European Union Colloquium on Culture and the Future

Ten years after its "Culture as a Vector for Development" colloquium (which resulted in...nothing), the EU Commission hosted another Colloquium.

The European Commission hosted a Colloquium on the theme, Culture for the Future, from 16-17 June in Brussels.  Ten years ago, it hosted a similar forum on Culture as a Vector of Development, with the ACP Secretariat as co-hosts.  Despite a Declaration emanating from the 2009 event, nothing was done to follow up the recommendations that professionals from the ACP regions agreed to.

The 2019 Colloquium had working groups on four themes: Culture and Creative Industries: New opportunities for job creation and inclusiveness; The challenge of funding cultural and creative industries; Access to markets and artists’ mobility and Impact and opportunities of the digital revolution.

From the start, participants were told that they had been invited to participate in formulating a manifesto that would be adopted at the end and that these working groups would feed the recommendations to be made in the manifesto.  However, on the second day, a pre-drafted manifesto was circulated to the working groups which cause much irritation as it appeared to be a pre-determined agenda which participants were required to rubberstamp.

Notwithstanding this, the event proceeded with the intention that it would impact positively on future cultural developments and relationships.

I was happy to attend if only to network with friends and colleagues, like Carole Karemera, fellow African Cultural Policy Network Steering Committee member from Rwanda, who played a facilitative role in one of the sessions.