Procedure : 2017/2255(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0169/2018

Texts tabled :

A8-0169/2018

Debates :

PV 13/06/2018 - 22
CRE 13/06/2018 - 22

Votes :

PV 14/06/2018 - 7.4
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2018)0262

REPORT     
PDF 340kWORD 73k
14.5.2018
PE 615.438v02-00 A8-0169/2018

on structural and financial barriers in the access to culture

(2017/2255(INI))

Committee on Culture and Education

Rapporteur: Bogdan Andrzej Zdrojewski

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE
 FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

on structural and financial barriers in the access to culture

(2017/2255(INI))

The European Parliament,

  having regard to Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

  having regard to Article 15 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights,

  having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, and in particular Articles 22 and 25 thereof,

–  having regard to its resolution of 12 May 2011 on unlocking the potential of cultural and creative industries(1),

–  having regard to its resolution of 12 September 2013 on promoting the European cultural and creative sectors as sources of economic growth and jobs(2),

–  having regard to its resolution of 30 November 2016 on a coherent EU policy for cultural and creative industries(3),

–  having regard to its resolution of 10 April 2008 on cultural industries in Europe(4),

–  having regard to its resolution of 7 June 2007 on the social status of artists(5),

–  having regard to its resolution of 12 May 2011 on the cultural dimensions of the EU’s external actions(6),

–  having regard to its resolution of 20 February 2004 on the role of schools and school education in maximising access to culture(7),

–  having regard to its resolution of 19 January 2016 entitled ‘Towards a Digital Single Market Act’(8),

–  having regard to its resolution of 8 September 2015 entitled ‘Towards an integrated approach to cultural heritage for Europe’(9),

–  having regard to its resolution of 19 January 2016 on the role of intercultural dialogue, cultural diversity and education in promoting EU fundamental values(10),

–  having regard to its resolution of 10 April 2008 on a European agenda for culture in a globalising world(11),

–  having regard to its resolution of 12 September 2013 on promoting the European cultural and creative sectors as sources of economic growth and jobs(12),

–  having regard to its resolution of 13 December 2016 on a coherent EU policy for cultural and creative industries(13),

–  having regard to its resolution of 1 June 2017 on rates of value added tax applied to books, newspapers and periodicals(14),

–  having regard to its resolution of 10 April 2008 on cultural industries in Europe(15),

–  having regard to its resolution of 5 May 2010 on the communication ‘Europeana – the next steps’(16),

–  having regard to its resolution of 25 October 2011 on mobility and inclusion of people with disabilities and the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020(17),

–  having regard to its resolution of 30 November 2017 on implementation of the European Disability Strategy(18),

–  having regard to its resolution of 2 March 2017 on the implementation of Regulation (EU) No 1295/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 establishing the Creative Europe Programme (2014 to 2020) and repealing Decisions No 1718/2006/EC, No 1855/2006/EC and No 1041/2009/EC(19),

  having regard to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), and in particular Article 30 thereof on participation in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport,

  having regard to Goal 11 of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, signed in September 2015, which proposes making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable,

–  having regard to the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, adopted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) on 20 October 2005,

–  having regard to the Council of Europe Framework Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society (Faro Convention) of 27 October 2005,

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 1295/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 establishing the Creative Europe Programme (2014 to 2020) and repealing Decisions No 1718/2006/EC, No 1855/2006/EC and No 1041/2009/EC(20),

–  having regard to the Council resolution of 16 November 2007 on a European Agenda for Culture,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 23 December 2014 on a Work Plan for Culture (2015-2018)(21),

–  having regard to the EU Work Plan for Culture for the period 2015-2018,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 27 May 2015 on cultural and creative crossovers to stimulate innovation, economic sustainability and social inclusion,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 31 May 2016 on the role of Europeana for the digital access, visibility and use of European cultural heritage,

–  having regard to the Council resolution of 6 May 2003 on accessibility of cultural infrastructure and cultural activities for people with disabilities,

–  having regard to the Commission’s joint communication of 8 June 2016 to the European Parliament and the Council entitled ‘Towards an EU strategy for international cultural relations’ (JOIN(2016)0029),

–  having regard to the Commission report on the implementation of the European Agenda for Culture (COM(2010)0390),

–  having regard to the Commission Green Paper of 27 April 2010 entitled ‘Unlocking the potential of cultural and creative industries’ (COM(2010)0183),

–  having regard to the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on a European Year of Cultural Heritage (2018) (COM(2016)0543),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 26 September 2012 entitled ‘Promoting cultural and creative sectors for growth and jobs in the EU’ (COM(2012)0537),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 18 December 2012 on content in the Digital Single Market (COM(2012)0789),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 26 September 2012 entitled ‘Towards an integrated approach to cultural heritage for Europe’ (COM(2014)0477),

–  having regard to the 2012 report by the working group of the EU Member States’ experts on access to culture,

