EYL working group on arts and culture – 2nd meeting

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Arts and culture in Europe: relaunching economies, galvanizing values


The European Young Leaders Working Group on Arts and Culture draws on the wide range of artists, musicians, writers and cultural practitioners in the European Young Leaders (EYL) network. Working Group members include: Anne Solène Rolland, head of museums at the French ministry of culture; Beatrice Leanza, director of the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT) in Lisbon; Agnesta Filatove, executive director of Vilnius International Film Festival; Romanian pianist Alexandra Dariescu; bestselling author of the Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls series Francesca Cavallo; Spanish conductor Eduardo Portal, Slovenian artist Jasmina Cibic and Irish writers Mary Fitzgerald and Una Mullally.

Taking a pan-European approach

The Working Group was established to share and brainstorm ideas for collaborating on pan-European projects related to arts and culture. It places a particular importance on how arts and culture can be used as tools to help build a sense of ‘European-ness’ among citizens of Europe. Several members of the Working Group participated in the Euresilience project, a storytelling platform founded by EYL alumna Mary Fitzgerald in March 2020 where people across Europe shared their experiences of solidarity, community and resilience during Covid-19 lockdowns. The Working Group will examine and contribute to proposals in different member states aimed at mitigating the devastating impact of Covid-19 on the cultural sector (such as the proposed basic income scheme for artists and cultural practitioners in Ireland). The Working Group will also examine how Brexit will impact the wider cultural conversation across Europe, disrupting previous funding streams but also affecting cross-cultural exchange, and how this can be mitigated.

Developing recommendations for change

The Working Group aims to produce a policy briefing in the autumn of 2021 with recommendations that tie in with the French presidency of the EU’s ambition to showcase and augment the role of culture in Europe. Culture is about shared basic values such as freedom of expression and solidarity, this unites us. The EU’s motto is: united in diversity. Our job will be to promote that diversity while responding to common challenges. The Working Group’s recommendations will be brought to the attention of high-level policymakers at European and national level. They will be published in a policy briefing paper to be handed over to and discussed with EU commissioner for innovation, culture, education and youth Mariya Gabriel and Clément Beaune, Europe Minister for France ahead of France taking over the EU rotating presidency in 2021.

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Mary Fitzgerald
Mary Fitzgerald

Journalist and analyst specialising in the Euro-Mediterranean region with a particular focus on Libya, European Young Leader Alumna

Show more information on Mary Fitzgerald

Mary is a journalist and analyst specialising in the Euro-Mediterranean region with a particular focus on Libya. She has worked on Libya since 2011 and lived there throughout 2014. Her work has appeared in publications including the Economist, Foreign Policy, the New Yorker, the Washington Post, the Financial Times and the Guardian. She has conducted research on Libya for the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) and the European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMED) among others. She is a contributing author to an edited volume on the Libyan revolution published by Oxford University Press. In her previous role as Irish Times foreign affairs correspondent, she reported from 40 countries across the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe. She is a member of the Global Women’s Forum ‘Rising Talents’ network.



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