This is a call to the European Union to place culture at the heart of its political vision and ambition for years to come. The proposed Cultural Deal for Europe can help to mainstream culture in its key policies. We – Culture Action Europe, European Cultural Foundation, Europa Nostra – are now putting forward specific suggestions for the European Union.

In November 2020, Culture Action Europe, European Cultural Foundation, and Europa Nostra, acting also on behalf of the European Heritage Alliance, launched the Cultural Deal for Europe.

As COVID-19 was devastating Europe’s cultural sectors, we called on the European Union to fully integrate culture and cultural heritage into its actions and policies, making it an overarching strategy in analogy to the Green Deal. We called for including culture in the EU’s recovery and funding programmes, its sustainable development strategies, its relations with the rest of the world, and more.

Endorsed by thousands of organisations, individuals and 110 European cultural networks, our initiative became instrumental for setting the symbolic goal of 2% for culture in national recovery and resilience plans and, in turn, mobilising and securing an estimated 12 billion EUR for culture across the European Union.

In February 2022, just when the pandemic seemed to be fading away, Russia invaded Ukraine, bringing suffering to millions of people in Europe, with particular consequences for cultural workers as well as arts and heritage organisations.

These unprecedented challenges and unforeseen circumstances call for coordinated and bold actions, from decision-makers and civil society alike. Two years after the launch of the Cultural Deal for Europe, we are looking back at the achievements, but above all we see what still needs to be done. With much hope and anticipation, we are looking towards the European Parliament elections in 2024, imagining how we want Europe and its cultural and cultural heritage sectors to develop.

In our renewed Cultural Deal for Europe statement, looking ahead to 2024 and beyond, we call on the European Union, EU Member States, and wider Europe to:

  • effectively use the National Recovery and Resilience Plans for culture: with civil society, for the benefit of independent cultural scenes, for highest-quality conservation and restoration of Europe’s heritage
  • make a European Cultural Deal for Ukraine part of the Cultural Deal for Europe
  • develop a new, ambitious and genuine EU cultural policy, hand-in-hand with civil society
  • find innovative ways of working together with the European philanthropic sector to address emergencies faced by cultural sectors, now and in the future
  • establish common and ambitious standards for working conditions for artists and cultural workers across Europe
  • speed up efforts to realise the potential of culture for sustainable development and social justice, and to fully incorporate culture in the European Green Deal
  • place culture in the heart of discussions on the future of our continent and in the 2024 European Parliament elections

We need a new European cultural agenda, we need a Cultural Deal for Europe!

More? To make the silos dance. Mainstreaming culture into EU policy is a paper written by Gijs de Vries, commissioned by ECF as contribution to the Cultural Deal for Europe. With the study Imagine Philanthropy for Europe ECF and Allianz Foundation invite you to imagine European philanthropy for a common future. Recordings of the Annual Policy Conversation 2022 are available online. Convinced? Download the Cultural Deal for Europe campaign toolkit.


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