Creative Europe Desk BiH in cooperation with the Ministry of Civil Affairs of BiH organised a seminar with the topic “EU funds for culture, improvement of regional cooperation in the sector of culture and support by local sources”.
Representatives of Desks from Albania, Montenegro, Greece, Croatia, Slovenia and Serbia spoke about their experience of participating in the Creative Europe programme, but also about participation supporting mechanisms existing on the national level.
Situations and co-financing instruments differ in countries of the region – in Albania the government, municipalities and regional institutions take part in co-financing, and in Greece in the period from 2007 to 2017 the government co-financed 690 projects which received funds from the European Union.
In Montenegro, there is still no national mechanism of co-financing project which received EU support, while the situation is clearly different in Slovenia where the Ministry of Culture founded a fund for support of Slovenian cultural institutions, whereas in 2016 alone the amount of 85,000 EUR was approved for co-financing. An especially interesting fact is that Slovenian municipalities finance these projects to the level of as much as 30% of the requested funds.
In Croatia there is a fund for co-financing and organisations which receive EU support don’t have the obligation to pay VAT. Dimitrije Tadić from Creative Europe Desk Serbia presented the possibilities offered in Serbia where all successful applicants within the Creative Europe programme can receive co-financing for their projects through specialised competitions of the Ministry which makes participating in the calls significantly easier.
Experiences from the region demonstrate that it is necessary to form project co-financing mechanisms within the Creative Europe programme of the EU on different administrative levels in BiH, emphasised Edin Veladžić from the Ministry of Civil Affairs of BiH. It is also necessary to determine a clear and simple procedure which would allow lifting of the obligation to pay VAT for activities in cultural projects financed from EU funds. By familiarising the present representatives of the entities’ and cantonal ministries of culture with multiple values and benefits of participating in the Creative Europe programme, the first step was made towards recognition of awarded projects and their support in allocating the funds intended for culture, and it was also emphasised that establishment of separate budget lines for these projects would greatly relieve their realisation.
The jointly reached conclusion is that it is needed to design a strategy for better promotion of successful applicants and projects in public, with the aim of connecting with the business sector and also further support of organisations by co-financing these projects. The Head of the Creative Europe Desk BiH Aida Kalender pointed out that she expected the result of the meeting to also be a significantly bigger number of partnerships in project preparation for calls within the EU funds and, hence, a bigger number of joint successful projects.