AEC Update on Lobbying and Advocating for Higher Music Education
The European election campaign had a large influence on AEC’s political agenda over the past few months. Maintaining a good relationship and close contacts with a number of important partner organisations is also on the top of the list of AEC's advocating priorities.
- In February, a letter had been circulated amongst AEC members, reporting not only on the up-to-date status of the decision-making process on the future development of the European Commission's 'Multiannual Financial Framework' (MFF) 2021-2027, but also on a set of questions (Wahlprüfsteine), formulated jointly by AEC and ELIA which are to be addressed to both parties and candidates for the European Parliament. We had the opportunity to pass on these questions to the relevant people in a series of meetings in Brussels. In some cases, we even received written replies on behalf of the parties. However, this was rather a side effect of the action, whilst our primary purpose was to raise awareness among our interlocutors about these issues and their significance in shaping future European policy. We hope that the questions were useful and supportive to our members both in preparation of the national and local election campaigns and we will continue to give this support in the future.
- One of the highlights of the campaign was the 'Jammarts' open online dialogue, which was launched in joint action with a number of art and cultural organisations and stakeholders, co-ordinated by Culture Action Europe. Representatives of all parliamentary groups of the European Parliament with the exception of the right-wing populists participated to the event, which took place on 25 April. One of the four discussion groups was dedicated to the topic of Education & Research and here it become known that the parliamentary groups and parties are well aware of the social value and the benefit of art and artistic education. However, it will continue to be a challenge to constantly remind political decisionmakers to translate these commitments into a corresponding political priority-setting.
- The contacts with our partner organisations ELIA, Cilect and Cumulus were on the one hand related to the further preparation of a summit on Higher Art Education, which will take place in May 2020 in the Bulgarian capital Sofia. On the other hand, it is proving increasingly beneficial to jointly act in with the partners in the field of artistic research. In this context, it should be noted that the Society of Artistic Research (SAR) Annual Congress and the AEC Platform for Artistic Research (EPARM) in Zurich and Cluj-Napoca successfully contributed to deepen mutual contacts.
- There is also inspiring news from the field of Early Music. The "European Network of Early Music" (REMA), based in Paris, recently elected a new president and also renewed large parts of its board. Prior to the inaugural meeting of the new REMA Board on 7 May, selected representatives of REMA and AEC met to discuss new ways of collaboration in an open and constructive atmosphere. As foreseen now, AEC will play a major role in the next REMA summit on Ancient Music in November 2020.