The 14th meeting of the Ministers of Culture of the Visegrad Group Countries was held in Karlovy Vary on 8th and 9th December 2005 and it focused on the issues of co-operation of the V4 countries within the European Union.
The meeting attended as observer Mrs. Aleksandra Widhofner, Austrian Federal Chancellery.
The meeting of the Ministers of Culture was preceded by a meeting of their experts held on 8th December 2005. The following items were discussed there:
- Co-ordination of opinions on the draft of the new programme of the European Commission—Culture 2007 and Media 2007;
- Potential use of the EU Structural Funds in the area of culture;
- Priorities of V4 countries during the Austrian Presidency in 2006;
- Planning, financing and management outlines of the joint cultural presentations;
- Preparation of the Visegrad Prize Award for 2006;
- Possibilities of cooperation with the International Visegrad Fund in the field of the cultural projects;
- Country reports on the outcome of the experts' discussion of the projects earlier approved.
The Ministers of Culture and Cultural Heritage adopted the following conclusions:
- The Ministers appreciated the co-operation of the V4 countries, Austria and Slovenia in the discussion of the draft of the new EC programmes—Culture 2007 (2007–2013) and Media 2007.
- The Hungarian Minister reported on the Conference "Inclusive Europe" held in Budapest recently. The Ministers share the view of those intellectuals who expressed their wish during the conference to allocate more resources, than proposed, for the Culture 2007 programme. It was raised that the programme European Year of Intercultural Dialogue gives a good opportunity for the V4 countries to draft joint actions. To this end, the organization of an expert meeting was agreed, to reveal the possibilities of such actions.
- The Ministries were advised of the priorities of the Austrian Presidency in terms of culture and audiovisual matters in the first half of 2006 and they expressed their full support thereof.
- The Ministers exchanged information about the new programming period 2007–2013 and agreed on the importance of the co-ordination and regular exchange of experience on the use of the EU Structural Funds in the area of culture. In that context Poland will share information on the implementation on the non-standard financing mechanisms of supporting cultural heritage projects from European resources. The Ministers have agreed on the importance of the current European discussions in the field of digitisation of the libraries and their future development. They received with great pleasure the information by the Slovakian Ministry about the meeting of the representatives of the national institutions responsible for this field to exchange their views at a conference in Banská Bystrica in the spring 2006.
- The Ministers expressed their joint interest in raising consciousness in their countries on the development of Polish democracy and the 50th anniversary of the 1956 revolution in Hungary. They encouraged their experts to finalize joint V4 projects on these issues.
- The Ministers called up the attention to the 125th anniversary of Bela Bartók's birth and to the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the International Cultural Center in Krakow.
- The Ministers exchanged information about the joint comparative study on the economic and social impact of the culture industry in the V4 countries.
- The Ministries analysed the preparation and results of the projects approved earlier, they appreciated the effort of the organising parties and approved their continuation, including the use of funds from the V4 Ministries of Culture allocated for cooperation between the V4 countries.
- Ministers were updated on current activities of the International Visegrád Fund (IVF) and they expressed their satisfaction over the projects by the civil organizations in their countries, as supported by the IVF.
The 15th Meeting of the Ministers of Culture of the Visegrad Group will be held in spring 2006 in the Polish Republic.
Done and signed at Karlovy Vary, 9 December 2005.
Vítězslav Jandák, Minister of Culture, Czech Republic
András Bozóki, Minister of Cultural Heritage, Republic of Hungary
Kazimierz M. Ujazdowski, Minister of Culture and National Heritage, Republic of Poland
Ágnes Biró, State Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Slovak Republic