“Don’t you dare reduce the budget for culture. Culture is particularly necessary in times of crisis, ” Vassiliou said on 20 January in Košice, Slovakia, the European capital of culture for 2013.
Her appeal comes ahead of the EU leadership summit on 7-8 February, which is expected to lead to adoption of the EU budget for 2014-2020.
The proposed EU spending on culture, or so-called ‘Creative Europe’, is a modest €1.8 billion for the period 2014-2020. The financing comes under the “Competitiveness for growth and jobs » category, one of the biggest victims of the changes made at the last budget summit on 22-23 November, which failed to reach an agreement.
The official launch of the European capital of culture 2013 included nearly 200 cultural events in 70 locations in the eastern Slovak city.
“The initiative is a clear illustration of the European Union’s commitment to cultural diversity, but it also shows how culture can unite people across borders in Europe. It demonstrates that the European Union is more than just a market, it reminds us that culture is the heart and soul of our shared European project, ” said Vassiliou, who is responsible for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth.
“The title of Capital of Culture is the single most significant cultural project in the Slovak history, ” said Culture Minister Marek Maďarič.