Ποιειν Και Πραττειν - create and do

Experiences made during the Funding period 1994-99

Funding of Culture through the Structural Fund in Greece

Programmes 1994 - 1999: EUR 19.271 billion in 1994-99

Article 10 ERDF Projects makes provision for pilot projects concerning regional development at Community level.

For the period 1997 – 1999 32 such pilot projects were selected. They were asked to give answers to a two folded problematic as defined by the European Commission, namely to what extent culture can create jobs and how to avoid destruction of cultural identity through over commercialization? While the former was perceived as an unknown potential in need of being explored further, and had all the beginnings of awareness for culture as factor of economic development in it, the latter was clearly perceived as a threat not only to cultural identities, but as well cultural diversity within Europe. Unfortunately the European Commission has since then dropped the negative side even though for the Article 10 project the double task proved to be a fruitful paradox to revolve around.

Among the selected projects only two were managed by professional agencies located in Brussels. The rest were all new starters. All were eager to gain experiences in European projects.

The European Commission gave at the initial meeting in Porto, Portugal, January 1997 a three folded advice: 1) organize the memory of the project; 2) ensure transparency of all financial payments and 3) stay in dialogue with the European Commission.

As for selection of innovative projects, a key criterion was a simple form so that it could be managed. The projects had to be realized within the given time framework of two years. It meant culture as a complex matter was left out or never really to be experienced before being resolved as a tangible and intangible asset. This tendency towards reductionism so that projects fit a European prototype is not helpful in many cases as projects become unique if they can unfold out of a full capacity to come to terms with complexity. As Michael D. Higgins would underline, culture is a search of truth based on multiple stories and eager to create forms for further going participations. Instead the European Commission and their evaluators delegated to advise the project coordinators demanded a structured overview linked to the key aim of having as outcome a good practice manual.

At the core of interest was to come to terms with culture in a way to know how 'innovation' can be furthered. Here the Commission held a meeting in Thessaloniki being in 1997 European Capital of Culture. Contributions came from all sides in written form and were discussed at the meeting. It gave a first insight into what became later the EU year on 'creativity and innovation' (2009) even though many of the projects experienced difficulties in articulating a clear standpoint on that.

Some of the projects linked this to how budgets for culture could be improved at city level (the Tilburg model: not everything spend at the end of the year had to be given back to the central treasury but next year if more money was available, it could be obtained – a way to avoid waste of money by being just burned up at the end of the year.)

Others were more orientated towards using culture as a tool to market local products. There were several others which developed ideas about cultural routes and preserving cultural heritage.

One project made it into its working themes the cultural diversity existing especially in ports – a factor to be taken into consideration when it comes to develop in future ports but also their relationships to the city where they are located.

The programme faced difficulties right at the beginning due to a risk of a late release of the funds. It prompted all projects to rally together in order to protest against such a treatment. This political turn of events certainly frightened parts of the Commission.

Also mid way during implementation, the person in charge for the programme was transferred to another task within the European Commission. It left the programme without anyone really available to address any of the concerns.

There came also to light that a member of the committee for the selection of projects asked favour from a coordinator in return for this particular project to be selected. This marked an ethical breach and influenced the atmosphere of the meeting in Thessaloniki as both were present but the real reason for the tension but addressed privately. Such breaches in ethical conduct was never dealt with adequately at official level and left a bad taste especially for the person concerned, but not only.

Example of Article 10 ERDF Project


1. Title of the project: CIED (Cultural Innovation and Economic Development)

(1997 - 1997)

2. Programme under which it was funded

ERDF – Article 10

3. Context and objectives

Short description of the context from which the project emerged (e.g. location and social, economic and cultural factors which made the initiative necessary).

  • follows the 5th Seminar “Culture Action Europe” held in Athens 1994 (http://poieinkaiprattein.org/conferences-symposiums-workshops/cultural-actions-for-europe/)

  • and 'Myth of the City' – 15 poets and 15 city planners, architects, philosophers discussing over one week in Crete at different locations and settings living conditions in cities (http://poieinkaiprattein.org/conferences-symposiums-workshops/myth-of-the-city---program/)

  • joint work of Phil Cooke, University of Cardiff, Jürgen Eckhardt, architect, and Hatto Fischer

  • from the original five partners only two remained, namely Cardiff and Galway, while Agrigento in Sicily was replaced by Palermo, Kamilari in Crete by Volos, and Vetschau by Leipzig as these original partners could not meet the new demands made by the European Commission

  • it meant also the original German project leader left and instead Volos, Greece assumed the role of lead partner with Vassilis Sgouris from DEMEKAV, the Municipal Enterprise of Volos the prime manager of the project while Hatto Fischer remained as coordinator.

