ARTS FESTIVALS MEET European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Mr. Tibor Navracsics
14 March 2016
18 February 2016 @ Berlaymont, Brussels
On the 18 February 2016 the European Festivals Association (EFA) had its second round table with the new EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Mr. Tibor Navracsics with the participation of Armel Opera Festival, ARS Electronica, Association of Irish Festival Events, BOZAR, Budapest Spring Festival and CAFe Budapest, Europalia, Festival Trayectos · Danza en Paisajes Urbanos, Ljubljana Festival, Malta Festival Poznań, Music Biennale Zagreb, Ravenna Festival, Rheingau Musik Festival, Romaeuropa Festival, Serralves em Festa, Tanz im August and Yerevan Perspectives International Music Festival.
Darko Brlek (EFA President and General and Artistic Director of the Ljubljana Festival) pointed out that the situation in Europe is quite different from when EFA first met the Commissioner. In a tragic time where borders are being rebuilt, EFA continues its work of crossing them as it always did. By, for example, initiating projects that engage a wider group of festivals such as EFFE – Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe and through the collaboration in other continents with training programmes in Korea, Lebanon and Thailand. Darko Brlek reminded that Culture needs nonetheless the support from national governments and the European Commission if it is to continue to bring benefits to society.
congratulated EFA on the success of the EFFE pilot project, which has reached
out to almost 900 festivals that have applied for the EFFE Label. EFFE can
become a reference of quality, innovation and impact in Europe. The
Commissioner confirmed that the European Commission and the European Parliament
are ready to engage in future developments, to be announced very soon.
Commissioner welcomed EFA’s initiative of extending the Atelier for Young
Festival and commended EFA on its selection of third countries. Implementing
this EFA training programme in China in the frame of the EU-China
People-to-people Dialogue is of high importance. The Commissioner is engaged in
looking for possibilities so this opportunity is not wasted.
responsibility of festivals in today’s society is acknowledged and agreed upon
by both parties. As the Commissioner stated “Intercultural dialogue helps us to identify both
what distinguishes us from each other and what we have in common. It is
essential in overcoming mistrust and prejudice, and critical in handling and preventing conflict within
and between cultures. This is how, ultimately, intercultural dialogue allows us
to build a community in Europe.”
“In supporting intercultural dialogue, the Commission relies on the ideas, networks
and capacities of many partners. Bringing this diverse range of policies and
projects to life would not be possible without the European Parliament,
authorities and cultural institutes in the member states as well as
organisations like the European House of Culture and the European Festivals
Association. We will need to continue to work together.”
EFA thanks the
magnificent group of festivals that brought important and relevant arguments to
each of the topics on the agenda and shall follow-up on these topics and
expressions of engagement from the Commissioner and take them up again from now
until the next Round Table in 2017.