Press Release - Evidence-based Cultural policies can contribute to economic and social development
29.08.2012, 17:19 (CET)
The development of effective, evidence-based culture policies can contribute to the global struggle for economic recovery and growth, with simultaneous benefits to society, was the conclusion of the Senior Officials on Culture Meeting organised by the Ministry of Education and Culture of Cyprus in the framework of the Cyprus Presidency. The meeting focused on "Cultural governance in a globalising world: Better governance for the cultural and creative sector" and was held on 28 and 29 August 2012 at the International Conference Centre ‘Filoxenia’ in Nicosia.

Participants conducted a broad assessment of the current situation in the field of cultural governance, with particular focus on the global contribution and promotion of cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue as a catalyst for achieving sustainable and inclusive growth. They also had the opportunity to discuss a series of issues related to the promotion of cultural research as a catalyst for the design and development of cultural policies.

The meeting was enriched by the presentation of three case studies which were (a) the management of the Structural Funds for investment in the cultural sector in Poland, (b) the strategy of the creative economy of Malta and (c) the establishment of cultural governance through the analysis and use of cultural statistics in Europe with presentation of the program ESSnet Culture, the European Statistical System for culture.

The results of this meeting will feed into the conclusions of the Council of Ministers for the issue of cultural governance, and thus, implementing the priorities of the Cyprus Presidency in the field of Culture, to promote issues such as enhancing and strengthening cultural research on the basis of holistic approaches to issues of cultural governance.

Culture: “An invaluable public good”

In his address at the opening session of the meeting, the Minister of Education and Culture of Cyprus Mr. George Demosthenous noted the importance of cultural issues on stimulating the economy, as well as positively impacting on the lives of citizens, especially in today's difficult financial climate. Mr. Demosthenes said that culture "is a source for contemporary creation and a tool for development political and social consciousness and is, therefore, an invaluable public good”.

“As a result”, he continued, “the culture development of our citizens should be an important pillar of our priorities, having as our main objective to upgrade and develop the values ​​and principles that provide content, vision and perspective to our citizens”.

In his address on behalf of Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism, Sport, Media and Youth, Ms Androulla Vassiliou, the Head of European Commission Representation in Cyprus Mr. George Markopouliotis emphasised the strong interest of the European Commission on the issue of cultural governance.

He also congratulated the Cyprus Presidency for its decision to choose it as one of its priorities in the field of culture. Mr. Markopouliotis said:

“In time of crisis, there is a temptation to look at arts and culture as a cost rather than a vital investment for society. To counter these views, we need evaluation and measurement methods which can capture the diversity of impacts that culture and the arts have on societies.”