Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia are establishing joint cultural fund of the Baltic States


2018 07 08


Liana Ruokytė-Jonsson, Lithuanian Minister of Culture, was in Riga on the 08th of July. The visit’s agenda contained conclusion of trilateral agreements and visit to the Song Festival dedicated to the centenary of the Latvian State.

Liana Ruokytė-Jonsson, Lithuanian Minister of Culture, Mrs. Dace Melbārde, Latvian Minister of Culture, and Indrekas Saaras, Estonian Minister of Culture, signed two documents of trilateral cooperation during the meeting held in the Latvian National Art Museum – agreement on the establishment of cultural fund of the Baltic States and agreement on protection and development of tradition of festivals of songs and dances.

“If we are working together, we are learning from each other, sharing good practice, strengthening the Baltic region, common field of culture and art. We are more visible together on the world’s cultural map and we have more opportunities to develop and induce our national culture and art. These agreements will help to reinforce the partnerships of cultural organizations even more,” – noted Mrs. L. Ruokytė-Jonsson, Lithuanian Minister of Culture.

The cultural fund of the Baltic States will be used to finance the cultural cooperation programmes of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, as well as organized common international cultural events. The fund will sponsor professional projects in the areas of architecture, visual arts, design, literature, music, theatrics, libraries, museums and archives.

It is planned that each country will provide 100 thousand euros to the fund every year. The money will be granted to new cultural initiatives that encourage internationality of Baltic culture, first of all – presentations of culture of the Baltic region held beyond the territories of the Baltic States, and international initiatives in the Baltic States.

The Baltic Cultural Fund will be managed in succession by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia (Eesti Kultuurikapital), the Latvian State Culture Capital Foundation (Valsts kultūrkapitāla fonds) and the Lithuanian Council for Culture for three years each.

The Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian agreement on protection and development of tradition of festivals of songs and dances will help to improve preparatory process for the song festivals and to preserve traditions of these festivals.

“Traditions of festivals of dances and songs and their symbols are exceptionally important not only in our countries – Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. They are part of world cultural heritage recognized by UNESCO, – said Minister L. Ruokytė-Jonsson. – Therefore, we have to strengthen partnership in this area, to preserve and present the cultural riches of our nations to the international community.”

Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia are planning to establish joint committee from 21 members. Each country will delegate persons representing the authority organizing Song Festivals, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Education and Science, and the national UNESCO commission. Besides, each party will appoint three experts to the committee. It is provided in the agreement that the committee’s composition will be renewed when needed, but at least every three years.