EUROPEAN CITIZENS AND CULTURAL ACTORS SAY: “SUPPORTING CULTURE IS SUPPORTING EUROPE!”
Culture is the foundation of European unity, underpinning our sense of belonging to a common project. It constitutes an enormous economic asset, enhances community cohesion, intercultural understanding and solidarity. Culture promotes democratic participation; in times of growing polarisation and challenges to freedom of expression, safeguarding artistic freedom and diversity is crucial. Therefore, culture needs a proper financial commitment to ensure the sustainability of the European project.
Strong evidence exists on the impacts of culture across EU policy fields. “The Value and Values of Culture” impact review has substantiated “20 reasons why” culture merits financial support in the next 2020 EU budget. The multifaceted nature of EU cultural action requires a robust stand-alone cultural programme and an acknowledgement of cultural cross-overs with other fields of EU action.
Concerned European citizens, cultural operators, artists, policy-makers, researchers, and students have already supported Culture Action Europe’s campaign calling on the European Commission to recognise the EU added value of cultural investment, by:
- Doubling the budget available for culture in absolute terms, given that the current EU programme dedicated to culture is over-subscribed and suffers from severe under-investment, despite its proven efficacy and relevance.
- Ensuring that 1% of the budget of each EU policy field is allocated to culture given its positive impact on health and well-being, social cohesion and equality, education, promotion of democratic principles, external relations, alongside with growth and jobs, research and innovation.
The European Commission proposed a new Agenda for Culture on 22 May and a new Creative Europe programme for the 2021-2027 cycle on 30 May. They set ambitious objectives for culture in the social domain, as well as in the area of external relations and the economy. These agendas tackle key challenges for the future, such as the digital transition, the need to build synergies between culture, education and R+D+i, all crucial areas to ensure the common European assets of tomorrow. Proper funding is required to fund this new approach. In addition, current priorities are chronically underfunded, as shown in mid-term evaluation of the Creative Europe programme (2014-2020) published on 30 April. Thus, a double increase of the next Creative Europe programme is necessary to achieve EU added value and the desired impact in both current and future areas of EU action.
Building on Culture Action Europe MFF position, we strongly support sectoral initiatives, such as the open letter signed by 70 organisations from across Europe’s cultural and creative sectors sent to President Juncker and the position put forward by IETM calling for an EU programme for culture in the post-2020 cycle with strengthened financial allocation and, at least, a double budget increase.
President of Amateo, European network for Active Participation in Cultural Activities and member of Culture Action Europe
Amateo – European Network for Active Participation in Cultural Activities
Amateo is the European Network for Active Participation in Cultural Activities that serves and promotes people’s participation in the voluntary and amateur arts. Founded in 2008 it includes today more then 30 national and regional umbrellas and associations from EU member states and programme countries. Amateo sees active participation in the arts as a core value for a free and open society as enshrined in Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Active participation in arts and cultural activities empowers individuals to freely express themselves and promotes cultural cohesion, social inclusion and active citizenship with an added value for humanistic and democratic values.
Arts Takes Part, supported by Creative Europe and Amateo member organisations, is a unique and exciting new project being undertaken by Amateo. It will help to strengthen the organisations involved in this work, grow the network and offer training, knowledge exchange and events. In the process it will raise the profile of the participatory arts and the important impact that has on people’s lives.
Culture Action Europe (CAE)
Culture Action Europe (CAE) is the major European network of cultural organisations, artists, activists, academics and policy-makers. CAE is the first port of call for informed opinion and debate about arts and cultural policy in Europe.
As the only cross-sectoral network, we represent all sub-sectors in culture: from performing arts, literature, visual arts, design and cross-arts initiatives to community centres and activist groups.
Culture Action Europe aims to put culture at the heart of public debate and decision-making by raising awareness of the contribution of culture to the development of sustainable and inclusive societies.
To achieve this aim, Culture Action Europe organises cross-sectoral conferences and workshops, online debates and offline high level panels. We explore, aggregate and disseminate cross-sectoral knowledge, build the capacity of cultural operators and advocate for a better cultural policy for EU citizens and the cultural sector.