–  having regard to the results of Eurobarometer surveys Nos 399, ‘Cultural access and participation’, and 466, ‘Cultural heritage’,

–  having regard to the results of the Eurostat statistical surveys (‘Culture statistics’) for 2016,

–  having regard to Rule 52 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Culture and Education (A8-0169/2018),

A.  whereas Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that ‘everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits’, and whereas access to culture and opportunities for creative expression are important for the existence of a democratic society founded on freedom of expression and equality;

B.  whereas the Faro Convention recognises the right to cultural heritage and calls for the development of innovative ways to manage heritage so that public authorities can cooperate with other actors, including associations and private individuals;

C.  whereas Article 22 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union calls for respect for cultural diversity and Article 25 recognises the right of the elderly to participate in cultural life;

D.  whereas culture has a strong impact on the promotion, understanding and development of solidarity between European and trans-European communities;

E.  whereas the constitutions of most EU Member States directly or indirectly refer to culture and access to it;

F.  whereas the EU can complement and encourage cultural policies, while under Article 167 TFEU authorities at national, regional and local level remain the main bodies in charge of cultural policies in the EU, in accordance with the subsidiarity principle;

G.  whereas any kind of barrier that obstructs access and full participation for individuals or communities in cultural processes and cultural ecosystems inhibits the development of truly democratic and inclusive societies;

H.  whereas culture gives European citizens greater opportunities to develop personal, social, creative and intercultural skills;

I.  whereas, according to UN estimates, half the world’s population, namely 3.5 billion people, currently live in cities; whereas by 2030 nearly 60 % of the world’s population will live in urban areas; whereas it is therefore necessary to lay down strategies with effective policies to resolve the issues still present and to ensure enough time to make changes in order to create truly inclusive urban spaces;

J.  whereas the recommendation of Parliament and the Council of 18 December 2006 on key competences for lifelong learning includes cultural awareness and expression among the basic competences necessary for personal fulfilment and development, active citizenship, social inclusion and employment(22);

K.  whereas the Commission communication of 10 May 2007 entitled ‘A European Agenda for Culture in a Globalising World’ (COM(2007)0042) stressed the need to facilitate access to culture and cultural works, as well as to promote cultural diversity;

L.  whereas the future of cultural innovation in the EU depends on investment in creative resources, knowledge and talent;

M.  whereas the Work Plan for Culture (2015-2018) adopted by the Council in December 2014 identifies as priorities accessible and inclusive culture and the promotion of cultural diversity;

N.  whereas one of the objectives of the EU and its Member States should be the reduction of social and economic inequalities in order to promote an inclusive society in which everyone can participate; whereas a strong, dynamic and diversified cultural sector is fundamental to an inclusive society;

O.  whereas participation in cultural activities is a means of creating a sense of belonging to a society; whereas the construction of a social identity is closely linked to cultural participation; whereas participation in cultural activities could contribute to higher self-esteem and a better quality of life, particularly for individuals who are experiencing some kind of marginalisation as a result of unemployment or illness or for any other reason;

P.  whereas an inclusive cultural sector is one which allows everyone the same opportunities to participate and develop their creative skills, regardless of their socio-economic, cultural or religious background or of any disability;

Q.  whereas in many regions, public libraries and community cultural institutions are frequently visited by citizens and are often the sole access points for information and culture, particularly in rural or remote regions;

R.  whereas new digital technologies could have an influence on the management of the cultural sector, dialogue and the creation of new audiences, and the dissemination of cultural activities;

S.  whereas new digital technologies and online platforms offer crucial opportunities for increasing levels of participation and cultural creation;

T.  whereas people from third countries are under-represented in different cultural areas in the EU; whereas this also affects people with a disability;

U.  whereas the report of the working group of the EU Member States’ experts on access to culture(23) defines access in terms of enabling new audiences to benefit from the available cultural offer; whereas this implies reaching new audiences or citizens and bringing them closer to cultural heritage and other cultural resources;

V.  whereas digital technologies have changed the ways in which people access, produce, disseminate and use cultural content;

W.  whereas the Europeana platform, which was launched in 2008, has become a common European cultural project that facilitates digital access to Europe’s cultural heritage;

X.  whereas one of the specific objectives of the Creative Europe programme is to reach new audiences and improve access to cultural and creative works in the Union and beyond, with particular focus on children, young people, people with disabilities and under-represented groups;

Y.   whereas initiatives exist at Community level and in the Member States aimed at providing better access to cultural infrastructure and cultural activities for people with disabilities;

Z.  whereas the diversity of tax procedures and systems within the EU creates difficulties for the mobility of artists and of cultural workers in general, by generating excessive red tape which is often disproportionate to the actual, modest revenue resulting from their activities;

AA.  whereas the development of reliable, comparable and up-to-date cultural statistics, which are the basis of sound cultural policymaking, is one of the cross-cutting priorities of the Work Plan for Culture 2015-2018, which underlines the economic potential of the cultural and creative industries and their impact on social wellbeing;

