The general aim of the project was to improve social and cultural cohesion in Romania‐Serbia cross border area by promoting cooperation regarding the formulation and evaluation of cultural public policies based on active participation for regional development.
The project was financed by the European Union through the Romania-Republic of Serbia IPA Cross‐border Cooperation Programme and was meant to: improve the quality of the public services offered to the population by cultural actors; increase the professional competences of public employees and decision‐makers in applying the public policy cycle for the cultural field; contribute to the increase of the involvement of civil society throughout the elaboration, implementation and evaluation of the public policies and to promote European values as catalysts of European cooperation and integration.
The Intercultural Institute Timisoara – lead partner,
together with City Hall Timisoara, City Hall Zrenjanin, City Hall Pancevo and
Civic Parliament Free Town Vrsec, coordinated the implementation of this cross
border project between June 2013 and October 2014.
The main activities of the project were:
- A sociological
and statistical research analysing the cultural demand and offer in Timisoara,
Pancevo, Zrenjanin and Vrsac and Timis county, the main content of the cultural
consumption and offer, behaviour patterns of consumers and cultural providers
and identification of new cultural needs. This activity took place in the whole
area of the project by carrying out ample sociological research of the cultural
demand at the level of the population in Timisoara and Timis County, in
Zrenjanin and Vrsac, as well as statistical research at the level of cultural
providers in the same area. In Pancevo, the sociological and statistical
research aimed at an intermediary evaluation of the impact of the City Cultural
Strategy that was in full process of implementation.
- Between December
2013 and June 2014 the two cultural strategies envisioned in the project were
elaborated, on the basis of several public debates and round tables in
Timisoara and the three partner cities – the Cultural Strategy of the city of
Timisoara for the period 2014‐2024 and the
Cultural Strategy of the city of Zrenjanin for the period 2014‐2024. At the same time, the intermediary evaluation of
the impact of the Cultural Strategy of Pancevo was carried out and several
actions to include culture in the public priorities of the Vrsac Municipality
were initiated. Following the results of the research carried out, correction
measures for the Pancevo strategy were defined through a new Action Plan and in
Vrsac, through a consultation with the cultural providers, an Action Plan was
elaborated for the municipal council.
- The project
supported a major cultural event with the participation of 15 young artists in
the Biennale of Contemporary Art in Pancevo – September 10th 2014 – October 1st
- A youth camp was
organized for 24 young leaders, aged between 18 and 30 from Timisoara and
Serbia. For 8 days, these young people took part in non‐formal education activities, with an important part dedicated to the
promotion of European values, European citizenship and culture as a development
factor. The selection of participants was based on an open call and on criteria
defined within the Council of Partners. A main selection criterion was the
volunteering and/or participation in activities carried out by cultural
organizations. The camp took place between July 27th and August 3rd 2014.
- The project also
included a training course for employees in the public cultural sector, which
took place in April 2014. For 7 days, 20 public employees took part in
interactive learning modules focused on project management. The training aimed
to increase their capacity to develop viable projects in order to achieve the
general objectives defined in the strategies. At the same time, it contributed
to the increase of the capacity of cultural actors to attract financial
resources from community or private funds.
The project ended with a final conference and a
“matching event”, organized in November 2014. This event offered the
possibility to publicly present the results of the project, to draw conclusions
and make plans for the future. On this occasion, the public authorities signed
a Protocol for cross‐border cultural cooperation, which included the
definition of the cooperation potential as well as the means and resources the
partners could engage.
This project contributed to the foundation of Timisoara’s candidacy to become European Capital of Culture and identified long‐term development directions for the cultural field.