News

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  • 22.07.14 Job Opportunity: European Capital of Culture '16 Donostia, Spain Read more...
  • 18.07.14 JOB OPPORTUNITY Read more...
  • 03.07.14 European Citizens Summit 2014 Read more...
  • 27.06.14 European Cultural Networks call for a strong political mandate for the next Commissioner for culture Read more...
  • 19.06.14 Conference on Creative Europe organised in Berlin on June 27th by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung foundation Read more...
  • 19.06.14 The European Union of Music Competitions for Youth (EMCY) is looking for an Office Manager Read more...
  • 11.06.14 Follow up on the call for the inclusion of culture in the UN sustainable development goals Read more...
  • 23.05.14 CAE’s manifesto received support from Italian and French EP candidates Read more...
  • 22.05.14 Culture Council (20-21 May): recognition of cultural heritage as a key element for a sustainable Europe and confirmation of the cultural exception in the EU-USA negotiations Read more...
  • 07.05.14 EBLIDA runs the « e-read » campaign Read more...
  • 30.04.14 Two exciting internship opportunities at CAE Read more...
  • 30.04.14 Join the call for urgent recognition of culture’s role in development Read more...
  • 29.04.14 Call for students for a film summer course on scenarios making Read more...
  • 24.04.14 Intercult organises a citizens' dialogue in Stockholm Read more...
  • 16.04.14 The Role of Creation in Times of Turbulence Read more...
  • 15.04.14 European cultural networks launch campaign "Go vote! Bring a friend." Read more...
  • 25.03.14 The French version of CAE’s toolkit on European elections 2014 now available Read more...
  • 25.03.14 CAE proposal on measuring well-being Read more...
  • 28.02.14 Culture Action Europe's Newsletter February 2014 now online Read more...
  • 21.02.14 EU ombudsman event: Your wish list for Europe Read more...
  • 19.02.14 Job opportunity at BOZAR Read more...
  • 05.02.14 Call for members: The European Cultural Parliament Youth Network Read more...
  • 29.01.14 UN General Assembly adopts a new Resolution on Culture and Development Read more...
  • 24.01.14 CAE’s political manifesto for the European elections 2014 Read more...
  • 22.01.14 Publication of Dragan Klaic's "Festival in Focus" Read more...
  • 09.01.14 New EENC report: EU-South Korea cultural exchanges Read more...
  • 19.12.13 CAE publishes several reflection papers Read more...
  • 15.12.13 Our Executive Committee Read more...
  • 13.12.13 Handover of the European Year of Citizens 2013 Alliance policy document to the EC and the Council Read more...
  • 11.12.13 First calls for Creative Europe published Read more...
  • 05.12.13 Creative Europe now approved by the Council Read more...
  • 22.11.13 Videos and reports from the Swedish Arts Council's conference "Safe Havens for Artists at Risk – a Nordic Perspective" now online Read more...
  • 19.11.13 Voted today: future global EU budget, future cohesion policy and Creative Europe programme for 2014-2020! Read more...
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  • 12.11.13 How’s Life? 2013. Measuring well-being Read more...
  • 08.11.13 IETM's Manifesto about exchange, discourse and solidarity Read more...
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  • 31.10.13 IETM seeks Communication Officer Read more...
  • 31.10.13 OPEN CALL FOR INCLUSION OF EXPERTS AND ORGANISATIONS IN THE EENC DATABASE Read more...
  • 28.10.13 Call for Papers for the volume “A Life for Tomorrow – Social Transformations in South-East Europe” Read more...
  • 21.10.13 Online survey: Intra-EU cultural mobility and Issues of Social Security and Taxation Read more...
  • 17.10.13 Do not kill culture- Culture Action Europe's first flash mob, Rome, October 15, 2013 Read more...
  • 15.10.13 International Symposium on European Law and Cultural Policies Read more...
  • 14.10.13 The resale right petition: the protection of artists should be the same in different places of the art market Read more...
  • 02.10.13 Gruppo Adnkronos: one of the official media partners of Culture Action Europe's Annual Conference Read more...
  • 01.10.13 9th Congress "Virtual City and Territory" MEMORY CITY PEOPLE Read more...
  • 01.10.13 Tafter: one of the official media partners of Culture Action Europe's Annual Conference Read more...
  • 11.09.13 New job vacancy at BOZAR Read more...
  • 09.09.13 EENC: New Literature Review on the Social and Economic Value of Cultural Heritage Read more...
  • 05.09.13 IAMIC - INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MUSIC INFORMATION CENTRES Annual Meeting and Conference 2013 Read more...
  • 21.08.13 Registrations now open: CAE conference 4-5 October 2013, Rome Read more...
  • 09.07.13 Atelier for Young Festival Managers EDINBURGH 2014: EFA extends application deadline until 10 September 2013 Read more...
  • 02.07.13 Two calls for proposals for Europe- Asia cultural projects Read more...
  • 26.06.13 Open Call for educators and artists on video and citizen journalism Read more...
  • 25.06.13 The first European Citizens’ Summit: bringing Europe back to its people Read more...
  • 21.06.13 Act now for the inclusion of culture in the future Millenium Development Goals Read more...
  • 20.06.13 CAE reacts to the situation in Turkey Read more...
  • 20.06.13 CAE re-opens membership category for individuals! Read more...
  • 18.06.13 Save the date: Culture Action Europe Public Conference and AGM, October 2013, Rome, Italy Read more...
  • 10.06.13 Teatro Valle Occupato: Call for solidarity and support Read more...
  • 07.06.13 EC representation in the UK: Call for proposals for cultural events Read more...
  • 03.06.13 Urgent: Make your voice heard to improve conditions for artists’ mobility now! Read more...
  • 03.06.13 New study on the valuation of works of art for lending and borrowing purposes Read more...
  • 03.06.13 we are more campaign #13 Read more...
  • 28.05.13 Call for ideas: contribute to the European Culture Forum 2013 Read more...
  • 23.05.13 MEPs vote to protect the cultural exception in the EU-USA free trade agreement Read more...
  • 23.05.13 Join Culture Action Europe in the first European Citizens’ Summit ever organised by a cross-sectoral coalition of NGO actors Read more...