AB.  whereas access to qualitative research and comparative data resources enables the effective monitoring and analysis of the cultural, economic and social impact of cultural policies;

AC.  whereas culture helps to promote a society based on knowledge and the sharing of experiences and world history;

AD.  whereas around 8.4 million people are employed in the EU’s cultural sector (accounting for 3.7 % of the total workforce)(24), and whereas their potential in terms of economic growth is still only incompletely realised;

AE.  whereas those who endeavour through cultural production to contribute to the expression of their identity and to widen and sustainably develop access to culture face difficulties and challenges;

Cultural access and participation

1.  Stresses that it recognises access to culture as a fundamental right of all citizens, in accordance with Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which recognises participation in cultural life as one of the fundamental human rights; points out, furthermore, that this right is enshrined in the Faro Convention, which recognises the right to participate in cultural life, and promotes the role of cultural heritage in building peaceful and democratic societies; calls, therefore, on the signatory Member States to speed up the process of ratification, and on other states which are not signatories to sign the Convention, taking up the unique opportunity provided by the European Year of Cultural Heritage; 

2.  Points to the importance of a holistic application of the concept of accessibility and its value as a tool for ensuring that every person who is a user of culture and cultural locations and initiatives is taken into consideration in the broadest and fullest sense and that, as a result, account is taken of the specific needs of people with disabilities, with a view to ensuring that they enjoy equal opportunities, true social inclusion and active participation in society;

3.   Stresses the undeniable importance of an active and accessible cultural sector for the development of an inclusive society and the strengthening of a common core of universal values and active European citizenship, which are fundamental to enable citizens to fruitfully and meaningfully participate in public life, while at the same time promoting Europe's cultural heritage and developing European cultural and linguistic diversity; calls, therefore, on the Member States, and on the Union within its sphere of competence, to develop and implement the necessary specific measures in order to guarantee access to and participation in cultural life;

4.  Encourages inclusion and diversity as an integral part of planning, organisational development and recruitment in the cultural sector at European, national and regional level; also encourages Member States to carry out systematic monitoring of the measures that are directed towards this objective;

5.  Recalls the importance of the EU's role in promoting and facilitating better coordination of cultural policies at all levels; notes that only on this basis will it be possible for operators across the EU to develop a comprehensive and effective policy to promote access to and participation in culture, and to frame culture as an essential element of the European integration project;

6.  Considers access to culture and cultural participation as a cross-cutting issue, and therefore stresses the importance of coordinating cultural policy with other policy areas such as education, social, economic, regional, foreign, digital and media policies;

7.  Recommends that Member States develop a cultural action strategy aimed at children and young people;

8.  Recognises the promotion and achievement of inclusive and meaningful access to culture as one of the priorities on the political agenda, and calls for the mainstreaming of accessibility and cultural participation aspects into other policy areas, as this will not only make a positive contribution to those areas, but will also have an impact on cross-sectoral and synergistic cooperation in the spirit of Article 167 TFEU;

9.  States that the compendium of national cultural policies as designed and managed by the Council of Europe and a platform of experts has been a very useful tool for cultural policies in Europe and beyond; regrets, however, that since 2011 there has been little progress on data collecting and, especially, data analysis, and therefore recommends that the Council proceeds with a review of present content, including also the local and regional levels of cultural policies;

10.  Highlights that the concepts of access to culture and participation in culture are closely connected; notes that strategies for strengthening cultural access and participation should be implemented through the identification of under-represented groups and the designing and implementing of initiatives or programmes aimed at increasing their participation and removing existing barriers;

11.  Stresses the need to gather information on the participation of disabled people in cultural activities;

12.  Regrets that financial barriers still prevent citizens, especially those belonging to the most disadvantaged groups, from fully enjoying their fundamental right to participate in cultural life and access to culture, and that this hinders the effective realisation of that fundamental right;

13.  Recalls the importance of developing platforms for the sharing and exchange of experiences at regional, national and European level;

14.  Stresses the importance of guaranteeing a quality cultural offer to all citizens as a basis for promoting active, democratic and inclusive citizenship;

Financial barriers

15.   Stresses that steady and continuous public funding plays a fundamental role in ensuring a vibrant cultural scene and remains an indispensable instrument for supporting cultural activities in the EU so that they can achieve their economic potential, for contributing to sustainable growth and social cohesion, and for financing cultural infrastructure; calls, therefore, on the Commission and the Member States, within their respective spheres of competence, to devote an appropriate part of their budgets to public support for culture and to strengthen synergies with the ERDF and other cultural support funds, including programmes facilitating research and innovation and the available cohesion policy tools;

16.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to ensure that public funding of culture is not reduced, regardless of possible future economic difficulties that a Member State might be facing;

