European Culture Congress website published a petition concerning culture’s place in the EU cohesion policy for 2014-2020. As we read:
It is with a growing concern that we observe plans for the exclusion of culture from draft versions of the EU cohesion policy for 2014-2020. While the provisions concerning the European Regional Development Fund and the European Social Fund refer to the protection of cultural heritage, they fail to mention the development of cultural infrastructure, culture industries and cultural education. Compared to the current budgetary perspective it is certainly regressive.
One gets the impression that the Council’s call for the use of structural funds to finance culture as a factor behind the “development of regions and cities” has been ignored and that the manifests of Culture Action Europe or the analyses by the Budapest Observatory, which stated the need to acknowledge the social role and the significance of culture have been disregarded. We seem to have already forgotten the European Year of Creativity and Innovation – the word ‘creativity’ is completely absent from the new EU 2014-2020 cohesion policy legislative package.
Projects co-financed with European funds, in particular with structural funds, have shown that the cultural sector is aiding economic growth, creating new jobs, helps to develop cities and moulds social competences. This has been confirmed by studies commissioned by the European Commission as well as by numerous concrete, practical examples. We appeal to all Member States and to the European Parliament to amend the provisions governing the ERDF and for the ESF to acknowledge the role of culture as a factor supporting innovation and creative solutions to new social challenges that we face.
We must not allow for a situation when Philippe Kern’s statement that “EU 2020 strategy is architecture without culture” becomes reality.