Programme agreement signed for the Culture programme in Poland

The programme agreement for the Polish Culture programme was signed on 12 September 2019.

Photo credit: Christophe Vander Eecken

Key information about the programme

  1. The programme is operated by: the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage
  2. The Donor Programme Partners in this programme are: Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage and Arts Council Norway
  3. The programme’s objective is: social and economic development strengthened through cultural cooperation, cultural entrepreneurship and cultural heritage management
  4. The programme funding amounts to € 88 235 294 with € 75 million of support from the EEA Grants

Why is the programme needed?

Culture and the creative sectors can play an important role in social and economic development. Besides creating new business and job opportunities, they can strengthen social cohesion and help the inclusion of ethnic, national and religious minorities. Hence, cultural heritage is not merely an object of preservation but also a resource that can serve the well-being of local communities.

At the same time, a large part of the existing built cultural heritage in Poland is in dire need of preservation. In addition, significant regional disparities result in an uneven access to arts and culture, particularly affecting smaller towns and rural areas. This is due in part to the lack of appropriate cultural infrastructure and to the modest scope of arts and cultural activities available.

To overcome these challenges, the preservation of cultural heritage needs to be coupled with applying new approaches to its sustainable management. Audience development, cultural entrepreneurship and inclusion of minorities need to be strengthened to ensure a long-term and equitable use of the preserved heritage sites and cultural spaces. To improve access to a diverse and high-quality cultural offer, the programme also aims to foster arts and cultural cooperation between Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway and Poland in a variety of fields.

In addition, the programme also seeks to further raise awareness of and promote Jewish cultural heritage across Poland.

What will the programme achieve and who are the beneficiaries?

The programme will contribute to social and economic development in Poland through supporting the improvement of conditions for sustainable cultural heritage management and through enhancing access to arts and culture, including increased awareness of Jewish cultural heritage.

The first strand will help create sustainable conditions for cultural activities both through supporting the restoration of cultural heritage sites and supporting the establishment of new cultural infrastructures. Projects developed in consultation with the local community will create the revitalised heritage buildings to their use for educational and cultural activities, including trainings on cultural heritage management and cultural entrepreneurship.

The second strand will support bilateral cooperation in arts and culture to build capacities and improve access to culture. Support will finance co-production and presentation of cultural and artistic projects in various fields (e.g. music, performing arts, visual arts including film festivals, historical archives, literature and arts criticism, cultural and arts education, etc.), artist exchanges, inter-institutional cooperation and collaboration on conservation and promotion of cultural heritage. Projects will contribute to promoting audience development, cultural entrepreneurship or the inclusion of minorities. All projects will be carried out in partnership between Polish and Donor States’ entities (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway).

Support from the two strands will be available to local authorities, churches and religious associations as well as public institutions and NGOs in the field of culture and arts education.

The third strand of the programme will focus on increasing knowledge and awareness of Jewish Cultural Heritage in Poland “to preserve the past and shape the future”, helping to counter antisemitism, racism and xenophobia, preparing young people for life in a diverse society. The project, led by the Museum of the History of Polish Jews (POLIN) in partnership with five Norwegian institutions, aims to significantly broaden access to a wider scope of Jewish cultural heritage, through innovative cultural-educational and training programmes for various audiences across Poland, as well as through creating local and international networks of practitioners to improve the preservation of Jewish cultural heritage. The project, expanding the one financed under the 2019-2014 funding period, will increase both physical and online access to Jewish cultural heritage as well as the potential for outreach to a broader target audience.

How will the programme strengthen bilateral relations?

The Programme Operator cooperates with the two Donor Programme Partners (DPPs), as well as with cultural institutions in Poland, to ensure the successful implementation of the programme. The DPPs are particularly active in searching for partners from the Donor States, identifying priority areas and carrying out bilateral initiatives. This will be done – among others – through supporting the implementation of joint cultural activities and the organisation of matchmaking seminars.

Availability of funding through open calls

Funds in this programme are made available through the following open calls:


Download the full programme agreement for more detailed information about the programme.

More information about the Polish culture programme

More information about the EEA and Norway Grants to Poland