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Only when we understand that the “self” – a balanced, joyous and peaceful “self” – is nothing but the sum of our own identity and culture, nurtured by centuries of “our nation’s” history, and the identities and cultures of “the others”, likewise nurtured by centuries of their own history, then we might see the light, the smile, the human being."

Radu Mihăileanu; film director and Ambassador European Year of Intercultural Dialogue

Culture Combats Cuts: Statement of festival leaders and EFA – Brussels/Belgium, 12 February 2013

Gent, Wednesday, 02-01-2013

Culture Combats Cuts

Statement of festival leaders and the European Festivals Association (EFA) on the budget agreement by the European Council on 8 February 2013

18 festival leaders – Airan Berg, Mannheim 2020; Jan Briers, Federation Music Festivals Flanders; Darko Brlek, Festival Ljubljana, EFA President; Constantin Chiriac, Sibiu International Theatre Festival; Hugo De Greef, European House for Culture; Kathrin Deventer, EFA Secretary General; Jelle Dierickx, Potsdam Sanssouci Music Festival; Paul Dujardin, BOZAR; Bernard Foccroulle, Festival d’Aix-en-Provence; Guy Gypens, Kaaitheater; Andrzej Kosendiak, International Festival Wratislavia Cantans; Massimo Mercelli, Emilia Romagna Festival; Jonathan Mills, Edinburgh International Festival; Piñeiro Nagy, Estoril Festival/Estoril Music Weeks; Thomas Oberender, Berliner Festspiele; Virginie Puff, Festival d'Automne à Paris; Bosko Radojkovic, Belgrade Music Festival; Hanna Styrmisdóttir, Reykjavík Arts Festival; Biljana Zdravkovic, Serbian Festivals Association – call upon the Members of the European Parliament, the European Council and the European Commission to maintain the EU budget 2014-2020 for culture under the heading ‘citizenship and security’ at the level proposed by the European Commission.

The proposed EU spending on culture in the Creative Europe programme is a modest €1.8 billion for the period 2014-2020. The investment into citizenship, culture, youth and education should not be lowered from the Commission’s already modest proposal. Every cut in culture would mean cutting the advantages that culture creates for European citizenship, and undermining the potential of culture to contribute to growth, jobs opportunities and social inclusion.

Festival leaders and the European Festivals Association further call upon:

• the European Commission to continue the efforts of the European Agenda for Culture, taking the cultural dimension into account in all policy areas, as established by Article 167.4 of the Lisbon Treaty, and making this tangible in programmes and in the budget, in particular in areas such as the cohesion policy, external affairs and citizenship;
• the Member States to take the cultural component into consideration in all policy areas following the EU approach;
• the cultural sector, the Member States, the European Commission and the European Parliament to work towards a European Resolution for Culture that introduces, among others, a minimum investment of the GNP in culture in all Member States.
• the European Parliament parties to include a tangible commitment, programme proposals and priorities on culture and its role in the shaping of the future Europe in their electorate campaigns and parties’ platforms.

Download the statement "Culture Combats Cuts" of festival leaders and the European Festivals Association (EFA) on the budget agreement by the European Council on 8 February 2013.

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