On July 13, 2022, the European Parliament Committee on Culture and Education (CULT) held a public hearing on the “Implementation of the New Agenda for Culture and the EU Strategy for International Cultural Relations”.

Experts from academia and the public sector, including from the Commission and EEAS, gave their assessment of the state of implementation of both policy documents [COM(2018) 267 final and JOIN/2016/029 final], as well as their recommendations for the future, in view of the expiry of the Council’s Work Plan for Culture at the end of this year and the ongoing preparations of a successor framework.

The hearing feeds into the preparations of an implementation report on the same topic under the rapporteurship of Ms Salima Yenbou (RENEW/France). The  European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET) is associated to this hearing and to the report via Mr. Sanchez Amor (S&D/Spain)

Experts came back on the different achievements of the New European Agenda for Culture and its three components (social, economic, external) since its adoption in 2018, with a focus on the Creative Europe programmes (2014-2020 / 2021-2027) underlining the social dimension present in Creative Europe as well as concrete actions which were taken towards gender equality, mobility, working conditions of artists and the environment. Obviously, speakers present on that day did not forget to mention the COVID-19 crisis and its impact on artists and cultural workers, highlighting the different extraordinary measures and calls the European Commission put in place in 2020/2021.

With regards to International Cultural Relations, representatives from the EEAS and DG INTPA had the opportunity to share where they stand on the matter and reiterate their roles, notably by featuring the support the Global Europe Instrument (NDICI) could provide for EU external cultural relations.

The European Commission follows an approach focusing on people-to-people contacts and co-creation processes in contrast to traditional “showcasing” practices. Furthermore, the focus is on advancing cultural cooperation with partner countries across three main strands:

•            supporting culture as an engine for sustainable social and economic development;

•            promoting culture and intercultural dialogue for peaceful inter-community relations;

•            reinforcing cooperation on cultural heritage.

 Next step: adoption of the report 2022/2047(INI) by the end of 2022 (European Parliament level)