The Eastern Partnership Culture Congress (EPCC), organised in Lublin in 2011, resulted in expressing of real cultural needs of the Eastern Partnership countries. Artists, managers and organisers of cultural events, representatives of ministries, local governments, non-governmental organisations, academic circles and media from the Eastern Partnership countries, the European Union as well as Russia and other European countries (17 countries all together) called for building of common European cultural space which would include the Eastern Partnership countries and respect their diversity in the legal, social and economical areas. The recommendations of the EPCC included a proposal to create professional educational programmes and financial mechanisms for the artists and managers of culture between the Eastern Partnership and the European Union. The most important task of the after-congress work was to build the Eastern Partnership Cultural Cooperation Network.
In 2012 Lublin organised the Eastern Europe Initiatives Congress (EEIC) – a meeting of the representatives of local governments, central governments, non-governmental organisations, social and education institutions. The objective of the EEIC was to inspire effective and sustainable cross-border cooperation, to strengthen development cooperation, to integrate circles, to stimulate dialogue between the local and regional governments. The recommendations in four programme areas: “good governance”, “civil society”, “culture without borders”, “science and education” were given to all of the most important decision-makers and diplomats who are involved in the topic of the cooperation between the European Union and its eastern neighbours.
In the days of 1-6 October 2013during the second Eastern Europe Initiatives Congress we will fuse both of those initiatives, which will make Lublin a centre of dialogue of culture and education circles, local and central governments, creators and decision-makers. The schedule of the II EEIC 2013 will include no less then 9 programme policies including some brand new like “tourism”, “social innovation”, “corporate social responsibility”, "legacy" and „contexts”.
That is why within this year’s Congress we offer a special programme – “Culture for the Eastern Partnership”. We recognise culture as a substantially important determinant of social and economic development which creates dialogue above borders and opens new possibilities of activity in transnational dimension and in particular – in European dimension. Congress debates will be accompanied by the "Integration-Mediation" Festival, which will show the diversity of contemporary cultures of the Eastern Partnership's states. The cultural program of the Congress is co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs both of the Republic of Poland.
During the II EEIC’2013 a second edition of the Contest for the best transnational projects will be concluded. The winner projects in the last year’s contest already are, for many individuals and public institutions, a benchmark in the area of creative and socially innovative activity in Eastern Europe.
The Eastern Europe Initiatives Congress together with the accompanying events is implemented within the activity of the Centre for Eastern Competences think-tank which was established by the Mayor of the Lublin City, the Marshall of the Lublin Voivodeship and the Head of the UNDP Project Office in Poland. Partners’ mutual support for the implementation of the Congress is an additional guarantee that it will be a successful event of trans-european significance, it will contribute to build lasting relations and it will be an important project implementing the strategy of the European Neighbourhood Policy.