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Cyprus/ 3.4 International cultural co-operation  

3.4.1 Overview of main structures and trends

The responsibility for international cultural co-operation falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education and Culture although, since the last five years, there is a tendency to work closer with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the implementation of various projects through Embassies and Cultural Institutions abroad.

Cyprus has concluded many bilateral Agreements with the aim of cooperating with other countries in the fields of education, culture and the sciences. In order to implement these Agreements, the contracting parties prepare and sign Official Programmes of Educational, Cultural and Scientific Cooperation. The Agreements and the Programmes provide the necessary legal framework in which the cultural and educational exchanges take place. The Cultural Services have the responsibility of preparing and implementing that part of the provisions of the Programme which governs the cultural cooperation and cultural exchanges of Cyprus with the contracting country (with the exception of the provisions concerning cooperation in matters of cultural heritage which fall under the remit of responsibilities of the Antiquities Department of the Ministry of Communication and Public Works). In the context of this competence, the Cultural Services oversee the organisation of cultural events abroad with the objective to promote contemporary Cyprus culture, as well as hosting and organising cultural events in Cyprus by other countries. In the framework of these Programmes, exchanges of experts may also take place, aiming at the mutual information and the cooperation in the field of culture.

Furthermore, bilateral cultural agreements promote the networking between artists, and public and private institutions in the fields of arts and culture. Additionally, through cultural co-operation with the embassies of Cyprus abroad or specific institutions such as the Music Information Centre of Cyprus, cultural activities either of art and music from Cyprus or co-productions and networking are supported.  Furthermore, artists from Cyprus are provided with financial support (travel grants) for their participation in cultural events abroad.

In addition to the above, cultural centres abroad (e.g. The House of Cyprus in Athens) aim at promoting art and culture from Cyprus while at the same time co-productions might also be supported in the context of bolstering intercultural dialogue.

Co-operation is also promoted through European and international organisations, such as the European Union, UNESCO and the Council of Europe.  Beyond any doubt the Cyprus Accession to the EU in 2004 has been a milestone in facilitating international co-operation and further promoting trans-European cultural projects.

Chapter published: 05-10-2015

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