Access to Financial Support for European Non-profit Cultural Organizations at Risk

 Culture Action Europe calls for securing a sustainable future for the European non-profit cultural sector. The statement from November 15 says, that the new application of financial assessment rules “actively prevents organisations in the cultural and creative sectors from accessing EU funding – particularly in specific EU countries where national regulations do not permit non-profit organisations to keep the reserves needed to be rated financially ‘strong’ by the EU – endangering a sizable percentage of cooperation projects and European networks.”

Following a 2018 introduced new matrix for the financial capacity of cultural organisations, 27 organisations selected for small and large Creative Europe cooperation projects starting in 2019 were assessed as “financially weak” and informed that they would not receive an advance payment for their projects unless they could produce a bank or third-party guarantee.

The European cultural sector is primarily made up of non-profit micro-organisations and is a powerful contributor to each priority of the EU Strategic Agenda 2019-2024. For all future programmes in the fields of culture, education, innovation, youth and sport CAE demands the implementation of a clause according to Regulation no 1288/2013 establishing Erasmus+, Article 19.3: “In addition to public bodies and higher education institutions, organisations in the fields of education, training, youth and sport that have received over 50% of their annual revenue from public sources over the last two years shall be considered as having the necessary financial, professional and administrative capacity to carry out activities under the Programme.”

The matrix for the assessment of the financial capacity of applicants must be reviewed to make sure that programmes are accessible to the full diversity of cultural operators in Europe, which are  overwhelmingly represented by micro-entities.

Read the full statement

Culture at EU-Commission

At the beginning of December, the members of the new European Commission are to be confirmed and take up their work. The term “Culture” has disappeared from the newly tailored resorts which has led to numerous protests. The European Music Council now refers in a press release to Italy’s official intervention to include culture in the portfolio of Mariya Gabriel, the Commissioner for Innovation and Youth.

This topic will be on the agenda of the Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council meeting on 21 and 22 November.

EMC press release

“Culture Crops – Cultural Practices in Non-Urban Territories” Culture Action Europe conference

From 23-26 October 2019 the Culture Action Europe Conference „Culture Crops – Cultural Practices in Non-Urban Territories“ took place in Konstanz/Kreuzlingen in the German/ Swiss border region. 170 participants from all over Europe debated on cultural practices in non-urban territories: Where does the rural begin and where does it end? What is the difference between urban visions of the rural and what the rural really is today? How does cultural work in peripheral territories take place and how is it organised?  Find the detailed program of the conference here.

The unusual format, with hikes and visits to cultural sites in Konstanz and Kreuzlingen and the surrounding area – such as Kunstraum Kreuzlingen, the public library and Theater Konstanz, Kartause Ittingen, Transitory Museum of Pfyn, Haus zur Glocke and many more – specifically helped to foster the exchange amongst the cultural actors from all over Europe. Right after the visits, the local hosts discussed challenges in day-to-day work, as well as their questions and wishes to political actors in the European Union, with similar projects from other regions of Europe. Furthermore, an open Project Agora gave space to 26 cultural projects and artists from rural areas all throughout Europe.

The conference participants quickly assembled several theses and demands that were then discussed by the finishing panel, find them here in a first draft:

  • Rural voice should be more heard / represented at EU level. At the same time, there is a need for a stronger exchange of the cultural sector with already existing according institutions, such as the European Committee of the Regions.
  • Generate links between cultural policy and the cohesion policy strands and develop transversal action.
  • In order to create sustainable communities in non urban territories, cultural practices should follow a holistic approach (territorial, cultural, human, economic) that takes into account the autonomy of the community, as well as foster motivation and self-empowerment by being aware of existing local values
  • Adopting and diversifying the EU cultural policy is necessary in terms of issues such as scaling of the program, evaluation criteria capacity building, facilitating application processes to reach the goal of truer territorial equity.
  • Enable and facilitate exchanges, connectivity, knowledge sharing, information access, cultural and creative practices between rural areas across the EU. Issues to be tackled at the EU level:
    • – Gathering of knowledge/data
    • – Preservation/transmission of traditional know how
    • – Trans-sectorality
    • – Long-term actions
    • – Capacity to act from local to global
    • – Efficiency of local policies/ if compares to EU

An elaboration of this debate and other conference outcomes will be published with a Culture Action Europe policy paper and further documentation on the website of Culture Action Europe in the next weeks.

No culture in EU Commission?

Where is culture in the Von der Leyen’s Commission? Immediately after the presentation of the new college of commissioners on September 11 Culture Action Europe stated: “Within the 26 unusual portfolio titles EC president proposed, ‘culture’ as such has gone missing. Von der Leyen entrusted Commissioner Mariya Gabriel, the former Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society from Bulgaria with Directorate-General for Research and Innovation as well as the Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture. However the word culture does not figure in her new portfolio’s title: ‘Innovation and Youth’. Neither does research and education.”

“Myself and the whole cultural sector is very concerned about the latent downgrading of culture in the name of Ms Mariya Gabriel’s portfolio. “- said Robert Manchin, president of Culture Action Europe.

Culture Action Europe  will continue to advocate to put culture at the heart of public debate and decision making and work within changing institutional arrangements to foster the contribution of culture to the different policy domains.

With an open letter and a public campaign CAE is urging the President to bring culture back.

Culture Crops – Cultural Practices in non-urban territories

The 2019 Edition of Culture Action Europe’s Beyond the Obvious conference from 23-26 October 2019 in Konstanz/Kreuzlingen focuses on cultural practices in non-urban territories.

“Culture Crops: cultural practices in non-urban territories” sparks the debate on peripheral territories. Where does their territory begin and where it does it end? How do they see themselves and how are they seen by others? What are they and how do they work?

  • Dynamics & Organisation: How does cultural work in peripheral territories take place and how is it organised?
  • Urban-Rural Discrepancies: What is the difference between urban visions of the rural and what the rural is today?
  • Blurred Borderlines: Where does the rural begin and where does it end?

Culture Crops will be the conference on the road. Various thematic itineraries are proposed to the participants in order to experience the diversity of models of practice present in the region. These visits include facilitated debate and exchange between similar practices from other parts of Europe and offers an opportunity for learning and peer-to-peer exchange.

Register before 13 September 18.00 CET to get the Early Bird Fee!

View the preliminary program here. For more information and the complete concept notes have a look on the conference website.


Open Call for Projects!

Do you have a cultural project that deals with non-urban territories? Are you running an initiative based on a dialogue with the rural social and environmental context? Are you intervening with the audiences outside of big cities? Is your project reflecting on cultural and social innovation in peripheries?

Be part of the Culture-Crops-Agora: Culture-Crops-Agora is an informal forum that showcases local and European projects acting within the non-urban territories. The aim of the agora is to bring different perspectives from arts, heritage, agriculture, research, politics, activism etc., mix initiatives from Switzerland and Germany with similar projects coming from all over Europe and to create an open space for networking.

What is Culture Action Europe looking for? What does CAE provide? Have a look here and send your proposal before 22 July 2019!

Credits BTO Website