Europe of Culture: join our reflection exercise

President Junker presented White Paper on the future of Europe in European Parliament Wednesday, March 1st. In this White Paper, he presents 5 possible scenarios for the EU’s future. They range from:

  • continuing as the EU is functioning now,
  • downscaling the European project (back) to an economic union,
  • focusing only on what seems to ‘work’,
  • a multi-speed Europe, or on
  • doing much more together.

We greatly regret that culture is mentioned in none. Yet Culture Action Europe welcomes the fact that Mr Junker takes initiative in times when decision makers seem paralysed and reactive at most. These scenarios, the reaction of policy makers at all levels and public opinion will be determining for the future of our continent.

We as the culture sector and as European citizens must lead a discussion that can support work on a scenario that can guide us into a sustainable future of the European project. It is this project which has brought us the longest period of peace and prosperity in the history of our otherwise war-stricken continent. It will also help to position Europe in the global arena- as distinctly European and yet conscious of our role in the world.

But what can the culture sector’s position be? Is a joint position possible?

In the current context, we strongly feel that it is not the time to issue a general, however well crafted statement on the importance and contribution of culture and the arts to our societies. That would be too easy.

What do we mean when we say we want arts, culture and education at the heart of the European Union? And how exactly could this be implemented?

Culture Action Europe therefore calls on its members and friends, convinced of the key role arts and culture can and should play in Europe, to join us in developing our Europe of Culture. Artists, networkers, cultural players, researchers, policy makers alike will come together to create a possible alternative. We wish to concretely devise a viable new scenario.

We will be organising a series of meetings and public debates (face-to face and online) to develop a body of arguments that will help policy makers to make a wise choice and support a strong role for culture (arts and education) in it. If useful, we will be coordinating with other civil society organisations.

Should you be interested in joining us in this endeavor, please write back to us at 

The process has been designed to be inclusive and open to all through different mediums. Find out more about the roadmap here.

March 16, 2017, 4:40 pm