European Intercultural Festival

The European Intercultural Festival in Belarus is the annual event that was launched in May 2013 in Minsk to facilitate people-to-people contacts and foster cultural diplomacy. United under the Festival umbrella, series of educational and cultural events introduce the cultural diversity of the EU countries and Eastern Partnership states to the Belarusian audience.

This year’s Festival dates are 3-13 September 2014 with the open air closing part taking place during the official celebrations of the Minsk Day.  The project is being implemented in cooperation with the Office for European Expertise and Communication (Minsk), the International Soci-economic Fund of Ideas (Minsk) and a number of associated partners.

Fri, 2013-10-04 16:28

Dear Friends,
Last month the Belarusian photographer Vitali Brazouski who won the first prize during a photo completion “European neighbourhood” which was organised by ODB and OEEC and its partners visited Belgium. Vitali shared his impressions on the trip as well as some 200 photos he took during this adventure.


By Vitali Brazouski

This spring I was lucky to win the photo-contest European Neighbourhood held in the frames of the European Intercultural Festival-2013 (The winning photo can be found here).  When I applied for participation I even did not pay attention to the main prize and the fact that it was a trip to Brussels (Belgium) took me by a very pleasant surprise.  For me, who have never travelled further than Bialystok (Poland) or Vilnius (Lithuania) before, this trip has become a real adventure. I received the chance to see with my own eyes and compare life in Belarus and in the official capital of the EU. 

I have to say, that my trip was not limited to Brussels only. I took a chance to visit also the Belgian most famous Bruges, Ghent, Antwerp and Ostend.
Saying that I was deeply impressed means to say nothing at all.

Fri, 2013-09-20 15:23

Belarusian photographer Vitali Brazouski who won the first prize during a photo completion “European neighbourhood” arrived in Belgium. Upon his return to Minsk, Vitali – who never travelled to Western Europe before – will share his impressions with the readers of our web-site. Professional photos will be included!

The photo contest was held in Belarus as part of the European Intercultural Festival 2013 launched by the Office for a Democratic Belarus and its partners. “European Neighbourhood” theme of the concurs was introduced to promote the interest among Belarusians towards the EU and the Eastern Partnership, and to see what ordinary citizens understand under the “European Neighbourhood” concept.

The European Intercultural Festival in Belarus took place in May 2013 and was organized by the Brussels-based Office for a Democratic Belarus and in partnership with the Office for European Expertise and Communication, Belarusian NGO “Youth Education Centre “Fialta”, Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies (BISS, Lithuania) and a number of other Belarusian organizations.

Thu, 2013-05-30 00:00

The closing ceremony of the European Intercultural Festival 2013 took place in the art café of the Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus on May 26th.  It was the first time the European Intercultural Festival opened its doors in Belarus. It lasted for seven days and incorporated 21 events engaging more than 600 participants: from the youngest six-year-olds to the mature people of the golden age. The festival had four working languages and participants from more than 10 different countries. Thanks to the number of events everybody had found something to their liking. Public lectures on the history of the European Union, cooperation policy among Member States and the Eastern Partnership Initiative countries, info days with presentations of the EU programmes and possibilities for Belarus by foreign experts and volunteers, foreign language classes, or screenings of interesting films about Europe followed by discussions. Especially successful was the presentation of the English version of  the book “This Country Called Belarus” by Uladzimir Arlou and Zmicer Herasimovich for the foreign diplomatic missions to Belarus. Apart from that, meetings with expats who for a time have called Belarus their second home were  available in the frames of a “Culture Café” project during the Festival.

A photo report from the closing ceremony of the exhibition can be found at this link

Sat, 2013-05-25 00:00

On May 25th, the Youth Education Centre “Fialta” hosted the meeting “Kultcafe” in the framework of the project “New Faces” on facilitating intercultural dialogue. The event was organised as a part of the “European Intercultural Festival 2013” which among its other goal aims at presenting the cultures of the European Union and Eastern Partnership countries. The guest of the meeting was Stanimir Minov from Bulgaria who works in the field of telecommunications and corporate strategy development. Stanimir shared his experiences of his four year stay in Minsk and at the same time dispelled the myth of Bulgaria being the poorest member state in the EU with large demographic problems. He also told what are in his opinion the main characteristics of the Belarusian people.

