Creative FLIP: Flipping Perspectives – Maximizing Exchange

March 28, 2022, 2:23 pm

The Creative FLIP project partners organised a stakeholder conference entitled Flipping Perspectives – Maximizing Exchange at the LaVallée creative hub in Brussels on March 16, touching upon how resilient Culture and Creative Sectors (CCSs) ecosystems address future societal and economic transformations, the appropriate options to “bounce forward” in view of the post-pandemic experience and what is needed to ensure the rights and fair working conditions of artists and cultural workers and how to involve their voice in decision-making processes. This participatory conference gathered main stakeholders of the CCSs, EU and national policy-makers, networks and intermediary organisations, as well as researchers and experts.

The day opened with welcoming remarks from Sabine Verheyen, Chair of the Committee on Culture and Education of the European Parliament, who referred to the pandemic as a powerful warning to better protect the European CCSs and mentioned the launch of the third phase of i-Portunus, the mobility scheme for cultural professionals and organisations of the EU, with a budget of 21 million euros for the next 3 years. Guillemette Madinier, cultural attaché of France’s Permanent Representation to the EU, mentioned that under the ongoing French Presidency of the Council of the EU (in-office until 30 June), the design of a strategy to support the ecosystem of the CCSs has been initiated with the objective to draw up medium and long term guidelines for the resilience of the sector. Tamas Szucs, Director for Culture, Creativity and Sport of DG EAC, added that the FLIP platform will soon have added functionalities complementing the EU’s own tool with funding sources at the private, regional and national level.

The first panel of the conference entitled “Impuls Intro: Inspiring Directions of Bouncing Forward” was kicked-off by Brigitte Winkler-Komar, Head of Department for Music and Performing Arts of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Arts and Culture, who presented the status of the Austrian Fairness Process that aims to create more fairness in the sector of independent arts and culture as well as to implement fair pay. After a series of preparatory actions and studies on the pay gap since autumn 2020, the program has now entered into a pilot phase. It secured a budget of 6,5 million euros to support fairness in already existing jobs in the sector with hopes to have the capacity to create new jobs in the future. 

Following that presentation, Lisa Lang, Director for EU Affairs & Policy Orchestrator of the European Institute of Technology (EIT) Climate KIC, took the floor to present a Cross-KIC project on the New European Bauhaus (NEB), which will offer online courses to raise awareness on the NEB, support related start-ups and citizen engagement projects as well as organise NEB-Hackathons among other initiatives. This KIC will pave the way for the launch of the Culture and Creative-KIC, a new Knowledge and Innovation Community exploring different perspectives for the involvement of the CCS with the ambition to hit the ground running within a year.

The second and final panel discussion of the day entitled “Flipping Policy Perspectives for the CCS to Bounce Forward” featured a dialogue between policy-makers, stakeholders’ representatives and policy analysts Catherine Magnant, Deputy to the Director and Head of the Cultural Policy Unit of DG EAC, highlighted the achievements of the European Commission in acting fast with a gamut of instruments, such as easing the State Aid regulations allowing countries to subsidise their CCSs freely, extending contracts for Creative Europe and similar projects and introducing the Recovery and Resilience Facility. Heidi Meissnitzer, Co-chair of the Open Method of Coordination (OMC) the currently ongoing Member States experts group on working conditions of artists, on the other hand commented on the OMC process, during which Member States unanimously identified the importance of the topic and worked together with optimism, committing to deliberating on it not only with their ministries of Culture but those of Labor and Social Affairs too, whereas the status of artists, artistic freedom and financing, rose as a major subtopics after the third meeting of the group.

Gabriele Rosana, Policy Director of Culture Action Europe, presented the main findings of the CAE study for the European Parliament on working conditions, as well as of the Voices of Culture brainstorming report on the same subject. He called for the policy-makers to listen to the voices of the CCSs so as to identify the new priorities and enhance the next Work Plan for Culture and, ultimately, see how culture can be included across the policies of the Commission in order to rebalance the sector that has been constrained in a project-based and output-driven environment. These topics feature in main calls of the #CultureDealEU campaign, jointly developed by Culture Action Europe (CAE), the European Cultural Foundation (ECF), and Europa Nostra, also in its capacity as coordinator of the European Heritage Alliance. Last but not least, Sylvia Amann, Creative FLIP Senior Policy Expert, touched upon how the FLIP Team analysed from the very beginning the policy shift and the immediate response on the state and the EU level using the momentum of the crisis to innovate. She also emphasised the importance of foreseeing scenarios and being proactive rather than just resilient to crises. 

In the afternoon, the attendees took part in interactive parallel sessions on the topics of Working Conditions of Non-Standard Workers in the CCS, tools to support CCSIs in finding the right financing opportunities as well as sustainable and resilient cooperation settings for and with the cultural and creative sectors.

Parts of the conference were recorded and broadcasted live for online audiences with the possibility to follow the complete discussions on the YouTube channel of the European Creative Hubs Network.

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