Europeans' shared identity".

Culture 2000 supports annual and multiannual cooperation projects, thus promoting the formation of European cultural networks. 182 annual projects have been selected, for a total of around 16.8 million euro, as well as 19 multiannual cooperation projects (focusing on the visual arts, performing arts, cultural heritage, books and reading) for a total of around 14.7 million euro. Moreover, Culture 2000 has earmarked some 150 000 euro for the organisation and award of a European prize for the conservation and development of cultural heritage. In total, 38 winners (including the winners of six Top Prizes of €10,000 each) from 19 countries were awarded a prize. For a detailed list of the awards see :

Annual cooperation projects in 2003

These projects must involve at least three co-organisers in the countries taking part in the programme. The 182 projects proposed for selection under this action break down as follows:

  • Performing arts:      83 projects

  • Performing arts in third countries: 1 project

  • Visual arts:       15 projects

  • Cultural heritage:      12 projects

  • Books and reading:     11 projects

  • Translation:       56 projects (more than 250 books)

  • Cultural heritage laboratories:  4 projects

Multiannual cooperation projects

These projects must involve at least five co-organisers in the countries taking part in the programme. The 19 projects selected break down as follows:

  • Performing arts:      14 projects

  • Visual arts:       2 projects

  • Cultural heritage:      2 projects

  • Books and reading:     1 project.

The European Capital of Culture in 2003, Graz, has already received almost 125 000 euro for preparatory activities, and an additional 375 000 euro has been granted to it for activities which took place this year. Another 125 000 euro has been earmarked for each of the 2004 Capitals of Culture, Lille and Genoa, for cultural events to take place next year.

Under the third strand of the Culture 2000 programme providing support for large-scale events, celebrations marking the 300th anniversary of St. Petersburg were funded. Five projects, involving over a dozen countries in total, were given grants totalling around 350 000 euro.

For further details of these projects, see

In addition to a number of activities organised by the EU countries, the city of St. Petersburg was invited to host the 'European Cultural Month' in October and awarded a grant of 100 000 euro for that purpose.

Similarly a special call was launched for a cultural celebration of the next enlargement of the European Union to take place in 2004. Funding amounting to some 500 000 euro has been earmarked for a few cooperation projects which aim to highlight the cultural dimension of European Union enlargement.

30 participating countries

In addition to the 15 Member States of the EU and the 3 EEA countries, the 10 acceding countries (Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia) and 2 candidate countries (Bulgaria and Romania) are participating in the programme. Cyprus and Malta are taking part for the first time in 2003. More than 130 organisations from these countries will be participating as leading partners and/or co-organisers in the selected projects, a number that has been increasing each year.

Culture 2000 also promotes cooperation with cultural operators in third countries. This year the selected project, organised by the Goethe Institute in St. Petersburg, is a European Dance Festival which took place in the autumn as a European contribution to the celebration of the 300th anniversary of the City of St. Petersburg.

A list and a description of the projects for which a contract has already been signed are available from the Spokesman's Office and on the Culture 2000 programme website at:

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