17.   Regrets that economic downturns have usually resulted and still too often result first and foremost in cuts in public spending on culture and have a negative impact on budgets for cultural activities;

18.   Recalls that investment in the cultural and creative sectors is a means of unlocking the significant and still undervalued potential of those sectors to foster cultural diversity and social innovation, while at the same time generating sustainable economic prosperity and quality jobs, and that such investment also has a direct impact on the development of new skills, digitisation, entrepreneurship, innovation and the formulation of new business models, as well as strengthening the competitiveness of the European cultural and creative sectors, seizing possibilities and gaining access to new international opportunities, markets, and audiences; considers, therefore, that the private sector plays a key role that is complementary to public investment, and calls on the Member States to consider implementing legislative measures that provide for a tax credit for contributions of money by private entities to support culture;

19.  Points out that fragmentation, low added value and the activities of numerous self-employed men and women in the creative sector, recalling that these activities are generally regarded as interesting pursuits, must not result in the cultural/creative industry being a model for poorly paid work or work with poor social cover; proposes, therefore, developing robust review processes for good work in the creative sector;

20.  Stresses that public access to cultural goods and services and support for cultural production and expression strengthen the creative economy, contributing to a country’s development;

21.  Points out that the lack of funding of cultural industries would be reduced by means of tax incentives for private sponsorship;

22.  Draws attention to the problems over international income taxation that artists all over Europe have to face, and therefore recommends a standard model that will be of benefit to employees and self-employed individuals and which will prevent double taxation;

23.  Calls for investment in micro-businesses in order to encourage creativity and innovation, thus promoting regional and local development;

24.  Stresses that the high price of cultural goods and services is one of the barriers to participation in culture highlighted by respondents to the Eurobarometer and Eurostat surveys(25); strongly recommends that in this context Member States and regions undertake actions targeting specific audiences, particularly students, large families and the elderly, with the aim of removing financial barriers to access;

25.  Stresses that high insurance costs for exhibition objects and performances are also responsible for high entrance or ticket prices for museums, theatres and galleries and often make it impossible for smaller structures to develop their programmes in accordance with their audiences and ambitions, a situation resulting in an ever-growing gap between smaller structures that are close to their audience, and bigger, internationally recognised institutions;

26.  Stresses the role that appropriate fiscal policies for the cultural and creative sectors can play in enhancing access to culture and participation in culture; notes, however, that indirect support for cultural heritage through the introduction of reduced VAT rates cannot replace direct subsidies; calls for better coordination of national cultural policies and VAT rates, as a tool to stimulate cultural participation;

27.  Recalls the importance of Member States looking into the possibility of a more coherent taxation policy as regards revenues, for cultural workers and artists who spend short periods of time in different countries and can thus be subject to different rules and administrative procedures for every single performance, workshop or residence; suggests that a minimum of harmonisation to support artists’ and cultural workers’ mobility should be considered a priority in order to encourage diversity of creation and culture throughout the EU and beyond, instead of creating barriers in the form of red tape that is out of proportion to the actual revenues obtained from cultural work;

28.  Encourages the Member States and public institutions to invest in the decentralisation of the exhibition of cultural activities, whether through building infrastructure in remote regions or through different temporary cultural exhibitions; encourages private cultural institutions to also invest in geographic decentralisation;

29.  Welcomes the proposal to amend the VAT Directive which would allow Member States to apply the same VAT rate to e-publications and printed publications; considers that the distinction between VAT rates applied to physical and electronic publications is anachronistic and unsustainable in the digital age; calls on the Council to adopt the Commission's proposal on this matter without undue delay;

30.  Stresses the importance of conciliation between private and professional life to accessing, enjoying and participating in different cultural activities;

Educational barriers and challenges

31.  Stresses that educational level is one of the most important factors having a significant impact on the level of participation in culture; stresses that a higher level of education translates into a higher level of participation in cultural events(26); stresses that the humanities, language learning in schools and cultural education are an integral part of general education, as they help reduce social disparities, and thus require the same funding as STEM subjects;

32.  Stresses that knowledge is conceived as a product of cultural interactions that influence and reflect individuals who incorporate cultural imprinting;

33.  Encourages an interactive and inclusive community-based approach to developing cultural and educational policies in order to increase cultural interest and participation, promote Europe's cultural heritage and develop European cultural and linguistic diversity;

34.  Notes that lack of interest is one of the most frequently mentioned barriers to cultural participation among respondents to Eurostat and Eurobarometer surveys(27); stresses, in this context, that supporting demand, understood as building interest and understanding of culture through formal, non-formal and informal education, should be a priority task in terms of increasing access to and participation in culture;

35.  Recommends the mainstreaming of the European Student Card and that free access to EU cultural institutions should be added to its benefits;

36.  Recalls the fundamental role of schools and families as key platforms for bringing young people into contact with culture and shaping cultural needs and competences; calls on the Member States to take steps towards the greater integration of cultural and artistic education into school curricula, in both formal and informal education;

