COMPENDIUM CULTURAL POLICIES AND TRENDS IN EUROPE
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Ukraine/ 3.4 International cultural co-operation  

3.4.1 Overview of main structures and trends

One of the top priorities of state policy is to promote the integration of the Ukraine in a European and global cultural context, particularly, as the Coalition Agreement states, to promote Ukrainian the national cultural product to the European and global cultural space, collaborating with international organisations. Such priorities were defined also in the Law of Ukraine on Culture (Chapter 1. Basic Provisions, Article 3: "to promote Ukrainian national culture in all its diversity abroad and the global cultural achievements in Ukraine"; (Chapter 3, International Cultural Relations, Article 32) "The State shall provide international cultural exchange and collaboration between culture institutions, creative workers, Ukrainian cultural workers and their partners" (see also chapter 2.3).

The Long-term Development Strategy of Ukrainian Culture (Strategy of Reforms) indicates as one of its strategic objectives: “development of international activities and promotion of Ukrainian culture – international collaboration in culture as an important driver of international partnership development”.

It is envisaged in the State Budget 2018 the establishment of the Ukrainian Institute for presenting Ukraine abroad. The institute will be affiliated to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs but remaining, at the same time, independent in defining content for the institute’s activities. As the Statutes of the Institute defines, it will be “the state-owned establishment to create organizational, administrative and other conditions for promoting Ukraine abroad, supporting development of international collaboration in culture, and integration of Ukrainian culture to the global cultural environment”.

Different instruments are used to reach this aim: participation in and organisation of international festivals, exhibitions, seminars, artistic tours, days and years of culture, etc. During 2015-2017, training on cultural management and cultural heritage were organized jointly with the ministries of culture of Lithuania, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Estonia. In 2017, three Ukrainian festivals received the EFFE Label 2017-2018 as ‘remarkable festivals’ in Europe (http://www.effe.eu/news/effe-ceremony-kyiv): GogolFEST (Kyiv), Faine Misto (Ternopil) and Yavoriv Fun (Yavoriv, Lviv region)  – see chapter 3.4.2.

Ukraine is a member of such international organisations as the Council of Europe, UNESCO (see below), Organisation of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation, GUAM and OSCE, taking part in different international programmes and projects at official level. For example, COMUS (2014-2017), Eastern Partnership (Culture and Creativity Programme), Creative Europe, Erasmus. 

On 13 September 2013, the Law of Ukraine on ratification of the Council of Europe Framework Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society (Faro Convention) was approved and entered into force.

On the supranational level, there are         only 3 non-ratified instruments related to culture:

  • UNIDROIT         Convention on         Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural         Objects,        
  • Brussels Convention Relating to the Distribution of Programme-Carrying Signals Transmitted by Satellite, and 
  • Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The latter document has been already signed by Ukraine on 25 September 2009 (see UNESCO Culture for Development Indicators. Ukraine’s Analytical Brief: https://www.culturepartnership.eu/upload/editor/2017/2017/CDIS%20_%20Analytical%20Brief%20_%20ENG%20(1).pdf).

Agreements on cultural cooperation operate with Brazil (in force since 2013), Armenia (since 2000), Spain (1997), Italy (1997), China (2013), Lithuania (2001), Latvia (2002), and Finland (2003). There were 59 bilateral agreements by 2015. In 2017, agreements were signed with Estonia, Belarus and the Republic of Korea.

The Ministry of Culture takes part in 30 bilateral intergovernmental committees. Besides, the Ministry of Culture is a coordinator of several international commissions and sub-committees in the area of cooperation between Ukraine and China, Poland, Germany, Romania, Slovak Republic.

At the 11th Intergovernmental Committee of UNESCO for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage held on 28 November – 2 December 2016, in Addis Ababa, Ukraine presented its Periodic Report on the Implementation of the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage. It was adopted and marked as well prepared. The Report promotes the development of general and interdisciplinary approaches to the elements of common intangible cultural heritage, in conjunction with Ukrainian, Crimean Tatars and Karaim cultures, with the countries of Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Belarus. Joint events (seminars, conferences) will be organised in which the study and promotion of Ukrainian intangible cultural heritage elements are considered in cooperation with the Ukrainian Diaspora in Italy, Portugal, Canada and the United States.


Chapter published: 09-02-2018

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