New Year message & work plan 2023: New Energy for Europe
23 Dec 2022
We are living in interesting times. Crisis and uncertainty are the new normal. Rather than succumbing to a permanent state of emergency, we need to build a state of resilience.
Throughout history, artists and cultural figures have been drivers of change. They offer hope in times of war and anxiety. They provide resistance against dictators and lies; they keep the connection across polarised lines; they imagine a better Europe beyond war, hardship, divisions and simplistic economic models. They counteract destructive nationalist forces and challenge inertia and nostalgia. Culture creates European experiences. Shared experiences create a sense of belonging, a European sense of purpose. Common experiences build peace and solidarity. Throughout times of crisis, culture has been inspirational and vital to our everyday lives. It has provided hope, strength and resilience. Culture can create New Energy for Europe – and we mean renewable energy in the widest sense.
How can we respond to a cycle of never-ending crises? Over the summer/autumn of 2022 we carried out a mid-point review of our five-year strategic plan. While we confirmed our mission and overall strategy, we have updated our programmes, advocacy, communication and operations in order to remain relevant, flexible yet ambitious.
The Culture of Solidarity Initiative is our flexible instrument to enable cross-border European activities in times of war, climate transition and uncertainty. Following successful advocacy for a Cultural Deal for Europe that delivered more than €10 billion for culture as part of the EU recovery plan, we will continue advocating for the full integration of culture into EU policies and actions. After a successful review the Europe Challenge and the European Pavilion will be scaled up. We are committed to the European Philanthropy Coalition ‘We act: Philanthropy for Climate’ – which is both an ambition and a guide for action. As part of our long-term commitment for empowering a European Public Space, we will invest in the productive exchange of ideas between policy-makers, media-makers, economists, researchers and civil society. We will continue our campaign to make Europe Day an occasion to celebrate European unity, solidarity and purpose. The second edition of the European Sentiment Compass will be published on 9 May 2023. Operationally, our priority is mainstreaming our climate pledge across our operations and preparing scenarios for the new European Cultural Foundation office.
With all the best wishes for the new year and we look forward to working together!
Andre Wilkens and the team of the European Cultural Foundation
You can read more information on our work plan 2023 here.