Parliamentarians discuss possibilities for Baltic cooperation in the areas of culture and space

On 28 May 2021, the digital meeting of the Education, Science and Culture Committee of the Baltic Assembly was held. During the meeting, parliamentarians discussed cross-border cultural cooperation of the Baltic states and Baltic cooperation in space-related issues.

Chairwoman of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia Kertu Saks introduced the parliamentarians with the implementation of the Baltic Culture Fund that started as an initiative of the Baltic Assembly in 2017 and has proven to be an excellent driver for Baltic cooperation in culture. The Baltic Culture Fund supports various types of events and projects and also welcomes interdisciplinary projects. In the 2019-2021 time period, grants of the Baltic Culture Fund have been provided for 22 Baltic projects in the amount of 955 000 euros. Afterwards, Director of the Music Information Centre Lithuania Asta Pakarklytė informed about one of the success stories of the Baltic Culture fund - a joint stand for the Baltic states at the World Music Expo WOMEX 2019 in Finland, noting that: "The Baltic Culture Fund has become the main stimulus to unite and present a joint Baltic area". Culture in times of COVID-19 and the joint efforts of the Baltic states to mitigate the impact of the crisis on the culture sector was discussed as well.

Another topic discussed was the Baltic cooperation in space, which is also a new topic for the Baltic Assembly. Chair of the Committee Vytautas Juozapaitis explained: "One of the Lithuanian Presidency’s priorities is space systems and space-based technologies. We see that space exploration nowadays is rapidly growing and the Baltic states are and should continue to contribute as well". Executive Director of Baltics in Space Amara Graps addressed the parliamentarians and explained the current level of cooperation and the possibilities for the future, expressing firm belief that the Baltic states together can achieve much more and can become much more competitive in the area of space.

During the meeting, parliamentarians, experts, high-level governmental experts and international partners shared the experience in the culture and space sectors and tried to find possible cooperation areas for the Baltic countries. The meeting will help in formulation of the recommendations of the Baltic Assembly to the governments of the Baltic states in 2021 as well as evaluate the implementation of recommendations in 2020.