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“The mission of a festival should be to educate its partners to promote the important role arts and culture play in our societies!”

Ruta Prusiviciene, General Director of Vilnius Festival, in the framework of the 7th Brussels Debate

EFA Jubilee receives high political attention

Gent, Monday, 07-05-2012

In the run-up of the EFA Jubilee, political decision-makers express their recognition of EFA's Jubilee activities including the development of the Bergen Agenda. The Jubilee in Bergen (23-25 May) will see high-level policy representatives of EU, national and regional levels participating. Amongst others, EU Commissioner for Culture Androulla Vassiliou congratulates the European Festivals Association on its "remarkable efforts in putting festivals and culture in the spotlight across Europe" and adds that "the collaboration between EFA and the European Commission has never been more active".

In two moments, politicians join the discussion: on 24 May, Anniken Huitfeld, Minister of Culture Norway, and Xavier Troussard, Head of Unit European Commission, react to the quest of the cultural sector to have a focus on the artistic development of the sector and invest into its innovative capacity in times when measurable outputs are the basis for public funding. This discussion round looks at who is responsible for what: local, regional, national and EU levels in exchange.

On 25 May, in an exclusive round table, Jan Truszczynski, Director General European Commission, Doris Pack, Chairwoman Culture Committee European Parliament, and Gunnar Bakke, City of Bergen, Commissioner for Cultural Affairs, Business Development, Sports and Church Affairs, and other political representatives will receive the Bergen Agenda endorsed by the delegates and will further debate the role of festivals in the development of cities, Europe and the world in particular in the framework of EFA’s proposal 'Europe for Festivals - Festivals for Europe'.

The proposal was presented to the Members of the European Parliament at the Committee on Culture and Education in November 2011 and further discussed in a round table meeting with Commissioner Vassiliou and 22 festival directors in January 2012.

“Under the current EU Programme, 700 festivals apply, and only around 30 get a grant. This is discouraging, and needs to be changed,” urges EFA Secretary General Kathrin Deventer. “I hope that national ministries will take up their responsibility and that participants from all over the world will make use of these discussions to make the case for culture in their home countries.”

All statements and congratulations of politicians and cultural sector representatives sent to EFA at the occasion of the Diamond Jubilee can be found in the Media Section of the Jubilee website.

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