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Home / Resources / News / Launch Manifesto Shaping Europe through Culture

Launch Manifesto Shaping Europe through Culture

Investing in art, culture and heritage contribute to a sustainable, entrepreneurial and democratic Europe. For the European Parliament elections, European Alternatives, together with the European Cultural Foundation, Kunsten ’92 and other Dutch cultural organisations, presents the manifesto  “Voor Europa, Door Cultuur.” We are asking the future Dutch Euro parliamentarians to contribute to a Europe where culture is at its heart.

The manifesto has three main themes that are essential for culture to flourish so that all of Europe can flourish.

Develop Talent

While youth unemployment is rising many young creatives leave Europe for China or Brazil where they have more opportunities. On the other hand it is difficult for artists from outside the EU to get a permit to work here. Bureaucracy should be diminished so that it easier for artists, cultural professionals and museum collections to move around. We should further strengthen the Creative Europe program by adding better education and opportunities for talented people. Places of experiment should get better connected to renowned institutes that are competitive on an international level.

Creative industry and entrepreneurship

Despite scientific evidence that the creative industry contributes to economic growth and employment, this is not acknowledged in policy. The European Commission and Parliament should encourage regions and member states to implement the recommendations of these studies. Intellectual property should be better protected. Additionally we should invest in researching new business models. Culture should be part of foreign policy to enforce our presence internationally, as a way of “soft power.”


Democracy and freedom of expression are fundamental values within the European Union. While there is a democratic deficit on national and European levels, artist are initiating community-building projects  that experiment with participation and inclusion. The EU should include artists more in policy making and reinventing the decision making process. Also our demand for a new directive to protect media pluralism  is in this manifesto. Investments in the digital agenda and open data strengthen our open democracies.

European Alternatives is partner of the We are more campaign . As part of this campaign the Dutch partners present this manifesto to urge Dutch MEPs to press for a strong policy on culture.

Related events

The Manifesto was presented at the festival for European pop music Eurosonic Noorderslag on Thursday January 16. The manifesto is available here in English

Debate on May 15 in The Hague, in collaboration with Prodemos.

One page advert on May 9 in the national newspapers ‘NRC Handelsblad and NRC Next

nrc advert