  • 16.05.13 The Chair of the EP CULT committee answers to our call in defense of the ‘Creative Europe’ budget Read more...
  • 02.05.13 President of the 'S&D' group in the EP Hannes Swoboda answers to the cultural and creative sectors' concerns about the future budget of Creative Europe Read more...
  • 23.04.13 CAE member VVC celebrates 40 years of cultural centres in Flanders! Read more...
  • 11.04.13 NEMO publishes letter of concern regarding PSI directive on re-use of public sector information Read more...
  • 08.04.13 Letter to President Barroso signed by more than 250 cultural organisations and artists Read more...
  • 05.04.13 URGENT - Funding for Creative Europe needs your action Read more...
  • 19.03.13 CAE reacts to the EC communication on Rethinking Education jointly with the Access to Culture Platform and EUCIS-LLL Read more...
  • 12.03.13 Internships at Platform for Intercultural Europe Read more...
  • 08.03.13 we are more campaign newsletter #12 Read more...
  • 01.03.13 COMIX4 Project Read more...
  • 12.02.13 Culture Action Europe reacts to Council agreement on future EU budget Read more...
  • 05.02.13 Second Letter to EU Heads of State or government Read more...
  • 25.01.13 The Creative Clash Final Conference will take place on 19 March 2013 at the Goethe Institut in Brussels Read more...
  • 20.12.12 we are more campaign #11 Read more...
  • 30.11.12 CAE joined forces with the CSCG in a letter to EU leaders Read more...
  • 21.11.12 Letter to EU Heads of State and Governments on the occasion of the extraordinary EU summit 22-23 November 2012 Read more...
  • 08.11.12 Culture Action Europe values Ms Silvia Costa’s report on Creative Europe and calls on the EU institutions to support the proposed budget increase and to reach a first-reading agreement Read more...
  • 12.10.12 we are more campagin newsletter #10 Read more...
  • 10.10.12 Launch of BOZAR and CAE collaboration Read more...
  • 03.10.12 Culture Action Europe’s Conference and General Assembly ‘Act for culture, act for Europe’ – Brussels 9-11 November 2012 Read more...
  • 03.10.12 New EC communication on "Promoting cultural and creative sectors for growth and jobs in the EU" Read more...
  • 04.09.12 CAE is looking for a new intern Read more...
  • 30.07.12 EFA and its partners of the Access to Culture Platform’s Working Group on Audience Participation call for contributions Read more...
  • 24.07.12 Tandem – Moldova-European Union-Ukraine video now available online! Read more...
  • 23.07.12 we are more campaign newsletter #9 Read more...
  • 18.06.12 Sostenuto – Culture as a factor of economic and social innovation: final press conference Read more...
  • 24.05.12 VIVA IL LIVE! 4.0 and 2nd ARCI ReAL meeting Read more...
  • 22.05.12 European Year of Citizens 2013 Alliance - Manifesto published Read more...
  • 22.05.12 Culture Action Europe values the position adopted by the EU Council of Culture Ministers on the Creative Europe programme Read more...
  • 21.05.12 Festival «art links/l’art crée du lien», on thursday 24th and Friday 25 th in Brussels Read more...
  • 10.05.12 Civil society voices reached the EU Council of Culture Ministers Read more...
  • 30.04.12 'we are more' campaign newsletter #8 Read more...
  • 11.04.12 Banlieues d'Europe organizes a debate on the we are more campaign Read more...
  • 03.04.12 Conference on the role of culture in the inclusion of Roma minorities Read more...
  • 22.03.12 Sign petition to save the only public institution for contemporary dance in Slovenia! Read more...
  • 01.03.12 Warm welcome to our new Secretary General Luca Bergamo! Read more...
  • 22.02.12 'we are more' newsletter #7 Read more...
  • 19.12.11 'we are more' newsletter #6 Read more...
  • 03.10.11 'we are more' newsletter #5 Read more...
  • 16.08.11 Job position at EBLIDA Read more...
  • 07.07.11 'we are more' campagin newsletter #4 2011 special edition on budget is now online Read more...
  • 14.06.11 Artists and social inclusion: A Greens/EFA conference Read more...
  • 26.05.11 'we are more' newsletter #3 Read more...
  • 31.03.11 Summary of the position paper on the Culture Programme Read more...
  • 22.03.11 Remix the docks! Read more...
  • 10.02.11 'we are more' newsletter #2 Read more...
  • 16.12.10 Call for organisations to participate in Cultural Cooperation with Moldova and Ukraine Read more...
  • 09.12.10 'we are more' campaign: demands on the Culture Programme Read more...
  • 09.12.10 'we are more' newsletter #1 Read more...
  • 18.10.10 Culture's contribution to social inclusion Read more...
  • 12.10.10 'we are more' campaign launched! Read more...
  • 22.09.10 Culture Action Europe Newsletter #4 2010 Read more...
  • 22.09.10 Reflections on the challenges facing society today and how culture may offer answers to them Read more...
  • 06.09.10 LabforCulture reports live from the 'Culture and Policies of Change' conference in Brussels Read more...
  • 04.08.10 Members General Assembly and Culture Action Europe Conference 7-9 October 2010 in Brussels Read more...
  • 14.07.10 OMC working group reports have been published Read more...
  • 17.06.10 Culture Action Europe Newsletter #3 2010 Read more...
  • 06.05.10 The Platform for Intercultural Europe is recruting Read more...
  • 14.04.10 Culture Action Europe Newsletter #2 2010 Read more...
  • 12.04.10 The EU 2020 strategy: analysis and perspectives Read more...
  • 31.03.10 Culture Action Europe is looking for a translation intern Read more...
  • 29.03.10 Members’ meetings and policy consultation Read more...
  • 17.03.10 Already 6 new members in 2010! Read more...
  • 10.02.10 Culture Action Europe Newsletter #1 2010 Read more...
  • 10.02.10 Renewed EU commitmment to combating poverty and social exclusion – what perspectives for the Year? Read more...
  • 08.02.10 EP Hearing – Androulla Vassiliou Commisioner-Desginate for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth Read more...
  • 14.01.10 Our contribution to the EC consultation on the future EU 2020 strategy Read more...
  • 11.01.10 Our contribution to the EC consultation on financial regulation Read more...
  • 07.12.09 Culture Action Europe Newsletter #8 Read more...
  • 18.08.09 Post elections analysis – to know more about the composition of the new European Parliament and of the new Culture Committee Read more...
Culture Action Europe Newsletter # 2 - Long
Editorial Print

