“Open The Door to Arts and Culture”: Festivals and President of Croatia commit to a cultural Europe

1 June 2010

The European Festivals Association (EFA) – in collaboration with the Music Biennale Zagreb (MBZ) and the Croatian Composers’ Society – is inviting to a festive reception on 6 June 2010 at 12:00 in Zagreb/Croatia at the honour of the election of Ivo Josipović as President of Croatia. 20 festivals and Mr Josipović, former Director of the Music Biennale Zagreb (EFA member) and former General Secretary of the Croatian Composers’ Society, commit to a cultural Europe. The European Festivals Association, the major network for festivals from Europe and beyond, presents a joint commitment for closer cooperation between the Balkan region and the rest of Europe. The event is part of the EFA flagship project ”Open The Door” ( that was initiated at the occasion of the European Year For Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion. The statement stresses “that the variety of inherent values culture and international cultural collaboration bring about must become a focal point. Accession is a chance for transformation – a chance to support the development of a cultural Europe.” Ivo Josipović is eager to determine Croatia’s accession to the EU. To have a politician and especially a head of state who is deeply rooted in the arts and culture bears an enormous chance for the cultural sector. Together with President Josipović it will be agreed that arts and culture play an important role in the fostering of regional development and integration and of active citizenship. According to the document, the “development of an independent cultural sector must be supported in the long-term – in political, structural as well as in financial terms.” Darko Brlek, EFA President, points out: “The members of the European Festivals Association and other festivals from the region join forces to raise awareness of the need of an active civic participation in the integration process, a more open VISA policy and support to mobility as key factors for further development. For 60 years, EFA has engaged in international collaboration.” The Zagreb meeting takes place in the framework of the annual Congress of the International Society for the Performing Arts (ISPA). It is the third stop of the “Open The Door” project after Stockholm/Sweden where it was launched and Merano/Italy where the 2010 EFA General Assembly and Conference took place. So far, more than 100 festivals have committed to increase access to festivals for artists and citizens through the project website Related links and documents: • Press release 27 May 2010 (English, French) • “Open The Door” website: