Commissioner Andrulla Vassiliou acknowledges important role of festivals in Europe

21 October 2010

On 20 October 2010 in Brussels, directors of major European festivals met Andrulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, at the invitation of the European Festivals Association (EFA). This first round table since the Commissioner took office set the agenda for continued collaboration between EFA, the umbrella organisation of arts festivals in Europe, and the European Commission. It was hosted by the European House for Culture. All representatives agreed on the vital role of international arts festivals in the European integration process. Festivals contribute to the development of a Europe for citizens, connect cities and regions closer to the European project and are windows to the world beyond EU borders. Commissioner Vassiliou called upon festivals to “keep Europe’s cultural diversity alive by helping artists circulate around Europe, to keep up festivals positive impact on jobs and the local and regional economy, to reach out into communities and to communicate Europe’s diversity and Europe’s values to our young people.” Strengthening the Commissioner’s strategy to position culture at the heart of all policy areas, in particular when the next generation of EU policies and the budget (2014-2020) are being discussed, is key for the next two years. This first round table underlined the Commission’s readiness to consult the sector and to connect to the international artistic practice. A next round table is planned for 2011; it will discuss further the role of festivals and EFA in Europe’s 2020 Strategy, the European Agenda for Culture and the future EU Culture Programme. EFA President Darko Brlek emphasised: “People need a meaning. Arts and culture bring this meaning, they build societies! This intrinsic role has to be acknowledged by all people. Together with the Commissioner, we are ready to raise awareness at all levels in society.” If you are interested in more information, the agenda of the meeting, background documents, photos or an interview with one of the festival directors or EFA, please contact Juliane Reissig at +32 9 241 8080 or Related links and documents: • EFA press releasePhoto galleryNews by Emilia Romagna FestivalNews by Ljubljana FestivalNews by Festival “Sarajevo Winter”News by Vilnius Festival