The sleepy days of summer are well and truly over, and Culture Action Europe is jumping back into the autumn agenda with renewed energy and enthusiasm! Our successful re-brand has given us a renewed determination to tackle the cultural challenges that the coming years will bring. As a result we are working on a programme for the coming years; playing an active role in the EU’s new structured dialogue platforms, engaging with the elections to the European Parliament in 2009 and much more.

This edition of the Culture Action Europe newsletter reflects the variety and range of events and issues that we are following at present. It’s a packed agenda, with many members’ events also taking place over the autumn period.

Right now, the Culture Action office is putting its energies into the final stages of preparation for our 16th Annual Conference in Marseilles. It is going to be challenging and great fun to meet in the Mediterranean city, which has just been confirmed last week as European Capital of Culture for 2013, together with Košice in Slovakia. Please visit the conference website and join us there to make it our best event ever.

Ilona Kish
Secretary General

CULTURE ACTION EUROPE 2008 CONFERENCE


Scène ouverte – European Cultural cooperation across borders

Marseilles, 23-25 October 2008


Our 2008 conference will focus on two issues featuring high up on the European cultural agenda: the place of culture in the external relations of the EU – with a special emphasis on the Euro-Mediterranean area – and the involvement of civil society, and thus of cultural actors, in the development of European policies. By addressing those issues, our ambition remains the same: to continue providing cultural operators with a common arena in which they can reflect on the European project, identify their interests and organise their political voice. Join us in Marseilles for two days of reflection, debate and action!
For more info and to register, visit the conference website.

FEATURE


The Lisbon Treaty – a Culture Action Europe perspective


In June 2008 the Irish voted ‘No’ to the Lisbon Treaty by 53 to 47%, a very convincing margin. We include in this newsletter an overview of the current situation for two reasons. Firstly because the Treaty contained a number of modifications that might impact on the cultural sector. Secondly, the future of the European Union is bound up with the response to the Irish No, and this will have a longer-term impact on the sector’s interests and activities in Europe. To find out more about what it all might mean for your organisation, read on.

This is not the place to debate whether the Lisbon Treaty was the equivalent of a good spring clean of the Union’s administrative attic, or the first step towards an inexorable Super State but we can try to explain the current situation and the likely impact on the cultural sector.

A bit of history first. Lisbon is part of an ongoing process of treaty amendment. Article 48 of the European Union Treaty states that any Member State or the Commission may submit proposals for amending the treaties (The most important Amending treaties have been the Single European Act (1986), the Treaty on European Union (1992), the Treaty of Amsterdam (1997) and the Treaty of Nice (2001).) via an Intergovernmental Conference (IGC). As most informed observers will be aware, the Treaty of Lisbon must be ratified by all Member States in order to enter into force. All European States - except one - decided to deal with the ratification of the Treaty via the National elected parliaments; only Ireland was constitutionally obliged to submit to a referendum.

