Albanian cultural organisations will, from today, be able to benefit from the Culture sub-programme of Creative Europe. European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth Androulla Vassiliou and Albanian Minister of Culture Mirela Kumbaro Furxhi signed an agreement confirming the country's participation in the funding scheme.
"I am delighted that Albania will now benefit from Creative Europe. Its cultural and creative sectors will be strengthened and audiences in Albania and beyond will benefit from increased cultural diversity. I had the pleasure of meeting Minister Kumbaro Furxhi some months ago and I am happy that we have now concluded this agreement that gives Albanian organisations the opportunity to work with European partners on transnational cultural projects," said Commissioner Vassiliou.
With a budget of nearly €1.5 billion over the next seven years - 9% more than previous levels - Creative Europe will enable up to 250 000 European artists and cultural professionals, and thousands of creative organisations and publishers, to work together and make their creative works available to millions of citizens.
Albanian organisations will, for example, be able to apply for grants for multiannual cooperation projects, for book translations, for setting up cultural networks or establishing multinational cultural platforms. Albania is also expected to join Creative Europe's MEDIA sub-programme once it has brought its audiovisual legislation in line with EU law.
Under the previous Culture Programme (2007-2013), Albanian cultural organisations received grants for four literary translation projects totalling around €170 000 . They also took part in a number of cooperation projects, such as 'WebTvs for EUropean Culture' (2012) and the 'Youth Open Festival Culture' (2012).
The European Commission foresees similar Creative Europe agreements with Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Turkey, Georgia and Moldova, while preparatory talks with several other countries are ongoing. A similar agreement was signed with Serbia on 19 June.
Albania has also signed an agreement to participate in some actions funded through 'Erasmus+', the EU's new programme for education, training, youth and sport, together with Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. As soon as the agreements enter into force, these countries will be able to benefit from support for IT support platforms such as eTwinning and for policy reform.
Institutions and organisations in these countries will also benefit from external cooperation funding for higher education and youth mobility, to and from the EU, and capacity building in the area of higher education and youth.