“Culture is rights, culture is freedom (…), and, above all, democracy.” As anticipated in this space, at their informal meeting in Cáceres on 25-26 September, under the Spanish Presidency of the Council, EU Ministers for Culture adopted the Cáceres Declaration, “a commitment to prioritising culture within the European project and across public policies”, recognising it as “an essential public good” and “a global public good,” also in connection with the debate on the post-2030 UN Sustainable Development Agenda.
As a top priority of its Presidency programme until end of this year, Spain has been pioneering among EU peers the initiative to create a new self-standing Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), as called for by a coalition of global cultural networks including Culture Action Europe, via the #Culture2030Goal campaign, and as evoked by UNESCO’s MONDIACULT 2022 final declaration.
“Culture is a right of citizens that public authorities and all individuals have an obligation to safeguard.”, the Declaration reads. It “unites us, connects us and integrates us” and is a proven “source of well-being, wealth and policy for the future.”.\ According to the document signed by the 27 Member States, “commitment to culture, to the freedom of creators, to their rights, to their working conditions, to participation and access, must always be among the objectives of any public authority, because culture defines us and is the path to freer, happier and more tolerant, sustainable and generous societies.”
The Cáceres Declaration follows in the steps of other key Declaration on culture and policy-making, such as the Porto Santo Charter, a 2021 initiative by the Portuguese Presidency of the EU Council, co-created together with the wider cultural community, including Culture Action Europe, which recognises that culture-s are continuous collective creative processes in which all groups of society are involved.