EFA General Assembly and Conference 2007

23 January 2007

The EFA annual General Assembly 2007 took place in Brussels at the invitation of the Flanders Festival and the Festival de Wallonie on 7 - 10 June 2007. It was the most ambitious yet and an exceptional meeting in many ways: the gathering was partly co-organised in partnership with our colleagues from ISPA – the International Society for the Performing Arts, a major network with its seat in New York. An amazing group of around 350 cultural professionals came together on 8 June 2007 in the thought-provoking EU-surroundings of Brussels, the seat of so many cultural networks, for an exciting meeting on the central theme: ‘Cultural Networks at Work - CNaW organised by EFA (European Festivals Association) and ISPA (International Society for the Performing Arts), in cooperation with the Flemish Radio Orchestra, the Flanders Festivals and the Festival de Wallonie in Brussels on 8 June 2007 was a remarkable success. Intense discussions on various aspects of a ‘network’s work’, together with the diversity of individuals involved in the working sessions and the variety of backgrounds among the participants enabled encouraging encounters and a melting of ideas and projects. The day concluded with the remarkable confirmation that cultural networks, in order to weigh upon decision making processes at a European level, need to intensify collaborative measures and activities. “The House for Culture is in this respect an expression to further collaboration and synergies within the cultural and arts sector by creating a meeting-place, a reference point, an embassy, an interlocutor, a lobbing constitution primarily for cultural networks in Brussels and for those with an interest in the EU-decision making process in the field of culture”, according to the declaration’s wording. The House for Culture will offer a home to cultural networks and initiatives in order to stimulate dialogue within the sector but also between the arts and culture on the one and politics on the other hand. “A lot of sectors have their lobbying house, a constituency in Brussels where they organize themselves in a very efficient way – the arts and culture do not, yet!”, as Hugo De Greef, EFA Secretary General and initiator of the idea, puts the need to join forces in the cultural sector. The House will become reality at the beginning of 2008. All relevant documents are available on the Conference website at including the full text of the ISPA/EFA Declaration. Concluding reports will be posted soon.