News from the Institute for Development and International Relations (IRMO) Zagreb

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A debate on the future of the European Union was organised in Zagreb IRMO and the Initiative New Pact for Europe, under the auspices of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts (HAZU) on the 8 April 2015. Along representatives of the Academy and IRMO, the event was attended by Croatian Members of the European Parliament, Members of Croatian Parliament, Government officials, leading experts in the field of European integration, the Head of the European Commission Representation to the Republic of Croatia as well as Mr. Andrej Stuchlick, from the Bertelsmann Foundation, representative of the New Pact for Europe initiative.

The New Pact for Europe project was launched by a consortium of 11 European foundations led by the Belgian King Baudouin Foundation and the German Bertelsmann Foundation with the aim of encouraging a pan-European debate on the future of Europe. The first debate within this framework in Croatia was organised in April, 2014 at the Office of the President of the Republic of Croatia, based on the first strategic report ˝Strategic options for Europe’s future˝. At this year’s round table, a debate was held based on the second report ˝Towards a new pact for Europe˝. The second report underlines the need for creating a new alliance between the EU Member States, European Union and its citizens in order to enable the Union to overcome its current reactive mode of functioning.

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Logo 3IRMO is local collaborator of the ˝Project for the Update and the Pilot Test Implementation of the Media Pluralism Monitor (MPM)˝. The Project is funded by the European Commission and is led, since 2013, by the Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom (CMPF) at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. The aim of the MPM, as a measurement tool, is to assess the risks to media pluralism in EU countries. The results of the pilot-test implementation show a provisional assessment of the risk to media pluralism through different risk domains in the selected countries.

An early version of the MPM tool was developed in 2009 by a consortium led by the University of Leuven which contained 166 indicators. In 2014 the CMPF simplified and reduced the number of indicators and led the pilot implementation in nine countries: Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy and the UK. The examined risk domains were: basic domain, cultural pluralism in the media, geographical pluralism in the media, pluralism of media ownership and control, political pluralism in the media and pluralism of media types and genres. The 2015 MPM implementation will further elaborate and fine-tune the indicators and risk domains and will implement the tool in the remaining 19 EU countries. After its full test and implementation the tool can potentially be used for permanent monitoring and improvement of media pluralism in EU countries.

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IRMO has been a partner in the research project ˝Access to Culture – Policy Analysis˝ funded by the European Commission’s Culture Programme. The project has been implemented with six partner organizations in the period from May 2013 to April 2015. It investigated the European and national dimensions of access to culture, analysing and comparing the implementation of the policies on access to culture in different countries, aiming to develop recommendations for raising awareness about these issues both at the national and at the European level.

In order to present the results of the project in Croatia IRMO organised a round table discussion ˝Perspectives of cultural policy development: access, cultural participation and new audiences˝ that took place on the 17th April 2015 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb. The focus of the round table was on the key challenges and trends for access to culture in Croatia, while putting them in the broader European context. The presentation of the research results prompted up lively discussion with over 40 cultural professionals and policy makers. The participants of the round table agreed on the need for the more explicit cultural (as well as other public) policies in the field of access to culture, and on better networking and cooperation (in)between cultural sectors on these issues. The final project output in the form of the final report will be available on the IRMO and other project partner websites by the end of June 2015.

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