Editorial of Mr Salord, Head of Unit, Development and Cooperation DG, European Commission, Newsletter n°2 (March-April 2013)

M. Denis Salord

COMBINED EFFORTS TO ENSURE BETTER ACCESS TO CULTURE

Working to improve understanding between peoples through a permanent, on-going intercultural dialogue remains, in the eyes of the European Commission, an indispensable asset in the fight against prejudice and discrimination, all too often obstacles to the development of our societies.

Ensuring a better understanding of the social and economic role that a dynamic culture sector can play is, as ever, a key issue as regards sustainable development.

This is why the European Union (EU), in agreement with the countries of Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) supports a large number of actions that seek to preserve and promote the cultural identities of populations, protect and promote their heritage, and identify the conditions necessary for the development of sustainable cultural industries.

In the framework of the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) and with the ACP Group of States, this choice has been reaffirmed through an increased financial support to the culture sector and its four main components, as follows:

  • Direct support to the creation and production, without exception, of cultural goods and services;
  • Support to the professionalization of the sector's entire range of vocational areas;
  • Promotion and guidance of initiatives that ensure an improved level of access of works to local, regional and international markets;
  • Contribution to the development and/or consolidation of the legal and regulatory frameworks.

Within a €30 million Programme financed under the 10th EDF, two Calls for Proposals were launched in under 18 months for a total amount of €24 million, one in March 2011 and the other in September 2012, with 291 proposals submitted under the second.

The 23rd edition of FESPACO also provided the opportunity to highlight the efficiency of this joint EU/ACP endeavour, with the screening of 7 of the 11 films supported by the 9th EDF, 5 of which were competing .

This year’s creation of the “ACPCULTURES+ Prize”, awarded by the ACP Group with the financial support of the European Commission, consecrates their joint action, and allowed for the identification of the film that best satisfied the objectives of the Programme.

Ouagadougou, through the 23rd FESPACO festival, successfully demonstrated its indispensable role as a global crossroads of African cinema and media, where the most diverse talents of Africa and its diaspora fruitfully mingle.

Through these joint efforts, the EU and the ACP, through the respect and promotion of our cultural differences, ensure the broadest possible access to culture for all.

 

Denis Salord

Head of Unit, Development and Cooperation Directorate General, European Commission.

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