  • It made the partners much more compatible as all had to deal with post industrial impacts (Volos and the decline of its industry, as much as Cardiff and its dead coal harbor or Palermo with its long neglected historical centre, while Leipzig had lost countless jobs in the wake of German reunification in 1989, with only Galway standing apart due to being a booming city with a steady growth in population and therefore in need to deal with quite different challenges due to ongoing changes.


Volos (Greece)- project leader

Partners: Cardiff (Wales/UK), Galway (Ireland), Palermo (Italy), and Leipzig (Germany).


  • Learn to use, but abuse culture for economic development - Cultural Innovation

  • Encourage representations of culture in peripheral regions - Cultural Heritage

  • Make consensus become the basis of decision making - Cultural Consensus Measures

  • Re-evaluate the role of culture in planning - Cultural Impact Studies

  • Relate concrete needs to real constraints - Good Practice Manual

Budget details

250 000 Euros for 2 years (funding 40/40/20)

4. Activities and results

Description of the main activities carried out in this context, including visible outputs, outcomes and indicators if possible.

As a European project the aim was to connect culture with economic development by refining planning practices by developing specific cultural tools (cultural calendar, cultural impact studies, cultural consensus measures, cultural sustainability).

As extension of Agenda 21: sustainability has to include as well economic, political, institutional and cultural sustainability (Maurizio Carta, University of Palmero)

  • validate decentralization of administrative power by letting people participate and realize bottom-up success stories e.g. Zisa Factory and the entire revitalization of the historic center in Palermo

  • hiring of a cultural heritage officer who needs to approve any business plan prior to implementation in Galway where people had become worried the city was changing so fast, that they could no longer recognize a continuity of identity in their local place

  • that the requirement to take local culture into consideration was a way to scare away many potential inward investors since they felt culture is too complex a factor to be dealt with, but as a filter it ensured more qualitative investment proposals, was the experience of Cardiff Development Agency when looking for ways to revamp the former coal port and the former coal exchange at Mount Stuart Square; at the same time, the user group was the best practice to democratize investment decisions by consulting local share holders prior to any investment and planning intervention. The Cardiff partner demonstrated as well the potentials but also weaknesses of creative clusters or the making of cultural industries e.g. sme's in the media and film industrial branch.


By including in the planning process a user group or a cultural committee made up of citizens, business people, cultural heritage experts, administrators from the city, university experts etc., such planning refinement meant above all to give the cultural sector a voice.

The Volos mid-term reports from the five cities show how planning influences culture and vice versa. The reports demonstrate that specific local cultures function like filters in selecting and deciding which planning interventions should be undertaken.

The 'Good Practice Manual' elaborates the CIED methodology as it became a validated tool to link culture with economic development by refining planning practices, including business plans for cities, and by giving a voice to the cultural sector. (http://poieinkaiprattein.org/europe/european-projects/cied/the-cied-methodology-1/ and followed by part 2)

New initiatives developed as result of CIED:

  • EU CIED conference in Leipzig, June 1999 held during the German EU Presidency

  • REINVENT as follow-up project to learn how to use artists as indicators (CONNECT)

  • CIED Association:

    a) Internet Radio as tool to further the European debate;

    b) reporting about the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg (2002)

    c) start of the tender on cultural co-operations realized by Interarts and EFAH for the European Commission

  • creation of NGO Poiein kai Prattein in Athens 2002-3 (www.poieinkaiprattein.org)

  • in collaboration with the City of Volos the follow-up project HERMES – Interreg III B CADSES (2003 – 2007) (http://poieinkaiprattein.org/europe/european-projects/hermes-project/)

  • ECCM Symposium 'Productivity of Culture' to look further into the relationship between economy and culture (2007) (www.productivityofculture.org)

  • Michael D. Higgins elected as President of Ireland in 2012 and accepting patronage of the World Poetry Movement

  • consultation with Irish Aid about cultural dimension for peace and human rights in foreign affairs, and this in linkage with Kids' Guernica (www.kids-guernica.org and www.poieinkaiprattein.org/kids-guernica )

  • engagement with Volos in URBACT programme to attain sustainability through efficient urban planning (2012) (project proposal not successful)


5. Assessment

The ideas of CIED are still alive today.

