An international civil society event in the Macedonian Parliament
From 4 to 6 April 2008 representatives from civil society, culture, business and policy-making came together in the Crystal Hall of the Macedonian Parliament.
The speakers included Members of the European and the Macedonian Parliament, among them Doris Pack, Jelko Kacin, Flora Kadriu and Vasko Shutarov; representatives of the European Commission, the President of the Macedonian Parliament Ljubisa Georgievski, the State Secretary of the Ministry of Culture, Elisabeta Kancevska Milevska, the Special Coordinator of the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe, Erhard Busek, and its Director, Marijana Grandits, as well as numerous representatives from civil society from all over Europe.
In Macedonia there needs to be a lasting and far more constructive dialogue between the cultural sector and government. Europe needs to match its integrationist rhetoric with action to help professional people, not just officials, operate on equal terms with their counterparts in the EU and the world. Regional networks should be started and financially supported so that culture can act as a bridge between the fractured political entities of the Balkans. Macedonia (perhaps with the help of the EU) needs to train its officials and politicians in modern cultural policy management; to have a much more flexible idea of how cultural institutions and projects can be organised. Its governance structures are clearly inadequate. Cultural organisations must not be the hostages of any political doctrine or faction and politicians must not expect them to be. The necessity for open and frank debate on the local and regional level can discard many obstacles that are not only related to culture, but also to the European integration of Macedonia. Therefore debate has to be further stimulated and redeveloped. If this will become a perpetual process, it will secure progress of the whole country and the regions.
The European Alliance Macedonia, PUBLIC ROOM, Macedonia in co-operation with the "A Soul for Europe" Initiative and Genootschap Felix Meritis/Felix Meritis Foundation.
Secretariat for European affairs of the Republic of Macedonia
City of Skopje