European Music Council
January 14, 2021
Dear readers,
We wish you a Happy New Year and all the best for 2021! The end of 2020 was very busy in EU policy and for the start of 2021 we have put together info about interesting online events, funding opportunities and publications. Find out more below!
EU policy updates

Agreement on Creative Europe reached

An agreement on the Creative Europe programme 2021-2027 has been reached between the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council. It is the biggest ever funding programme for the cultural and creative sector at EU level. Depending on the basis for the calculation, the EU institutions have published different amounts of the budget ranging between 2.2 and 2.5 billion Euro.
This budget will allow the continuation of successful funding schemes like the cooperation projects, European networks and platforms but also include new funding strands. This includes in particular a dedicated funding scheme for music, with a focus on contemporary and live music as well as a funding for individual mobility of cultural professionals.
The future programme will give priority to the promotion of female talent and support to women’s artistic and professional careers. The new programme will also introduce as a key objective the promotion of access for and the participation of people with disabilities and marginalised groups in the cultural and creative sector.
Several steps in the European Parliament and in the Council are still necessary to formally adopt the programme. Once these have been completed, the Commission is able to publish the new calls for proposals. The official launch of the programme will take place in June 2021 in Lisbon.
EU budget 2021-2027 - close to the finish line
Agreement on EU budget
With the approval of the European Parliament and the Council on 16/17 December 2020, the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2021-2027 was formally adopted. The overall level of the MFF is set at EUR 1074 billion and Next Generation EU at EUR 750 billion. Most of the funding programmes like Creative Europe are expected to be adopted in early 2021. Parts of the recovery instrument Next Generation EU will still need to be approved in all member states – e.g. by their national parliaments.
Portugal takes on Council Presidency
On 1 January 2021, Portugal took over the Council Presidency from Germany. A main focus of the presidency until 30 June 2021 will be the implementation of the MFF and the recovery plans. The cultural minister will present the cultural policy priorities to the Culture and Education Committee of the European Parliament in the next weeks. It will focus on the recovery of the cultural and creative sector but also topics such as access to culture and participation in cultural life and the relationship between arts and education.
Presidency conclusions on gender equality in the field of culture
In December, the German Presidency of the Council adopted conclusions on gender equality in the field of culture. The conclusions acknowledge that gender equality is a cultural policy objective at EU level and stress the need for equal access and full participation in cultural life, mainstreaming gender equality in cultural policy and give further recommendations to Member States and the European Commission to advance gender equality in the cultural sector.
It was not possible to adopt Council conclusions on the topic because the Presidency concluded that it could not count on the support of Poland, Hungary and Bulgaria.
Digital Services Act package: Commission proposal published
In December 2020, the Commission published their proposal for the Digital Services Act package comprised of the Digital Markets Act and the Digital Services Act. These new regulations would update the current rules which are more than 20 years old. They are mainly aimed at large online platforms so that they will have to do more to limit the spread of illegal content and goods, provide regulators and outside groups with greater access to internal data amongst other rules. The proposal of the Commission is the first step in the legislative process and will now be discussed by the European Parliament and the Member States.

Open Letter by MEPs “Support European Cultural Recovery”
The Cultural and Creators Friendship Group has sent a letter signed by over 100 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to the EU member states urging them to implement the measures demanded by the European Parliament in the resolution on the Cultural Recovery of Europe. These demands include dedicating at least 2% of the Recovery and Resilience Facility to the cultural and creative sector (CCS), reduced VAT for cultural goods and services as well as improvement of social protection systems and working conditions in the CCS.
European Choral Association statement on ban of collective singing
As a reaction to the ban of singing in groups and choirs in many countries, the European Choral Association – Europa Cantat has published a statement expressing its concern about the serious consequences that this will have on choral professionals but also on the effects on the mental health of millions of people singing in choirs in their free time.

Conference Reader "Climate Action: Music as a Driver for Change"

The EMC prepared a collection of articles and best practices for the 9th European Forum on Music on Climate Action: Music as a Driver for Change in its digital format. A selection of eight articles, extracts from publications and reports, were put together to give complementary information to our online series through the different layers of the theme at the heart of the EFM. Divided in three main strands which represent key aspects of the music sector in regards of environment, the conference reader aims to provide additional views to what was proposed in the different events held.
Study on working conditions of cultural professionals
The aim of the study is to explore the concept of artist status and the working conditions and career paths of artists and creative professionals. It describes the characteristics of employment in the sector, social security, self-employment, artistic freedom and others. The study also takes into account the measures countering the effects of COVID-19. The European Commission conducted this study in close collaboration with several stakeholder organisations including Culture Action Europe, IETM, On The Move, Pearle* and Freemuse.
Stay Alive – Live DMA publication on effects of the pandemic
The report “2021 – Stay Alive – Evaluation of effects of the pandemic by Live DMA & its members” provides information about the live music associations’ main priorities for 2021 and what actions they need and expect from governments including recommendations to policy makers. It is based on a survey about the effects of the pandemic on the sector in the short and long term conducted among the 3000 live music venues represented by the Live DMA members.
Events & Awards

