ECCD welcome the European Work Plan for Culture

The European Coalitions for Cultural Diversity welcome the European Work Plan for Culture prepared by the Czech Presidency and the Member States, with support from the European Commission. This reference document states four priorities and challenges faced by the cultural and creative sectors (CCS) today and sets out 21 actions to address them. 

  • Artists and cultural professionals: empowering the cultural and creative sectors
  • Culture for the people: enhancing cultural participation and the role of culture in society
  • Culture for the planet: unleashing the power of culture
  • Culture for co-creative partnerships: strengthening the cultural dimension of EU external relations

Among the priorities, ECCD would like to stress two actions that underline its commitments.

Status and working conditions of artist and cultural and creative professionals

The Work Plan proposes to have an online platform available on first half of 2023, “to provide information about artist’ and cultural and creative professionals’ working conditions in the EU Member States. The idea is to gather information on the working conditions and to better cope with administrative requirements “(social security, taxation). The platform will also highlight good practices among stakeholders “with regard to improving artists’ and creative professionals’ working conditions, stocktaking of progress and work on specific recommendations on the Status of the Artist”. In addition, thematic workshops will take place in 2024, 2025 and 2026. 

ECCD welcome these initiatives and calls on European institutions to build a common framework in order to create a European status of the artist. This status should ensure that everywhere artists are going in Europe, they can benefit from a protection. Furthermore, this framework has to build synergies with education to prepare artists for the job market and to inform them of the schemes they can access to. It has also to be linked with national and international opportunities to increase artists’ mobility

Discoverability of diverse European cultural content in the digital environment

The Work Plan proposes a technical study for 2023-2024 and/or workshop in 2025 to understand better “the impact that content priorisation practices, algorithm recommendations and curation strategies have on cultural and linguistic diversity and find common solutions to increase the exposure of high-quality European content online, including suitable data-driven income models”. The Work Plan calls on to build on existing work and consultations such as the Media Outlook or the European Audiovisual Observatory. Through this study/workshop, the Council aims “to have a review of innovative projects and specific tools, but also of difficulties regarding access to content”, including people with disabilities or lower income, with a focus on “less-explored and less-regulated sectors such as music or books”. 

ECCD welcome these initiatives which recognise the impacts of algorithms functioning on cultural diversity and propose ways to study them in all art sector. The role of algorithms, particularly in terms of filtering systems and recommendations, often linked to the « consumption of works », as well as the strategies deployed by the major platforms and search engine, have a very strong impact on the visibility of works and on the public’s ability to find them. For music, discoverability is illustrated by the appearance of content and in particular of playlists on streaming platforms ; for the audiovisual sector, it involves promotion on the internet and on the catalogues of streaming platforms ; for live performances, it involves the promotion of performances on video sharing platforms and search engines; for the visual arts, it is essentially a question of search engines facilitating the discovery of works; finally, for the book sector, it involves large distribution platforms that promote certain works.

Regarding their priority to act for the discoverability of European works in all art sector, ECCD believe that these actions will contribute to support European creators work in all art sector and to address cultural diversity in the digital environment. 

ECCD will continue to call on decision makers especially on the two issues mentioned in order to ensure the diversity of cultural and creative industries. 

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