Culture Action Europe Newsletter # 5 - April 2009. Making culture matter.
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La version française ci-dessous.
European platforms such as Culture Action Europe are always frustrated by the distance between the agenda of what often seems like the distant EU bubble and the daily reality of the artists and cultural operators we work with. Nothing brings this more into stark relief than the approach of the elections to the EU Parliament. With voter participation predicted to be at an all time low (less than 34% of eligible voters) that distance seems to be increasing, not diminishing.
In the next twelve months, the shape of the EU will be dramatically altered as a new Parliament is formed; a new Commission is put in place and, in particular, if the Lisbon Treaty is adopted.
Culture Action Europe continues to defend and promote a Europe where artists and creators can move freely, develop trans-national co-operation and create work of imagination and inspiration across the EU. As the Member States of the EU face huge economic and social challenges, the cultural sector needs to be more present, not less, in its contribution to determining the direction that the EU will take for the next 10 years. The Lisbon agenda of ‘growth and job’ will be reviewed in 2010, and if the Lisbon objectives are renewed, the cultural sector may find it even more challenging to defend its intrinsic, social and human value. The vision of a EU agenda for sustainable development where cultural and artistic expressions are supported as a fundamental component is one that Culture Action Europe is fighting for.
The EU elections may be an unattractive route to making our voices heard, but we need an engaged, and ambitious EU Parliament and Culture Committee, as one important step to close the gap between the reality of European cultural operators and the changing European Union.
EU-ACP cultural relations: “An ambitious roadmap for progress”
On 2-3 April 2009, the EC organised an international colloquium entitled Culture and Creativity: Vectors for Development in Brussels. The event gathered over 500 participants from Europe and the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries. Jordi Balta, Project Coordinator at Interarts Foundation, reports on the event and puts into perspective the changing perception of the relevance of culture to development policies.
Read the article
European agenda for culture
See you in Brussels in the fall!
Preparations are under way for the next European Cultural Forum to take place in Brussels on 29-30 September 2009. Structured around the three objectives of the European Agenda for Culture, the discussions will take stock of the progress to date and challenges for the future. Many satellite events will take place around the time of this big European gathering, including Culture Action Europe’s, so be sure to mark those dates in your calendars.
Structured dialogue platforms
Civil society organisations which have been selected to develop common recommendations on the topics of the cultural industries and access to culture keep up the good work. Next to their policy discussions which will result in public policy papers, the three structured dialogue platforms were consulted by DG EAC for inputs on the upcoming Cultural Forum. Dates for the next plenaries of the platforms are set: 8, 9 and 10 June 2009.
Last session before the European elections
The agendas of the last meetings of the current legislature of the Education and Culture Committee were packed: adoption of reports, a public hearing on the role of public broadcasters, and exchanges of views with two Commissioners: Viviane Reding (Information Society and Media – speech here) and Jan Figel’ (Education, Training, Culture and Youth – speech here). For more details, consult the newsletter of the Committee or its website.
Recommendations to improve information provision on mobility
Commissioned by DG EAC as part of the 2008-2009 pilot project on artistic mobility, a feasibility study on information systems to support mobility of artists and cultural professionals has just been published. Considering the ‘diverse and complex characteristics of the cultural sector’ the study does not recommend ‘a single information system approach to solve all the needs’ but the reinforcement and better coordination of existing resources at European, stakeholder and national levels.
Matching funds for existing organisations or projects supporting mobility
Another strand of the pilot project on mobility is a call for proposals launched beginning of March by the Executive Agency. The objective of this call is to fund operational costs of existing mobility funds, programmes or schemes for artists and cultural professionals on a matching basis. The deadline for application is 15 May, and you can find additional information here.
Info Days on the Culture Programme touring Europe
The European Commission and the Executive Agency are organising ‘decentralised’ Info Days on the Culture Programme next 15 May in Barcelona and 29 May in Vilnius. Programme and registrations are available online. But those of you based in Brussels should not worry as a session is also foreseen in the Charlemagne building on 11 June!
Brussels – Capital of Europe (?)
A civil society initiative to give to Brussels the cultural policy it deserves
The platforms gathering the French (Réseau des arts à Bruxelles) and Flemish (Brussels Kunstenoverleg) artistic operators in Brussels, launched last year an ambitious project: developing a comprehensive cultural plan for their city, which would go beyond the artificial divides incurred by the regional approaches to cultural policies in Belgium. In this context Culture Action Europe is taking part in the reflection around the European dimension of Brussels’ cultural policy. Stay tuned for more info in the months to come!
