Bilateral and multilateral international cultural cooperation
The foregn cultural policy of Lithuania is carried out through membership or in cooperation with international organizations, like the EU, the Council of Europe, UNESCO, WIPO, ASEM, the Council of the Baltic Sea States, the Nordic Council of Ministers, etc., through implementation of bilateral and multilateral inter-governmental or inter-ministerial agreements, programs and action plans and participation in various international cooperation platforms. The main actors in the cultural foreign policy are the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Lithuanian Culture Institute, diplomatic missions and cultural attaches. State and non-state arts and culture institutions, artists' associations, higher art schools, local municipalities are also actively promoted in international cultural cooperation and are members of relevant European or international culture and art networks.
Since 1991, the government signed more than 40 cultural cooperation agreements with foreign countries. The agreements are designed to strengthen governmental and non-governmental cooperation in the fields of visual and performing arts, museology, libraries, archives, cultural heritage; to facilitate inter-cultural dialogue; to disseminate Lithuanian culture abroad and introduce cultural diversity to national cultural scene; to promote artists mobility; to expand exports of culture and creative industries; to support projects and participation in international programs.
The Ministry of Culture is responsible for drafting and implementation of international cultural policies. To promote international cultural exchanges and presentation of national culture and arts abroad, in 2014, the Lithuanian Culture Institute was established on the basis of previous the International Cultural Programme Centre. The Institute has joined EUNIC association in 2011 and successfully developed the EU program "Europe for Citizens" in 2011. The National Co-Funding Mechanism to support participation in EU cultural programmes was launched in 2012.
The network of culture attaches has been extended with new posts in Sweden (including coverage of Finland and Denmark), USA, Israel and China, in addition to existing posts in France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Russia, UK and the EU. The Division of the Support from the EU to administrate EU financial structural support for culture in the period of 2014-2020, and positions for coordination of European Economic Area (EEA) financial support for culture and cultural heritage were established in the Ministry of Culture. The financial programme "Promotion of Cultural and Artistic Diversity in European Cultural Heritage Sites" supported by EEA financial mechanisms was designed, approved and now is being implemented. International agreements and programs of cultural cooperation were signed with Armenia, Austria, Latvia and Estonia (trilateral), Macedonia, Ukraine, the Government of Flanders, Israel and France (on film co-production), agreements with the Czech Republic and Kazakhstan governments came into force. Lithuania puts emphasis to cooperation with the Baltic Sea Region countries. Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian cultural cooperation is coordinated by Baltic Culture Committee, which meets annually. The three Baltic States cooperation with the Nordic countries is directed by guidelines adopted by the Nordic Council in 2013. The Nordic Culture Fund supports cooperation in the fields of art, theatre, music and media; the Programme for Artists in Residence was launched in 2013.
Through participation in international organizations and cooperation platforms and implementation of bilateral and multilateral agreements on the promotion of Lithuanian culture and the image of the state, support for inter-cultural dialogue, and facilitation of the development of friendly and mutually beneficial relations with countries across the globe is expected.
Support with the funds administrated by the Lithuanian Council for Culture:
- For presentation of Lithuanian arts and culture abroad: 2014 - 1,779, 233 EUR; 2015 - 2,778,265 EUR.
- For foreign artists' residences in Lithuania: 2014 - 217,794 EUR; 159,291 EUR.
- For international arts festivals organized in Lithuania: 2014 - 868,860 EUR; 2015 - 1,013,670 EUR.
- Support to Lithuanian art organizations' participation in EU program "Creative Europe": 2014 - 144,810 EUR, 2015 - 144,810 EUR
Allocations administrated by Lithuanian Culture Institute - 491 300 EUR in 2015.