Prioritising arts and culture in a renewed social contract

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Prioritising arts and culture in a renewed social contract

About

European Young Leaders (EYL40) Working Group on Arts and Culture

 

THE WORKING GROUP /
The European Young Leaders Working Group on Arts and Culture was established to share and brainstorm ideas for collaborating on pan-European projects related to arts and culture and it draws on the wide range of artists, musicians, writers and cultural practitioners in the European Young Leaders (EYL) network.

Over the course of 2021, the Working Group examined and contributed to proposals in different member states aimed at mitigating the devastating impact of Covid-19 on the cultural sector.

THE WHY /
Brexit, the rising of populism and the pandemic threatened a sense of ‘European-ness’ among citizens of Europe. The Working Group places a particular importance on how arts and culture – a core European industry – can be used as tools to help build that spirit. 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 OUTCOME /
The Working Group met three times this year. the discussions’ recommendations and produced a policy briefing in the autumn of 2021 to be brought to the attention of high-level policymakers at European and national level. The briefing will be also handed over to EYLs 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.

This debate will launch the policy briefing of the European Young Leaders (EYL40) Working Group on Arts and Culture. The briefing stems from a series of meetings which took place over the course of 2021. Published just as the Union prepares to welcome a new presidency trio, the upcoming French presidency of the European Council in 2022 will be crucial for the sector, as France has always been a champion of the arts and culture.

The recommendations of the policy briefing aim to strengthen Europe as a leader in artistic creation, anchor broadened cultural practices and celebrate the diversity of European identities, which make Europe Europe.


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Prioritising arts and culture in a renewed social contract
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Europe’s unique cultural heritage has a long history, and the pandemic was a disaster for Europe’s cultural and creative industries (CCIs), leaving many in shock. Even today, months after vaccination campaigns kickstarted across the European Union, CCIs have not fully recovered despite concerted efforts by member states and local authorities.

Friends of Europe is convinced that the show must go on: the crisis invites us to be more creative than ever before and reinvent the arts and culture to the benefit of our communities and society as a whole. Europe needs more continent-wide projects, such as the EU’s New European Bauhaus, which offer the arts and culture a new role in the green digital transition.

The EU recovery plan, which has enabled Europe to tackle a key challenge together rather than separately, should serve as inspiration for orienting cultural spending. This includes completely rethinking the way we allocate money to the arts. Money well spent on arts and culture can transform the role that the sector plays in our lives and the fabric of society, be it as part of education, artistic production or how we consume art.

PERFORMANCE BY

Alexandra Dariescu

Award-Winning Concert Pianist, Producer of "The Nutcracker and I”, Creative Entrepreneur and 2018 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Policy briefing introduction

Mary Fitzgerald

Libya Researcher, non-resident scholar at the Middle East Institute, Friends of Europe Trustee and 2013 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Speakers

Themis Christophidou

European Commission Director General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture

Monica Semedo

Member of the European Parliament Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, rapporteur on cultural recovery in the EU and 2020-2021 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Moderator

Dharmendra Kanani

Director, Asia, Peace, Security & Defense, Digital & Chief spokesperson

End of meeting
Speakers

Speakers

Photo of Alexandra Dariescu
Alexandra Dariescu

Award-Winning Concert Pianist, Producer of "The Nutcracker and I”, Creative Entrepreneur and 2018 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on Alexandra Dariescu

Alexandra is the creator and producer of “The Nutcracker and I”, a ground-breaking multimedia performance created for a piano solo with dance and digital animation. She made her debut at the Carnegie Hall in New York and has performed in many prestigious orchestras, including the Sydney Opera House, London’s Wigmore Hall, Dubai Opera House and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. She was the first female Romanian pianist to perform at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Alexandra is an Honorary Associate Artist at the Royal Northern College of Music, Patron of Music in Lyddington, Cultural Ambassador of Romania and Officer of the Romanian Crown. An activist for gender equality in classical music, she is a recipient of the UK’s Women of the Future Award in the Arts and Culture category and dedicates her life to education projects, building bridges and reaching out to the younger generation.

Mary Fitzgerald
Mary Fitzgerald

Libya Researcher, non-resident scholar at the Middle East Institute, Friends of Europe Trustee and 2013 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on Mary Fitzgerald

Mary Fitzgerald is a researcher and analyst specialising in the Euro-Mediterranean region with a particular focus on Libya. She has worked on Libya for more than a decade and lived there in 2014. She has conducted research on Libya for International Crisis Group (ICG) and the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) among others. She has consulted for a number of international organisations including in the areas of peace building and civil society. She is a Non-Resident Scholar at the Middle East Institute in Washington DC, an Associate Fellow at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation, King’s College London, and an Associate Fellow at ISPI in Milan. Mary has also worked on wider initiatives with UNESCO, the Anna Lindh Foundation, the British Council and other cultural organisations. Her writing has appeared in publications including Foreign Policy, The New Yorker online, the Washington Post, Financial Times and the Guardian.

Dharmendra Kanani
Dharmendra Kanani

Director, Asia, Peace, Security & Defense, Digital & Chief spokesperson

Show more information on Dharmendra Kanani

Prior to joining Friends of Europe, Dharmendra Kanani was director of policy at the European Foundation Centre (EFC). He was the England director at the Big Lottery Fund, the largest independent funder in the UK and fourth largest in the world. Dharmendra has held senior positions in the public and voluntary sector and advisor to numerous ministerial policy initiatives across the UK.

Monica Semedo
Monica Semedo

Member of the European Parliament Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, rapporteur on cultural recovery in the EU and 2020-2021 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on Monica Semedo

Monica is a Luxembourgish TV presenter and politician, and was elected as a Member of the European Parliament in 2019. Having worked as a journalist and TV presenter for over two decades, Monica is well-known amongst Luxembourg’s public. Having won a seat in the European Parliament for Luxembourg’s Democratic Party and serving as a full member of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, Monica has expressed her intent to prioritise equal opportunities for children and young people in particular as well as an equal platform for entrepreneurs. Monica has been actively engaged in charity work, including for cancer research and as a former ambassador for SOS Children’s Villages and Fairtrade.

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