Towards sustainability through Culture

By Culture Action Europe

Being the only cross-sectorial cultural network in Europe, Culture Action Europe represents a wide range of cultural organisations. Among its priorities is the affirmation of culture as the fourth pillar of sustainable development, and raising awareness about the role of culture in implementing the Agenda 2030. This focus reflects a trend that is currently gaining momentum in Europe.

The pivotal role of culture and creativity as leverage for reaching the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) gets recognised and put forward both by European civil society and EU policy-makers.

A comprehensive contribution of the cultural community to sustainable development is an overarching theme of a Cultural Deal for Europe; an initiative jointly launched on 18 November by Culture Action Europe, the European Cultural Foundation, and Europa Nostra. This transversal framework envisages the mainstreaming of culture across key 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. 

Pushed by many activists in the cultural and creative sectors, the European institutions are also acknowledging the transformative input of culture to the sustainable development of the EU. In the framework of the European Council’s work plan for culture 2019-2022, the European Commission (EC) has launched the Voices of Culture, Structured Dialogue with the cultural sector, with one of the three key topics being the contribution of culture to reaching the SDGs. 

CAE is among the selected representatives of the cultural and creative sector that are participating in this process and contributing to policy development with their views. Following the digital Brainstorming Meeting of December 2-3, the participants will share their input with the Commission on 11 February. The discussion will focus on five particular areas of sustainable development: education, growth and employment, sustainable communities, climate action, and freedom of expression.

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