Towards a European Cultural Policy
This issue of the Culturelink review is devoted to a significant extent to the work of the European Cultural Foundation. It contains the descriptions of some of its numerous activities, such as the Policies for Culture Programme, the Laboratory of European Cultural Cooperation (LAB), the Cultural Policy Education Group (CPEG), the magazine Beyond Borders. In this way the Culturelink Network would like to congratulate the ECF on its 50 years of successful activity - 50 years of Sharing Cultures (1954-2004). The Foundation's history is traced in considerable detail in a booklet published specially for the occasion. As the author of the booklet, Anne-Marie Autissier, pointed out, three words sum up the essence of the ECF: flexibility, anticipation, and independence. The European Cultural Foundation has never ceased to evolve, anticipating and reacting to developments while remaining focused on its initial ambition: the promotion of cultural dialogue and cooperation across all kinds of borders.
During the period of profound change in Europe, a period which witnessed an EU enlargement on an unprecedented scale, the ECF intensified its activities towards a European cultural policy. The Foundation is convinced that a united and open Europe needs a strong cultural policy. The advent of a European civil society would logically seem to demand a cultural policy which promotes values of sharing, participation and development.
With this in mind, the ECF has introduced the Cultural Policy Research Award (CPR), whose main aim is to stimulate academic research in the field of cultural policy, with an emphasis on the implications of the EU enlargement. The CPR Award should also contribute to the creation of a cultural policy 'infrastructure' - a network of scholars with competence in comparative research related to cultural policy. Additionally, the CPR Award project aims to evaluate existing research achievements, identify existing academic centres and promote an interdisciplinary approach in the sphere of cultural policy research.
The winner of the 2004 Cultural Policy Research Award is Nina Obuljen, a research fellow at the Institute for International Relations in Zagreb, Croatia, and a member of the Culturelink Team. As the jury chair person noticed in her speech at the award-giving ceremony during the 'Sharing Cultures' conference, held in Rotterdam, 11-13 July 2004, Nina Obuljen belongs to the Zagreb school of cultural policy research emerging from the Culturelink Network. Congratulations, Nina.
Cultural networks go from strength to strength, and - as noted in the book Network Logic (p. 73 in this issue of the Culturelink review) - they are the language of our time.