Ukraine joins Creative Europe programme

Creative Europe is a European Union programme with a budget of €1.46 billion for 2014-2020 aimed at boosting the cultural, creative and audio-visual sectors of participating countries. On November 19, Ukraine signed an agreement to join the Creative Europe programme that will come into to effect on January 1, 2016.

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The Creative Europe programme will provide financial support to projects related to strengthening creative sectors, capacity building, audience development, developing new business models, and creating and supporting virtual projects.

Creative Europe has two sub-programmes: Culture and Media.

The Culture sub-programme is devoted to the promotion of the creative and cultural sectors and has 31% of the programme’s budget. The sub-programme includes the following areas: European cooperation projects (support for cross-border cooperation to facilitate sharing of achievements in European cultural and creative industries and promote innovation and creativity); literary translations (promotion of translation and promoting of literary works across EU markets, promotion of access to high-quality European literature); and European platforms (promotion of young artists, support for mobility and availability of authors and performers, audience development, and improving the accessibility of European values ​​and cultural diversity).

The Media sub-programme, which comprises 56% of the budget, provides support to the creation and distribution of audio-visual works. The equal participation of third countries in this sub-programme depends on bringing their legislation on audio-visual products in line with the European legislation in this area. Ukraine will have the opportunity to participate in projects related to education, festivals, audience development, and access to markets.

The remaining 13% of Creative Europe’s budget is devoted to intersectoral cooperation within the programme.

To participate in the programme, the organisation must register online at the participants’ portal first of all.

“The European Union has a powerful cultural sphere. This is a chance for the Ukrainian sector to join this European market. We can cooperate on projects and learn from each other,” says Tibor Navracsics, the EU commissioner for education, culture, youth and sport. “Ukrainian literature can be translated into European languages. This is a great opportunity for Ukrainian cultural and creative industries to make themselves known in the EU.”

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Tibor Navracsics, the EU commissioner for education, culture, youth and sport (on the left) and Minister of the culture of Ukraine Vyacheslav Kyrylenko

Here are a few pieces of advice for Ukrainian organisations that might consider participating in the Creative Europe programme:

Cooperate. It would be better if organisations take their first steps in the programme not as a project’s initiator, but as a partner. Almost every country that has joined the programme faces difficulties in showcasing its creative sector. Newcomers have no special privileges within Creative Europe and participate along with experienced competitors. Projects submitted to the Commission in Brussels must meet many requirements in terms of structure, concepts, documentation, etc.

Get familiar with the programme. Pay special attention to the “Europe-2020” strategy, which defines the principles upon which the Creative Europe programme is based. It is also a good idea to learn from the experiences of those who have received financial support through the program in the past and get acquainted with the program’s many different recommendations and competitions.

Think like the Europeans. The most successful projects appeal to European values. In the preparation stages, organisations should define what their project has in common with the European community and what new ideas it brings to share.

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Information day on the participation in the programme was held on November,19

Know the qualifications of a legal entity. Only legal entities with more than two years of experience can participate in the program and the program does not fund individuals.

Be innovative. Organisations must offer something no one has before. Understand that a good project is based in existing ideas and evidence, but the way it is implemented should be innovative, with a format and approach that responds to selected priorities of the Creative Europe programme.

Emphasise mobility. Projects through Creative Europe are intended to be international. As such, mobility is a key component of any project and will help to increase its efficiency. This means the mobility of cultural works, interim results, and even the people engaged in the project.

Think long-term. It requires a lot of time to find partners, develop a project together, and prepare the necessary documents to apply to the programme. The better planning that goes into a project, the more coherent the end product will be. It will also help to put some thought into what will happen after the project is implemented.

Choose reliable partners and be mindful of geographical balance. Partners should be selected with caution. The best teams are made up of organisations that are already familiar with each other. Interactions should be kept highly professional. When selecting partners, it is also important to think about geographical balance and involve partners from a variety of countries.

Be specific in achieving your goal. Project proposals should describe step-by-step how the project would achieve its intended goal and also include a detailed financial plan clearly explaining the costs of the project. All the tasks should be clearly divided between the partners. The clearer and more consistent the action plan, the more competitive it will be at the selection stage.

Foster good communication skills. Communication is essential at every stage— from fundraising, to establishing social communications, to delivering the main message of the project. Communication determines how the organisation is perceived at every stage of planning, implementation and search for support.

Find supplementary support. The Creative Europe programme does not cover the full cost of projects. So in addition to the resources of the partner organisations, it is vital to think about other sources of support and develop a co-financing scheme with domestic or international organisations. If an organisation cannot offer financial support to the project, it should consider what it alone can offer and why it is indispensable to the project.

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Also one should keep in mind the next things on the project’s preparations

Strong relationships with prospective co-organisers are necessary to ensure that each party is equally involved in planning the project and aware of their responsibilities within the project.

Money and funding for the project should be talked about openly from the beginning. Each party should be confident in each co-organiser’s ability to provide the money they have committed to the project.

Operational plans and descriptions of the project should be in place at an early stage to enable all co-organiser’s to be involved in preparations. Co-organisers should work together to identify:

    • the concrete aim of your collective projec;
    • the target participants for the project;
    • the target audiences and publics4
    • a calendar of all project events and activities4

the full costs and income of the project.

Up-to-date drafts of your estimated costs and estimated income should be circulated regularly between co-organisers, enabling collaborators to work on a strand of the budget or to keep informed about the budget as a whole.

Before committing to partnership, co-organisers should meet face to face to brainstorm. Co-organisers should meet face to face at least once more to finalise the project proposal together.

Build conditional arrangements with other people or organisations who will be necessary to your project (e.g. particular artists; particular cultural heritage specialists; possible subcontractors, such as a web design company, or a partner that may be providing space of some other resource part of the project).

Involve organisations other than the co-organisers to monitor and evaluate the project.

A legal agreement between all co-organisers should be drawn up to clarify in advance all roles and their associated responsibilities as they apply to each co-organiser within the project. Consider agreed methods for accounting for project expenditure and such things as what would happen to artworks or cultural resources made during the course of the project once the project comes to an end.

Schedule meetings between co-organisers as part of the project calendar to review the progress of the project and to ensure that all parties are working together to deal with any difficulties arising throughout the project.

Tim Williams, expert of the EU-Eastern Partnership project “Culture and creativity”, told Hromadske.tv about some details of participation in the “Creative Europe”

Background information

On November 19 2015 in Kyiv, Tibor Navracsics, the European commissioner for education, culture, youth and sport, and Vyacheslav Kyrylenko, the Ukrainian minister of culture, officially signed the agreement on Ukraine’s participation in the Creative Europe programme. As required under the agreement, a national bureau will be established to assist Ukrainian organisations to participate in the programme.

More information about the Creative Europe programme and how to participate is available through the following sources:

European Commission website: http://ec.europa.eu/programmes/creative-europe

Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency website:   http://eacea.ec.europa.eu

EU-Eastern Partnership “Culture & Creativity” Programme website: http://www.culturepartnership.eu/ua/publishing/creative-europe