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Greece/ 3.4 International cultural co-operation  

3.4.6 Other relevant issues

Since the 1980s, increasing importance has been placed on the Greek diaspora and the broader understanding of its existence within increasingly globalised and multicultural societies. This has resulted in the adoption of more flexible policies aimed at encouraging not just the interest of second and third generation diaspora members in contemporary – rather than traditional – Greece, its language and living culture, but also to recognise their achievements in their chosen country of residence and their role as agents of mutual understanding and cultural co-operation with Greece. This becomes especially significant considering the large number of Greeks who chose to pursue a career in the arts or academia in another country. The international dimension of domestic policies and cultural action, and the need to link domestic cultural policy with foreign cultural policy and cultural diplomacy has now been fully recognised. It has been acknowledged that Greek literary and cultural heritage, its protection and valorisation, cannot be separated from the cultural heritage of the broader European, SE European and Mediterranean region, nor from promoting co-operation with cultural organisations abroad.

In addition, the Greek Ministry of Culture and Tourism, in co-operation with other government departments, has provided support for a large number of academic programmes in Modern Greek ("Neo-Hellenic") studies abroad, as well as for Greek cultural organisations, events and festivals around the globe. A complementary policy has been established to support linguistic and cultural awareness among the large Greek diaspora – estimated to be 8.5 million people altogether – living in the United States, Australia, Canada, Germany, and elsewhere.

Following the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, Greece is still investing in attracting large international cultural events: Patras hosted in 2006 the European Capital of Culture, and in 2014 Thessaloniki will be the European Capital of Youth.

Chapter published: 14-08-2015

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