To the surprise of no one (except it seems Ireland’s politicians), the Treaty was rejected. There is no space here to explain why - as was memorably said on French radio after the Irish No: ‘There wasn’t one Irish no, there were hundreds of different Irish No’s’, most of them contradictory’. The rejection has thrown a spanner in Europe’s administrative machinery and arguably weakened Europe’s voice on the international stage at a moment of great tension and uncertainty. The Treaty is thus in abeyance, although the process of ratification continues in other countries. To date Sweden, Poland and the Czech Republic are in the middle of various complex stages of ratification (or not).

The main changes in the Lisbon Treaty deal with the extension of Qualified Majority Voting, the number of Commissioners, and the twin issues of a Foreign Minister for Europe in international negotiations plus a longer term for the President of the European Council, which currently rotates every six months. These are both matters of bureaucratic convenience (on which it is hard to run a referendum), but also issues of enormous, longer-term political importance, since they go to the heart of what kind of European (and by extension what kind of world) order we want.

What next for Europe and Lisbon?

There are a number of possible options for the future of the Treaty.

1. The countries that have not yet ratified the Treaty might carry on despite the No vote. By the time that process ends, a solution for the Irish "exception" might have been negotiated, with more Irish opt-outs and guarantees on sensitive issues such as neutrality.
2. The EU might carry on as before. The "streamlining" changes, such as the slimmed-down Commission, the new job of EU president and the new post of foreign policy chief, would be put on hold, with negotiations on a replacement Treaty some time in the future.
3. The Lisbon Treaty could be scrapped and a new one created, cherry-picking key parts and repackaging them in a shorter, more comprehensible version. Ireland would then hold another referendum.
4. Countries keen on further EU integration could form an informal club inside the EU and a "two-tier" Europe would develop. That idea has been mooted by Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, Ireland, the UK and a few other countries, which prefer a looser union.

Does it matter to the arts?

The Lisbon Treaty contains a couple of modifications of interest to the cultural sector. Remember, the Maastricht Treaty gave cultural policy its own legal basis for the first time, under article 151, which provides a basis for action aimed at ‘encouraging, supporting and supplementing the activities of the Member States’, while respecting national and regional diversity and at the same time bringing our common cultural heritage to the fore. BUT the principles for intervention by the EU in the field of culture are complementarity and subsidiarity. Any act of harmonisation of legal and regulatory provisions of the Member States is excluded from the scope of Article 151. Also under Maastricht, all cultural measures are agreed by co-decision procedure with unanimity in Council.

Lisbon changes a few things.

1. Firstly, and in the view of Culture Action Europe most importantly, decision making in culture would be treated under Qualified Majority Voting (QMV) as opposed to the current unanimous vote. Obviously this would serve to speed up decision-making processes, but might also lead to a progressive weakening of national veto in cultural affairs, a very sensitive point. But note, there is still no possibility of harmonisation or regulation in the area, so the QMV will apply principally to the format and scope of the funding programmes. Other QMV areas that might possibly have a longer term impact on cultural policy would include Tourism, Setting up a Business, Self employment access rights, Structural and Cohesion funds, Social Security and Intellectual Property rights.

2. A new point was added to the Preamble, specifying that the Treaty draws:
“INSPIRATION from the cultural, religious and humanist inheritance of Europe, from which have developed the universal values of the inviolable and inalienable rights of the human person, freedom, democracy, equality and the rule of law, (…)”

3. More importantly the Second article, at the 3rd paragraph now states that the European Union:
“shall respect its rich cultural and linguistic diversity, and shall ensure that Europe's cultural heritage is safeguarded and enhanced.”

This is important and innovative because none of the earlier treaties included any reference to cultural diversity.

4. The section named “Categories and areas of the Union’s competence”, lists various actions that the EU can take. Here the Treaty enunciates that culture is one of these areas.

5. Article 167 strengthens the role of the European Parliament in the decision process concerning cultural matters. It specifies that:

“The European Parliament and the Council, acting in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 251 and after consulting the Committee of the Regions, shall adopt incentive measures, excluding any harmonisation of the laws and regulations of the Member States. The Council, on a proposal from the Commission shall adopt recommendations.

6. Article 256 a, §2 on the Economic and Social Committee states that:

“The Committee shall consist of representatives of organisations of employers, of the employed, and of other parties representative of civil society, notably in socio-economic, civic, professional and cultural areas. ”

Note that this is the first reference to the cultural organisations as members of civil society in the text. This maybe an important conceptual change for the future.

Culture Action Europe has, broadly speaking, been in favour of the proposed changes, and is only critical that they do not go far enough. Importantly majority voting has been proposed in the cultural field in order to simplify decision making, which the sector itself usually complains is slow, confusing and bureaucratic. Additionally, QMV would undoubtedly make it easier to increase the size of the cultural budget in the future. But nevertheless, the primacy of national policy remains as a corner stone of cultural action in Europe.

European Agenda for Culture


Open Method of Coordination and Structured Dialogue – latest updates


The Member States working groups, on one hand, and of the cultural sector, on the other, have had their very first meetings since the pre-summer official launch of the Open Method of Coordination (OMC) and of the the Structured Dialogue platforms. Even if the working themes of the OMC and those of civil society do not always match perfectly, the representatives of the chosen cultural organisations hope that the process will allow them over time to reinforce the voice of the cultural players in Europe and lead to a better recognition of the claims of these actors by European decision makers.


The Council of Ministers endorsed in November 2007 the European Commission’s proposal to use the Open Method of Coordination in the field of cultural policy. A work plan[.pdf] detailing the areas that will be looked at was then adopted by the same Council in May 2008.

