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Creative Forum Ljubljana: fostering cooperation between the western Balkans and the southern Mediterranean shores

  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The Creative Forum Ljubljana is organised by the Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) as a unique platform that links the Southern Mediterranean and the Western Balkans through creativity. Creative industries hold great potential for the Euro-Mediterranean countries seeking to diversify their economies and participate in one of the most dynamic sectors of world commerce. The recommendations and the takeaways from this landmark Forum will feed directly into the UfM roadmap activities and Slovenia’s Positive Agenda for Youth.

The Creative Forum Ljubljana, organised by the Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Union for the Mediterranean, is taking place in Ljubljana from 12 to 15 November. The Forum provides capacity building and networking opportunities as well as room for debate and policy review. It is an advocate for policy change that aims at creating an enabling environment for the cultural and creative sector at the regional level.

Miro Cerar, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia, today underlined in his keynote speech that he sees "particular importance in the fact that we were able to bring together decision-makers from the fields of economy, foreign affairs and culture. This is what we call Creative Capital United: not only cities, regions and countries working hand in hand, but also sectors finding common ground for break-through in industry, education, foreign affairs, tourism, information technology and other fields.” Minister Cerar also reminded us of "creativity’s unique potential to guide us through the turbulent waters of the Euro-Mediterranean region" and of "the necessity to make culture not an accessory, but the pillar of the regional development strategy."

For his part, the UfM Secretary General, Nasser Kamel, emphasised: “Conducting a proper mapping of major actors, facilitating access to finance, developing platforms for networking and exchanging of best practices, as well as adopting a multi-stakeholders’ approach are all elements of an enabling environment for the cultural and creative sector that we all would like to see in our region.”

The Forum brought together more than 200 representatives of creative hubs, entrepreneurs, civil society and high representatives of EU institutions, ministries from both regions, international and local organisations. In addition to Slovenian ministers Miro Cerar and Zoran Poznič, and the UfM Secretary General as organizers, the Forum was attended by the Montenegro Minister of Culture, Aleksandar Bogdanović, the Kosovo Minister of Economic Development, Valdrin Lluka, and the Palestine Minister of the Economy, Khaled Al-Osaily.

While its first edition in April 2018 reviewed the regional state of affairs in the cultural and creative sector, this year’s Forum set the ground for collective action. Under the title “Creative Capital United”, the forum was held as a push to unite forces at a regional and sectoral level from education to the economy and policy making.

The Forum was inspired by the Positive Agenda for Youth – a Slovenian initiative that was first launched in the Western Balkans and, in 2017, was integrated in the Roadmap of the Union for the Mediterranean. The lack of prospects for young people is among the most pressing regional challenges and the cultural and creative sector is transformative in generating jobs and opportunities, especially for the vulnerable social groups. The forum’s objective was to demonstrate the potential of clusters and creative industries as a driver of economic growth and social resilience in the Southern Mediterranean region.

The morning part of the high-level political conference is available through the live streaming link: