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ELIA Signs Open Letter on the European Democracy Action Plan

15 September 2020

ELIA has signed the open letter, published by Culture Action Europe and Freemuse in response to a public consultation launched by the European Commission on the European Democracy Action Plan (EDAP). We stand with 21 fellow signatories in arguing for the recognition and promotion of freedom of expression in all its forms. We specifically call for the Commission to reflect the importance of freedom of artsitistic expression within the  European Democracy Action Plan.

We 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. We believe that Artistic Freedom is a fundamental right, which together with the free development of education in the arts, is currently 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:

Explicitly recognise freedom of expression in all its forms.

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.

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

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

Read the full letter

ELIA is strongly committed to and promotes the free development of education in the arts (one of our strategic priorities). To this effect, we have also joined with Higher Arts Education Networks in a statement of solidarity towards University of Theatre and Film Arts (SZFE) Budapest, condemning the undermining of its organisational autonomy.

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