European Music Council
July 21, 2021
Dear readers,
In this newsletter we have put together updates on EU cultural policy, funding opportunities and EMC's cooperation projects, as well as the current project of the month. And if you missed any of the EFM sessions, recordings are now online.
Open letter
Claiming a front row seat for music
76 international, European and national music organisation are calling for a better recognition of music in all policy areas. The letter “Claiming a front row seat for music” addressed to policy makers on EU and national level calls on them to fully acknowledge the artistic, social and economic value of the music sector and to live up to these words in their political decision making. The letter highlights the specific work environment in the music sector, the need for fair remuneration and stresses the role of music for health and well-being.
EU policy updates
EU budget 2021-2027 - close to the finish line

EU guidelines: safe reopening of the cultural sector

On 29 June 2021, the European commission published guidelines for the safe resumption of activities in the cultural and creative sector with the aim to provide a coordinated approach for the design and implementation of measures and protocols in EU member states. The guidelines are based on the expertise of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and exchanges with the Health Security Committee and include indicators and criteria that should be taken into account when planning the resumption of certain activities. Proposals for a sustainable recovery of the sector which are complementary to initiatives on national level and by the sector are also included in the guidelines.
In response to these guidelines, eight organisations (Live DMA, AEM, ARA, GESAC, EMMA, Liveurope, Pearle*, Yourope) from the creative and live events sector have issued a joint statement welcoming the guidelines and highlighting additional measures needed to facilitate the free movement of artists.

Working conditions in the cultural and creative sector

The COVID-19 pandemic has put a new urgency on policy makers on national and European level to address the working conditions in the cultural and creative sector. A new Voices of Culture Brainstorming Report on the topic has just been published. This report is the result of a dialogue between representatives of the cultural and creative sector and the European Commission in which the EMC and several of its members were actively involved. In the following five chapters, the report lists a number of recommendations and best practice examples:
• Legal status, recognition, social security
• Fair pay, collective bargaining, intellectual property, flattening income variations, financial support
• Research, lifelong learning, representation, entrepreneurship
• Mobility
• Artistic freedom and freedom of expression
Starting in autumn 2021, representatives of the EU Member States will also discuss this topic through the so-called “Open Method of Coordination” (OMC) over the next years.
National recovery and resilience plans
The Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) makes up the biggest portion of the EU’s COVID-19 recovery instrument Next Generation EU. Most EU member states have presented their plans to the Commission in the last weeks. The cultural and creative sector (CCS) and the Culture and Education Committee (CULT) of the European Parliament had strongly advocated to commit at least 2% of the RRF for culture. However, this was not made a requirement in the legal basis of the RRF. From the plans that have been approved, some have included resources for the CCS – or parts of it (e.g. France, Portugal) – while other plans don’t include any measures for the CSS (e.g. Sweden, Slovakia).
EU cultural ministers on cultural recovery
During the Council meeting in May 2021, the culture ministers of the EU member states discussed the recovery, resilience and sustainability of the cultural and creative sectors. In their conclusions the ministers emphasize that the cultural and creative sectors are among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically in a sector that often lacks social protection and unemployment support. The conclusions of the cultural ministers outline six priorities for the recovery of the cultural and creative sectors which include access to funding, strengthening mobility and cooperation across the EU, digital and green transitions, preparedness for future challenges and enhancing the resilience of professionals.

