Wrapping up 2022 and looking to the future

December 23, 2022, 9:59 am

It is this time of the year again when days get short and lakes freeze in some parts of Europe. When, if not now, is the best moment to slow down and look back at what we have achieved in 2022?

Looking back at 2022

As another year full of actions, joint advocacy, encounters, smiles and hugs draws to an end, we wish to highlight some of Culture Action Europe’s major achievements in 2022.

In January 2022, as an outcome of our one-year project “Engaging with SWANA cultural agents in the EU”, Culture Action Europe published a research paper “In search of equal partners: On being a SWANA artist and cultural worker in the EU.” It reveals particular circumstances, realities and patterns of SWANA artists and cultural workers residing in the EU and determines which are the main challenges to living a fulfilling professional life as well as cooperating with other EU peers. 

Our work to put culture at the centre of Europe’s future continued with the #CulturalDealEU campaign. With our partners, the European Cultural Foundation and Europa Nostra, we hosted another edition of our Policy Conversation. Did you miss it?  Watch it here again. 

We stand firm in solidarity with Ukraine! Together with the #CulturalDealEU initiators, we sent a letter to the EU institutions and national governments, with an urgent plea to demonstrate a Culture of Solidarity with cultural actors in Ukraine. The #CulturalDealEU campaign was also present at the exchange of views, organised by the CULT committee in the European Parliament on “Culture in Times of Crisis – Cultural Solidarity in Support of Ukraine and Beyond.” Culture Action Europe has also created a support page for the Ukrainian cultural stakeholders collecting resources, opportunities, campaigns across Europe. 

2022 was the year to celebrate and challenge our shared values of equity, democracy, diversity and inclusion. The closing of our “Amplify: Make the Future of Europe Yours” project was a hybrid, pan-European event to mark the Europe Day ‘22. Taking place in Brussels, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Athens, Madrid, Copenhagen, Lisbon, Gdansk, Veszprém, it brought policy-makers, artists and cultural operators in conversation about the Future of Europe. We thank all our members, project partners and participants who supported this process!

Our joint advocacy work around the EU Council’s Work Plan For Culture has also been successful. Many of the proposals of the Culture Action Europe members, which were shared with Member States during a dedicated workshop in July,  have made it to the final document. The Work Plan is the main policy roadmap to align cultural policies across the EU.

Culture Action Europe now represents almost 200 members. In 2022, 35 new members joined our network. Our new members are coming from Austria, Belgium, Caribbean Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, Finland, France, Italy, Latvia, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Slovakia, Ukraine, UK and the USA. We welcome them warmly to our community!

We are very proud of our new identity too! We hope you enjoy our refreshed look the way we do! 

After three years of the Covid-induced pause, we finally got together at our Beyond the Obvious conference. Culturopolis: International Days on Cultural Rights brought over 800 participants from across the globe to Barcelona. Four days of thought-provoking debates, project and academic paper presentations, hands-on workshops and an amazing cultural program was held from 16 to 19 November and brought over 90 Culture Action Europe members together. It was fantastic seeing you all again!!

Last, but certainly not least, we have proudly made the CultureForHealth scoping review report available for the public during an online launch, facilitated by our new friend, a puppet Doctor Kultura. The Culture for Health project has also been present on high level policy roundtables in the European Parliament on Culture: a driver for health and wellbeing in the EU and on Raising Citizens’ awareness on the importance of culture in the EU, at the WHO and at the EU Council Cultural Affairs Committee. Our work on this topic is quickly gaining momentum, stay tuned, more to follow in 2023!

Looking ahead to 2023

All these actions carried out by Culture Action Europe were led by our Secretary General Tere Badia, who has been at the steering wheel of the network over the last five years. Under her amazing leadership, the network has grown and consolidated even more! As of 1 January 2023, Tere is handing off her baton to Lars Ebert. We want to thank Tere for her dedication, intelligence, friendship and humour and we are looking forward to working with Lars to put culture at the heart of public debate and decision-making. 

We are also heading into 2023 with a newly-funded project Pop the Vote: Culture on the ballot. Supported by the European Parliament, it aims to encourage active engagement of European citizens around the European Elections 2024 through culture. The project will kick off in Spring 2023; you will be hearing about it more!

More exciting updates from Culture Action Europe will come in 2023. For now, we would like to thank you for being with us throughout this year, for your continuous support, expertise, friendship, (virtual) smiles and occasional “in-person” hugs. We are impatient to see you all in the new year.

We wish you a culture-filled 2023!

The CAE Team


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