From the Danube Conferences to the Danube Culture Platform – A short historical review
The Danube Conferences on Culture have been initated and realised by the State of Baden-Württemberg and the European Danube Academy Ulm in cooperation with the “Kulturreferentin für Südosteuropa at the Museum of the Danube Swabians Ulm” in the framework of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR). The first conferences took place annually between 2013 and 2016 in Ulm (DE), Novi Sad (RS), Timisoara (RO) and Ruse (BG).
In this first epoch of the conferences, the main goal was to establish a permanent international network and annual forum for the arts, culture and politics in the Southeast European region. The organisers invited cultural policy delegates as well as representatives of the arts and cultural mediation. The aspiration of the European Danube Academy and its partners was to exchange experiences involving cultural work in the Danube adjacent states, to introduce implemented projects, to discuss questions of cultural policy and to vitalise the chances of our region of a wide cultural diversity by multinational cooperation.
As a successful existing platform, the Danube Conferences on Culture have been integrated into the INTERREG Danube Transnational project Danube Culture Platform – Creative Spaces of the 21st Century from 2017. From 2017 to 2019, these Transnational Project Conferences took place in Pécs (HU), Linz (AT) and Regensburg (DE). The Ministry of Science, Research and Arts Baden-Württemberg – along with the European Danube Academy Ulm – were still acting as main organisers of the conferences in close cooperation with the local host project partner.
The conferences provided excellent opportunities to shape the image of the Danube area as an innovative space for culture and tourism with positive dynamic for participative culture and tourism policy making. The events transmitted the objectives of the Danube Culture Platform to a broader public: The Key to Raising Attention (Pécs, October 2017), World Heritage and the Facilitation of History for the Audience of the 21st Century (Linz, June 2018) and Visible Danube (Regensburg, May 2019). These events allowed to encounter international experts from cultural heritage institutions, tourism and artists and several best practice examples from these areas to gain inspiration for the development of the project. In this 2nd epoch of the conferences, the original idea of a permanent cultural forum could be further developed by focusing on specific issues relevant for the cultural and artistic sector of the Danube area (e.g. audience development, hidden heritage hot-spots, facilitation of historical places, cultural heritage as future potential for culture and tourism).