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Croatia to get €9 billion in European cohesion policy

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Young small business owner in Croatia
€1.7 billion from the European Regional and Development Fund will help to improve the skills of employees in small and medium-sized businesses in Croatia | Photo: Brooke Cagle

Croatia will receive a total of €9 billion from Cohesion Policy in 2021-2027 in the framework of its Partnership Agreement with the Commission to promote the economic, social and territorial cohesion of its regions and its green and digital transitions. These investments will help reduce regional economic disparities and enhance skills, training, and employment opportunities. The EU funds will also support the development of a competitive, innovative, and export-oriented Croatian economy.

The country will dedicate nearly 31% of European Regional and Development Fund (ERDF) and 39% of Cohesion Fund resources to climate objectives. In particular, €2.56 billion will help the country improve energy efficiency, increase the share of renewables in energy production up to 60% of electricity in 2030, enhance the circular economy and support climate resilience and biodiversity. More than €650 million will be invested in this later objective.

Moreover, €179 million from the Just Transition Fund (JTF) will mitigate the economic and employment effects of the green transition. This will be done through decarbonising energy-intensive industries, strengthening entrepreneurship, and investing in skills of the workers, diversifying the economy in the most affected regions, enhancing cooperation between business and research, and increasing employment opportunities for the workforce.

€1.7 billion from the ERDF will support Croatia’s innovative and smart economic transformation by increasing the competitiveness and internationalisation of small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) and contributing to improve the skills of employees.

Investments will reach the whole territory of Croatia, including its poorest areas. Almost €500 million will help improve the international competitiveness of Croatian regions by facilitating their industrial transition. Additionally, 12% from the ERDF will be dedicated to urban development and around 3% to developing smart and sustainable islands. Mountainous areas will also receive increased support. In this way, EU funds will help all parts of Croatia to catch up with the more economically and socially developed capital, Zagreb, and with the most developed EU regions.

Nearly €1 billion will enhance regional, local, and cross-border mobility in all sectors, including developing a sustainable, smart, secure, and intermodal transport network linked to the Trans-European Network – TEN-T, as well as much-needed improvements in the national rail infrastructure, and further advancements in maritime transport in this coastal country.

“With this Partnership Agreement, Croatia makes a crucial step towards meeting its 2030 national social targets set in line with the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan. I welcome the strategic focus of the ESF+ investments, boosting quality jobs, providing workers with the skills they need to navigate today’s and tomorrow’s labour market, and investing substantial funding for social services that are key to social inclusion, including assistance to people with disabilities, healthcare, and long-term care.”, says Nicolas Schmit, Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights.

Almost €2.5 billion from the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) and ERDF will boost quality employment, skills, education, healthcare, and social services. Well-designed active employment support, in particular for women, young people and vulnerable groups, will go hand-in-hand with improving the capacity of labour market institutions, such as public employment services, including through digitalisation.

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£125,000 in grants awarded to UK creatives to support careers in screen arts

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Emerging creative from low socio-economic backgrounds are amongst the talent receiving bursaries.

BAFTA announced over £125,000 in grants have been awarded to 69 talented creatives to support their career development in the screen arts.  

This year, grants of up to £2,000 each have been made available to 58 emerging creatives including production assistants, costumer designers, writers, game designers, and camera and sound trainees to help them progress in their respective crafts. The grants will go towards essential costs such as driving lessons, specialist equipment, training and relocation costs that might otherwise lock talented people out of a screen arts career.  

The Prince William BAFTA Bursary scheme is named in honour of BAFTA’s President. Kickstarted with the support of film director Paul Greengrass, it is now in its fourth year.

For the first time, BAFTA is also awarding grants to individuals who have been forcibly displaced in collaboration with the Refugee Journalism Project. £30,000 in funding has been awarded to 11 recipients including journalists, editors, directors and videographers.  

The Refugee Journalism Project builds on BAFTA’s recent work with Counterpoint Arts – highlighting the importance of authentic portrayals of refugees on-screen, including recent events with BAFTA award-winning filmmaker and activist Hassan Akkad, a masterclass with BAFTA award-winning director Waad al-Kateab, and ‘Introduction to Filmmaking’ workshops with Deadbeat Films. 

Supporting the next generation of talent is an essential part of our mission. The Prince William BAFTA Bursary Fund is a fantastically effective way to kick-start careers, particularly for those who face socio and economic inequality. The bursaries are transformative for career starters, enabling them to buy an essential piece of kit, secure training, or in some cases it’s as simple as getting driving lessons so they can get to set! There is no shortage of potential in our workforce. Unfortunately, the opportunity to act on that potential is all too often limited by financial barriers. So, I’m delighted to continue The Prince William BAFTA Bursary Fund, thanks to our incredibly generous network of donors and supporters,” says Jane Millichip, CEO of BAFTA.