37.  Stresses the importance of Member States, in close collaboration with regional and local authorities and by means of funding and/or subsidies, ensuring music lessons in state schools;

38.  Recommends that the Member States consider education as one of the most important cultural activities, since promoting demand means, above all, providing people with the skills and knowledge to allow them to appreciate the arts; recalls that cultivating interest in culture is more effective if done at a young age, and considers that culture should accordingly be given more space on school curricula and that more human resources and materials should be made available in order to reach this objective; calls for schools to be given funding for visits to museums and other cultural institutions, since this will simultaneously promote interest in culture and youth participation and provide additional resources for cultural institutions;

39.  Stresses the importance of state education systems in introducing children to the diversity of the world of culture, thus helping to train new audiences and to disseminate culture; also stresses the importance of different cultural institutions developing partnerships with local schools at local, regional and national level;

40.  Encourages the Member States and regional and local authorities to support out-of-school cultural education programmes intended for everyone, and particularly for underprivileged children and young people, through programmes aimed at introducing them to different artistic expressions or at helping them become more aware of the existing cultural heritage;

41.  Stresses the role of local cultural institutions, including cultural centres and libraries, as key actors in overcoming barriers to accessing and participating in culture; calls, therefore, on the Member States to actively support such cultural institutions;

42.  Calls for a greater appreciation and understanding of the social role of public libraries and cultural community institutions, particularly in rural or remote regions, not only through increasing public funding, but also through forming partnerships and providing them with the adequate ICT and human resources with access to training, thus turning them into institutions that can improve people’s lives and encourage local development;

43.  Highlights that establishing partnerships is fundamental in attracting potential audiences for artistic activities and that this could be achieved, for instance, through cooperation with organisations representing students, migrants or disabled people so as to appropriately respond to their interests and needs;

44.  Stresses the importance of supporting initiatives at national, regional and local level that promote contact, collaboration and the exchange of experiences between traditional arts, cultural institutions and different multicultural or minority organisations, as well as between professional and amateur cultural sectors;

45.  Recommends the development of a coherent strategy for supporting educational projects proposed by cultural institutions; stresses that these projects are tools supporting and building awareness, cultural competences and intercultural knowledge, thus serving as a starting-point for the long-term involvement of the public in cultural activities;

46.  Encourages the Member States to set up leisure-time programmes for young people in cultural institutions;

47.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to adopt measures to ensure more widespread access to cultural institutions and to develop a comprehensive European strategy concerning access to public spaces, particularly relating to culture in the urban built environment, as in the cases of museums, theatres, cinemas, libraries, concert halls, etc;

48.  Calls on the Member States to encourage the creation of study or internship grants for students related to state or private educational networks, in cultural or cultural management institutions;

Structural barriers

49.  Draws attention to the often lower cultural participation rates among the rural population, which are structurally conditioned(28), and, in this context, to the role of small local cultural centres, transport infrastructure and support for sustainable cultural tourism in facilitating access to cultural institutions;

50.  Stresses that the European cultural heritage is unique in the world for its diversity and richness, and highlights that cultural tourism has a huge potential for contributing to a sustainable economy as well as fostering social cohesion and inclusion; calls, therefore, on the Member States to increase their efforts and investments in order to develop a sustainable and long-term cultural tourism policy;

51.  Calls for greater investment in the cultural sector in order to boost local economies and promote cultural tourism; notes that cultural tourism, in synergy with science, the primary sector and artisanal and industrial centres, as well as mobility, are decisive factors in creating a closer and more humanistic Europe;

52.  Suggests greater investment in access to culture for the outermost, mountain and remote regions, in order to create decentralised cultural opportunities;

53.  Notes the need for further action to improve access to a cultural infrastructure with no technological or physical barriers and to cultural activities and media for people with disabilities; calls on the Member States and the Commission, within their respective spheres of competence, to continue to work towards the integration of people with disabilities through culture and to make efforts to remove existing barriers;

54.  Recognises the need for participative methods of managing cultural heritage based on an approach that focuses on local communities, in order to intercept demand and involve larger sections of the public, taking particular account of young people, people with disabilities and under-represented and marginalised groups;

55.  Asks the Member States and the cultural institutions that depend on them to ensure a cultural offer that is accessible to everyone, with specific measures for certain population groups, such as children and young people, the elderly, disabled people or migrants, among others;

56.  Highlights the need for greater investment by the Member States in the implementation of the universal touch reading and writing code (the Braille system) in a wide variety of cultural infrastructures and technologies; calls for greater investment in the production of audio books, magazines and newspapers, and the use of sign language in theatre productions;

57.  Points out the need to remove obstacles to the mobility of artists and cultural professionals, primarily tax obstacles; stresses the impact of these activities on expanding Europe's cultural offer; commends the Creative Europe programme for contributing to the success of cultural mobility and professionals in the sector and for encouraging the dissemination of quality cultural events and projects;

