What can culture do for the development of South East Europe?

At the beginning of this month (Dec. 1999) there was a meeting of artists, publishers, media and promotors in Sarajevo with the question 'What can culture do for the development of South East Europe?' Unfortunalety POO got the invitation several days after the meeting happenened (how typical).
We got some reports though and the meeting was above all theoretical in which the example of NorthRhein Westfalen, which changed from an area with heavy industries to an area where culture and media became the biggest industry, was mentioned. Theory because in my point of view this example is not connected with this region at all; most young artists left the country, there is no money and no middleclass to support free marked economy culture and politicians are not prepared to support free culture. Their main focus is the very limited spectrum of state controlled culture, often connected with nationalistic ideology or an anarchonistic understanding of arts.
So what brought this meeting? There was a statement of Melentie Pandolovski, a art historian from Skopje, who said that arts should be supported through the NGO's still active in this region. Also agreement was found easily on the statement that young artists, specially musicians, continued to maintain bordercrossing activities throughout the years. But these groups often come from the underground scene and therefor never got supported by local authorities and seldom by international organizations.
Also a workgroup was established with the intention to connect all artists in the Balkan region.

This group (Balkan Arts Network) made their own webpages which you can see at at http://zayak.scca.org.mk/ban
The Sarajevo branch could be found at http://www.soros.org.ba/scca