Five working groups, made up of experts nominated by the Member States, have already met or will meet very shortly. These working groups will look at the following issues:

  • The mobility of artists and other cultural professionals
  • Cultural and creative industries
  • Synergies between culture and education
  • The mobility of museum collections
  • Statistics

Each group will have to provide a mid-term report by July 2009 and a final report in 2010. For more information please see the EC Culture portal.

The two new platforms for civil society, set up at the initiative of the European Commission, have also decided to organise their work in thematic sub groups.

The ‘Access to Culture’ Platform has three sub-groups:

  • Creation/production
  • Participation/audience
  • Education/learning

The ‘Cultural and Creative Industries’ Platform has five sub groups:

  • Regulatory environment
  • Support for Small Medium-sized Enterprises development
  • Exchange/export
  • Circulation of works and artists
  • The interface between artistic creation and the cultural industries

For more information and to consult the list of participating organisations, please see the EC Culture portal.


CIVIL SOCIETY PLATFORM FOR INTERCULTURAL DIALOGUE


“Rainbow Paper: Intercultural Dialogue – from practice to policy and back”

Ready for endorsement soon


The participative process in which manifold organisations shaped the voice of European civil society for Intercultural Dialogue is about to present its results: The Rainbow Paper will be on-line for endorsement in a few days’ time. It proposes a 5-step path from intercultural challenges to interculturalism and makes 5 sets of recommendations: on educating and building institutional capacity for Intercultural Dialogue, on monitoring for sustained policies, mobilising across boundaries, and resourcing of Intercultural Dialogue. Watch www.rainbowplatform.org!


Also coming up: Platform General Assembly on 11th November in Stockholm


Organisations ready to endorse the Rainbow Paper will be eligible to become members of the Platform as an association - its legal establishment is underway. The first General Assembly will take place on 11th November in Stockholm. The Platform’s work plan for 2009 will be a key agenda point. Save the date!
The Assembly will take place in conjunction with the Nordic Conference on Intercultural Dialogue, Stockholm, 12-13 November, organised by the Swedish Ministry of Culture. Platform participants are welcome to stay on.


FRENCH PRESIDENCY OF THE EU


More safeguards for cultural property and copyrights high on EU Council Agenda


On 21-22 July, the French Minister for Culture and Communication, Christine Albanel, brought her fellow EU ministers together for an informal meeting in Versailles. The main topic discussed on the first day was the expansion of the ‘European Heritage Label’ from the dozen initiating States to all 27 Members States. Ministers also examined possible joint measures to counter illegal trafficking in cultural property and artifacts, which is perceived as a strong threat to the European Heritage. The second day was entirely devoted to audiovisual affairs: mainly the Telecommunications Package and copyright issues.


The ‘European Heritage label’ was conceived to enhance certain landmarks and key sites of European Heritage. This is done by organising them within a network as to offer improved cultural education and visitor information in different languages whilst promoting European creativity. The longer-term aim is to build a project where all 27 Member States play a role. The goal is to provide Europeans with a better awareness of their common heritage and improve the appeal of Europe as a visitor destination, boosting economic development.

The Ministers stated that differences in national law and limited cooperation between the Member States where being exploited by criminal networks trafficking in cultural artefacts. The Ministers agreed that the European Union could bring an added value to this field. The interconnection of national electronic databases recording stolen cultural artefacts is to be expanded to include all 27 Member States in the next months.

The Ministers for audiovisual affairs discussed the revision of the ‘Telecommunications Package’, the Community's regulatory framework governing electronic communication. The need to retain the balance between economic constraints and public-interest objectives such as media pluralism, cultural and linguistic diversity, and land-use planning was emphasised during the meeting.

The importance of protecting copyright and related rights was reiterated because of the threats posed not only to the future of the creative industries but equally to the electronic operators who are to become the likely distributors of the works. To improve consumer information on copyrights issues regarding internet broadcasts, the Ministers believe that piracy should be targeted as a danger to creativity and cultural diversity. This statement was completed by affirming that to combat piracy a more attractive range of cultural products must be developed in a way that is legally accessible to consumers…

Visit the French presidency official website: www.ue2008.fr


EUROPEAN CAPITALS OF CULTURE


Marseilles and Kosice to be European Capitals of Culture in 2013


Slovakia’s first European Capital of Culture will be Košice, the second largest city after the capital, Bratislava. This victory did not benefit Lyon, the French city with which Košice had formed an unprecedented alliance between candidate cities. In the end, it was the famous Mediterranean hub of Marseilles that was selected by the panel a few days later.

Košice is endowed with a rich history and the city counts on the event to engrave Košice among other well-known cities or regions that are part of European consciousness. The ‘Interface’ project revolves around the transformation of industrial and military zones into a stimulating environment and infrastructure for creative industries. Bringing culture to the city’s periphery and stimulating exchanges between Eastern and Western Europe are the main features of a project that also boasts environmentally sound credentials. The city estimates an increased investment of about 2.4 billion crowns (80 million euro) with regard to project’s implementation, with structural funds accounting for 53%.

