2004 EUROPEAN CULTURE AWARD (2004 KulturPreis Europa) GOES TO THE EUROPEAN BROADCASTING UNION (EBU) on the occasion of EUROVISION's 50th jubilee



The 2004 European Culture Award of the KulturForum Europa is themed around the concept of "getting to know old and new neighbours, and understanding them in the context of an enlarged Europe", and the award will go to EBU-UER (European Broadcasting Union) this year - at the 50th Anniversary of the EUROVISION. The award is a commendation for the EBU's "role as an ambassador of culture and in breaking down national frontiers on a cultural level, removing the historical cultural barriers and raising the awareness of European member countries about each other".
The KulturForum Europa announced that "EBU is acknowledged because of its part in building cultural bridges between Western and Eastern Europe, and worldwide, promoting understanding, tolerance and accepting, and bringing people together".

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) is the largest professional association of national broadcasters in the world. The Union has 71 active Members in 52 countries of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, and 46 associate Members in 29 countries further afield. EBU was founded in February 1950 by western European radio and television broadcasters. EBU's largest organization, the "EUROVISION", started in 1954. Later, EBU merged with the OIRT - its counterpart in Eastern Union - in 1993. EBU's network transmits international news (EVN), sports news (EVS), youth programs (YNS) as well as a variety of live broadcasts, sports events and cultural news from Europe to America, Middle East, North Africa and Asia.

2004 European Culture Award of KulturForum Europa will be presented to the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) during the 32nd International Istanbul Music Festival in cooperation with the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts - the recipient of last year's award. The ceremony will take place on June 5th at the Hagia Eirene Museum before the "80th Year Concert" in celebration of the 80th Anniversary of the Turkish Republic. (The venue was formerly announced as the Hagia Sophia Museum) The award ceremony and concert will be broadcast live on TRT.

EBU's Finnish Chairman Arne Wessberg announced that "they are proud of receiving this valuable award" and added: "I cannot think of a better place than Istanbul to symbolize EBU's role as an ambassador of culture and in breaking down national frontiers on a cultural level, removing the historical cultural barriers. Moreover, the date of the award ceremony is a very important day for us, as the ceremony will be on June 5th, 2004, which is only 1 day before the 50th Anniversary of the official foundation of EUROVISION." (More information about EBU at www.ebu.ch)

2003 European Culture Award (KulturPreis Europa) was granted to the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts "for helping in the past 30 years to build understanding, tolerance and trust between the East and the West, Islam and Christianity, through works of culture and the arts". Founded in 1992 under the coordination of the German Foreign Secretary, Mr. Hans Dietrich Genscher, the KulturForum Europa includes Europe's leading politicians, artists and opinion leaders