About the Seminar

Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, European Commission and European Union Delegation to Russia conducted International seminar «Russia — EU: Signs on the Road Map of Cultural Cooperation». The seminar took place on 8 December 2009 in Moscow.


Official cultural cooperation between Russia and the European Union (EU) in the field of culture was initiated by the approval during «Russia — EU» Summit, which took place in Moscow in 2005 Moscow of the document on construction of Common Space and Road Maps in the fields of:

  • economy
  • security and justice
  • external safety
  • science and education, including cultural aspects

The so-called «Kajaani Process», started in 2007, also encouraged promotion of contacts between Russia and the EU in the field of culture.

On 25 October, 2007, the first Permanent Partnership Council (PPC, Mafra, Portugal) adopted a joint statement between Russia and the EU, which calls for «the organisation of a high level conference to promote contacts between the EU and the Russian Federation cultural operators». This initiative was reconfirmed by the 3rd Meeting of the Russia — EU Joint Working Group at its meeting in Moscow on 10 June 2008.

In the working process of preparation for such event, the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation proposed to arrange International Seminar to discuss the prospects of the long-term cooperation between Russia and the EU with participation of all interested parties.

Main goals

The main goals of the seminar were as follows:

  • to discuss a new format of cooperation between Russia and the EU in conjunction with new basic Agreement on Strategic Partnership, which is being prepared, taking into account previous experience
  • to define potential focal areas for the improvement of policy and the regulatory environment in Russia and the EU, facilitating cultural cooperation between both parties and implementation of joint projects
  • to generate input and contribute to the elaboration of a common Russia — EU approach for the development of cultural cooperation
  • to discuss the proposals for establishment of concrete practical cooperation in the field of culture between Russia and the EU in the context of possible future Action Plan

Main discussion topics

The following topics were proposed for discussion at the seminar:

  • to appraise the current state of cultural cooperation between the Russia and the EU and showcasing of good cooperation practices, including joint projects implemented by Russia and the EU
  • to define priorities and potential focus areas of cooperation, which represent mutual interest for Russia and the EU in development of the long-term cultural cooperation, taking into consideration interests of Russian and European cultural operators involved in the joint projects
  • to consider different mechanisms of projects financing, as well as the value added of multilateral cooperation projects in comparison to bilateral activities, possibility to establish the EU — Russia Cultural Foundation
  • to discuss various issues related to promotion of cultural cooperation between Russia and the EU: networking of organizations, mobility of art and artists, etc.
  • to jointly discuss and evaluate the priorities for cooperation between Russia and the EU as perceived by cultural operators in Russia and European operators active in Russia
  • to engage into dialogue/exchange of good practices/experience managers of cultural cooperation projects undertaken in Russia with European participation and vice versa
  • to foster effective cultural cooperation at grass roots level in conjunction with cultural institutions and agencies, local authorities, representatives of organised civil society, including local cultural operators from Russia and the EU, in particular NGOs
  • to discuss improvement of policy and regulatory environment in the field of culture, which may contribute to the development of cultural cooperation and implementation of concrete projects between Russia and the EU

Structure of the Seminar

Within the seminar the following main events were arranged, which allowed to conduct consultations and discussion of future cooperation priorities by the interested parties from Russia and the EU (government officials, representatives of institutions and organizations acting in the field of culture, etc.):

  1. Plenary Session "New Strategic Partnership of the Russian Federation and the European Union in the sphere of Culture"
  2. Plenary presentation "The best Russian-European projects in the field of Culture"
  3. Parallel thematic sections:
    • Section 1: Good Practices of Cooperation Russia — European Union in the sphere Culture: Existing Legislations and Practical Experience
    • Section 2: Financing of Joint Projects in the Sphere of Culture and Development of Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships
    • Section 3: Mobility of Artists and Arts: Instruments of Real and Virtual Cooperation

As the result of the seminar a Final Document reflecting outcomes of the discussions and recommendations on promotion of cultural cooperation between Russia and the EU will be elaborated by the end of 2009. With a view to preparing of the Final Document, a small group of "rapporteurs" is set up, including official representatives from Russia and the EU, as well as representatives of the civil society.


This seminar brought together over 150 participants from 21 European countries and from 20 Russian regions — representatives of government authorities in the field of culture, representatives of EC and other international organisations, experts from EU member states, cultural attachés of the Embassies of EU countries in Moscow, representatives of cultural institutions, private foundations, agencies and other cultiral organisations from Russia and EU member countries (including Russian and European NGOs whose role is crucial in establishing sustainable long-term patterns of relations).


The seminar was co-organised by the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation and European Commission, European Union Delegation to Russia

The seminar operator was a Russian NGO Institute of the Information Society.


Working languages of the Seminar were Russian and English. Simultaneous interpretation was provided throughout the event.

Date and Venue

Seminar was held on 8 December 2009 from 08.30 to 18.30 on the premises of the State Historical Museum on the Red Square.

Publication of the materials

Presentations will be published in original languages on the Seminar web-site by the end of 2009.

In the beginning of 2010 materials of the Seminar in the form of articles will be published in Russian and English languages (printed edition) and on the web — page of the Seminar.