Culture Action Europe is an advocacy and lobby organisation promoting arts and culture as a building block of the European project. Their aim is to influence European policies for more and better access to culture across the continent and beyond. They provide customized information and analysis on the European Union, offer cultural actors a space to exchange and elaborate common positions, and develop advocacy actions towards European policymakers.

Culture Action Europe - The political platform for Arts and Culture

What is Culture Action Europe’s mission?

Our mission is to keep on providing EU cultural operators with a common arena in which they can reflect on the European project, identify their interests and organise their political representation with a long-term objective to strengthen the role of arts and culture in the development of Europe. Behind our mission is the belief that public investment in culture and the arts contributes to the development of a sustainable and more cohesive Europe. We are convinced that access to the arts and participation in cultural life is a fundamental right of every citizen.

What is the structure of Culture Action Europe?

We are Europe-wide network of membership organisations, with a Secretariat based in Brussels. We have an Executive Committee elected from among our membership organisations who meet four times a year. Our membership organisations meet during the annual General Assembly.

Culture Action Europe currently has over 100 members that together represent over 80.000 arts and culture players across Europe and beyond in more than 14 artistic disciplines. Our members are from all domains - orchestras to writers associations, research institutions to cultural contact points, national theatres to international cultural networks, independent cultural operators to conservatoires, visual arts organisations to voluntary arts organisations. We bring them together in the belief that cultural cooperation matters in Europe.

What is Culture Action Europe’s action?

We have immediate access to EU decision makers and we are widely recognised as a unique resource of information and expertise on the EU and its cultural policy. The EU institutions see Culture Action Europe 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 European level.

We have been working on European cultural policy issues since 1992. We have published numerous studies and reports, participated in key Parliamentary hearings and discussion groups, influenced the design of the early cultural funding programmes Kaleidoscope and Raphaà«l, as well as the two generations of Culture programmes. We had an active role in the debates, which led to the development of ‘A European Agenda on Culture’, co-initiated the creation of the Platform for Intercultural Europe and take an active part in the newly established structured dialogue with civil society. We are a leading platform for reflection and advocacy when it comes to European cultural policy.

One of our most high profile successes was the 70 Cents for Culture Campaign targeted at European parliamentarians, Commission officials and Ministers of Culture to increase the EU’s culture budget from roughly 7 cents per citizen per year to 70 in the 2007-2013 Culture Programme. The campaign struck a chord, receiving the support of more than 1,300 persons and organisations. Given the envisaged cuts in the budget and that the campaign target of 70 cents had always been symbolic, the campaign was recognized as making a significant contribution to the final result - 13 cents. It is an example of what we can do if we collaborate in the right way.

Why is Culture Action Europe necessary?

European policymaking has a growing impact on the day-to-day work on all of us. All key sectors of civil society have developed European platforms over the past few years in order to understand the issues better and to make their voice heard at European level. Culture Action Europe exists to do the same for the arts and culture. We know that among so many competing interests making their case in Brussels, it is essential that the not-for-profit cultural sector is also heard.

Despite the complexity and the diversity of the cultural sector, it shares common positions and has similar interests. In order to be heard, these interests have to be expressed in a clear voice at the European level. Culture Action Europe aims to be the leading platform for representing the diverse interests of the sector with a coherent and clear message.

In concrete terms it means that we work together by campaigning on specific policy issues at EU level and inform the debate on cultural policy issues. We are needed because we support cultural advocacy at local, regional, national and European level. Last but not least, we collaborate in forward looking research on policies to shape the future of Europe where culture is central.

Contacts :

Luca Bergamo : Secretary-General

Emma Ernsth : Campaign Co-ordinator

Culture Action Europe
Rue Ravenstein, 23
1000 - Brussels
T: +32 (0) 2 534 4002
F: +32 (0) 2 534 1150

More informations

Modified on Friday 6 September 2013