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"Coming back stronger! Ways forward for culture"

On 26 May, UNIC took part in the ""Coming back stronger! Ways forward for culture", a common event organised by six political Groups of the European Parliament (EPP, S&D, RE, ECR, Greens/EFA and LEFT). The aim was to explore the possibilities for an EU-wide approach to support the Cultural and Creative Sectors and Industries (CCSIs), with focus on ways to reactivate Europe’s cultural events and venues.

The conference was opened by MEP Sabine Verheyen, Chair of the Culture Committee, who recalled that cultural venues had been badly affected by COVID. She explained that the objective of the conference was to find a new approach to support CCIs & to reactive Europe's cultural events and venues. 

She was followed by Paola Leoncini-Bartoli, Director for Cultural Policies and Development at UNESCO, who highlighted UNESCO's current and upcoming actions to support the cultural sector. 

Snezhina Petrova, from Mariaya Gabriel's Cabinet (Commissioner for  Education, Youth, Sport and Culture), took the floor and mentioned that there was a need to address the structural challenges faced by the cultural and creative industries and it was time to come back stronger together. She referred to the European Commission's upcoming guidelines on the reopening of cultural venues. 

MEPs Alexis Georgourlis and Andrey Slabakov then talked about fair remuneration, the need to protect creators and support European culture. 

The first panel "How to unlock the sector - Best practices and examples in Europe" was moderated by MEP Laurence Farreng. She opened the panel by recalling the resolution adopted last September by the European Parliament to support the CCIs, the challenge to find a balance between safety and culture. Jordi Herreruela, Salas Director of Festival Cruïlla Barcelona, Coralie Berael, Venue manager of Forest National and Sébastien Justine President of Federation of employers associations in the public and private live performance in France, took part in the discussion- they mentioned the test concerts, how culture and science have to come together to guarantee safety, and how challenging it had been to be qualified as "non essential". All agreed that nothing can replace the experience. 

The second panel "What’s next? The future of culture and arts in Europe" was moderated by MEP Salima Yembou. Julia Pagel Secretary General

Network of European Museum Organisations, Pr. Sergei Ignatov, Rector of European Humanities University, Vilnius,  Jean-Noël Tronc Chair of the Board
GESAC and Laura Houlgatte from UNIC took part. All mentioned that cultural venues were more than just cultural places but also key socially and economically and there was a need to support the infrastructures. Laura Houlgatte talked about the impact of covid on cinemas, the reopening and how keen audiences were to come back. She also talked about the various policies that should be used to support cinemas and that they remained essential for audiences and for the value chain. 

The recording of the event can we watched here

The programme can be donwloaded here.

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