Wien, 18. November 2004 Press release

International Cultural Policy – New Trend in Financing

18.11.2004

Additional funds of more than 20 percent will be available in 2005

Vienna, 18 November 2004 - After the passing of the Federal Finance Act 2005, it has become certain: as regards the budget estimates for the international presentation of Austrian culture, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs will have 23 percent more funds at its disposal next year. The operating budget for international culture will rise from the present level of 4.8m euros to 6m euros. This is a clear signal and creates new possibilities for cultural cooperation programmes to make use of the available opportunities - especially in neighbourhood policy (Central European Cultural Platform), in cooperation with South-East Europe and in developing a stronger presence for Austrian cultural production in the new global centres in Asia and Latin America. Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik: "Our own scope for co-determination and action in international questions is increasingly also determined by the extent to which we showcase the creative potential and cultural tradition of our country to the world at large. This too is an integral part of a successful foreign policy. I know how much Austria's image abroad is shaped by the achievements of our artists, scholars and scientists and the potential that exists worldwide for a creative international cultural policy. The successful conclusion of the budget will enable us to present Austrian culture at the international level in an even more efficient manner. International cultural policy is an investment in the future which creates international trust, strengthens the position of Austria in Europe and reflects our country's own self-image."

With 29 Cultural Fora, 50 Austrian Libraries and 7 Austrian Institutes, the Foreign Ministry has a professional network in place whose work to promote the image of an internationally-minded Austria will be supported by more funds from 2005 onwards. "Knowing how great the international interest in Austrian culture is is both a mandate and a chance," said Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik with regard to the cultural focus of her ministry.