Ten years after the adoption of the Agenda for Culture in 2007, a new European reality calls for its urgent revision. There is a growing recognition by Member States and European institutions of the contribution of culture to the progress of the European Union. In times of accelerated economic and social change, culture can play an important role in overcoming common challenges and allowing Europe to stride into the future.
Culture Action Europe calls on the European institutions and Member States to:
1. Future-proof the Agenda for Culture by providing a flexible framework taking into consideration the cultural ecosystem as a whole, moving beyond narrow dichotomies such as for-profit and not-for-profit, digital and analogue or heritage and contemporary creation.
2. Ensure a balanced approach between priorities, giving equal importance to the social, economic and cultural domains.
3. Foster synergies across cultural sectors and policy fields given the multidimensional nature of the challenges ahead, the increasing hybridisation of practices and the blurring of boundaries in favour of cross-sectoral cooperation and exchange.
4. Recognise the relevance of the objectives included in the 2007 Agenda for Culture and the emergence of new cross-cutting developments that require urgent and ambitious action. In particular, the new Agenda for Culture should strive to:
4.1. Safeguard cultural rights and freedom of artistic expression as principles of EU action in the cultural field and promote cultural participation given its recognised impact on democratic attitudes and values;
4.2. Enhance synergies between education and culture in formal and non-formal domains for European citizens and cultural actors alike, including a lifelong learning approach to develop cultural and creative skills and the human-centred competences necessary in the future, especially as a result of the digital shift;
4.3. Give a holistic response to the emergence of new cultural diversities by retaining and enhancing intercultural dialogue and mobility of cultural actors and works within Europe and beyond; and pursuing a fresh approach to cohesion policy focused on social innovation and community actions;
4.4. Promote the anchoring of culture as an integral part of the European Research and Innovation policy due to its contribution to tackling societal challenges, inform the digital transition, and fostering innovation, growth and jobs;
4.5. Advance on the implementation of the ‘Strategy for international cultural relations’ in response to the growing global polarisation, promoting mobility of cultural operators through adequate visa systems and schemes;
5. Facilitate access to European cultural programmes for cultural organisations of all sizes, particularly small cultural operators.
6. Ensure sustainable and increased financial support for the new Agenda for Culture in the post-2020 MFF in order to guarantee that the EU added value of culture can be realised.
7. Foster new approaches to data collection given that a new divide is emerging between the public sector, increasingly poor in data and information, and the information-rich digital operators.
Culture Action Europe thanks its members, who contributed their ideas to the formation of these points.