Festivals were vital components in the rebuilding of peace, the human spirit and economies in the decades after World War Two in Europe. Now, festivals are at the forefront of exchanging with other regions of the world. The Bergen Agenda is an opportunity to reaffirm EFA's commitment to work globally with fellow festival organisations.
EFA has been active for the last 60 years in ensuring that the arts have an increasing significance in the work of the European Union, just as they did in the first 30 years in the Council of Europe, where its values were important demonstrations of core freedoms in the upholding of human rights. Today and in the future these values, and the wider interests of festivals themselves, are enhanced by the joint activity of many representative organisations in the cultural sector. Festivals include powerful partners in the business sector and the media and are invited to contribute to a joint coalition.
The Bergen Agenda, therefore, will be offered to festivals, colleagues and allies to:
- reinforce links with similar organisations around the world and jointly respond to global issues;
- define and develop the work of festivals through EFA in coalition with other European networks, involving diverse stakeholders who festivals are able to include in their work;
- agree on common strategies, actions and policy proposals to allow sustainable development of festivals; and,
- recall and deepen the debate on the conditions for arts festivals to grow, develop and evolve in a sustainable way locally and worldwide.