Conclusions of the EU-Russia Expert Meeting


Presidency Conclusions and Statements by the European Commission, the Russian Federation and the Federal Republic of Germany

The representatives of the European Union member states, the European Commission, Bulgaria and Romania, and the Russian Federation convened in Kajaani on 18 and 19 September 2006 to deliberate the implementation of the cultural aspects of the Road Map for the Fourth Common Space adopted by the European Union and the Russian Federation on 10 May 2005.

Summing up the work of the EU-Russia expert meeting the closing speaker, Director General Riitta Kaivosoja from the Finnish Ministry of Education said that the meeting secretariat will compile the proposals and recommendations by the end of September. The Presidency's objective is that the draft cooperation action plan could be presented at a future culture Permanent Partnership Council under forthcoming presidencies. 

  • After the Kajaani Expert Meeting, the descriptions of good practices and experiences of bilateral and multilateral cooperation presented at the Expert Meeting will be recorded on a list of recommendations and proposals which can be used in the preparation of the action plan on cooperation between EU Member States and Russia. 
  •  According to the Kajaani Expert Meeting, it is necessary that cultural cooperation is carried on using existing forms of cooperation and existing networks with the aim of strengthening the European dimension and identity as well as cultural diversity. 
  • With a view to implementing the aims of the Culture Road Map agreed between the EU and Russia to strengthening the prerequisites of cooperation, it is essential to start drawing up a cooperation action plan under Article 85 of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement. 
  •  With a view to implementing the cooperation action plan, it is important, as noted in the Road Map, that the cooperation action plan is jointly developed using relevant EU external relations instruments, Member State and Russian Government funding instruments, contributions from other donors and civil society actors, and other available resources as appropriate.
  • The recommendations of the Kajaani Expert Meeting will be further developed by a joint working group and a draft cooperation action plan should be presented to a future culture Permanent Partnership Council meeting for consideration in 2007, if possible.

The European Commission fully associates itself with the conclusions of the Kajaani Expert Meeting. The European Commission would like to reiterate its commitment to the follow-up process initiated today in Finland. We consider also that the enhanced cooperation between Member States and Russia, via their bilateral cultural programmes, would contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the culture Road Map. In our view the role of networks of the European cultural institutions is also of great importance in reaching this goal.

The Russian Federation states that the EU-Russia Expert Meeting in Kajaani was conducted in the atmosphere full of creativity and ideas. Russian-Finnish cooperation experience, including that within the framework of the Northern Dimension, Barents Euro-Arctic region and Ars-Baltica, demonstrated the potential and perspectives of multilateral and bilateral cooperation between Russia and EU, and can be used in relationship with other EU countries.

The discussions showed also that despite the great interest in the development of cultural cooperation, it is impossible to raise cultural interaction to a higher level corresponding with the interests of Russia and EU member countries without a systematic and structured approach, without creating a relevant cooperation mechanism.

The Russian Federation supports the Finnish Presidency proposal to create Permanent Partnership Council on Culture and prepare a corresponding cooperation action plan.

On behalf of the next EU Presidency, Ambassador Schnelle welcomed the Finnish initiative aimed at strengthening the cultural aspects of the Fourth Common Space. The German Presidency, in close consultation with all parties concerned, would further explore concrete possibilities to enhance the European dimension of the many forms of successful bilateral cultural cooperation between EU Member States and Russia which were presented at the meeting.

For further information:

Ms Paula Tuomikoski, Head of Division, Cultural Export Division, Ministry of Education,
tel. +358 40 546 4788

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