EU National Institutes for Culture - EUNIC


Visual depiction of the online debate on 18 November 2020 by www.menah.nl

#CulturalDealEU: A central place for culture in the EU’s post-pandemic future

With the #CulturalDealEU campaign, launched by Culture Action Europe, European Cultural Foundation, and Europa Nostra, the European community of cultural, creative, heritage and philanthropic sectors calls to mainstream culture across all policy fields to fully realise its potential for the European project.

Visual depiction of the online debate on 18 November 2020 by www.menah.nl

In a joint statement, published by Culture Action Europe (CAE), European Cultural Foundation (ECF), and Europa Nostra, the European community of cultural, creative, heritage and philanthropic sectors call to mainstream culture across all policy fields to fully realise its potential for the European project: from the green transition to Europe’s geopolitical ambition, and from the digital shift to a value-driven Union. It bundles together short-term and long-term perspectives, with a view to the immediate recovery of our societies with the ambition to build a new paradigm for designing the future of Europe.

Cultural Deal for Europe calls for culture to be a pillar of the future of Europe, as it contributes to democratic, free, and sustainable societies. At the same time, it reiterates the need to strengthen the role of international cultural relations in the EU’s foreign and sustainable development policies: international cultural relations are key in creating trust and understanding and a more peaceful world by bringing people together on a global scale. The gravity of the Covid-19 crisis proved again that culture is not a luxury, but a necessity to build cohesive, equal, sustainable and free societies.

The Cultural Deal for Europe was first launched on 18 November 2020, during a high-profile online debate with more than 500 attendees. President of the European Parliament David Sassoli opened the event, echoing the call of the sector: “(We need to) think (…) of culture as a pivot for recovery, in particular for the green and digital transition but also as the social cement of a post-Covid world that needs to be rebuilt,” he said.

Beyond the aesthetic contribution of culture and the arts to societies, however, the cultural sector claims its political space and leadership too. On this level, the Cultural Deal for Europe aims at acknowledging the contribution of the sector to the European project, in particular by reconsidering the social and legal status of artists and cultural professionals but also by going beyond the sectoral perspective and including cultural approaches and voices in the main strategic EU programmes and policies, as well as in the Conference on the Future of Europe.

“To show the power of culture, we need a unified cultural sector: we need collaboration, cooperation, a common voice: common advocacy strategies,” said Sabine Verheyen, Chair of the CULT Committee of the European Parliament. “We have to work together on the common narrative in order to be able to convince Member States to see culture as a strategic investment,” European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Mariya Gabriel agreed.

A Cultural Deal for Europe is a call from a wider European cultural community to acknowledge the pivotal role of culture in shaping the future of our lives, in a global arena which is driven by cultural creativity, innovation and access to knowledge. The crisis and recovery should be seen as an opportunity to make a step forward, prepare the sector for the future, and better equip it with means and resources for contributing to the European project.

There is no recovery for Europe without culture.

Find out more about the initiative.



  • EU
  • Policy
  • EU Relations