During the period of 17th -18th of September 2015 in Tbilisi, Georgia, took place a regional seminar where it was launched the common project of the European Union and the Council of Europe - " Community-led Urban Strategies in guided Historic Towns" (COMUS), concerning activities of cooperation with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus.
At the event were participated the leadership of the Ministries of Culture from the respective countries, representatives of the European Commission, Council of Europe, as well as representatives of the cities that were included in this project. Moldova was represented by the Secretary of State of the Ministry of Culture, Andrei Chistol and the mayor of Soroca, Victor Său.
The COMUS Project is formulated in the base of the political priorities of the EC and the EU in the context of the Eastern Partnership Program (2015-2020) and concerning the rehabilitation of the historic towns through conservation of the cultural heritage, which, according to the Project represents an important development resource. The intention is to provide an effective support of cities to develop an integrated, sustainable and participatory approach that synthesize the expertise of the Council of Europe and the Organization of World Heritage in mobilizing heritage conservation as a real component of urban renewal, but also in setting of standards and techniques of cooperation and monitoring. The activity will focus on consolidation of the current reforms in the management of urban regeneration and heritage protection.
The Project invites selected cities in 5 countries (Gyumri and Goris from Armenia, Lutsk and Zhovkva from Ukraine, Dusheti from Georgia, Soroca from Moldova Mstislavl from Belarus) to explore five key-issues that favor new opportunities of connecting with European trends and requirements, that include better integration of management and protection of the immobile cultural heritage in the urban development policies and also in the policies of tourism, environment, social, etc. These issues are: increasing the importance of heritage; supporting of the integrated approach, the management of the constraints and existed urban pressures, the introduction of the public debate and the directly participation of citizens in making-decision process, the capitalization of the existed urban land to favor a new kind of modernity.
For those 7 selected cities have been awarded certificates of membership of the Organization of World Heritage Towns, which in present includes 141 European cities. The Project is scheduled for the period of 2015-2017.
In the same time, at the seminar was launched " Eastern Partnership Culture and Creativity Program", designed to provide support cultural and creative industries and to contribute to human development and socio-economic development in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. The Program concerning the favorable climate for cultural activities, the accumulation of experience, capacity building of the creative and cultural industries, the promotion of the cultural organizations from the Eastern Partnership in the European cultural space.
According to the Program, each country should select two priorities of activity, Republic of Moldova having the objectives of reforming theatrical institutions and artistic education and continue reform in the field of culture. According to the Secretary of State of the Ministry of Culture, Andrei Chistol, the new cultural program of the Eastern Partnership offers new opportunities for creative and cultural sectors on cultural policy, promotion of the intersectional collaboration in culture field and the involvement of Eastern Partnership countries into an increased international cultural cooperation. In the debate, Andrei Chistol has referred to the national policies from the culture field (Culture Development Strategy "Culture -2020". Public policy concerning the growth of the economic capacity of the cultural sector, UNESCO indicators). The official noted the importance of the creation of National Film Centre, the Centre of culture continue development, as well as the national office of the EU Program ”Creative Europe” as supporting instrument of cultural politics in the Republic of Moldova. Another topic of discussion was the process of decentralization and the role of the Ministry of Culture in this process, currently the institute is working on TAIEX project that provides the expertise and finalization of national decentralization program.
Eastern Partnership Culture and Creativity Program is provided for 2015-2018 years. The budget is 4.2 million euro. According to the tender results by the European Union for the implementation of the program it was selected a consortium led by the British Council in partnership with the Soros Foundation, the National Cultural Centre from Poland and the Goethe Institute.