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Public Policy

Public Policy

We create a central position for culture in public opinion and in policies from the local to the European level.

Advocacy is a means to advance our mission and to achieve our programmatic goals. We aim at influencing public policy and decisions on priorities and resource allocations within political and philanthropic institutions. Within ECF’s strategy, public policy focuses on the following:

A Cultural Deal For Europe

There is no recovery or future for Europe without culture. Europe needs a new Cultural Deal, a transversal, overarching framework that should demonstrate the EU’s political commitment to place culture at the heart of the European project. The European Cultural Foundation, Culture Action Europe and Europa Nostra (representing the European Cultural Alliance) jointly proposed a Cultural Deal for Europe framework.

On this dedicated page you can find an overview of the Cultural Deal for Europe campaign, including videos of the Annual Policy Conversations, open letters and opinion pieces.

European Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas, addressing the 2023 Cultural Deal Annual Policy Conversation, photo by Lukasz Kobus.

Influence EU Policy and Leverage of Funding

The EU is a key actor but culture is not yet well and centrally enough positioned to unfold its full potential. Culture needs to be placed at the heart of EU policy-making to contribute effectively to solving European challenges and be more substantially and adequately funded to strengthen the European project. We advocate for the mainstreaming of culture in other than culture policies, and for the doubling of the EU’s Creative Europe budget from €1.4 billion to € 2.8 billion in the next 7-year budget cycle (2021-2027).

European Cultural Deal for Ukraine

Europe needs Ukraine as Ukraine needs Europe. The recovery and future of Ukraine in the EU cannot be envisaged without culture playing its full role. This needs the determination and commitment of Ukraine to embed culture in its recovery, reconstruction and modernisation strategy. We urgently call on the EU to include Ukraine’s cultural, cultural heritage and creative sectors in EU relief packages for Ukraine and the Ukraine Facility (2024-2027).

In November 2022 we were part of the opening of the exposition ‘In the Eye of the Storm’ at TBA21 Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary. Our Head of Public Policy, Isabelle Schwarz, moderated the high-level policy conversation ‘Culture in Times of War – European solidarity with Ukraine’ on the need to stand in solidarity with Ukraine and its artistic and cultural community. The panel discussed the vital role of culture in shaping a sense of togetherness, a European sentiment, in times of crisis, recovery, and beyond. It did assess opportunities for showing cultural solidarity and offer pathways towards a Cultural Deal for Ukraine.

Philanthropy with a European Purpose

While the foundation sector in Europe amounts to EUR 60 billion annually, there is hardly any philanthropy whose mission and core business are Europe. There is no equivalent to a European Gates Foundation, there is no Rockefeller, no Soros, no European Welcome Trust. Where are the European philanthropists? ECF, Europe’s first European foundation advocates for at least 1 per cent of philanthropic resources in Europe to be invested in a flagship initiative of European purpose.

You can download the 2020 study Imagine Philanthropy for Europe study we together with Allianz Kulturstiftung commissioned to Wider Sense.

Following the publication of Rien van Gendt’s book Philanthropy Back to the Drawing Board the author and André Wilkens sat down for an exchange of thoughts on the challenges and outlooks for philanthropy, the need for self-reflection and, ultimately, the relation between philanthropy and democracy.

European Sentiment Compass

The European Sentiment Compass is a joint project and initiative by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) and the European Cultural Foundation (ECF), resulting in an annual publication. Please find the 2023 edition of the European Sentiment Compass here, and the 2022 edition here.

CrAFt - Creating Actionable Futures

The CrAFt project will place the transition to climate neutrality at the heart of urban stakeholders. Together with all the project-partners we will test and share collaborative local governance models to harness the value of inclusiveness, aesthetics and sustainability towards climate neutral cities.

Continue to the CrAFt dedicated website to learn more about the project.

EIT Culture & Creativity

The EIT Culture & Creativity will train the sector’s future entrepreneurs, power its cutting-edge ventures, and deliver innovative solutions to the challenges facing the cultural and creative sectors. The EIT Culture & Creativity will be the platform to experiment with new forms of partnerships and funding models for the cultural and creative eco system.

The European Cultural Foundation is part of the carefully crafted pan-European partnership bringing together 50 partners from 20 countries across Europe, big and small, to boost culture and creative industries and strengthen their role in and for Europe.  ECF will bring its knowledge, capacity and networks to the innovation community and through partnership with stellar organisations amplify its scale and impact.

Read more about EIT Culture & Creativity here.

Amsterdam Partnership

We are a European foundation with a firm base in Amsterdam. We are eager to see initiatives, organisations and individuals join our cause in advancing Europe through culture, across Europe but also in Amsterdam. We support strategic ventures in Amsterdam with a European purpose. We partner with the City of Amsterdam and other locally-based key players to co-develop a vibrant European space and invest in innovative and inspiring organisations that ignite cross-overs between culture, politics, academia and creative economy.

As a member of the Europa Platform we ensure Europe is part of Dutch cultural policy debates. On Europe Day we like bringing our networks together for a celebratory event.

Strategic Partnerships

We are a member of several foundation and civil society platforms that share our vision and values and and advocate together with us for a Europe that is democratic, open, inclusive, culture-based and future-oriented. This includes among others Philea, European Policy Centre (EPC), Culture Action Europe, Cultural Relations Platform, NEF’s Civitates, and EDGE (Engaged Donors for Global Equity) Funders Alliance. As part of our European Cultural Deal for Ukraine efforts we team up with TBA21 Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, and their coalition Museums for Ukraine.

Latest Publications

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