Robert Scott, chair of the selection panel, praised the Marseilles project for being remarkably successful in striking the balance between cultural quality, political engagement and economical support. Bernard Latarjet, the head of the Marseilles 2013 team, told French newspaper “Le Monde” that the project starts with: “A very simple idea […] The real cultural issues for Europe are migration, racism, male-female relations, religions and ecology. Marseilles is on the forefront of the fault lines of this planet. There is no more cosmopolitan city to be found. Of the four [French] candidate cities, it needs the label of European cultural capital most and can serve Europe better than the others.”

Košice 2013: www.kosice13.sk
Marseille 2013: www.marseille-provence2013.fr

Following Liverpool and Stavanger (Norway) this year, the next Capitals of Culture will be: Linz (Austria) and Vilnius (Lithuania) in 2009, Essen (Germany), Pécs (Hungary) and Istanbul in 2010, Turku (Finland) and Tallin (Estonia) in 2011.

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT


Latest news from the Committee on Culture and Education

Sessions of the 9-10 September 2008


The Parliamentary Committee adopted in September, amongst other documents, an opinion on the 2009 budget. The committee proposed reinforcing the support for intercultural dialogue and artist mobility. Two pilot projects were also put forward: one on support for Roma Culture and one as regards the implementation of the UNESCO Convention on cultural diversity. The MEPs also held three public hearings on digital on line content, the current work of the Council of Europe and intercultural education.


The ‘back to school’ agenda of the CULT (Education and Culture) Committee was very busy: three opinions to be voted through, three projects to be examined and three public hearings. The relevant information for the cultural sector is included in the opinion on the 2009 budget.

The annual EU budget is adopted after a lengthy and complex procedure involving all three European institutions. First the Commission draws up a pre-budget plan, which is submitted to the European Council. The Council has a first reading on the basis of the pre-budget and sends it to the European Parliament. The Parliament then gives it opinion on the first reading and sends it back to the Council for a second reading. The Council finally has to seek an overall agreement with the Parliament, which can either accept or reject the budget at its second reading.


Upstream of this procedure are the Parliamentary Committee opinions, which serve to prepare the ground for the Parliament’s first reading. Each Parliamentary Committee elaborates an opinion on the budget lines, which relate to their areas of work. Thus, the Education and Culture Committee gives an opinion on all budgetary provisions relating to culture, education, audiovisual, citizenship, youth and new technologies. This opinion is thereafter sent to the Budget Committee, which gathers together all the opinions of the Committees, examines them and based on these views, often with modifications, elaborates a general budget project, which is discussed and then adopted in Plenary Session. This becomes the First Parliamentary Reading.

In their opinion on the 2009 budget the CULT MEPs restated their desire to develop the financial resources and activities in favour of culture, citizenship, education and communication. As regards culture, this commitment translates into an addition to the framework programmes for ‘Educational and life long training’ and ‘Culture’ with the following reference: ‘These actions and programmes should strive to strengthen intercultural dialogue’.


The pilot project for artist mobility also continues to receive the support of the MEPs. In effect they requested in their opinion that the third section (the creation of an artists’ mobility fund) be set up in 2009. Additionally, the opinion proposed two further pilot projects for 2009: ‘Cultural Route of Roma Culture and Heritage’ and ‘EU contribution to the UNESCO Convention on the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions’.


However we need to wait for the Budget Committee response before we know if these proposals have been accepted as they may still be changed, adopted or rejected. Results are scheduled for October.

The MEPs meeting then moved on to interesting exchange of views for the cultural sector. The first concerned digital on-line content and the issue of intellectual property. The Parliament invited two speakers to put forward views on the forthcoming Parliamentary and Council recommendations on ‘creative content on line’, which are the prolongation of the Commission Communication of the 03 January 2008. Mr Vervood, the director general of Buma Stemra, a company which looks after author’s rights in the Netherlands, called on the MEP’s to use the recommendation to counter the previous recommendation of October 2005 that looked at the issue of collective cross-border management of copyright and related rights for legitimate online music services.


Although the first evaluation of the recommendation adopted by the commission showed evidence of a certain positive effect in the on-line music sector, the speaker chose to underline the devastating effect on cultural diversity. In reality, the recommendation permitted the signing of exclusive contracts with three large European companies dealing with authors’ rights. These contracts tend to privilege the more commercial and profitable musical repertoires and may lead to the disappearance of the smaller organisations that deal with authors’ rights. This phenomenon could have negative repercussions on artist remuneration and independent creators, and indeed be a threat to cultural diversity in Europe. Madame Echerer requested that the recommendation allow for more equitable competition between these companies in order to avoid exclusive contracts. She recognised the importance of opening up the market but she also expressed a hope that this liberalisation might be controlled. The MEPs showed lively interest in the debate while recognising the difficulty of actually legislating in the area. The report will be examined during the next Parliamentary Committee.


The second hearing took place in the framework of an agreement between the Presidents of both the European Parliament and the Assembly of the Council of Europe, which aims to reinforce institutional relations. The CULT committee met with three national parliamentarians who sit on the Committee for Culture, Science and Education of the Assembly of the Council of Europe. The three speakers demonstrated how pertinent recent work in their own committee is to the questions being examined in the European Parliament Committee: these include issues such as cultural heritage, intercultural dialogue, education, media etc. Anne Brasseur, president of the Council of Europe Committee, listed a number of projects currently running in the areas of electronic media, artistic education, the teaching of history in conflict zones, funding for radio etc… The national parliamentarians who sit in the Council of Europe Assembly (as well as the MEPs) expressed their pleasure at this joint initiative for closer collaboration between the two institutions, although from a practical point of view the perspectives for closer collaboration are at best uncertain.