58.  Recalls that barriers to access to culture are more apparent at local level, which is why there should be greater investment in different cultural mobility projects with a view to enabling the development and cohesion of local communities;

59.  Calls on the Commission to consider the mobility of European artists and artists from third countries as an asset for the promotion of peace, the sharing of visions and the deconstruction of social and cultural stereotypes;

60.  Recalls that language barriers can have an adverse effect on cultural demand, and calls, therefore, for greater multilingualism in cultural productions;

61.  Recommends that the Member States undertake the necessary measures to facilitate transport and access to cultural institutions for disabled people and people with reduced mobility;

Digital barriers and challenges

62.   Is convinced that digital tools, when properly used and implemented and where accompanied by a consistent level of digital literacy, can help to overcome barriers to access to culture caused by factors including unfavourable geographical location, disability, social background, language and lack of time or financial resources; points out that, without this entailing disinvestment in the geographic decentralisation of cultural activities, digital tools can also be a means of overcoming social or mental barriers; considers, therefore, that in this context digital education should form part of the learning process from an early age, so as to develop adequate knowledge and skills;

63.  Recommends that the Commission draw up a consistent digital strategy aimed at cultural infrastructures and activities in order to strengthen their capacities;

64.  Notes the problem of digital exclusion and stresses the need to combat it; recalls, in this context, that digitisation requires cultural and educational institutions and the recipients themselves to acquire new competences, skills and knowledge; stresses, in particular, the need to build capacity for the use of new digital technologies in cultural institutions and to adapt them to the challenges of technological change;

65.  Stresses that the digitisation and online accessibility of cultural material in Europe should be implemented on a basis of full respect for creators and intellectual property rights; considers that, in this regard, intellectual property rights should not hamper the general public goal of increasing access to, and favouring the dissemination of, creative content, information and knowledge; insists further on the urgent need to settle a secure digital environment enabling artists and creators to be duly remunerated for their work, and to ensure a fair remuneration for cross-border access;

66.  Calls on the Commission to continue giving priority to innovative approaches to audience development and audience involvement, including through new technologies, within the framework of EU programmes, in particular the Creative Europe programme and its subsequent iterations;

67.  Calls on the Member States to take audience development into account in their cultural and digital strategies, and to support the use of digital technologies in order to facilitate access to cultural content;

68.  Recognises the contribution made by the Europeana platform and the Member States' institutions to the digitisation and accessibility of cultural content; calls, in the context of the European Year of Cultural Heritage, for ongoing support and better resources for the project and the promotion of public access to digital cultural heritage resources and services; demands a real restructuring of the site to better comply with advanced technologies, as well as a genuine communication policy that is in line with the richness of the content gathered on the site;

69.  Emphasises the need to collect and manage cultural data in the context of digital recipients, so as to enable cultural organisations to better understand the needs of recipients and to develop a coherent approach to the digital audience;

70.  Notes that cultural content plays a leading role as regards the acceptance by the wider public of the new technologies concerned and the development of the e-skills and media literacy levels of Europe's citizens;

o

o  o

71.   Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission.

(1)

OJ C 377 E, 7.12.2012, p. 142.

(2)

OJ C 93, 9.3.2016, p. 95.

(3)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0486.

(4)

OJ C 247 E, 15.10.2009, p. 25.

(5)

OJ C 125 E, 22.5.2008, p. 223.

(6)

OJ C 377 E, 7.12.2012, p. 135.

(7)

OJ C 98 E, 23.4.2004, p. 179.

(8)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0009.

(9)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0293.

(10)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0005.

(11)

OJ C 247 E, 15.10.2009, p. 32.

(12)

OJ C 93, 9.3.2016, p. 95.

(13)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0486.

(14)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0233.

(15)

OJ C 247 E, 15.10.2009, p. 25.

(16)

OJ C 81 E, 15.3.2011, p. 16.

(17)

Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0453.

(18)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0474.

(19)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0062.

(20)

OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 221.

(21)

OJ C 463, 23.12.2014, p. 4.

(22)

OJ L 394, 30.12.2006, p. 10.

(23)

Report entitled ‘Policies and good practices in the public arts and cultural institutions to promote better access to and wider participation in culture’, October 2012.

(24)

Eurostat - Culture statistics - cultural employment (2017), http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Culture_statistics_-_cultural_employment

(25)

Eurobarometer 399.

(26)

Eurostat, Culture statistics, 2016 edition, pp. 116-136; Eurostat data from 2015 – EU Survey on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC).

(27)

Eurobarometer 399, Eurostat (data from 2015 EU Survey on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC)).

(28)

Eurostat (data from 2015 EU Survey on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC)).


