The European Festivals Association and EUROCITIES join forces within the frame of the “Cities4Europe, Europe for Citizens” campaign of EUROCITIES and invite the festivals community and city mayors to become active partners.
The European Festivals Association, speaking on behalf of a constituency of 2650 arts festivals in more than 40 countries, together with EUROCITIES, bringing together the local governments of over 140 of Europe's largest cities and over 45 partner cities across 39 countries, have joined forces to issue this declaration, which highlights the importance of arts and culture in the development of our societies.
Arts are a necessity for every human being. Festivals’ core mission is to bring the arts to audiences. They are among the most effective platforms for encouraging a participatory process between citizens and the arts in a climate of openness and dialogue.
Almost every community celebrates a festival of some kind. As important players in Europe’s Cultural Heritage, today and for the future, arts festivals are deeply rooted in their villages, towns, cities and regions. They belong to the local community but attract visitors from near and far to enjoy a festive moment together.
In times when cities are becoming increasingly important in Europe, not only politically, but as hosts of our diverse communities, we believe that the contribution of the arts and arts festivals to open and harmonious living-together is immense.
Festivals and cities need to embark on a journey to develop and profile their neighbourhoods as innovative, striving and forward-looking places of discovery, as well as being the storehouses of cultural memory.
- Therefore, festival representatives and mayors of cities across Europe, call for:
- continued dialogue, a common strategy and cross-border exchanges to fulfil our potential,
- engagement in defining and promoting new joint endeavours to bring out the best in our peaceful and prosperous communities,
- support for the upcoming Urban Agenda of the European Commission - looking forward to placing arts and culture as a necessity for every human being high in its list of priorities.
- The members of the festivals community embrace the Cities4Europe, Europe for Citizens campaign by dedicating an event in their season to the initiative, while mayors commit to brand and highlight European festivals and their calendar (presented on www.effe.eu), helping them to contribute to the vibrancy of their city and region.
We call on all cities, city networks, regions, and festivals to participate in this commitment.