Concern: European Commissioner / Ms. Gabriel's title / Culture Action Europe E. started this petition to Ms.Ursula von der Leyen
Dear Ms. President-elect,
We congratulate you on finalising the challenging task of forming the future European Commission.
Culture is grouped together with youth, research, innovation, sport and education in the portfolio of Ms Gabriel. Culture Action Europe is pleased to see culture embedded in this range of areas, which are vital for the future of the European Union. However, we are deeply concerned with the downgrading of the position of culture within the Commissioner’s portfolio, primarily reflected in the fact that “Culture” is missing from her title.
Culture is a distinct and vast component of European unity, which is essential for building a shared prosperous future for all European citizens. The tremendous role of culture in European integration has been consistently recognised by European institutions in the past few years, creating an unprecedented opportunity to seize its potential for building a strong and united European community.
Now, with culture missing from the official title of the designated commissioner, we have serious doubts as to whether it will remain at the appropriate level of recognition. Undoubtedly, all cultural and creative sectors are powerful drivers of innovation; moreover, culture is closely linked with youth policies. However, it remains an autonomous domain of enormous dimensions bringing its own contribution to the construction of our societies.
Therefore, we call on transforming Ms Gabriel’s title into “Innovation, Youth and Culture”.
Considering culture’s immense role in very different fields of sustainable development, Culture Action Europe appreciates that Ms. von der Leyen has embedded some cultural aspects in the portfolios of other Commissioners. To reinforce the new structure, we call for a specific mandate to foster dialogue and synchronize actions among other commissioners and vice-commissioners dealing with culture-related matters.
Culture Action Europe (CAE) was established in 1994 under the name of European Forum for Arts and Heritage (EFAH) – Forum Européen pour les Arts et le Patrimoine (FEAP) under the Belgian law. Predominantly as ‘network of networks’, EFAH-FEAP aimed to maintain continuous dialogue and knowledge exchange between the cultural sector in Europe and EU policymakers.
The association changed its name to Culture Action Europe in 2008 and diversified its membership, opening it up to public and private organisations, both large and small. This change was mirrored in the mission and advocacy policies of CAE. It adopted a new strategy, advocating for access to the arts and participation in culture as a fundamental right of every citizen. It has continued lobbying for public investment in culture and the arts as the main force for the development of a sustainable and more cohesive Europe.
Today, CAE is the major European network of cultural networks, organisations, artists, activists, academics and policymakers. CAE is the first port of call for informed opinion and debate about arts and cultural policy in the EU. As the only intersectoral network, it brings together all practices in culture, from the performing arts to literature, the visual arts, design and cross-arts initiatives, to community centres and activist groups.
CAE believes in the value and values of culture and its contribution to the development of sustainable and inclusive societies.