We, Orchestras on the initiative of the European Orchestras’ Forum, believe that:
- Arts and culture are not dispensable lifestyle accessories but essential for every person’s quality of life and wellbeing.
- Pan European artistic interaction over many centuries has played an important part in moulding each member state’s civilization and cultural development, and the advancement of the European Union itself.
- The European Union’s current and future members states have a common responsibility to nurture their own regional and national culture and artistic activity.
In addition, they have a common responsibility, with the Union itself, of ensuring continued and balanced exchanges and promotion of arts and culture throughout Europe and beyond.
In particular, we call upon the European Union and its members states to adopt the following principles for preserving and promoting cultural diversity:
- Real cultural diversity cannot be achieved purely on the basis of market demand and profitability and needs strong protection to withstand market forces.
- Public funding to artists and cultural institutions is required to sustain a broad spectrum of non-profit cultural and artistic activity.
- To be effective, cultural organisations need extensive interaction to advance their interests and activities, through healthy professional networks and social dialogue.
In implementing these beliefs:
- The European Union should take action to increase its direct cultural and artistic funding as a priority.
- The European Union, its current and future member states, should take immediate positive action to remove the known barriers from cultural organisation mobility, for instance, double taxation.
- The European Union must ensure that mobility is not prejudicial to artists because of the relative strengths of the economies of the EU member states.
And concerning the musical sector:
- Ensure music teaching, particular instrumental teaching, is a key component of the National Curriculum, for all school ages.
- Increase the media profile of classical music and orchestral performance,
- Encourage new music,
- Help to develop a network for venues throughout Europe.
In making these calls upon the European Union, and all its current and future member states, we, Orchestras on the initiative of the European Orchestras’ Forum, recognise our active role in civil society.
June, 24th 2005, Strasbourg France