Creative Slovenia up to 2020: a fascinating feat

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Motovila Institute 2020 Results EU Coop Projects.png

Slovene cultural producers have been consistently successful in the European Union's programmes for the cultural and creative sectors. Today, these programmes are united under the name Creative Europe. The national information office Creative Europe Desk Slovenia is led by the dedicated and trusted NGO Motovila Institute.

Through an impressive performance of their application-genius, in 2020, 4 project leaders managed to claim no less than 1,4 million euros, while 14 Slovene producers are engaged as partners in the granted Cooperation Projects of the Culture subprogramme. The producers located in Ljubljana, Škofja Loka and Kranj have been collaborating with 94 partners from 24 countries, mostly the Netherlands (10), Italy (10), Spain (9), France (9), UK (6), and Greece (5). This time performing arts projects (music, theatre, dance) prevail (almost 50%), while the number of cultural heritage and visual arts projects is not scarce as well (circa 20% each).

Besides, the EACEA has selected 13 projects within the Cultural Cooperation Projects in the Western Balkans scheme, and among them supported one project with Slovenian leader (Pazi!Park Association) while 7 Slovenian partner organisations are involved in further sucessful projects.


Culture.si | Editorial


Since 1997, hundreds of cultural organisations from across Europe have joined in for a very special set of administrative and discursive protocols. New projects are painstakingly compiled and proposed each year as artists and producers aim for co-funding from one of the European Union's cultural programmes.

Worth about a billion and a half euros and covering the period between 2014 and 2020, Creative Europe is an instrument to support the creation of a shared European cultural space and identity. It is divided into two subprogrammes: the film-focused MEDIA; and the more diverse Culture subprogramme, further partitioned into Literary Translations, European Platforms, European Networks and Cooperation Projects. Slovene cultural producers have been consistently excelling in the latter with considerable panache. In 2020, 18 Slovene organisations are either leaders or partners in 17 out of all 113 supported Cooperation Projects of the Culture subprogramme.



20 years ● 226 organisations ● 951 projects
    Organisations by status
  • Public
  • Private
    Projects by field
  • film and audiovisual projects
  • interdisciplinary projects
  • multimedia and new technologies
  • books and reading / literary translation
  • cultural heritage
  • architecture, design and applied arts
  • performing arts (theatre, dance, music)
  • visual arts
    Organisation's role in the project
  • beneficiary
  • co-beneficiary



EU funding illustrated

The infographic above is based on an interoperability project carried out by Culture.si and CED Slovenia / Motovila Institute. It features data that relates to EU funding for culture as a whole, encompassing the film and audiovisual media programmes (up until 2014 led under a separate entity known as MEDIA) as well as the two seven-year schemes under the Culture programme (these were preceded by some smaller sector-related programmes from the late 1990s, for which Slovenia was not eligible yet).

Each square represents one participant organisation. Clicking on a square will take you to the more in-depth project descriptions. The infographic itself shows the distribution of projects by art field, by the organisation's role in the project and – interestingly – by the organisation's status as either a public or a private entity.

Note that the 2020 project line on this infographic is incomplete at the time of the writing of this article as it is being written in June 2020, when the film and audiovisual projects, as well as publishing projects, have not yet been inscribed.

Natural-born cultural managers?

When analysing the results of the previous years (2007–2011 and 2014–2015), Peter Inkei of the Budapest Observatory already stated in 2016 that "Slovenia is the incontestable east-central European champion in the Creative Europe programme". Thus his recent statement is merely a reiteration, as he wrote in May 2017, that "the champion is again Slovenia with a 35% success rate".

He is referencing the phenomenal success rate shown in 2017: out of 20 projects with a Slovene "project leader" (the projects are comprised of one lead organisation and several partner ones), 7 managed to be successful in obtaining funds. The other 74 endorsed projects – chosen out of the 548 submitted applications – featured 10 Slovene organisation as partners (which can often be a preferable position in terms of the funding/responsibility trade-off). With all this in mind, Inkei rhetorically wonders if Slovenes are "born cultural managers". They might be, but more probably it is the complex historic composition of the Slovene cultural landscape (especially the NGO scene) that should offer interesting clues in this regard.

Motovila Institute 2018 Uspesno Ustvarjalno Photo Katja Goljat.jpg

Input of the Creative Europe Desk Slovenia (Motovila Institute)

There is, however, one factor that seems to stand out as rather important – the Creative Europe Desk Slovenia. This is the national information office for such matters, led by the small, but dedicated and trusted, NGO Motovila Institute. Recently, its crew, in a telling phrase that further elaborates Inkei's remark, has been labelled by one of the grant-winning producers as "our mothers".

Be that as it may, helping out the applicants with advice, conducting informative workshops and carrying out other matters of general support, Motovila team sports a systematic approach towards producing a community-based pool of skills, tricks, contacts and the like.

In any case, 2018, 2019 and 2020 brought excellent results again.

Recent Culture Cooperation Project recipients

The chosen propositions from Slovenia are of course very diverse. One would be hard-pressed to find a common theme even as the wordings of project descriptions tend to be somewhat generic, their authors striving to align them with the supposed affinities of Brussels.

The composition of successful organisations is similarly miscellaneous, ranging from small organisations to big and venerated art producers. While 6 of the participating organisations haven't had any prior experience in EU's cultural programmes, 14 of them are veterans with at least one project under their belts. If, in 2017, the public institutions significantly boosted their Creative Europe profile, and almost caught up with the previously much more industrious NGO sector, also in 2018, out of 18 organisations there were 8 successful public institutions.

EU funding infographic public-private status 2019.png

In 2019, the number of successful public institutions (13) was even a bit higher than the number of NGO organisations (12). The 3 producers that got the grant as lead organisations are involved as partners in another granted Cooperation Projects. The producers located in Ljubljana, Maribor, Nova Gorica, Novo mesto and Murska Sobota collaborate mostly with partners from Italy (15), Germany (12), Belgium (11), UK (11), and Poland (10).

In 2020, the number of successful NGO organisations (10) and public institutions (8) is almost equal, they have their seats in Ljubljana, Škofja Loka and Kranj. All partners cooperate with 94 organisations from 24 countries, mostly with the Dutch, Italian, Spanish, French, British and Greek partners.

Motovila Institute 2020 Results EU Coop Projects.png


Cultural Cooperation Projects in the Western Balkans

The call strengthening cultural cooperation with and competiveness of cultural and creative industries in the Western Balkans resulted in 320 project proposals. In 2020 the EACEA has selected for support 13 projects, among them one project with Slovenian leader (Pazi!Park Association) while 7 Slovenian partner organisations are involved in further 6 sucessful projects. See below the list of organisations.



2020 Cultural Cooperation Projects in the Western Balkans recipients

2020 recipients

2019 recipients


2018 recipients

Slovene Association of Historic Towns (logo) Refresh project.jpg

The REFRESH cooperation project led by Slovene Association of Historic Towns got the Creative Europe support related to the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018.


2017 recipients

European platforms:

Literary translation scheme:

See also

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