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

Introduction

This report is the first comprehensive report by the Committee on Culture and Education dealing directly with issues affecting access to culture. The rapporteur sees the problem of access to culture as the underlying issue for cultural policy from both a national and an EU perspective, and, most importantly, as the key issue from the citizens’ perspective. Citing the fundamental importance of an active and accessible cultural sector for the development of an inclusive democratic society, the rapporteur stresses the need to foster and improve access to culture as one of the main priorities on the political agenda, and calls for cultural access and participation to be mainstreamed in other policy areas.

The aim of the report is to carry out a cross-sectoral analysis of existing obstacles to cultural access and participation. The thematic scope of the report is significantly wider than its title implies, as it concerns not only structural and financial barriers to access, but also social and digital barriers, and by far the most important problem of educational barriers. Most of the obstacles examined exist alongside each other or are closely linked, which demonstrates the complexity of the problem of cultural access and participation and underlines the rapporteur’s argument that this is a cross-cutting issue and that coordination between cultural policy and other policy areas is vital.

Access to culture as a right and a value

Access to culture is one of the fundamental rights guaranteed in numerous legal documents: from the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 27 of which states that ‘Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits’, to the constitutions of most EU countries, which directly or indirectly refer to culture and access to it. Cultural access and participation are also considered a priority issue at EU level. The current work plan for culture for the period 2015-2018, adopted by the Council in 2014, mentions accessible and inclusive culture as its top priority.

Barriers to cultural access and participation

The rapporteur stresses that the concepts of access to and participation in culture are closely connected. He also believes that strategies for strengthening cultural access and participation should be implemented through the identification of under-represented groups and the designing and implementing of initiatives or programmes aimed at increasing their participation and removing existing barriers. In this context the rapporteur considers that it is crucial for policy-making to be based on evidence acquired through wide-ranging research and data collection on barriers in access to culture, participation in culture and audience development, and their impact at individual and social level. While appreciating the efforts of, among others, Eurostat and ESSnet Culture in the area of cultural statistics, the rapporteur reiterates the continuing vital role of up-to-date statistical and qualitative research and access to comparative data resources to enable effective monitoring and analysis of the cultural, economic and social impact of cultural policies.

The rapporteur takes the view that existing barriers to access are a starting point for developing strategies to respond to the challenges now facing cultural institutions, Member States and the local and regional authorities, which are largely responsible for shaping cultural policy in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity. The rapporteur stresses, however, the crucial role of the EU in promoting and facilitating better coordination of cultural policies at all levels. In this context, the rapporteur welcomes the actions taken under the open method of coordination (OMC), which is the primary working method for cooperation between Member States on cultural policy. In the context of this report, the rapporteur emphasises the value of the report drawn up using the open method of coordination by the working group of the EU Member States’ experts on access to culture.(1)

Financial barriers

The rapporteur points out that financial considerations are consistently one of the major barriers to cultural access and participation. He notes that the high price of cultural goods and services is the second barrier to participation in culture expressed by respondents in the Eurobarometer 399 special survey on cultural access and participation. Financial considerations were given as reasons for not going to concerts (25%), the cinema (22%), the theatre (20%) and opera, ballet and dance performances (14%).(2) In this context, the rapporteur stresses that the basic instrument for funding cultural activities remains public support and calls, therefore, on the Commission and the Member States, in accordance with their respective competences, to allocate a sufficient share of their budgets to public funding for culture. The rapporteur calls for access to be supported through reduced ticket prices for specific groups, but shares the view that in order for these measures to be fully effective in terms of increasing participation they should be included within a broader strategy and closely coordinated with national cultural policies. Similarly, in the case of tax policy, while recognising its undeniable potential to indirectly stimulate increased cultural participation and access, the rapporteur points out that the introduction of reduced VAT rates cannot replace direct subsidies, and calls for better coordination of national cultural policies and the VAT rates applied as a tool for stimulating participation in culture.

Educational barriers and challenges

The rapporteur ultimately takes the view that today it is not supply but demand which is more important for participation in culture. In this context, recent Eurostat data on participation in culture, which shows that nearly 40% of non-participation in cultural activities in the EU was motivated by a lack of interest, is particularly worrying.(3) The rapporteur considers these figures to be symptomatic of the educational barriers and challenges facing us in terms of cultural participation. The rapporteur considers education level to be one of the most important factors affecting not only the level, but also, and primarily, the quality of cultural participation. He strongly believes also that supporting demand, i.e. building interest in and understanding of culture through education, is a priority task for increasing cultural access and participation. He stresses, in this context, the fundamental role of schools in shaping cultural needs and competences, as well as the essential role of local cultural centres and libraries in overcoming barriers to cultural access and participation.

