After adopting our new name and launching a new website, we are proud to send you the first edition of the new Culture Action Europe newsletter!
Following the same themes as our rebrand (i.e. accessibility and engagement), we are going to develop the Newsletter tool further, to make sure that all actors of the European cultural scene keep up to speed with the relevant European cultural debates and are given the necessary information to make a difference at policy level. Our newsletter is a natural complement to our website so don’t hesitate to surf on culturactioneurope.org regularly - consult our glossary, read our news and follow our latest advocacy actions.
Here’s to keeping the discussion going with you!
The Culture Action Europe team
23-25 October 2008 - Save the date!
Culture Action Europe/ EFAH invites you to Marseille…
We are happy to announce that our 16th General Assembly and Annual conference will take place at la Friche Belle de Mai in Marseille from the 23rd to the 25th of October. With the support of key local institutional and cultural partners, we hope to bring some central European cultural debates to the Mediterranean and broaden all of our horizons: the discussion will turn around the question of how can we deepen the European cultural conversation to involve all actors concerned, as well as our Southern neighbours? An early outline of the conference topic is available on our website. Look out for further practical information to be published soon (registrations will open in August).
European Agenda For Culture
The EU Ministers of Culture detail their work plan and refine the OMC calendar
The Education, Youth and Culture Council met in Brussels on the 21st and 22nd May. Under the chairmanship of Mr Simoniti, Slovenian Culture Minister, the Council adopted conclusions on intercultural competences and detailed its work plan 2008-2010, giving a clearer overview of the different working groups and the timeline of the Open Method of Coordination, intended to enhance the Member States intergovernmental collaboration in the cultural policy field. Now that the work plan has been published, all civil society actors are hoping that it will be implemented in a transparent way!
Two new thematic civil society platforms on ‘access to culture’ and the ‘creative industries’ constituted under European Commission auspices
Following a call for expressions of interest, the European Commission selected 39 and 33 organisations respectively to participate in the constitutive meetings of these platforms. Only non-governmental cultural organisations with a trans-national or European dimension qualified. The Commission had set very clear goal posts: the governing structure of both platforms had to be decided by the end of the respective meeting as well as the main thematic areas to be addressed by each Platform.
INTERCULTURAL DIALOGUE AND THE RAINBOW PLATFORM
The Rainbow Platform meeting on 4th June 2008
The 4th of June was an important day for the Civil Society Platform for Intercultural Dialogue.
Around 70 civil society organisation representatives from all over Europe gathered to consider and develop the results of the on-line consultation on Rainbow Paper II. The day centred on working group sessions with expert facilitators and rapporteurs and resulted in a sharpening of the text of Rainbow Paper II. The rich input from the on-line consultation (25 April – 13 June) and from the meeting is now in the hands of a final editor. The final paper is due to undergo a sign-up process before delivering it at the closing event of the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue.
300 European cultural operators in search for a share of 45 mio Euro for 2008
In a first of two infodays on the EU Culture programme and its 2008 implementation year, the European Commission reminded of the EU cultural policy context, the objectives of the programme and its different support strands. Director for Culture, Vladimir Sucha, prefaced the technical explanations of the day with an appeal to everyone to match their interest in funding with an interest and investment in European cultural policy development. News about improvements to the application and selection procedures were then on offer.
The European Commission has assigned a study on the contribution of culture to individual and collective creativity to KEA (Kern European Affairs). The study will focus on ways to promote the specific role of creators and creative industries in fostering individual creativity and social innovation. Policy recommendations based on the research are to be included in the report due in February 2009, at the beginning of the European Year of Creativity and Innovation.
The Commission organised a public hearing on multilingualism in Brussels on the 15th April. Following a public on line consultation last autumn, the meeting allowed the Commission to collect some new contributions and to present a specially commissioned report from a group of leading thinkers., The participants put forward their opinions on the economic, educational, social and cultural dimension of languages in the course of a number of workshops during the day.
During their most recent meetings, European Parliamentarians on the Committee discussed subjects ranging from multilingualism, to media issues and university exchanges, but stayed away from the arts and culture. In May and June they did however touch on two very important technical subjects: the 2009 budget and the role of the Parliament in the programmes for which the EP Culture Committee has a competence.
The role of creativity in local development (both social and economic) was discussed on the 17th of April in a conference organised by Gisela Kallenbach (Germany, Greens) Representatives from Amsterdam, Bologna, Leipzig and Lille - all very different cities - identified a number of common themes such as: a rich cultural heritage resource, an actively engaged public sector, the support of the private sector and a strong regional cultural fabric.
A wave of protest by Czech artists and intellectuals has recently been successful in changing the city’s cultural policy. Milan Richter, Councillor for Culture and Tourism, had the controversial idea of subsidising the city’s theatres according to the number of tickets they sell. But the system, introduced in November 2007, led to a minor rebellion in the Czech arts world. Non-commercial theatres, art galleries and others complained they would go out of business within months if starved of state grants. A petition followed signed by 30,000 people, public demonstrations and even a noisy sit in at Prague City Hall.
The role of civil society in the implementation of the Convention on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions
On 23 June, the first meeting between civil society organisations and the parties to the Convention on the Protection and Protection of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions was held at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris. This informal meeting, preceding one by the intergovernmental committee, looked into the possible role of civil society organisations in the promotion and implementation of the Convention, their participation in the activities of the different Convention bodies as well as their contribution to the future international fund for cultural diversity.
For more information on the meeting