CHINA - CEEC CULTURAL COOPERATION COORDINATION CENTRE - SKOPJE
The Coordination Centrе for cultural cooperation between the People’s Republic of China and the countries from Central and Eastern Europe in the Republic of North Macedonia was opened on 1st March 2018, pursuant to the Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of PR China and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Albania, Ministry of Civil Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Bulgaria, Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic, Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Estonia, Ministry of Human Resources of the Republic of Hungary, Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia, Ministry of Culture of the Republic of North Macedonia, Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Montenegro, Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland, Ministry of Culture and National Identity of Romania, Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia, Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic and Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia.
The decision to open the Coordination Centrе was adopted at the Third Ministerial Forum of the 16+1 Initiative in Hangzhou, PR China, in 2017, which was preceded by: Guidelines for Cooperation between PR China and CEEC adopted in Beijing in 2013, the Sophia Declaration on Cultural Cooperation from 2015 and the Hangzhou Declaration from 2017.
Following the Summit held in Dubrovnik, Republic of Croatia, in 2019, the Republic of Greece joined the initiative, thus the Cooperation Process between PR China and CEEC was renamed into 17+1.
GOALS OF THE COORDINATION CENTRЕ
The Coordination Centrе for Cultural Cooperation between the People’s Republic of China and CEEC in Skopje focused on monitoring, deepening and improving the cultural cooperation between the countries on this platform. The Centrе develops and facilitates the communication and networking between the official representatives from the area of culture from these 18 countries, ensures the collection, arrangement and distribution of information related to the promotion of ties between PR China and CEEC. Through its activities, the Centrе encourages the process of sharing knowledge, experiences and best practices, which will enable successful cooperation between the institutions from the area of culture and between the artists from PR China and CEEC. The Coordination Centrе particularly focuses on building and strengthening the professional and artistic abilities and creativity among the youth.
ACTIVITIES OF THE CENTRЕ IN 2018
The Coordination Centrе with headquarters in Skopje, in 2018, organized and took part in numerous activities with its representatives and experts, top artists and experts from the area of culture.
Through the Centrе, the Republic of North Macedonia promoted Macedonian culture and art at: the Second Assembly of Composers of Chinese Folk Music in Shanghai, PR China; the Second Forum on Cultural Cooperation 16+1 in Chengdu, PR China; the Third Forum on Creative and Cultural Industries 16+1 in Logy and Katowice, Poland, the Second Forum of Experts on Conservation of Intangible Cultural Heritage 16+1 in Hangzhou, PR China; the Second Literary Forum 16+1 in Ningbo City, PR China; the First Forum of Curators of the Librarian Union in Hangzhou, PR China.
The Centrе also provided funds for partial scholarship for a study visit by a Macedonian student to the Conservatory in Hangzhou.
ACTIVITIES OF THE CENTRЕ IN 2019
In the spirit of the efforts to deepen the cultural ties of the countries that are part of the Platform, the Coordination Centrе in 2019 was actively involved in all initiatives encouraged by the member states, such as: the Think-Tank Forum for Creative and Cultural industries of PR China and CEEC in Brussels, Belgium, organized by the Chinese Institute for research and cultural and economic exchanges; the Second Forum on Cultural Heritage between PR China and CEEC in Luoyang, PR China, organized by the National Cultural Heritage Administration of PR China; the Fourth Forum on Creative and Cultural Industries between PR China and CEEC in Budapest, Hungary, organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of PR China.
In April, the VIII Summit of heads of governments of PR China and CEEC was held in Dubrovnik, Croatia, where the Republic of Greece joined the Initiative and the Process grew into 17+1. The then current Minister of Culture of the Republic of North Macedonia also took part at the Summit, and he presented the activities of the Coordination Centrе for Cultural Cooperation between PR China and CEEC and announced the Ministerial Forum on Culture to be held in Skopje from 24th to 26th November 2019.
This year in Skopje there were other program contents available, including the visit by the dance ensemble Guangdong from PR China with their performance Awakening and the photo exhibit China in My Eyes, to mark the 70th anniversary from the establishment of PR China. Traditionally, the Coordination Centrе, in cooperation with the Embassy of PR China and the Confucius Institute at the University Ss. Cyril and Methodius, organized the celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival.
The basic mission of the China – CEEC Cultural Cooperation Coordination Centre – Skopje is to bring closer the cultures and to improve the relations between artists, associations and institutions from these social spheres. That is why we modelled the web platform that will encourage the collaboration and exchange of information between the cultural institutions and will enable their networking with the organizations, groups and artists.
In the period of the next two years, the Centrе for cultural cooperation will be focused on the cooperation between the countries included in the 17+1 Process in the area of cultural heritage, creative industries, audiovisual, librarian activities and music performance art.