Our history

Culture Action Europe was set up under the name European Forum for the Arts and Heritage (EFAH) back in 1992. We have been actively working on European cultural policy issues since then. We have immediate access to EU decision makers and we are widely recognised as a unique resource of expertise on the EU and its cultural policy. The EU institutions see CAE as the first port of call for informed opinion and debate about arts and cultural policy in Europe. We are the biggest umbrella organisation representing the cultural sector at the European level.


history 2015 - 2016



history 2012 - 2014
  • Beyond the Obvious 2014’ Forum, (22nd General Assembly and International Conference, NewcastleGateshead, UK).
  • CAE membership and board is open to individual members.
  • CAE releases new reflection papers on Culture and … wellbeing, sustainable cities, external relations, welfare for cultural atipical workers.
  • Negotiations to amend Creative Europe and Structural funds legal basis. Several amendments adopted. Advocacy to defend the budget increase for Creative Europe.
  • It is not a crisis, it is a transition’ Forum, 21st General Assembly and International Conference, Rome, IT).
  • Adoption of the new statute’ Forum.
  • CAE community reacts’ Forum to the  EC proposals for the period 2014-2020 on Culture and Structural Funds.
  • Act for culture, act for Europe 20th General Assembly and International Conference in Brussels, BE).
  • Act for culture, act for Europe 20th General Assembly and International Conference in Brussels, BE).
  • Setting up of Arts, Rights, Justice, ARJ (2012), an independent cross-sector working group, under the framework of the civil society dialogue platform “Access to Culture”.
  • ARJ working under the framework of Culture Action Europe (CAE) and powered by CAE for the period 2014-2016.



History 2004 - 2011
  • Europe-wide arts advocacy campaign “we are more – act for culture in Europe” in strategic partnership with the European Cultural Foundation
  • CAE sits on the steering groups of the three ‘structured dialogue platforms’ initiated by the European Commission as a follow up to the adoption of the European Agenda for Culture.
  • EFAH becomes Culture Action Europe: the new name, website and visual identity are launched.
  • Creation of the Civil Society Platform for Intercultural Dialogue (joint EFAH/ECF initiative)
  • The “70 cents for Culture campaign to increase the EU’s culture
    budget from roughly 7 cents per citizen per year to 70 in the 2007-2013
    Culture Programme.
  • EFAH joined the Civil Society Contact Group. This was also the year that the Parliamentary platform and toolkit was issued.
  • EFAH represents the culture sector within the Liaison Group set up by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) to interact with European civil society organisations and networks.



History 1999 - 2003
  • EFAH / CAEs report on the state of cultural cooperation in Europe, a description and analysis of the current situation, as well as of present and future trends in cultural cooperation.
  • Report on Cultural NGOs and the EU Institutional Reform, evaluation and future perspectives.
  • Policy dialogue organised by EPC, ECF and EFAH: Cultural issues in the future EU Constitutional Treaty.
  • 10th General Assembly and International Conference “Probing the stalemate: bringing Culture back to the European Agenda” (Ljubljana).
  • 9th General Assembly and International Conference ‘Culture and the EU Institutional Reform’ in Brussels.
  • Position paper on Austria and call against the all-out boycott.
  • 7th General Assembly and International Conference “1999 Onwards: A Suitable Cultural Policy for Europe” (Bonn).



History 1992 -1998
  • The paper on “New models of European support for cross-border artistic cooperation …”.
  • Response to the  proposals concerning Kaleidoscope 2000, Raphael and the  modifications to EU Treaty (future article 151). Publication of the Study on the Needs of Cultural networks in Europe.
  • 2nd General Assembly (Lisbon). Publication of an Inventory on action of the EU institutions’ contribution. Declaration on the future of Cultural Policy in Europe”
  • 1st General Assembly (Copenhagen). Publication of a Memorandum on the main concerns of cultural organisations in Europe.
  • 1992: CAE is founded under the name European Forum for the Arts and Heritage (EFAH). In 2008 changes name into Culture Action Europe (CAE)


Discover our history through


Annual Reports