Website: http://poieinkaiprattein.org/europe/european-projects/cied/


Good practice – a problematic case

Culture needed to understand conflicts between local and regional level

1. Title of the project: LORE – Local Observatories for Regional and Economic Development

2. Programme under which it was funded

Interreg DG Regio - TERRA

3. Context and objectives

Short description of the context from which the project emerged (e.g. location and social, economic and cultural factors which made the initiative necessary) and the objectives initially set. Mention the organisation(s) or authority which led the project, as well as other relevant partners if necessary. Budget details (amount and/or percentage of funds provided by EU funds, as well as other contributions) may also be included here if available.

The project was brought together by members of Dialogos Nea Media and Atelier, and involved some other spatial planners on the Greek side without previous experiences in European projects. They had expressed an explicit wish to enter this domain and were facilitated by these two prime organizations. Both these organizations had contributed to the Fifth Seminar in Athens 1994 and were involved in European funded research projects (Logos, Articulate, e-learning).

Project leader became the island of Ikaria but only after much difficulties. Clarification was needed at all times with the mayors all having very different interests and dispositions towards the project.

The aim of DG Regio-TERRA LORE (1997-2001) project was to create a network of local spatial planning observatories with pilot projects in Greece (Ikaria, Pelion, Messara) and Sicily (Alcamo, Ragusa), with particular attention to participatory processes for implementation of planning policies.

It meant clarification of a new working methodology alongside key entry points into tangible development chances provided certain conflictual situations could be overcome. In the case of the 3 Greek partners these proved to be land use, urban and non urban planning law and use of culture to enhance the profile and identity of the territory in question. It was an outer extension of cities into a larger territory. Inclusion of culture and the cultural dimension meant to enlist key orientations along expectations by the political authorities for certain key results. Setting up local observatories were to bring about a more sophisticated approach to development questions than what development agencies could provide until now. The capacity to resolve conflicts when faced with alternative development options was till then limited in Greece, and not mediated on a knowledge basis about the territory in question. This included such issues as farmers using artificial fertilizers but dumping the plastic sheets into a dried out river bed which swept however the toxic substances into the sea once heavy rain would come. It seemed as if use of land was not linked to any environment or for that matter territorial consideration based on a cultural premise which would value the same land out of a very different perspective. Knowledge transfers could be envisioned from 'ancient wisdom' entailed in old temples which used the pillars in the North entrance like fans for the palace to be cooled to what would be needed in the present as far as a balanced approach to territorial development was concerned. This would be the mapping out of not merely future strategies, but linking it to a vision.



Total budget 2.074.389,00

ERDF contribution 1.140.941

Time of project: 31 months

4. Activities and results

Description of the main activities carried out in this context, including visible outputs, outcomes and indicators if possible, can be made available. The key driving force of the project was to provide insights into spatial conflicts in use of territory (e.g. between those interested in keeping the forest versus those who want to keep sheep on the island of Ikaria)

4 Call for Project Proposals Application Form


File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat
COMPLEMENTARITIES WITH INTERREG II C CADSES PROJECTS ...... Project “TERRA LORE” (Programme of spatial policy and planning in East Mt. Pelion), ...

One outcome has been a kind of recommendation for future policy, namely to shift from sectorial to 'transversal' policy with emphasis on a kind of 'co-design' of development models allowing for participation of local citizens and business in the dynamics called 'territorial innovation'.

It was assumed in the project that this problem, once resolved, would alter planning into cultural goverance by providing key insights into how planning and follow-up at local level often than not end up contradicting each other, or circumventions become explainable by not complying to the law in a strict 1 to 1 ratio. Since application of planning law is subject to interpretation, it depends on whether or not a law is taken literally or respected in terms of the spirit behind it.

5. Assessment

While the project can be considered a good practice, insofar as many new persons and political authorities were introduced to the European project level, and this especially with regard to regional development objectives, some problems in the implementation process were experienced.

For one, the three Greek partners resisted use of the English language even though officially recognized as common project language. As it meant a kind of assertive practice, namely to speak the own Greek language, it lead to a discrimination of the expert who did not speak that language, but who had made the link to the European level possible.

Secondly, many other problems were incurred to the point of needing to challenge right from the start forms of corruption (e.g. how accounting for flight tickets entailed overcharging on the basis of agreement with the travel agent.)

Thirdly, validation of the objectives meant not as much despite being an entry for the first time into a European project as method and style of communication was dictated much more by efforts to gain prestige. By having a European project, it was translated into just being 'clever' in methods to obtain more money than really to be accounted for in terms of outcomes realized.

