Open Letter: European Democracy Action Plan

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September 14, 2020

This open letter is being submitted in response to the public consultation launched by the European Commission on the European Democracy Action Plan (EDAP). We, the undersigned, welcome the initiative to develop a European Democracy Action Plan as one of the strategic assets for the future of Europe, as well as to support EU citizens. Specifically, this related to the freedom of artistic expression. We call on the Commission for it to be reflected in the European Democracy Action Plan.

We believe that Artistic Freedom is a fundamental right: an integral component of freedom of expression as well as a fundamental aspect of cultural rights. Additionally, we hold that Artistic Freedom is under considerable duress in the EU. This is also the case in candidate countries and in the neighbourhood.

Considering these factors, we call on the EU to take positive action to monitor and promote freedom of expression in all its forms and submit the following recommendations:

  1. Explicitly recognize freedom of expression in all its forms.

  2. Develop appropriate instruments at EU level whereby artistic freedom can be monitored and assessed as one of the legitimate indicators of democratic and cultural health.

  3. Foresee a facility through which artists can report violations of their fundamental rights and access support for their legal assistance and relocation.

  4. Establish an EU mechanism on democracy, the rule of law, and fundamental rights, including artistic freedom.


Culture Action Europe | Freemuse | Artists at Risk (AR) | Association Européenne des Conservatoires, Académies de Musique et Musikhochschulen (AEC) | Cartooning for Peace (CFP) | Cartoonists Rights Network International (CRNI) | Centre for Kunst & Interkultur – CKI | ECCOM – Idee per la Cultura | European Centre for Not-For-Profit Law Stichting | European Choral Association – Europa Cantat | European Cultural Foundation (ECF) | European League of Institutes of the Arts (ELIA) | European Music Council – International Music Council | Eurozine | Federation of European Film Directors (FERA) | H401 | Humanists International | IETM – International Network for Contemporary Performing Arts | International Arts Rights Advisors (IARA) | Julie Ward, former MEP (2014-20) & Vice-Chair of the CULT Committee (2019-2020) | Kulturanova