The final hearing brought together five experts from intercultural schools all over Europe. In turn they presented their experiences, their vision and examples of best practice in the field. These examples showed the importance of:

  • Favouring a rich cultural mix in class to avoid the creation of ‘ghettoes classes’
  • Ensuring quality teaching, especially in languages
  • Favouring multilingualism and the learning of minority languages
  • Helping the parents of minority language communities to get involved in school life by, for example, teaching them the national language
  • Reforming national educational policies in order to integrate the key principles of intercultural education that are preached at the European level

The challenge for Europe is now to apply these good practices elsewhere in Europe. The European Commission has stated an urgent need for Members States to reform their educational systems in depth so that they can thereafter integrate these kinds of practices.


CIVIL SOCIETY


Economic value of the non-profit sector in European statistic data


The non-profit sector (i.e. civil society organisations, not for profit bodies, charities and associations, including of course the not for profit cultural sector) is growing in most European countries and as a result employs a considerable number of the national workforce in some EU Member States. Despite this, little is known about its contribution to the economy, and overall European statistics for the sector are still hard to find.

The subject was discussed in detail at an EPC-King Baudouin Foundation Policy Dialogue organised in cooperation with the Association of Voluntary Service Organisations (AVSO). The overall message is that “the EU must ‘get serious’ about ensuring that civil society’s economic contribution is recognised and all Member States - and Eurostat - should produce ‘satellite accounts’ to measure its economic value”. Following the above mentioned event, CEDAG and ECAS jointly sent a letter to Commission President Barroso asking the European Commission to ensure that the economic value of the non-profit sector is taken into account and visible in Eurostat and national data. The response from the European Commission remains vague and points at the need for further research in order to establish criteria that could help produce comparable data.

Cultural operators will remember that the same lack of interest (and indeed a lack of developed research tools and expertise) was also the case in the cultural sector for many years. This situation is now being remedied with many European Member States producing detailed research into the economic impact of the cultural sector. In general, it should be noted, that this impact is seen more in terms of the for-profit cultural sector, or the secondary economic impacts on the economy (tourism, jobs etc). At the European level the interest remains focused on the creative industries, partly because their impact is easier to measure.

Report on the Civil Society Contact Group lunch debate

“Financing the EU: where does, could and should the money come from?”


On the 21 May, the Civil Society Contact Group organised in Brussels a NGO lunch debate on the subject of the income sources of the future EU budget. In the context of the EU budget review and the related online public consultation, this debate addressed in an accessible way the central question of resourcing the European project. The Contact Group produced an interesting report on the debate.


An introductory briefing looked at where the EU money currently comes from and what alternative

sources are being discussed. Claire Roumet, Secretary General of the European Liaison Committee for Social Housing (CECODHAS), spoke about the inequality of provision for the most disadvantaged inherent in consumption based tax revenues (otherwise known as Value Added Tax - VAT) instead of wealth-based taxation. Pendo Maro of the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) explained their desire for earmarked environmental taxation. The EEB also proposes to install an Open Method of Coordination (i.e. the best practice exchange and coordination in areas where there is no European competency) in the field of environmental taxation, to respect the great variety of Member State systems.


Cultural organisations might like to note that an improvement to the overall financing of the EU would, in theory, lead to more transparency, and perhaps increased funds for cultural projects. In any case, a better understanding of the financing mechanism of the institutions is an inevitable first step towards a better funding partnership in the future.


Consult the full report of the lunch debate here.

Euractiv policy briefing on the European Elections 2009


Culture Action Europe will be actively following the campaign for the European Parliament Elections in 2009, in order to influence European policy at its coalface. In the meantime, Euractiv has published a comprehensive policy summary on the European Elections 2009.


Euractiv policy summary includes the following chapters:

• 2009 election: With or without the Lisbon Treaty?
• Analysing the decline in voter turnout
• Strategies to re-engage European voters

The EU Civil Society Contact Group is itself currently preparing a European elections toolkit for public interest organisations at local and national level which will outline the European Parliaments composition, powers and working methods, suggest some ideas on how to mobilize voters and engage with candidates.

Find the Euractiv policy summary here.

European Civic Days, 4-6 September, La Rochelle

Mobility, Dialogue, Participation: Towards Active European Citizenship


The European Civic Forum organised a major event in La Rochelle to bring together citizens and association leaders from all over the European Union. The meeting that gathered almost a thousand citizens and association leaders from the 27 Member States was organised with the support of the European Commission as a high-profile event in the "Europe for Citizens" programme.

The three days were full of debates, encounters and ideas. One of the more interesting interventions was by ECAS, whose president gave a challenging speech on the issue of the formal ‘compacts’ or agreements between civil society actors and national governments. ECAS made a powerful case for a more formal European compact, arguing for this as a flexible and enforceable way to clarify expectations and relationships at the European level.

