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The European Pavilion Back

The European Pavilion

In short


Programme initiated in 2020 that puts the question of Europe and its future(s) at the forefront through cultural projects and artistic productions. It calls on arts and culture as a vector to investigate, explore and discuss Europe’s burning questions and to bring a range of people and communities together to critically reflect upon and imagine Europe in new ways.


An annual open call that awards a single commissioning grant of up to 500 000 euros to organise The European Pavilion the following year. In 2023 the call was open from 15 June to 14 September.

Who is it for

The programme is open to arts and culture organisations as well as creative collectives from all fields who are invited to submit a curatorial proposal for the development and production of an annual European Pavilion. It is possible to apply with a consortium of partners, also of different legal entities (e.g. public-private partnerships or others).


Throughout Europe (and neighbouring countries) at changing locations and on the web, depending on who the commissioned organisation is. The European Pavilion as such constitutes a joint pan-European cultural space.

What is Europe in reality and how can it be shaped by our imaginations? What do we aspire for it to be, beyond politics, economics, and national borders? What will it take to get there? How can artistic imagination and creative ideas reflect about past and current challenges and inspire to envision a forward-looking Europe, one that contributes to building fairer and more sustainable societies for all? How, through the metaphor of the pavilion, can we rethink Europe?

These are some of the key questions that guide The European Pavilion, a programme initiated by ECF in 2020 that puts the question of Europe and its future(s) at the forefront through cultural programmes and artistic productions. 

Brand new commissioning grant

In June 2023, ECF launched a first commissioning grant of up to 500.000 EUR to be awarded to a single organization or consortium of partners for curating and hosting The European Pavilion 2024. Read more about the call here.

Out of the 39 applications received from across the continent, an independent jury invited five finalists for an interview. Read more about the finalists and their project here.

On February 14, 2024, the laureate of the commissioning grant was announced at a press conference held in Rotterdam: the consortium led by the independent artists’ collective espaço agora was chosen for their proposal Liquid Becomings, which takes the form of four boats sailing on four European rivers for twenty-eight days, before coming together in Lisbon for a final artistic programme in November 2024. Read more about Liquid Becomings here.

Photo taken during The European Pavilion 2024: Liquid Becomings presentation. Photo by Sander van Wettum.

A space for experimentation and imagination

To imagine the Europe of tomorrow is not an easy task. It is neither a matter of beginning from a blank page nor following a preconceived narrative. Rather, it is about adding footnotes, constructing stepping stones and creating spaces that ignite reflection, new ideas and communities.

Through the European Pavilion programme, our ambition is to facilitate a space that encourages experimentation about Europe. We want to offer the opportunity to think and act in relation to the continent in a sustainable and inclusive, and at the same time distinctive and complex way. We want to tell stories, dream, speculate, experiment, prototype. We want to argue, question and debate. The European Pavilion is thus a far from finished construction, let alone a fixed physical space. It is rather the many functions and forms that a pavilion has taken on throughout history that inspire us, because as such it has the quality to remain open to new definitions and meanings – just like Europe becomes over and over again what we make of it and what we want it to be.

Legacy of the programme

The initial thoughts towards what would become the European Pavilion emerged in 2019 from ECF’s conviction that we need more cultural spaces that go beyond national merits when exploring and imagining what Europe is and what it can or should become.

It was subsequently developed in conversation with art professionals and foundation representatives during a brainstorm meeting organised in July 2020, and through The European Pavilion Podcast: a research tool bringing together personalities from the arts and culture who explore what  the European Pavilion can mean and could be, and share reflections on burning questions about Europe. 

In the two following years (2021-2022), the pilot phase was implemented in collaboration with Camargo Foundation, Kultura Nova Foundation and with the support of Fondazione CRT. Through a closed call, seven cultural organisations across Europe were selected to become so-called European Pavilion Studios (meet them here) and developed artistic programmes that tackle urgent European topics that range from the future of food and the issue of waste in contemporary societies, the state of democracy and the urgency to listen to the unheard and the marginalised. 

As part of our 2020 Culture of Solidarity fund, we also supported a number of organisations whose projects resonate with the vision and aspiration of the Pavilion. 

The pilot phase concluded with a three-day arts event in Rome hosted by Bibliotheca Hertziana – Max Planck Institute for Art History, Goethe-Institut, German Academy Rome Villa Massimo, Académie de France à Rome Villa Médicis, Istituto Svizzero, Museo delle Civiltà and NERO (read more about that here).

For the period 2023-2024 (and onwards), the European Pavilion will continue to reflect about and imagine Europe, now through a single annual commissioning grant that will culminate in a major public event at the end of 2024. 

The European Pavilion is a multi-annual programme and we hope to welcome many new partners in the coming years. If you are interested in joining us in this venture, please contact::

Lore Gablier:


  • In her essay, Sabrina Stallone reflects on the European Pavilion within the context of the flourishing landscape of debates on the future of Europe, currently emerging in Brussels and beyond
  • Leaf through a dossier on The European Pavilion initiative published in ECF’s 2021 annual magazine Common Ground (pp. 34-54)
  • Read the European Pavilion rationale that was shared with the participants of ECF’s initial brainstorm meeting.
  • Read an essay on The European Pavilion by Monica Sassatelli, which we published in the 2022 issue of Common Ground. 

Get in touch

If you have any questions about The European Pavilion, please contact Philipp Dietachmair, Head of Programmes, or Lore Gablier, Programme Manager. 

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