Fri, 2013-05-24 00:00

The on-going European Intercultural Festival is coming closer to its end. The main events of the fourth festival day were held in Minsk and Homel. In the Belarusian capital, Jana Kobzova, policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations (London), continued to present the main aspects of European Neighbourhood Policy and Eastern Partnership Initiative. The presentation was organised in the framework of the project “European Café” which is managed by the online information portal “New Europe”. The audience had the opportunity to discuss with Jana what does “Europeanness” mean for those countries in Europe which are not members of the EU and how these states should build relations with other European countries. More information about the presentation can be found on this link.

Thu, 2013-05-23 00:00

While the streets are washed with rain and the spring has reached it final days, the European Intercultural Festival is being held in Minsk. The third day of the festival in Minsk kicked off with the information session “Possibilities for implementing projects in the framework of the Youth Window of the Eastern Partnership” which was organised by the Directorate-General on Education and Culture of the European Commission. The audience learned about the programme “Youth in Action” and the possibilities available for Belarusians to implement projects in the framework of this programme. In addition, the moderators explained about the procedure of submitting project proposals of Belarusian organizations directly to the Directorate-General. After the presentation, Belarusian organizations “New face”, “Office for the promotion of initiatives”, “Fialta” and “Belarusian Association of UNESCO Clubs” told to the guests from Brussels about their successful projects in the framework of the programme “Youth in action”.

Thu, 2013-05-23 00:00

The event was organized in the framework of the project „European International Festival 2013“, taking place in Minsk and in some other Belarusian cities this week. Whereas the working language of the conference is English, participants got a wonderful opportunity to prove their language skills.
Mrs. Kobzova told Belarusian students and lecturers about the aims and prospects of the EU initiative „Eastern Partnership“, set out the main priorities and hopes of the EU toward their Eastern partner. Some questions about possible visa liberalization for members of the „Eastern Partnership“ and Belarus came up in discussion, specifics of realization of the European Neighbourhood Policy were also considered. Participants were interested in how the economical and political situation in Slovakia has been changed, the country Jana Kobzova is coming from, after joining the European Union: what are the impacts of the joining the internal labour market, impacts on the business climate and whether it has encouraged new investments in the country. Students were also wondering, which effects had the EU membership on the development of the higher education, and if the Belarusian graduates are highly rated abroad as well as which benefits brought the joining the European Higher Education Area (the Bologna Process).

Wed, 2013-05-22 15:06

The second day of the European Intercultural Festival 2013, which is being organised this week in Minsk, Grodno and Gomel, offered an abundance of interesting events for its visitors. The programme of the day was opened by a presentation from the European Voluntary Service (EVS) in The Johannes Rau International Centre for Education and Exchange (IBB). The presentation was a part of “Europe Day Education Fair” which was organised by the EU delegation to Belarus and foreign embassies. The moderators of the meeting, Olga Belskaya (CSO “New Face”) and Olga Habibullina (CSO “Office for the promotion of initiatives”) explained the young audience what is the purpose of the EVC and how they can take part in the programme, as well as carried out a small quiz on the basic features of the programme.

Tue, 2013-05-21 14:10
A range of events under the European Intercultural Festival aimed at promoting knowledge about the EU and the Eastern Partnership countries started with the German Language class organised by the Youth Education Centre FIALTA, one of the partners of the European Intercultural Festival in Minsk. 
Three volunteers from Germany Thomas Bergmann, Victor Moster, and Elise Schmitt guided regular guests of the organisation as well as newcomers, through basic rules of communication in German.
According to Victor Moster, students enjoyed different games, songs and even a quiz during the class. All takes were related to the European topic of the festival.
The beginners’ group left Fialta after 90 interesting minutes with some basic knowledge of the German language. Greeting someone in German or asking for his name or age should now not be a problem, Victor believes.
Fri, 2013-05-10 19:01

In April, we announced a completion for the best logo of the “European Intercultural Festival-2013”, that is going to take place in Belarusian capital and a few regional centers from May 20th until May 26th, in the month of all-European celebration of peace and unity.
In accordance with terms of the contest, participants were to come up with a logo that would represent European unity, based on common values, and also belonging of Belarus and other countries of Eastern Partnership to the “European home”.