The preservation of Europe's shared cultural heritage, support for and promotion of art and creative industries in Europe is one of the goals pursued by the European Union. Specific initiatives, such as the European Year of Cultural Heritage, are dedicated to making this vibrant and diverse culture accessible to everyone. Also, culture in the EU is recognised for its wider socio-economic value which, in turn, contributes to cohesion, inclusion and wellbeing of our societies and communities.
Protection and promotion of cultural heritage are an integral part of the EU mission in Serbia. The EU recognises the value of Serbia's cultural heritage for Europe and the world. The restoration of Golubac Fortress, the Franciscan Monastery in Bač, the Pirot fortress, and the synagogue in Subotica built in 1902, the construction of the Visitor Centre in Lepenski Vir, the reconstruction of Jevremovac Botanical Garden in Belgrade, and the upgrade of the National Theatre in Belgrade are some of the most prominent EU-funded projects in Serbia. The Conservation study of the village Gostuša in Pirot was awarded the EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Award in 2016. Furthermore, the conservation of Bač Fortress, the 1907 Pavilion of Prince Miloš in Bukovička Banja, and the project of Research and Cataloguing of the State Art Collection were named laureates of the 2018 EU Prize for the Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Award. Our goal is to encourage and empower as many people as possible to engage in activities of protection, management, and proper use of cultural heritage, as well as to strengthen the sense of belonging to the common European space.
The creation and promotion of culture in today’s interactive and globalised world also goes hand-in-hand with media and digital technologies. Through Creative Europe, the EU supports European cinema, art, and creative industries with a view to creating jobs and growth, new international opportunities, markets, and audiences. The Republic of Serbia participates in the Creative Europe programme since 2014. Creative Europe is the main European Union programme in the cultural and audio-visual sectors, while Creative Europe Desk Serbia helps organisations, associations, companies, and networks from Serbia to apply for this programme. The Desk consists of two offices: MEDIA desk Serbia, established within the Film Centre of Serbia, and Culture desk Serbia, established within the Ministry of Culture and Information. As a part of the Culture desk Serbia, Antenna office in Novi Sad implements the Culture sub-programme in the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina. Since 2016, Serbian companies and organisations withdrew over EUR 3 million in grants through various MEDIA sub-programme calls for proposals. So far, Creative Europe has supported three Serbian film festivals (European Film Festival Palić, Beldocs International Documentary Film Festival, and Free Zone Film Festival) and 20 projects dedicated to development of film and television. Since 2014, companies and organisations from Serbia withdrew EUR 5.5 million in grants through various CULTURE sub-programme calls for proposals. So far, 77 organisations from Serbia participated in 118 European cooperation projects, establishing the highest number of partnerships with organizations from France, Germany, Slovenia, Spain, and Italy. In addition, 20 Serbian publishing houses participated in 34 projects that supported literary translations, resulting in over 300 translations of works of fiction. Furthermore, three organisations from Serbia participated in four projects in support of a European platform which offers grants to organisations showcasing and promoting European creators and artists, especially emerging talents, through a genuine Europe-wide programming.
Every year, two European cities are awarded the title of European Capitals of Culture, giving an extra boost to local economies and putting a spotlight on local artists and a city’s unique cultural wealth. Novi Sad is up for the title in 2022! This is a unique platform for the development of cultural and creative potentials of the city. It will boost the cultural vitality of Novi Sad and enable its urban regeneration, while promoting its international image and tourist offer.
The EU also partners up with film festivals, cultural exhibitions, concerts, conferences, artistic prizes and awards across Europe all-year round. Many festivals and cultural events in Serbia, such as FEST and BITEF, are co-funded by the EU in Serbia. Each year, together with other European countries, Serbia marks the European Heritage Days, the most widely celebrated participatory cultural event in Europe. The Council of Europe launched this initiative in 1985, which became a joint action co-organised with the European Union in 1999.