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Qatar museum opens exhibition revealing new voices from the Arab world

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Qatar museums opens exhibition revealing new voices from the Arab world
"Take Shelter" is one of the films showing during "Your Ghosts Are Mine, Expanded Cinemas, Amplified Voices" | Photo: still courtesy © LA CHAUVE-SOURIS

Qatar Museum has opened Your Ghosts Are Mine, Expanded Cinemas, Amplified Voices, a major exhibition coinciding with the 60th International Art Exhibition at the Venice Biennale, bringing together works by filmmakers and video artists from the Middle East, Africa and Asia. On view at ACP Palazzo Franchetti (through 24 November), the exhibition presents a journey in moving images through contemporary experiences of community life and memory, transnational crossings and exile.

Your Ghosts Are Mine is produced by Qatar Museums and co-organised by Doha Film Institute, Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art and the future Art Mill Museum in collaboration with ACP Art Capital Partners and with support from Media City Qatar. It is curated by Matthieu Orléan with Majid Al-Remaihi and Virgile Alexandre, with exhibition design by Federico Martelli and Clément Périssé. The advisory committee includes Fatma Hassan Alremaihi, Zeina Arida and Catherine Grenier.

The exhibition explores themes such as deserts, ruins, borders, exile and women’s voices through films supported by Doha Film Institute and video works from Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art and the future Art Mill Museum.

The works span fiction, documentary, animation and memoir. Included are excerpts from works by over 40 artists including Faouzi Bensaidi (Morocco), Jessica Beshir (Ethiopia), Ali Cherri (Lebanon), Tala Hadid (Morroco), Joana Hadjithomas (Lebanon), Khalil Joreige (Lebanon), Soudade Kaadan (Syria), Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese (Lesotho), Asmae El Moudir (Morocco), Amal Al-Muftah (Qatar), Shirin Neshat (Iran), Larissa Sansour (Palestine), Abderrhamane Sissako (Mauritania), Elia Suleiman (Palestine), Ramata-Toulaye Sy (Senegal), Tariq Teguia (Algeria), Shaima Al Tamini (Yemen), plus works by Wael Shawky, Lida Abdul, Hassan Khan and Sophia Al Maria.

Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Chairperson of Qatar Museums and Doha Film Institute, said, “Your Ghosts Are Mine will open the eyes of international viewers to the ideas, feelings, and artistic visions of today’s filmmakers from the Arab world and neighbouring regions. With this exhibition, Qatar Museums advances its mission of encouraging understanding across borders, while Doha Film Institute continues to nurture rising talents of our region.”  

A schedule of film screenings accompanying the exhibition is available here.    

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Thousands of free travel passes available to travel around Europe

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Successful applicants will get a free rail pass to travel in Europe for up to 30 days

Starting this summer, thousands of young people will once again travel around Europe by train for free thanks to the latest call of the DiscoverEU programme. Today at 12:00 CET during the European Youth Week buzzing with activities, the Commission launched the latest DiscoverEU application round. It will end on Tuesday 30 April at 12:00 CET.

In total, 35,500 travel passes are available. To get one, young people born between 1 July 2005 and 30 June 2006 can do a quiz with five questions about the EU and one additional question on the European Youth Portal. Successful applicants will get a free rail pass to travel in Europe for up to 30 days between 1 July 2024 and 30 September 2025.

The call is open to applicants from the European Union and countries associated to the Erasmus+ programme including Iceland, Liechtenstein, North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia and Türkiye. Ticket holders can plan their own routes or be inspired by existing ones. For example, they can discover a route launched last year, which focuses on cities and places making the European Union ‘beautiful, sustainable and inclusive’ in line with the principles of the New European Bauhaus.

Participants can also benefit from the DiscoverEU Culture Route an initiative of the 2022 European Year of Youth that combines various cultural destinations including architecture, music, fine art, theatre, fashion and design. Participants can visit the European Capitals of Culture which are on the UNESCO World Heritage List,  European Heritage Label sites, or Access City Award label locations, which are cities that have gone above and beyond to become more accessible to everyone.

Participants will also receive a discount card with over 40,000 discount possibilities on public transport, culture, accommodation, food, sports and other services in eligible countries. Additionally, Erasmus+ National Agencies organise pre-departure information meetings, and national agencies across all Erasmus+ countries prepare DiscoverEU Meet-ups, learning programmes lasting from one to three days.

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