Eastern Europe Initiatives Congress creates a meeting place for hundreds of practisians of development and cross-border cooperation. It constitutes a dialogue platform for academia, cultural circles, central and local authorities, creators and decision-makers from this part of Europe. This kind of platform aims to foster implementation of partner projects from available external funding sources.
The Congress is organized within the activities of the Centre for Eastern Competences which is a programme implemented by the City of Lublin and the Government of Lubelskie Voivodeship. CEC aims at networking and initiating new undertakings, as well as co-creating new quality in a broadly defined development cooperation.
Last year’s fifth edition of the Congress gathered more than 1000 participants from such countries as Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Czech Republic, France, Georgia, Israel, Lithuania, Moldova, Mongolia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Ukraine, USA and the United Kingdom. Panel discussions took place in Lublin Conference Centre, while side events were scattered around the city, including Musical Theatre in Lublin, Lublin art galleries, Hieronim Łopaciński Public Library of Lubelskie Voivodeship in Lublin, and more. 5th Congress distinguished itself with a generous thematic offer covering 12 programme areas, 44 panel discussions, 233 speakers, a number of study visits and cultural side events such as movie screenings, shows, workshops, and meetings with authors. Moreover, an International Fair for Partners and Donors was organized where information on financing international and cross-border projects was provided, as well as new partnerships for future joint undertakings were established.
An inaugural lecture was given by former President of Ukraine, Viktor Yushchenko. Subsequently, the floor was taken by, among others, the Ambassador of Ukraine to Poland, Andriy Deshchytsia, European Commission representative, Ewa Synowiec, and Zbigniew Bujak, Maciej Fałkowski and Krzysztof Stanowski. During the Congress, the Mayor of the City of Lublin, Krzysztof Żuk, and the Mayor of the City of Lutsk, Mykola Romanyuk, renewed the cooperation agreement due to the 20th anniversary of partnership, and signed declaration of continuation of cross-border collaboration.
Furthermore, the Congress celebrated the 25th anniversary of the independence of Ukraine and other Eastern Partnership states. There was a chance to pay tribute to those countries in different languages. A publication containing lyrics of national anthems of the post-Soviet region was released too. Finally, a photographic exhibition entitled “25 years of independence of Ukraine – Ukraine which we don’t know” was also presented.
Photos by Maciej Rukasz, Helena Rudnicka, and Jurii Polnyi
4th edition of the Congress, which was held in October 2015, was organized as a promotion of the 25th anniversary of Polish self-governance. During the debates, the participants shared their positive experiences in the field of systemic transformation and presented best practices of using European funds dedicated to regional development. The discussions continued on multidimensional security issues in Eastern Europe, students’ mobility, innovation in tourist offers of cities and their cultural heritage. Invited guests attempted to analyse the impact which culture has on social transformations. They also addressed issues regarding settling post-communist past, and using renewable energy sources and managing waste disposal and collection in a sustainable way.
Photos by Jarek Dudziak
Held on 2-4 October 2014, the 3rd Eastern Europe Initiatives Congress focused on the main problems and challenges in Central and Eastern Europe. The decade of Polish membership of the European Union was summarized in cooperation with Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Photos by Oksana Tsymbaliuk
In 2013, thanks to the 2nd Congress, Lublin became a place where cultural environment, academia, central and local authorities, creators and decision-makers engaged into dialogue between each other. EEIC 2013 agenda covered 9 programme areas, introducing new ones such as Tourism, Social Innovation, Corporate Social Responsibility, Heritage, and Contexts. A special cultural programme – Culture for the Eastern Partnership – was also implemented. Congress debates were accompanied with artistic shows and presentations of best cultural practices demonstrating the diversity of contemporary cultures of Eastern Partnership states within the Festival Integrations-Mediations.
Photos by Anna Grabowska
The Eastern Europe Initiatives Congress was organized for the first time in 2012. It provided an extended approach to the idea of Eastern Partnership Culture Congress which was held a year before. It was a time when artists, cultural managers and animators, representatives of ministries, local governments, NGOs, academia and the media for EaP states, the EU, as well as Russia and other European countries produced recommendations regarding cultural cooperation between the EaP and the EU. Establishing a Cultural Cooperation Network for the Eastern Partnership was a prominent task for the Congress then.
Photos by Jarosław Brelik