Opportunities > Voices of Culture | apply now to join session on Culture and the Sustainable Development Goals: Challenges and Opportunities
11 Oct 2020

Voices of Culture | apply now to join session on Culture and the Sustainable Development Goals: Challenges and Opportunities

The third topic of Voices of Culture 2019 – 2021 will ask questions about the challenges and opportunities for culture and the sustainable development goals. How can new priorities, policies, actions and funding streams better address this issue?  

The call is open to representatives of the cultural and creative sectors (professional organisations, cultural institutions, non-governmental organisations, European networks, foundations, private organisations, etc.) with relevant expertise on the topic Culture and the Sustainable Development Goals: Challenges and Opportunities who would like to contribute to discussions with the European Commission. Organisations applying must be from one of the 28 EU Member States.

Due to the Brainstorming Meeting taking place digitally, the number of spots for participants will be increased to a maximum of 45.

The United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a 15-year global framework.  It is centred on an ambitious set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 169 targets and over 230 indicators.  The SDGs address all UN Member States and the European Union. They address governments, civil society and the private sector. And they include culture.

For cultural organizations, the Sustainable Development Goals create both challenges and opportunities. The main challenge is how to ensure the effective contribution of culture to the global policy agenda. The main opportunities lie in demonstrating culture’s importance to society, and supporting advocacy.

To contribute to its reflection on culture and the Sustainable Development Goals the European Commission has asked Voices of Culture to organize a conversation among stakeholders.

The topical discussion is framed by a discussion paper by our independent expert Gijs de Vries.

Successful applicants will be invited to a digital Brainstorming Meeting on the 02.12.2020 – 03.12.2020 and to a Dialogue Meeting on the 11.02.2021 with the European Commission to share their input on five suggested areas of discussion:

  • Education. What can the EU do to support arts education and citizenship education to promote peaceful, inclusive and sustainable societies?
  • Growth and employment. How can the EU help improve working conditions for artists? How should it support the International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development? How should sustainable cultural tourism be promoted?  (See also the findings of the previous Voices of Culture dialogue on developing entrepreneurial and innovation potential).
  • Sustainable communities. While there has been significant EU action to protect and safeguard cultural and natural heritage, particularly in the context of the 2018 European Year and its follow-up, are there other areas of culture policy where the EU could/should do more?  For example, what more could/should the EU do to promote the sustainability of cultural infrastructures in communities, in light of COVID-19? 
  • Climate action. How should the EU support the cultural sector in strengthening resilience and adapting to climate change?
  • Freedom of expression. What more should the EU do to protect artists at risk, and to promote freedom of expression and the right to culture in the European Union and around the world?

The Brainstorming meeting for the topic will take place digitally on the 2nd & 3rd of December 2020.

The Dialogue meeting for this topic will take place on the 11th of February 2021.

For detailed information and how to apply, please visit the website

Deadline for applications: 11th October 2020