After being challenged to the point that the European Commission had to intervene and therefore delegated a special evaluator to bring the project on track, it can be said that the LORE project demonstrates a need to handle forms of corruption (of various forms: accounting, over charging by external experts for studies lacking quality etc.) in a much more straight forward way, while taking following aspects into consideration for the future:

  • LORE shows that European projects are only successful, if the various cultures at various levels (national, regional and local) are taken into consideration.
  • At the same time, there is a political culture which influences both cooperation and working methods. Basically it amounts to assuming a study creates the legal basis for further actions while in fact it is a way to safeguard that money is spend only on certain things.
  • Combined with other problems linked to co-financing, the way money is allocated and ready to be spend does not necessarily convince either in terms of transparency or in wise use of resources to get things done.
  • There are different degrees of visibilities which indicate that good practice methods are only adopted after being challenged and once the European Commission was alarmed enough to appoint an independent evaluator to the project, in order to bring it up to par rather than giving it the 'red flag'.


Consequently if the strict method of 'compliance and cooperation' is to be avoided, as it amounts to imposing only a certain framework, there is a need to be quite clear right from the start of the project what was the proposal. In effect, such a proposal once accepted by the European Commission is a certain kind of commitment, but which can be undermined negatively in practice. Here a difference in evaluation needs to establish what is due to certain things not understood at the outset and what is the result of this 'clever method' underlining that there was not made any serious effort to comply fully to what had been agreed upon when submitting the proposal. The claim of being different (in terms of culture and nationality) and autonomous (as if political authorities together with their experts could act independently from any need to evaluate the project) could articulate itself at times in opposition to what the European Commission wished to see to be realized by projects funded through the Interreg fund. It does come down to the practical reason why this particular project proposal was received positively in the first place and received funds. If due to a promise that certain crucial outcomes for regional development would be realized, then this promise was kept only partially in the case of the LORE project.



by Daniel Varela Suanzes-Carpegna (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(4 December 2000)

Subject: Spatial planning in the EU: TERRA programme

TERRA was one of the programmes adopted in the framework of the innovatory measures regulated by Article 10 of the ERDF Regulation for the period 1994-1999, under which a number of projects were financed in the period 1997-1999. The TERRA programme was conceived, together with the Community initiative Interreg II C, as a laboratory for testing new instruments and methods of spatial planning and evaluating the options proposed by the European Spatial Strategy (ESS).

Can the Commission provide information on the results of TERRA and the conclusions it has drawn from those results, as well as their relationship to and influence on the ESS, especially regarding the outlying maritime regions of Objective 1 as it applies to the existing EU?

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(25 January 2001)

The TERRA programme was conceived as a laboratory for testing new spatial planning approaches and procedures. Various orientations emerged that can serve as guidance for other projects at local, regional, national and Community level, such as the need for new approaches to spatial planning itself, prioritisation of sustainability in local development, the importance of partnership between local people and local administrations, the synergies yielded by interregional cooperation, and development of new instruments such as support observatories for integrated development policies.

A number of TERRA projects involved outlying maritime regions.

The LORE project, coordinated by the local authority for Ikaria in Greece in partnership with Alcamo and Ragusa in Sicily and Iraklio and Magnisia in Greece, permitted establishment and operation of local observatories tasked with setting up a coordination and control mechanism for spatial planning hitherto the province of local authorities and other local agents.

The DIAS project, coordinated by the Cretan regional authority in partnership with Siracusa in Sicily, is concerned with spatial planning focused on protection, management and promotion of the natural environment and cultural heritage of zones displaying common features and problems. Development strategies have been proposed for certain Mediterranean, mountain and coastal zones with great environmental and cultural richness but at serious risk owing to population pressure.

The strategic framework provided by the European Spatial Development Prospective gave the appropriate political context and the necessary orientation to TERRA, which has taught local officials to look beyond the limits of their administrative and geographical responsibility and tackle wider questions. It has confirmed the relevance of the ESDP political options for local action by drawing attention to the problems posed by networking of divergent spatial planning cultures and administrative competences.



Gianniris, Elias - LORE Technical Manager (1999) „The lower edge of regions: Problems and Prospects.“ DG XVI, TERRA Second Annual Meeting, Pori, Finland, 27,28, 29/6/99 http://www.asda.gr/hgianniris/Porien.htm

Marsh, Jesse (2009) “Living Labs and Territorial Innovation”, in: Collaboration and the Knowledge Economy: Issues, Applications, Case Studies Paul Cunningham and Miriam Cunningham (Eds)IOS Press, 2008 Amsterdam ISBN 978-1-58603-924-0

Living Labs and Territorial Innovation

Suanzes-Carpegna, Daniel Varela (PPE-DE) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3754/00 to the Commission. Spatial planning in the EU: TERRA programme. Official Journal 187 E , 03/07/2001 P. 0038 – 0039 http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:92000E3754:EN:HTML

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