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Parliamentary questions
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30 April 2020
Priority question for written answer P-002637/2020
to the Commission
Rule 138
Diana Riba i Giner (Verts/ALE)
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: State of artistic freedom in Spain

Freemuse has recently published a new report entitled ‘The State of Artistic Freedom’ (1) . The report analyses 711 acts of violations of artistic freedom that took place in 2019 in 93 countries. It shows worrisome widespread attacks on freedom of artistic expression in Europe, and in Spain in particular, which is one of the most mentioned Member States.

The organisation identifies 71 artists imprisoned in 16 different countries, and Spain is at the top of the ranking with 14 prisoners – ahead of Iran and Turkey. What is more, Spain was responsible for 31​ ​% of the cases where there has been misuse of anti-terrorist measures against freedom of artistic expression. Music is one of the forms of artistic expression that is most attacked, and Spain – together with five other countries – account for 44 % of the total registered violations. Last but not least, in the field of theatre, Europe accounts for 41 % of cases, with Denmark, France and, once again, Spain among the countries responsible.

According to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expression, artistic freedom is central to democratic societies.

1. Is the Commission aware of Spain’s violations of artistic freedoms?

2. How is the Commission promoting the respect for artistic expression and assessing its status?

3. Will the Commission propose any initiative on artistic freedom following the Work Plan for Culture 2019-2022?

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