Structural barriers

As regards structural barriers, the rapporteur would first of all draw attention to a barrier that can be defined as geographical, which is the distance from centres of cultural life, such as theatres, museums, libraries, cultural centres and cinemas. Eurobarometer 399 reveals that people living in rural areas or far from large urban centres are much less likely to participate in cultural life, first of all because of a lack of cultural activities on offer and only subsequently because of the cost. Interestingly, the lack of interest in culture among people living in rural areas and small towns is comparable (38% and 37% respectively), and is not that different from the figure for people living in big cities (32%).(4) In this context, the rapporteur stresses the importance of improving transport infrastructure and support for cultural tourism to facilitate access to cultural institutions. The rapporteur is also aware of the challenges facing us in terms of improving access to cultural infrastructure, cultural activities and the media for people with disabilities. He also points out that we do not have sufficient data on access to cultural institutions for people with disabilities. Neither Eurobarometer 345 on accessibility in the broad sense nor Eurobarometer 399 attempted to give detailed consideration to these aspects. From the point of view of broadening the cultural offer, it is important to highlight the existing obstacles to mobility for cultural artists and professionals themselves in Europe.

Digital barriers and challenges

The rapporteur, stressing the importance of direct contact with culture, considers digitisation and online access to cultural content to be essential to enabling wider access to culture and knowledge. He also points out that the use of new technologies for cultural purposes makes it possible to reach out to new, hard-to-reach or non-traditional audiences. In this context, it is worth recalling that new forms of cultural access and participation online have been developed, partly as a result of the increased number of households with internet access, noting that between 2010 and 2015 the proportion of EU households with internet access rose from 70% to 83%.(5) The rapporteur points out, however, that this significant increase also indirectly highlights the problem of digital exclusion, which is also an obstacle to cultural access and participation. In this context, the rapporteur points out that digitisation requires cultural and educational institutions and the recipients themselves to acquire new skills and knowledge. |In particular, the rapporteur would draw attention to the need to develop the potential of new technologies and digital opportunities in cultural institutions and to adapt them to the challenges posed by technological change. Finally, in the context of all activities connected with the digitisation and online availability of cultural material, the rapporteur stresses the need for full respect for the rights of creators, while striving to achieve the broadest possible access to cultural content.

Conclusions

The rapporteur considers the identification and diagnosis of the barriers outlined above to be crucial to the process of increasing cultural access and participation. While recognising the importance of creativity and innovation as inherent aspects of culture, the rapporteur highlights the need to facilitate the artistic activities of artists themselves, and to provide citizens with access to the output of the cultural and creative sectors. The rapporteur strongly emphasises the cross-cutting nature of cultural issues and their impact on other areas of social life, including the importance of culture for economic growth. In this context the rapporteur specifically recognises the need for Member State governments to ensure adequate education of artists and the public and to protect the artistic infrastructure and tangible cultural heritage. Achieving the objectives outlined will, in the long term, enable the proper development of an inclusive society and the strengthening of active European citizenship.

(1)

Report entitled ‘Policies and good practices in the public arts and cultural institutions to promote better access to and wider participation in culture’, October 2012.

(2)

Eurobarometer 399

(3)

Eurostat (data from 2015 EU Survey on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC)).

(4)

Eurobarometer 399.

(5)

Eurostat Culture statistics 2016 edition.


INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

Date adopted

25.4.2018

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

27

0

0

Members present for the final vote

Isabella Adinolfi, Dominique Bilde, Andrea Bocskor, Angel Dzhambazki, Jill Evans, María Teresa Giménez Barbat, Petra Kammerevert, Curzio Maltese, Stefano Maullu, Momchil Nekov, Yana Toom, Sabine Verheyen, Julie Ward, Bogdan Brunon Wenta, Theodoros Zagorakis, Francis Zammit Dimech, Bogdan Andrzej Zdrojewski, Milan Zver, Krystyna Łybacka

Substitutes present for the final vote

Eider Gardiazabal Rubial, Elena Gentile, Sylvie Guillaume, Emma McClarkin, Martina Michels, Michel Reimon, Liliana Rodrigues, Remo Sernagiotto


FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

27

+

ALDE

María Teresa Giménez Barbat, Yana Toom

ECR

Angel Dzhambazki, Emma McClarkin, Remo Sernagiotto

EFDD

Isabella Adinolfi

ENF

Dominique Bilde

GUE/NGL

Curzio Maltese, Martina Michels

PPE

Andrea Bocskor, Stefano Maullu, Sabine Verheyen, Bogdan Brunon Wenta, Theodoros Zagorakis, Francis Zammit Dimech, Bogdan Andrzej Zdrojewski, Milan Zver

S&D

Eider Gardiazabal Rubial, Elena Gentile, Sylvie Guillaume, Petra Kammerevert, Krystyna Łybacka, Momchil Nekov, Liliana Rodrigues, Julie Ward

VERTS/ALE

Jill Evans, Michel Reimon

0

-

 

 

0

0

 

 

Key to symbols:

+  :  in favour

-  :  against

0  :  abstention

Last updated: 30 May 2018Legal notice