Participation in culture and the arts including freedom of artistic expression are both individual and collective human rights, guaranteed by numerous national, European and international treaties. The general public, policymakers, the arts and the human rights sectors all need to be more aware of how they can guarantee these rights and defend the rights-holders, to the benefit of all of our societies.
The platform works in three thematic working groups:
Audience Participation / Cultural Component of Citizenship Working Group
Citizens exercise their cultural rights through active participation in the shaping of Europe. It is important that this participation in culture is recognised as a fundamental right and a stepping stone to gaining political and social objectives such as creative societies, a strong educational system, flourishing cultural industries, intercultural dialogue and democracy. Active citizenship requires that all levels of policy making take citizens’ concerns into account.
Arts, Human Rights and Social Justice Working Group
Artists and culture workers are increasingly expressing their reactions to a world in which economic values have come to dominate over humanistic values. However, their human and cultural rights are abused in EU and EU partner countries when their work comes close to that normally associated with political activists. Active citizenship and the democratic process require reflection, reaction and dialogue on local and global issues. Arts and cultural participation is a key driver for these essential processes.
Education & Learning Working Group
Lifelong learning can broaden perspectives in situations where learning seems no longer a possibility but where cultural activities can still open access to participation. We need more people, organisations and institutions to be aware of the potential for lifelong learning opportunities through cultural engagement. By developing and using this potential, culture contributes to the shaping of sustainable citizenship.
The European Union, whose strength and character is defined by the democratic process, mutual understanding and cooperation in a context of diversity, must recognise and support cultural participation as a key pillar to achieving its objectives.