Theme 2001: 10 years cultural paragraph Maastricht
Conclusions of the International Christian Artists Symposium
August 21-26, 2001, SB1 Doorn, Holland
The 2 I st International Christian Artists Symposium was held from August 21st to 26th, 2001. The task of this year's meeting was to evaluate and reflect on the CULTURAL PARAGRAPH of the European Union. In 1991, this clause was added to the framework of the EU so that it might be more than just an economic alliance. I0 years after this implementation, what has it brought us? This symposium was financed by the EU and EZA and gathered approximately 200 delegates from various organisations, including politicians, artists and trade-union representatives from all over Europe. The CA-Symposium included lectures by key people from different countries working in a variety of fields involving research, culture and the arts. In addition to these lectures, participants could attend forums, debates, discussion-groups and private meetings. The board of the International Association of Christian Artists evaluated all the material in order to present the following CONCLUSIONS & SUGGESTIONS:
- It was seen as a point of great importance that the EU committed itself to aspects of culture and cultural diversity. It was recognised that culture in general needed a different set of rules to free it from the domination of the liberal market economy, so that different cultures could flourish. Ultimately, cultural vitality and pluralism are signs of the well-being of the Europe's citizens. Pluriformity is essential for the future of Europe. CA honours the insight of the political leadership in 1991 who devised this cultural paragraph.
- In the course of evaluating these 10 years of the Cultural Paragraph, several shortcomings were noted and discussed. The EU, the European Parliament and national governments need to be challenged to take action in the following areas of concern:
- EU decisions should be checked against the cultural paragraph. What are the consequences of each regulation for the cultural domain? If this process is carried out, it has not been made clear to the citizens of Europe, who are generally unaware of the cultural implications of EU decisions. So clearer communication is necessary, as well as guarantees that decisions comply with the cultural paragraph.
- Women and men still do not enjoy the same career possibilities in the cultural and arts sectors,
- Women and men still do not receive equal pay for similar jobs in the cultural and arts sectors.
- Discrimination is still a reality in many fields. Equal access has not yet been achieved.
- We are witnessing a paradigm shift in labour situations and opportunities in the cultural sector as a whole. For many years to come, the largest growth will be observed in the self-employed sector. These labour opportunities are hindered by a number of factors. The EU is called on to deal with these issues:
- Inadequate training and inadequate personal preparation. Colleges, universities and academies deliver people to be employed in a firm, factory or office. To be self-employed is a radically different situation. All curricula should be enhanced by additions aimed at the field of self-employment.
- Because society and labour demands keep changing, more permanent adult education must be provided, particularly to help the self-employed workforce to develop new skills and give specialised answers to specialised questions. Self employed people need training in how to adapt to permanent change, developing a new network mentality: the key is co-operation, not competition.
- Self-employed people face sometimes bizarre, incoherent tax rules. So we are calling for a harmonisation of tax laws, nationally and internationally.
- Self-employed people face very unfair tax regulations if they work part-time outside their country of residence. In some cases they pay double tax. So we are calling on the EU to urgently change this obstacle for self-employed (cultural) workers in the international field.
- Cultural (and artistic) work is not possible without clear regulations and legal protections on copyrights, trademarks, etc. These laws and their application differ throughout the EU. We are calling for an ongoing harmonisation of these laws and regulations.
Once again, we are putting forward the need for real regulations of the lawless "Wild West" sector of the internet in all areas of copyright protection and copyright use. The EU is called upon to bring this aspect of cultural life under control.
- With the recognition of culture's importance for the EU and its member states, authorities must understand that cultural workers, artists and creative people need a social statute. This social statute should leave the artist the choice of being self-employed or being an employee. Both systems must offer the artist a suitable social statute.
Such a social statute should provide a basic set of regulation_s in the areas of safety, protection, insurance, health care, a retirement plan, unemployment benefits, etc.
- Some established institutions only collect, subsidise or invest in avant-garde art. Some public media only put money into broadcasting pop-culture. We recognise that there is discrimination on a large scale towards traditional art, folk-art, or any art that is not considered fashionable. Again, pluriformity is the key. Regulations should break these patterns of partiality.
- Given the importance of culture, the EU should create a climate favourable to investment in art (collections, music, dance, drama, etc.) of any type or style. Such measures would concern regulations related to tax, public space, the subsidizing of cultural groups, etc.
- Culture feeds on exchange, dialogue and contrasts. All international barriers caused by tax and labour regulations should be lifted or adapted, including for the self-employed and "flexi workers". The European Commission should stimulate and support transnational exchange programs.
