The 10th meeting of the Ministers of Culture of the Visegrad Group Countries was held in Olomouc on the 13th and 14th November 2003 with the theme of "Topical Questions of Co-operation of the Visegrad Group Countries after Accession to the European Union".
The Minister of Culture of the Slovenia, Mrs Andreja Rihter, attended the meeting as an observer.
The meeting of the Ministers of Culture was preceded by a meeting of their experts where the possibilities of practical co-operation of the Visegrad Group Countries after joining the European Union were discussed. The participating experts approved recommendations that were afterwards presented to the Ministers of Culture of the V4 countries. The Ministers of Culture then adopted the following conclusions.
The Ministers of Culture:
- Confirmed their interest in cultivating mutual co-operation in the field of culture and the cultural heritage also after the Visegrad Group Countries would join the European Union, and welcomed the interest in and offer of co-operation of the Minister of Culture of Slovenia.
- Exchanged experiences from the preparation of the individual countries in drawing on the Structural Funds, the Cohesion Fund, and the initiatives of the European Union in the field of culture and cultural heritage. They expressed their strong belief that even though culture has not been defined as a priority of the Structural Funds, it has been included in it and it is necessary to create institutional arrangements for the preparation and enforcement of specific cultural projects.
- The Ministers of Culture noted with satisfaction that the Statute of the International Visegrad Prize had been drafted, and express their acknowledgement to the Czech and the Slovak Parties for their work on the issue. The Statute and graphical sketch are enclosed to the present Communiqué.
- The Ministers of Culture noted also with satisfaction that the Protocol on the use of the V4 logo had been drafted. The logo picture and the regulation on its use is enclosed to the present communiqué. The ministers express their acknowledgement to the Polish and the Hungarian Party for their work on the issue.
- Evaluated various initiatives adopted during their previous meetings and agreed as follows:
- In future, when all of the participating countries will become members of the European Union, co-operation at all levels will be necessary in pursuing their common goals. In the years to come, special attention will be paid to the implementation of the programmes of the European Community and exchange of experiences in the resolution of concerns resulting from cultural diplomacy and/or the raising of financial funds.
- The ministers welcome the initiative to commemorate in their countries about the 16th century Hungarian poet, Bálint Balassi, whose life and oeuvre is connected to the V4 countries.
- The ministers adopted the proposal of the Slovak delegation to found a joint Visegrad publishing project and agreed on the establishment of an expert working group, which will draw up the methodology and funding scheme of this project for the next meeting of the V4 Ministers of Culture.
The next meeting of the Ministers of Culture of the V4 countries will be held in Poland.
Given and signed in Olomouc, on 14th November 2003.
Pavel Dostál, Minister of Culture, Czech Republic
Dr. István Hiller, Minister of Cultural Heritage, Hungary
Rafal Skapski, Undersecretary of State of the Ministry of Culture, Poland
Rudolf Chmel, Minister of Culture, Slovak Republic