The European Commission has recently adopted proposals concerning the participation of Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and the Slovak Republic in the Community's cultural programmes, from 1998. Such participation forms part of the pre-accession strategy for these countries. The Community cultural programmes aim to encourage cooperation between Member States and third countries for the improvement of the knowledge and dissemination of European culture and history, as well as in the conservation and safeguarding of cultural heritage and artistic and literary creation. The three main EU programmes are ARIANE, KALEIDOSCOPE and RAPHAEL, and six of the countries intend to participate in all three. Lithuania wishes to participate in KALEIDOSCOPE and RAPHAEL only, while the Czech Republic would participate in RAPHAEL only. The eight countries would pay their participation costs, partly from their national budgets, and partly from the PHARE funding allocated to them. The proposal envisages the involvement of these countries in the management and decision-making process of the programmes, in monitoring their own participation and in coordination meetings to be held prior to the Programme Committee meetings. All results of these meetings will be made available to the countries concerned.
Bulgaria, Czechia, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia