Industry orgs: Bring back EU culture commissioner title
A collection of music industry associations have shown their support for the Bring Back Culture campaign, following the absence of the term ‘culture’ from the title of EU commissioner, Mariya Gabriel.
On 10 September, president-elect of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, presented the commission’s new structure, with eight vice presidents standing for updated work priorities. Culture falls under the gambit of Commissioner Gabriel, but is absent from her title of ‘Innovation and Youth’.
Von der Leyen takes over from Jean-Claude Juncker as president of the European Commission on 1 November, 2019.
Culture Action Europe (CAE), a network of cultural organisations, penned an open letter to the president of the European Commission asking for the insertion of the term ‘culture’ into the title. The letter was signed by bodies including the British Council, the European Composer and Songwriter Alliance, the European Choral Association, the European Concert Hall Organisation and Opera Europa,
The signatories are concerned that culture will not “remain at the appropriate level of recognition” due to the title change.
“We call upon the president of the European Commission to reinforce the role of culture by spelling out ‘culture’ in the title of the commissioner”
European live industry body Pearle*, the European Music Council (EMC) and venue network Live DMA are among live music-related organisations to lend their support to the CAE campaign.
“Pearle* looks forward to discussing Commissioner-designate Mariya Gabriel’s priorities on culture and the new Creative Europe programme,” reads a statement from the organisation. “However, we regret that culture is not literally mentioned in her portfolio’s title.
“This sets an unwelcome precedent since culture has been included in the European Treaty in 1991.”
The EMC and Live DMA similarly express concerns, saying “we call upon the president of the European Commission to reinforce the role of culture for the development of the European Union by spelling out ‘culture’ in the title of the commissioner.”
All three organisations had previously urged politicians to put live music at the core of EU policy, prior to the European Parliament elections in May.
The CAE online petition had received 1,885 signatures at press time.
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EU elections: associations urge live music focus
Various associations related to the music business and wider cultural sectors are urging members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and policy makers to put live music at the core of EU policy.
Live DMA, a network of European music venues, is the latest organisation to call on politicians to place higher value on music and culture in EU policy in the run up to the European elections.
The elections will take place from Thursday 23 to Sunday 26 May. The EU budget for the period of 2021 to 2027 will be voted on by a new European Parliament, after the elections have passed.
“It is vital to advocate for culture to be at the core of European policies and to pursue a dialogue between the live music sector and the policy makers,” reads the Live DMA statement.
In the statement, Live DMA says that it commits to representing “a collective voice”, providing “knowledge and expertise to policy makers” and “cooperating with partners to build a coherent cultural sector.” The network does not disclose which partners or organisations it will work with to reach these aims.
“It is vital to pursue a dialogue between the live music sector and the policy makers”
In return, Live DMA asks for the European Union to support the live music sector, to protect the diversity of music organisations – namely smaller companies and non-profits – and to facilitate the access of venues to funding and beneficial tax regimes.
The statement also calls for the renewal of support for Creative Europe, the EU’s programme for the cultural and creative sectors.
The European Music Council (EMC), of which Live DMA is a member, has also taken measures to encourage the prioritising of music- and culture-focused policy in light of the elections.
In March, live industry body Pearle* released a publication entitled On the European Stage, in which it listed priorities for EU policymakers to tackle within the live performance industry in order to improve conditions for the live sector.
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