Pressures to cut EU funds to culture in favor of other policy have grown during the last days and there could be a real risk to see the funds for the Creative Europe programme substantially cut down. Sign the open letter to the President of the Commission, Mr Jose Manuel Barroso, which will be sent by Monday 8 April.

We are getting worrying indications of this concerning the possible impact of the cuts proposed by the national Governments to the EU budget for 2014-2020.

Culture Action Europe and its members, including Intercult, are using all channels to send clear and strong messages to the European Commission and the European Parliament.

Your voice is urgently needed as well.

Below you find a letter that will be sent by Monday 8 April as an open letter to the President of the Commission, Mr Jose Manuel Barroso.

Please, on behalf of your organization, sign the letter and authorize us to include your name and function in the list of signatories . Feel free to involve others representative of relevant cultural organization using the same procedure.

Send an email at with the following text:
I, surname name, function and organisation, subscribe the above letter to the President of the European Commission and authorize to publish my full name in the list of signatories.

Letter President Barroso (PDF)

To: José Manuel Barroso,
President of the European Commission
Europe, 8th of April 2013

Dear President Barroso,

At a time of intense financial austerity, the European Commission took, under your direction, a small but significant step by proposing an increase to the cultural budget through the Creative Europe programme. The increase proposed was very small in financial terms but had a high value in signaling a strengthened role for arts and culture in the building of Europe’s future.

Indeed, investing in culture, education and research not only generates prosperity; it is essential to foster both freedom of expression and creative thinking which, in turn, lead to sustainable prosperity. Moreover, cultural exchange brings hope and fosters civic engagement thus contributing to repair torn social fabric. Ultimately, culture means practicing democracy and giving content to citizenship.

Therefore, the step taken by the European Commission in proposing an increased EU budget for culture cannot be totally undone. It is a sum too limited to be an important part of any negotiated budget cuts. And it is an idea too great to be dealt away with too swiftly.

We know that democracy is a slow and delicate process. We know that economic and political compromise is required. We know that there are growing pressures to cut funds for culture but we believe they must be rejected.

We believe that the moment for clear positions has come: we urge you to stand strong with the Creative Europe proposal and safeguard the proposed budget allocation despite any short‐sighted criticism. It is a necessary sign of commitment to the future of European citizens as well as a necessary condition to continue building bridges and trust between the cultural sector and the European institutions.

Furthermore, culture designs new narratives for Europe, narratives that you have personally supported and nurtured. Unjustified cuts to the Creative Europe programme will not only undermine this endeavor but will also be incomprehensible to the cultural sector.

We supported the Commission’s proposal for increased funding for culture and education and we publicly acknowledged its significance. We will definitely further support decisions ensuring that European culture, and the narrative for Europe that it underpins, continues to thrive and we ask that no choice be made that might undermine this.

Mercedes Giovinazzo, Director of Interarts and Chair of CAE’s Executive Committee
Luca Bergamo, Secretary General, Culture Action Europe
Emina Visnic, Director, POGON
Chris Torch, Founder and Senior Associate, Intercult
Simone Dudt, Secretary General, European Music Council
Henrik Zipsane, Director, Jamtli
Alex Meszmer, member of the National Committee of Visarte
Katherine Heid, Network Manager, Opera Europa
Isabelle Battioni, General Delegate, ACCR – Réseau européen des centres culturels de rencontres
Ferdinand Richard, President, Roberto Cimetta Fund
Paul Collard, Chief Executive, Creativity, Culture and Education
Philippe Fanjas, Director, French Orchestras Association

Your Surname, Name, role and organisation