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Estonia/ 3.4 International cultural co-operation  

3.4.5 Cross-border intercultural dialogue and co-operation

In promoting trans-national intercultural dialogue, foreign embassies and foreign cultural institutes (see also chapter 3.4.3), based in Estonia, have played an active role. Non-governmental organisations (NGOs), with links to ethnic minorities and diaspora communities, usually receive modest, but regular support from the state and the municipalities.

Addressing the youth, as a target group of governmental cultural policy, is a relatively recent initiative, since, traditionally, funding and organising leisure time schools, as well as cultural and leisure clubs, have been the responsibility of local governments. However, during the last years, the Culture Ministry has become more actively involved in designing the leisure time of young people and initiating new projects in this field. Since 1998, Estonia has been a part of the European Union programme European Youth, designed for international cooperation between groups of young people between 18 and 25 and providing possibilities for voluntary work abroad, which has been increasingly popular.

Different festivals are also important for cross-border cooperation. During 2011, much of the efforts by cultural managers were concentrated on Tallinn as a part of the European Cultural Capital. The European Cultural Capital jointly organised with Turku, included among other events a jointly organised exhibition, Curated Expedition of the Baltic Sea, held in Turku. The competition New Baltic Drama 2011, which had been running for three years, concluded with the staging of the best selected scripts at the end of 2011. Jointly organised by the Estonian Drama Agency, Turku City Theatre, the Riksteatern in Stockholm, Baltiski Dom in St Petersburg and Mayerhold Centre in Moscow, it fostered collaboration between the younger generation of theatre makers in Estonia, Finland, Russia and Sweden.

Since 2001 The Nordic poetry festival is a yearly meeting point of literary circles, introducing not only Nordic (i.e., Danish, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian, Swedish, Greenland, Faroese, and Aaland Islands), but also Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian and Russian writers. The Festival is organised by the Nordic Council of Ministers (NCM) in Tallinn, Estonia. In September 2007, an Estonian delegation was invited to the Göteborg Book Fair as the main guest of the event. The event was held alongside the Foreign Estonian Cultural Festival. Related to this, approximately 20 books by Estonian authors were translated into Swedish.

In June 2008, the 5th World Congress of Finno-Ugric Peoples was organised in Hanty-Mansiysk, Russia, with the participation of 50 delegates and observers from Estonia, including the President of the Republic.

For more information, see our Intercultural Dialogue section.

Chapter published: 13-10-2014

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