Save the date - Webinar on "European Agenda for Access to Music Education"

Music education is key for a sustainable future of both our societies as well as for music as an art form and as a social practice. AEC, EAS and EMU cover the whole range of institutional music education from kindergarten to higher education, and will at this webinar jointly address challenges and opportunities of music education now and in the future. The webinar organised by AEC, EAS and EMU will be hosted by EMC and take place on 5 February 2020 from 10:30-12 CET. Registration will open soon.
Music Moves Europe Talent Awards
The Music Moves Europe Talent Awards will be celebrated in a ceremony that you can watch online on 15 January 2021. Out of 16 nominated emerging European artists the jury selected 8 winners. In addition, fans across Europe have decided who shall win the Public Choice Award 2021. At the end of the ceremony, EU Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel will reveal the winner of the Public Choice Award 2021. The Public Choice Winner will receive EUR 5.000 and will be invited to record a filmed live session at the new studios of Deezer in Paris.
NAMM Believe in Music week
From 18-22 January 2021 is taking place NAMM Believe in Music week in its online format. The online celebration will feature a mix of comprehensive programming and professional education, as well as an interactive marketplace to connect buyers and sellers. The event will also offer live music, content and product discovery for all who believe in music, helping connect music makers and enthusiasts across the world. The event will be accessible in January 2021 by visiting, showcasing a variety of live and recorded content produced by NAMM and an alliance of organizations that believe in the power of music and music making.
European Video Award on the Benefits of Singing 2021
With the aim of bringing out inspiring and encouraging stories about collective singing and its impact on society, the Youth Committee of ECA-EC is organising the project "European Video Award on the Benefits of Singing 2021". The Award welcomes applications both from individuals and organisations, who can create videos that showcase inspiring and real stories on the impact of collective singing in the care of the environment, the promotion of physical & mental health, the access to music education, the facilitation of social inclusion and cultural exchange between different age/social groups or empower real projects in the intersection between collective music and society.
Open Club Day 2021
Even though clubs are still closed around Europe, our member Live DMA is celebrating the annual [Open] Club Day on the 6th of February, 2021! This year’s edition will be completely different, making activities more flexible to get as much clubs as possible on board and make this day become a symbol of resilience and solidarity. For those venues that cannot open, they offer the opportunity to participate symbolically signing the [Open] Club Day statement. Over 50 venues, clubs, organisations and individuals already joined forces to support local music scenes all over Europe.
“Pure Sound” Award
Russian Music Union announced the second issue of the International Award for the Best Audio Recording of Russian Academic Music “Pure Sound”. Applications will be accepted until March 30, 2021, in the following nominations: Opera, Choral Works, Chamber Vocal Music, Orchestral Music, Chamber Instrumental Ensemble Music, Chamber Instrumental Solo Music, Restoration of Archive Audio Recordings and Mixed Nomination. The objective of the project is to promote the Russian school of composition, support of the recording industry and development of Russian music culture in general.
ESTA International conference: Call for Papers
ESTA International announced that the 49th ESTA International Conference for string teachers will take place online from 24 - 26 September 2021 and invites everyone to submit a proposal for a presentation before 28 February 2021. Although any topic will be considered, the theme of the conference this year is: "Formal and Informal Teaching and Learning".
Funding oppportunities
ENCC UP grants
The ENCC introduces its UP Grants, a microgrant scheme open to all socio-cultural centres throughout Europe. This scheme aims to support sustainability initiatives already in place, in order to boost them, provide visibility and inspire others. Winning projects will receive a grant of 3.000 euros (5 grants in total will be awarded). Deadline for this call is 10 February 2021.
Mobility funding for music professionals
iPortunus is a Pilot Action funded by the EU to offer mobility grants to artists and cultural professionals. The second round of this Pilot Action offers specific funding opportunities for the music sector. Deadline for the call is 28 February 2021. Many Creative Europe Desks offer online training on the specifics for the call, so make sure to check with them.
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