3.4.5 Cross-border intercultural dialogue and co-operation
There are no exact government programmes to support trans-national intercultural dialogue, but certain programmes are channelled via the Ministry of Culture or intergovernmental organisations. The Ministry of Culture supports specific trans-national activities for young people or youth groups, through funds available for travel grants, language or cross-cultural training courses. In 2005 the Ministry of Culture supported 14 projects focussed on developing and understanding cultural pluralism, intercultural and interethnic dialogue etc.
On the other hand, it should be noted that the Macedonian Cultural Centres in New York and Sofia play a role in cross-border intercultural dialogue and co-operation with ICD objectives. Their role is to promote not only the high artistic and cultural values but also the multicultural and multiethnic aspects of Macedonian culture.
In 2010, the Balkan Initiative for Cultural Cooperation, Exchange and Development (BICCED) organised a regional conference named "The Balkans, Media and Culture - Time for Change". The conference was the opening event for the BICCED project which aims to build a network of journalists and cultural organisations from the region, to focus on common cultural policy issues and to contribute to the change and development of cultural policies both locally and regionally.
On the occasion of the World Day of Cultural Diversity, a Balkan regional workshop on creative writing, translation and speech - "The new image of the Balkans" - was held in Skopje. The organisers were the Ministry of Culture, Macedonian PEN and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation.
An example of lack of cross-border dialogue and co-operation was the 2012 refusal of Bulgaria and Serbia to give copies of several archaeological artefacts that were found on Macedonian territory at the beginning of the last century. Namely, the Cultural Heritage Protection Office has asked the Serbian and Bulgaria museums for replicas of golden masks, an ancient vase and a helmet (all from a tomb near village of Trebenishte) for the newly established Archaeological Museum in Skopje. The Belgrade museum replied that the artefacts were too sensitive, and the Sofia museum asked for an unreasonable price.
For more information, see our Intercultural Dialogue section.