Should we have a cultural deal for Europe and put culture as one of the top EU priorities?

Many cultural professionals, scientists and policymakers think that European Union needs a deep and thorough reimagining of its cultural policies and that the matter is pressing. The growing precarity of the cultural sector in Europe presents an additional urgency to the issue.

Culture Action Europe (CAE), a network of cultural networks and organizations which holds the dialogue between the cultural sector and EU policymakers, is calling to a Europe-wide policy conversation about culture. As part of the broad initiative by Culture Action Europe and its partners who are advocating a strategy of ‘reviving and reimagining Europe through culture’, a policy conversation titled ‘A Cultural Deal for Europe’ will be held on February 1st 15.00-18.00 CET (online), and registration is open until January 28th.

‘A Cultural Deal for Europe’ strategy states that politicians and policymakers should show the recognition of culture as the basis of the European Union and demonstrate a clear commitment to ‘place culture at the heart of the European project’. By that, CAE holds that EU should place culture as pivotal in European post-pandemic recovery and make it a ‘priority dimension in the EU policy thinking and funds-allocation’.

‘A Cultural Deal’ call for the reimagining of cultural policy envisions the integration of culture established as a priority with the other EU priorities – like the green and the digital transformations or the nurturing of European democracies. This renewed recognition of culture is also seen as linked with the issues of salaries/fees and rights in the cultural sector – the initiative aims to go through a ‘reconsidering [of] the social and legal status of artists and cultural professionals’.[1]

Culture in the EU’s National Recovery and Resilience Plans, 2021; Annotation integral to the information displayed in the picture: ‘Several countries have national schemes in place’.

Gijs de Vries, one of the speakers on the upcoming Policy Conversation has just published an opinion piece titled ‘Europe must reimagine its cultural policies’ in which he screens out three policy priorities related to culture: ‘to preserve the planet’, to fight ‘authoritarianism and aggression’ and lastly, for EU to ‘acknowledge and celebrate the economic and social importance of the arts, heritage and the creative industries’.[2]

You can contribute to the reimagining of the EU cultural policies by joining the policy conversation on February 1st.

What do you think?

What kind of reimagining for European culture and cultural policies would you like to see?

How should culture be connected to other EU priorities (like ‘green’, ‘digital’ or ‘nurturing democracy’) in a ‘Cultural Deal for Europe’?

[1] All citations in this and the previous paragraph are taken from ‘A Cultural Deal for Europe’, retreived from ‘Culture Action Europe’ website,

[2] All citations in this paragraph are taken from ‘Europe must reimagine its cultural policies’ by Gijs de Vries, retreived from ‘Social Europe’ website,

Title/heading image: ‘The Birth of Venus’ [Nascita di Venere]by Sandro Botticelli (1485 ca.), detail.

In-text image 1 was retrieved from ‘Culture Action Europe’ facebook page, at:

In-text image 2 was retrieved from the report ‘Culture in the EU’s National Recovery and Resilience Plans’, published by Culture Action Europe in 2021 and available online, at:

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