For more information on the meeting: www.civic-forum.eu


MEMBERS’ ITEMS


AEC organizes its Annual Congress 2008 in Denmark


The European Association of Conservatoires (AEC) is preparing its Annual Congress in Denmark this year. The event, which will take place at the Royal Academy of Music in Arhus 6-8 November, will see sessions on the role of research in music academies, the training of instrumental/vocal teachers and internationalization. More information…

PEARLE: action on work permits & visas for European performers in USA


Pearle sent a letter to Vice president Barrot regarding the difficulties for European performers to obtain a work permit and visa if they want to perform in the USA. This is a topic within a framework of actions that Pearle undertakes to facilitate mobility and to draw the attention of the EU to the particularities of the performing arts sector. Read the letter on the Pearle website.


EFA spotlights festivals celebrating intercultural dialogue


The European Festivals Association launched FestFlash. This monthly newsletter highlights exceptional cases of festivals celebrating intercultural dialogue. In Ljubljana, during the opening of the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue, festivals signed a Declaration to engage in the process of enhancing intercultural dialogue. The FestFlash shows how the Arts Festivals’ Declaration on Intercultural Dialogue is brought to life. Read the July issue and the August Issue.


Kunstenaars&Co: building bridges between artists and society


Kunstenaars&CO is a special organisation in the Netherlands. With the law on the income of artists as a starting point, it has grown to becoming an organisation specialised in building bridges between artists and society, a subject near to the EU Cultural policy. Kunstenaars&CO works with artists from all disciplines and has many examples of good practice where art functions as catalyst for change. The link to the description of their work is: www.kunstenaarsenco.nl/english/


Eurozine - The 21st European Meeting of Cultural Journals - “Crosswords x mots croisés”, Paris, 26-29 September 2008


The 21st European Meeting of Cultural Journals is organized by the European network of cultural journals, Eurozine, and its French partners Sens Public, Multitudes and Esprit, in cooperation with Ent'revues. Over a hundred editors and intellectuals from Europe's leading cultural journals will participate in this event and explore themes related to multilingualism in Europe. For further information: www.eurozine.com or www.xwords.fr


HKW presents “African Screens: New Cinemas from Africa”, House of World Cultures, Berlin, 9 October - 9 November 2008


Most fascinating about the new African filmscape is the fact that Africans from every country on the continent now have their say and address audiences across the globe. African Screens presents these current developments and creative visions in contemporary African film. Manthia Diawara, the famous specialist of Afro-American and African Film, is curating the festival. See www.hkw.de.


FUSIC presents: “Ulysses, the discovery of Europe”, a street show in Barcelona on the 19 October at night


Ulysses is open to the participation of all associations, groups and artists linked to the city, from the civic and social fields as well as from the cultural and artistic ones. The event will focus on intercultural dialogue with many immigrant artists. See www.projecteulisses.cat or contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


EMC Music on Troubled Soils, Jerusalem, 23 to 26 October 2007


This conference examines the role of musical activity as a facilitator for intercultural dialogue in troubled social and political circumstances. Concerts and musical presentations - including both Israeli and Palestinian musicians - will introduce to the richness of the music being practised in this region of the world. Guided tours in different sites will allow the participants to discover the actions being carried on in situ. More information.


ELIA Biennial Conference, Gothenburg, 29 October – 1 November 2008


In a time of unprecedented changes in higher arts education, the 10th ELIA Biennial conference will address many major developments and challenges. The programme includes a keynote speech by leading theatre director Peter Sellars, and various symposia (see topics). New to this 10th Biennial are the sessions on fashion, opera & musical theatre, and international relations. The physical centre of the conference will be a tent in the heart of the city that houses the interactive forum.
Go to www.eliabiennial.org or register here.


IETM Autumn Plenary Meeting, Zurich, 6-9 November 2008


The meeting in Zurich will make a contribution to the “European Year of Intercultural Dialogue” by focusing on the theme of “misunderstanding”. Ten theatres invite you to an up-to-date review of the Swiss contemporary theatre and dance scene. Put together by a team of Swiss curators, the “Sélection” provides a broad spectrum of current theatre, dance and performance productions from the German-speaking as well as French-speaking parts of Switzerland. Conference website.

European Jazz Orchestra will be on tour from 18 April to 7 May 2009


EJO will be fronted in 2009 by the legendary Peter Herbolzheimer and will give concerts in Denmark, Poland, Czech Rep., Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania. EJO is supported by the EU-commission and Swinging Europe. The Jazz Producers Network of the European Broadcasting Union has been producing EJO every year since 1998. For more information.


"The Cultural Economy" co-edited by Raj Isar


The Cultural Economy (680 pages), the second volume in the 'Cultures and Globalization Series' co-edited by Culture Action Europe's President, Yudhishthir Raj Isar, has just been published by SAGE Publications. The volume provides a thoughtful and comprehensive international overview of the complex 'cultural industries landscape. For more information, click here.


Region North-Pas de Calais – “Industries, Culture & Innovation”, Tourcoing (France), 12–13 Novembre 2008


The North-Pas de Calais Region organises the conference « Industries, Culture and Innovation » in co-operation with the Relais Culture Europe and Ars Industrialis during the French Presidency period and right before the European Year of Creativity and Innovation, in the National Studio of Arts. The conference will bring together European people from politics and economy in to develop new strategies and interfaces between territories and decision-makers. More information on www.lead-network.org





Culture Action Europe is supported by the European Commission's Culture Programme and the European Cultural Foundation:

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.