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Published:  13 Mar 2024

European Commission and Ukrainian cultural and creative sectors working together for a better future

The event closes a series of activities the European Commission organised together with the Cultural Relations Platform to support the resilience of Ukrainian cultural and creative sectors.

On 7-8 March 2024, the European Commission organised an event in the Comics Art Museum in Brussels. The objective of the event was to support the resilience of Ukrainian cultural and creative sectors, both within the cultural area, and in relation to other sectors such as regional development, economic growth, human capital, social cohesion and recovery. 

Harnessing the transformative power of culture

Georg Häusler, Director for Culture, Creativity and Sport in the Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture (DG EAC) and the Ukrainian Deputy Minister for Culture and Information Policy Anastasia Bondar opened the event, which saw the participation of more than 60 Ukrainian and European culture professionals. 

They emphasised the co-creation principle underpinning the EU’s support to Ukraine’s cultural and creative sectors (€26 million).

Anastasia Bonder invited participants to use every opportunity to shed light on the cultural genocide underway. She added:

Our discussions here are about harnessing the transformative power of culture to inspire, to heal, and to build a future that reflects the best of our shared European values and aspirations. 

Peter Polajnar, Deputy Head of Unit for Economic and Sectoral Policies in the Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations presented the latest developments with regards to Ukraine’s accession to the EU. 

Bozhena Pelenska, the Director of the Lviv-based art centre the Jam Factory followed with an inspiring keynote. Ms Pelenska underlined the crucial role of culture in resistance, recovery and development for Ukrainian people:

We did not choose this war, it came to us.


The bulk of the two days revolved around economic growth, human capital social cohesion as well as regional development and EU-Ukraine cooperation. Participants were able to participate in the conversations in different formats.

Demonstrating the continued EU support to Ukrainian cultural and creative sectors

 The following services of the European Union took part at the event, demonstrating the continued EU support to Ukrainian cultural and creative sectors, on the road to EU integration: the Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, the Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, the Directorate- General for Regional and Urban Policy, the European Education and Culture Executive Agency, the Joint Research Center, the Service for Foreign Policy Instruments, the EU Delegation Kyiv and the European External Action Service.

Catherine Magnant, Head of Unit for Cultural Policy in DG EAC, closed the event, summarising the main take aways and highlighting the essential contribution that culture is making to Ukraine’s resilience and identity. She closed her speech with a quote from an online Ukrainian comic, Zaborona, that was displayed during the event: “Ukrainians are free people and are the architects of their future”

About the event

The event closed a series of activities organised based on the EU Work Plan for Culture 2023-2026, in which EU countries call the European Commission to support and empower local cultural and creative sectors in Ukraine. 

The event was organised with the support of the Cultural Relations Platform, an EU-funded project that provides expertise to the European Union in the field of international cultural relations. Two Ukrainian experts, Anna Karnaukh and Kateryna Kravchuk supported the platform with the design of the activities.

Tagged in:  Protecting cultural heritage
Published:  13 Mar 2024