and first legislative proposal for a new programme "Creative Europe" submitted (May 2018)

The European Commission has published a proposal for a new European Agenda for Culture on 22 May 2018. The Commission is herewith commenting on the EU's cultural policy strategies for the upcoming years. Similarly, a first legislative draft for a follow-up program "Creative Europe" from 2021 was presented on 30 May 2018. At the beginning of 2019, a new work plan for Culture will follow from the Council of the EU.

The new Agenda for Culture emphasizes the social and economic dimension of culture in Europe and the importance of international cultural relations. The cross-cutting tasks of cultural heritage and the digital revolution continue to be important topics in all cultural policy dimensions. The agenda can be downloaded here as a PDF, further accompanying documents can be found here (statistics, evaluations of the previous agenda, etc.).

Mobility of Artists

With the new Agenda for Culture the commission proposes a new support scheme to foster the mobility of professionals in the cultural and creative sectors in Europe, starting already in 2019. We welcome this step greatly.

For many years, IGBK has been promoting the international mobility of artists, for example with its cooperation partner Internationales Theaterinstitut (ITI) Zentrum Deutschland and the project touring artists or through the engagement of the IGBK with On The Move. Unfortunately, there is no statement in the agenda about the financing of this new initiative. This would be especially important as it is supposed to be already implemented in the current Creative Europe programme. We are very much hoping that the EU's next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) 2021-2027 will provide relevant financial support for this matter.

(Update 13-06-2018: The EU now has published a tender "to define and test a cross-border mobility scheme", see details here: "The initiative paves the way for the full implementation of such a mobility scheme after 2020 within the proposed future Creative Europe Programme.")

Synergies between education and culture

The economic dimension of the agenda explicitly puts the link between education and culture forward, with a declination of the synergies between these two across all age groups and fields of application. The fact that education is so explicitly stressed in the cultural agenda is a great success.

For further information we greatly recommend the excellent paper "Building synergies between education and culture" by Culture Action Europe (CAE) - more than 80,000 European cultural actors are active in CAE, including the IGBK through the European Secretariat of German Culture NGOs and through IAA Europe.

CAE's "1% for Culture" campaign is still running and we encourage many signatures, it is possible to participate here.

Since May 2018 there has been a first draft for a new EU-MFF by the Commission. Thus, the programme Creative Europe is likely to remain after 2021, as well as a sub-program for culture. For the time being, an increase in culture of slightly more than EUR 150 million has been proposed. Especially against the background of new financial challenges for the EU, for example because of Brexit, these announcements are to be welcomed. But it takes an awareness of culture as a cross-cutting task in all political fields of the EU, therefore we demand: 1% for cultural projects in every EU policy field! And we continue to stand for a doubling of the EU's cultural budget in absolute terms!

International cultural relations of the EU

In the field of EU international cultural relations, the Commission focuses on the Western Balkans and EU enlargement countries. Promising here, is the announcement of the possible establishment of European Houses of Culture in partner countries worldwide.

The field of international cultural relations may be the most affected by fundamental budgetary changes in the EU. Should it be the case that the European Development Fund will be integrated into the EU budget under the new 2021-2027 financial framework, and according to which new regulations will be adopted after the end of the EU's so-called "Coutonou" partnership with the African, Caribbean and Pacific states, this will certainly also influence the means in international cultural relations.

Creative Europe from 2021 on

The Commission's legislative proposal for a new "Creative Europe" programme still has to be debated by the European Parliament and the Council, as part of the general MFF negotiations, which are likely to last for about another year. You can find the Commission's first presentations on its legislative proposal here, as well as the Commission's draft (PDF) itself. The draft also includes a brief analysis of the EU public survey on "values and mobility", which was undertaken in the spring of this year (p.9), and calls on the European Union to develop appropriate instruments of support for the mobility of cultural workers after 2021 (p.21). 

See also Culture Action Europe's first comment on the new legisaltive draft for "Creative Europe" here.