Novi Sad, Vojvodina (SRB), 27 March 2014
During these last three days, more than 60 participants discussed the topic “Culture for all” in the framework of the Assembly of European Regions (AER) Committee 3 spring plenary session. “This is a major topic for our region due to our multiethnic and multicultural identity. In fact, our Province has more than 26 ethnic groups and six official languages” stated István Pásztor, President of the Assembly of AP Vojvodina (SRB).
Among all presentations, you can discover the concrete examples from Noord-Brabant (NL), “Culture included in the strategic priorities of the region” – Östsam (SE), “Culture for seniors” and Friuli Venezia Giulia (IT), “Outcomes on a project on youth”. Let’s focus on the host region’s initiatives:
Culture belongs to us all – The Vojvodina example
In Novi Sad, we have discovered ways to promote multicultural identity and, over all, to promote social and cultural cohesion. One of the main concerns of Vojvodina is to provide knowledge to its citizens about their different realities. How is this done? Marius Rosu, from the Radio Television of Vojvodina (RTV), brought a concrete answer. They have promoted a quiz television show for young people, named “Koliko Se Poznajemo”, meaning “How much do we know each other?” – in order to discover Vojvodina’s multiculturalism. This initiative is fully supported by the Provincial Secretariat for Education.
Hungarians are the second largest community in Serbia and represent 4% of the population in Novi Sad. In order to face this reality, a bilingual school was created, explained Zoltán Argyelán – Headmaster of the ’’Petőfi Sándor’’ Primary School from Novi Sad.
The President of the National Council for the Hungarian National Minority, Dr Tamas Korhec, presented the work of the Council and its importance in order to preserve the identity of the Hungarian community. He said that the National Council is working with more than two hundred public institutions, with the aim of preserving the culture and the official use of their language.
The Director of the Institute for Culture of Vojvodina Slovaks, Charm Sklabinská, said that Vojvodina Slovaks learned to preserve their identity, but also to respect other cultures and help each other. SKLABINSKÁ also stated that this year the Slovaks in Vojvodina are celebrating 150 years of existence.
News from Committee 3 spring plenary
Sonja STEEN, President of AER’s Committee for Culture, Education, Youth and International Cooperation, underlined that: “Culture is not just a piece of art to be exposed in a museum. Culture is the essence of a society, it is lifestyle, language, heritage, know-how… it is part of the economy! We will continue to work on this issue, for instance by organising our next Summer Academy on ‘Multicultural, Multiethnic and Multilingual regions’. I invite everybody to join us in August in Novi Sad” she stated.
AER will launch a new political report procedure
Following our cooperation with CIRCOM (European Association of Regional Television), we organised a first public debate last February in Brussels, on the future of public regional television. Pascal Goergen, AER Secretary General, presented the very positive outcomes of this conference to the members of Committee 3 and to the Vojvodina political board. Slaviša Grujić, Vice-President of the Government of AP Vojvodina-SRB and Provincial Secretary for Culture and Public Information, stated that “Our region would like to lead this political report due to its major importance for the province”.
The Assembly of European Regions will very soon launch a call upon all its member regions to take part in this project.
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