Launched in November 2020 by Culture Action Europe, the European Cultural Foundation and Europa Nostra, the latter acting also on behalf of the European Heritage Alliance, the Cultural Deal for Europe campaign asks for culture and cultural heritage to be duly included in the EU’s recovery and funding programmes, its sustainable development strategies, and its relations with the rest of the world.
Thousands of organisations and individuals endorsed the Cultural Deal for Europe campaign alongside the support of 110 European networks. COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdowns gravely affected Europe’s cultural sectors and just when the pandemic seemed to be fading away, Russia invaded Ukraine, bringing suffering to millions of people, with particular consequences for cultural workers as well as arts and heritage organisations.
These unprecedented challenges and unforeseen circumstances call for coordinated and bold actions, from decision-makers and civil society alike: locally, regionally, nationally, across Europe and beyond.
Two years after the launch of the campaign, we are looking back at the achievements, with many issues covered in the new EU Council Work Plan for Culture 2023 -2026, but above all, we see what still needs to be done. An important milestone in this agenda will be the European Parliament elections in 2024, for which we call upon all political parties to include a clear commitment to culture as a key resource for the future of Europe in their election programmes. With much hope and anticipation, we are also looking towards the soon-to-start mid-term review of the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027 of the European Union.
Culture and cultural heritage matter, now more than ever. It matters as a central ingredient to all aspects of the future of Europe, as a fundamental value, both intrinsically and for its potential to strengthen democracy and to create the conditions for a strong creative sector of the economy.
We need a renewed and more ambitious European Cultural Agenda: we need a true Cultural Deal for Europe!