Conference on the Future of Europe

The Conference of the Future of Europe is a process initiated by the EU institutions aimed at giving citizens a greater role in shaping the EU’s future, its policies and vision, and improving its resilience. A series of events will facilitate discussions of the challenges that the EU is facing, including those brought about by the pandemic. Reflecting the strategic agenda of the EU, the Conference on the Future of Europe will also address climate change, economic and social issues, digital transformation and other topics.
To bring underrepresented voices in the cultural sector to the Conference on the Future of Europe, the project Amplify by Culture Action Europe aims to gather ideas, proposals, recommendations and concerns from 12 European countries. In local working sessions, the participants will come up with recommendations to EU decision-makers.
Porto Santo Charter
The Porto Santo Charter is an initiative by the Portuguese Council Presidency in the first half of 2021. It is a guiding map of principles and recommendations for the development and implementation of a cultural democracy in Europe. It is divided into five chapters on the health of democracy and the role of culture, the democratisation of culture and cultural democracy, cultural citizenship in relation with digital technologies and education.
Slovenia takes on Council Presidency
On 1 July 2021, Slovenia took over the Council Presidency from Portugal. Culture Minister Simoniti presented the priorities for the next six months in the cultural field in a session of the CULT committee in the European Parliament on 13 July. These are focused on the audiovisual and media sector, the New European Bauhaus and the impact of COVID-19 on the cultural and creative sector. The cultural minister also highlighted the Europa Cantat Festival in Ljubljana from 16-25 July 2021 – more on that below in this newsletter.
EMC project of the month
Europa Cantat Festival
The EMC project of the month for the summer 2021 is the Europa Cantat Festival from our member European Choral Association. The Europa Cantat Festival is one of largest international music festivals worldwide and it is the central meeting point of the choral world. It is a festival of singers and choirs of all types, levels and ages, choral and orchestra conductors, music teachers, composers creators, aducators and managers, without any competitive elements.
Every three years, it is held in a new European country and this year, it will take place from 16-25 July in Ljubljana, Slovenia. The 2021 host country aims to shed light on the potential and the genuine cohesive role of choral music, particularly interrelating the arts, social and therapeutic activities, science, sport, tourism and other segments of society.
re-watch the EFM sessions
Did you miss any session during the European Forum on Music 2021? We recorded some of the panels to give you some insights about this year's conference! Get to know more about the different topics we touched during the four-days online event, such as the place of music in society, the importance of music for the SDGs and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in the live music sector.
→ Watch them here
New funding opportunities
Keychange talent development
Keychange launched an open call for applications to the Keychange talent development programme 2022. The objective of the programme is to support women and gender minority artists to take the next stage in their careers and to help them to overcome the barriers they face because of their gender.
Deadline for application is 4 October 2021
→ More information here
EIT call for cultural and creative sectors
As set out in the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) strategy for 2021 to 2027, the Institute has launched a new Knowledge and Innovation Community focusing on the Cultural & Creative Sectors and Industries (CCSI). These sectors are key drivers of sustainable growth and job creation across Europe. The call criteria and evaluation process have been published. The calls will be published in October/November 2021
→ More information here
Updates on EMC projects
What's new in SHIFT?
The new SHIFT newsletter on environmental sustainability is out! Produced by ELIA, it looks into some aspects that cultural professionals are confronted with when diving into the topic of environmental sustainability. For example, what it means to be a cultural leader in climate action and explore the urgency and possibilities of climate mitigation, highlighting two inspiring projects along the way: Creative Climate Leadership and Cultural Adaptations. Of course, we have also collected a number of great ideas and best practice examples to inspire you.
→ Check the newsletter here
MOST's first live event
MOST is a project funded by Creative Europe where the EMC is a partner together with eight other organisations with the mission to boost the music market of the Balkans. This month, together with the other MOST’s partners, we could participate in our first live event in the framework of the A to JazZ Festival in Sofia. Overcoming stereotypes, lack of information and local management expertise, as well as the importance of getting engaged on the international level were brought up in a lively discussion. More information on Facebook and the website.
CreativeSHIFT platform
The EMC is partner with other 6 organisations for a new project, Creative SHIFT, which aims to build a sustainable creative community and further initiate cross-sector and cross-country collaboration to create a thriving and resilient ecosystem for content innovation in the European Union. The project keeps on moving fast and we are happy to announce that the platform to ensure collaboration within the community is already working!
→ More information here
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