Copyrights and creativity
The future of intellectual property – what role for the EU?
On 23 and 24 April 2009 – and in the context of the European Year of Innovation and Creativity, the European Union National Institutes for Culture organised in Brussels a conference on the key and controversial issue of copyrights in the digital era. Among interesting debates, the coordinating role of the EU was also addressed. To know more visit the conference website.
Amateurs, what’s in a name?
On March 20th, Culture Action Europe Secretary-General attended a seminar organised by member Kunstfactor – the Dutch association for amateur arts, to review progress of the development of Amateo, the European network for Amateur Arts, as well as to debate on perceptions and uses of the terms amateur, non-professional, community-based and other formulations. How to promote and present this important sector of artistic activity and what policy areas to engage in are questions for the future of this network.
European citizens’ consultation
A number of initiatives have been launched to engage the opinions of citizens on the EU project. The European Citizens Consultation is an example of a more involved exercise on the part of the EU in an attempt to encourage voter participation in the upcoming European elections. Voter participation in the June elections is predicted to be at an all time low.
Do you want to talk to Barroso?
Another more ‘personalised’ approach to citizens’ consultation is the Tell Barroso site. “How can the EU improve your life?” is the opening question. Connecting with citizens remains a constant challenge for the EU. US president Obama’s campaign success with social networking sites has yet to be matched by the EU president with only 600 members so far joined up to the facebook group linked to the site.
NGOs getting the focus right
After the EU elections, the Irish referendum, and the appointment of a new Commission, the meeting of Heads of States at the Spring Summit 2010 will be a key moment for defining the future direction of the EU. Several large scale social and environmental NGOs have joined forces to launch a Spring Alliance to influence the outcomes of this summit, becoming even more important as the 2010 deadline of the ‘growth and jobs’ targets of the Lisbon Agenda rapidly approaches. Will the EU adopt a more social and sustainable Europe for its next phase of development?
L’Europe, c’est quoi pour vous?
Following on from Lille Capital of Culture 2004, the ambitious Lille 3000 project is now running. Perhaps the more arts-based approach of gathering citizens’ voices has something to offer? We particularly liked this collage of opinions from visitors to the to EUXXL festival.
MEET OUR EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE ›››
Passionate and committed
The Executive Committee of Culture Action Europe met in Brussels for its first meeting this year: 12 individuals elected from amongst the Culture Action Europe’s membership, with a diverse range of experience and practice. Passionate and committed to promoting the arts and culture in Europe, they give their time and expertise to the service of the organisation and its members.
BECOME A MEMBER ›››
Culture Action Europe is about how to make Europe work for the arts!
We are a European level advocacy organisation representing the interests of thousands of artists and cultural organisations.
With so many voices fighting to be heard in Brussels, it is essential that the not-for-profit cultural sector also makes its voice heard for European cultural policy and funding.
Membership is open to any cultural organisation (at local, regional, national or European level), which wants to find out what’s happening to culture in Europe and get involved in European cultural affairs. Culture Action Europe brings together members from the fields of theatre, dance, music, visual arts, socio-cultural work, arts management, cultural training and information provision, etc. in the belief that cultural cooperation matters in Europe. Why Join?
MEMBERS’ ITEMS ›››
Creative Residencies Project
JEUNESSES MUSICALES INTERNATIONALES
“El Sistema” imported to Europe
EUROPEAN FESTIVALS ASSOCIATION
EFA on the road: a platform for Training, Intercultural Dialogue and Creativity
Course on The Art of Creating A European Project, 14-15 May, Stockholm
HAUS DER KULTUREN DER WELT
Beyond Multiculturalism? Envisioning the Immigration Society, 4-6 June, 2009, Berlin
Networking at the highest level
Creativity and innovation in the European cities
INTERNATIONAL CULTURAL CENTRE - KRAKOW
Two educational programmes in the summer
EUROPEAN JAZZ ORCHESTRA
Legendary Peter Herbolzheimer fronts EJO in 2009
Culture Action Europe is supported by the European Commission's Culture Programme and the European Cultural Foundation:
Culture Action Europe is funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views of Culture Action Europe and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
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