- Our European culture is the synthesis of Greek, Roman and Judeo-Christian history, which resulted in our humanistic societies, characterised by pluriformity. The EU is called upon to consider these 2000 years of history and tradition as an integral component of our norms, values and institutions. The progress of our society lies in understanding the past. Our way of life requires dialogue, respect, tolerance, and the connection with Christian beliefs. These convictions should be in evidence in the public and political arena.
- The freedom we enjoy as a result of these 2000 years of history should not be abused by nondemocratic groups such as cults or terrorist organisations. One of our fundamental freedoms is the right to gather in associations. These groups should be required to comply with other fundamental freedoms such as human rights. They must publicly define their views on participation and work in the public arena. Will they respect Western traditions, values and norms? And how will they contribute to social cohesion?
- The arts, as a key cultural force, can function optimally only in an environment of understanding. Understanding needs peace. Peace is not the absence of violence, peace is a decision and a way of life. These issues should be addressed in the educational sphere. Education is a fundamental right. Cultural education raises issues of cultural diversity and cultural identity. Education of all kinds should be enforced by the European Community.
INFORMATION ABOUT THE SPEAKERS
- Andre Beemsterboer - The Netherlands
Specialist in copyright regulations; Director of Cedar (umbrella organization for copyright institutions).
- Keith Hackett - United Kingdom
Keith Hackett is a consultant, specialised in employment-related research, strategic planning and project financing with cultural organisations and cultural enterprises, governmental bodies and industry consortia accross Europe. Besides this he established the Liverpool film office.
- Ellen Hazelkorn - Ireland
Faculty Director of the Dublin Institute of Technology. She is a member of the Irish governments Strategic Management Initiative: Council member of the Film Institute of Ireland; regular commentator in the media on issues concerning media. arts and politics in Ireland. She has written numerous articles and books.
- Solon Karthak - Nepal
President of the Christian Arts Association Nepal; speaker, writer on human rights.
- Yasmine Kherbache - Belgium
Lawyer and spokeswoman for the Social Commission of the NICC (New International Cultural Centre); spokeswoman for the Belgian National Artists Platform. Author of various articles and books about the (social) status of artists.
- An Krraeps - Belgium
Art historian: Social and Cultural Anthropologist. After a career in business, she joined the leadership of Dakab (cultural wing of the trade unions). She is currently cultural advisor for the Flemish government.
- Asukulu Mulengwa - Congo/Belgium
Pastor, artist. lecturer, speaker on human rights, peace processes, reconciliation.
- Carl Niehaus - South Africa
Former South African Ambassador to the Netherlands. He is currently director of Nicro, a governmental organization for a safer South Africa; a white member of the ANC - he was imprisoned because of his opposition to the doctrine of Apartheid.
- Daniel Nylund - Finland
Speaker, author, motivator, counsellor, studies the dynamics of violence in religion and society. Director of the Friendship Inn, a retreat centre for people in crisis.
- Leen La Rivière - The Netherlands
Chairman of the International Association of Christian Artists. Author, writer, speaker, motivator, artists. He will do the opening and closing addresses of the symposium. He is the editor of the symposium documents.
- Bill Romanowski - U.S.A.
Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences at Calvin College; author of several books including the award winning Top Culture Wars'. Bill will close each day with his comments on the content, Topics and debates of the day.
- Calvin Seer-veld - Canada
Born in the fishing village of West Sayville, Long Island, New York. Educated at Calvin College, Michigan (B.A.) and the University of Michigan (M.A.) and then at Universitit Basel, University di Roma, and the Vrije Universiteit van Amsterdam (Ph.D.). Professor Emeritus of Philosophical Aesthetics which he taught at the graduate Institute for Christian Studies, Toronto, 1972-95. He served as co-chairman of the Canadian Society for Aesthetics/Societe Canadienne d'Esthetique, 198487, and was a member of the committee which over ten years produced a Psalter Hymnal for the Christian Reformed Church of North America, 1977-87, and was a Board Member of Patmos Gallery, Chicago-Toronto, 1969-79. He has written moren than 6 books for the academic world about aesthetics & arts. He has been a key speaker at a number of academic meetings, symposia and conferences in the U.S.A., Canada, Britain, Holland and Australia.
- Marianne Vogel - The Netherlands
Lecturer in Dutch Language, Culture and Literature at the University of Freiburg, Germany; researcher at the University of Groningen. She is currently researching and publishing a paper about gender in literature and career issues within the arts.
- Ad de Wolf - The Netherlands
Researcher for the University of Tilburg. He is currently monitoring the position of the artists within the cultural sector. He formerly worked for the Dutch National Council of Culture.