Resources > Culture Action Europe
16 May 2011

Culture Action Europe

Culture Action Europe is an advocacy and lobby organisation promoting arts and culture as a building block of the European project. Its aim is to influence European policies for more and better access to culture across the continent and beyond. It provides customized information and analysis on the European Union, offers cultural actors a space to exchange and elaborate common positions, and develops advocacy actions towards European policymakers.

What is Culture Action Europe's mission?

Its mission is to keep on providing EU cultural operators with a common arena in which they can reflect on the European project, identify their interests and organise their political representation with a long-term objective to strengthen the role of arts and culture in the development of Europe. Behind its mission is the belief that public investment in culture and the arts contributes to the development of a sustainable and more cohesive Europe. Culture Action Europe is convinced that access to the arts and participation in cultural life is a fundamental right of every citizen.

What is the structure of Culture Action Europe?

Culture Action Europe is a Europe-wide network of membership organisations, with a Secretariat based in Brussels. It has an Executive Committee elected from among its membership organisations who meet four times a year. Its membership organisations meet during the annual General Assembly.

Culture Action Europe currently has over 100 members that together represent over 50.000 arts and culture players across Europe and beyond in more than 14 artistic disciplines. Its members are from all domains - orchestras to writers associations, research institutions to cultural contact points, national theatres to international cultural networks, independent cultural operators to conservatoires, visual arts organisations to voluntary arts organisations. We bring them together in the belief that cultural cooperation matters in Europe.

What is Culture Action Europe's action?

It has immediate access to EU decision makers and we are widely recognised as a unique resource of information and expertise on the EU and its cultural policy. The EU institutions see Culture Action Europe as the first port of call for informed opinion and debate about arts and cultural policy in Europe. We are the biggest umbrella organisation representing the cultural sector at European level.

It has been working on European cultural policy issues since 1992.

It has published numerous studies and reports, participated in key Parliamentary hearings and discussion groups, influenced the design of the early cultural funding programmes Kaleidoscope and Raphaël, as well as the two generations of Culture programmes.

It had an active role in the debates, which led to the development of ‘A European Agenda on Culture’, co-initiated the creation of the Platform for Intercultural Europe and take an active part in the newly established structured dialogue with civil society.

It is a leading platform for reflection and advocacy when it comes to European cultural policy.

Culture Action Europe's most high profile successes was the 70 Cents for Culture Campaign targeted at European parliamentarians, Commission officials and Ministers of Culture to increase the EU’s culture budget from roughly 7 cents per citizen per year to 70 in the 2007-2013 Culture Programme. The campaign struck a chord, receiving the support of more than 1,300 persons and organisations. Given the envisaged cuts in the budget and that the campaign target of 70 cents had always been symbolic, the campaign was recognized as making a significant contribution to the final result - 13 cents. It is an example of what we can do if we collaborate in the right way.