NEMO spoke at event supporting reopening of culture in Europe

On 26 May 2021, NEMO was invited to the online event ‘Coming Back Stronger - Ways Forward for Culture’ organised in support of the reopening of the cultural sector in Europe. In connection to the event the 6 hosting political groups from the European Parliament, the EPP, S&D, Renew, the Greens/EFA, ECR and the Left, issued a joint declaration in support for a strong culture comeback.

The event was organised with the aim of exploring possibilities for an EU-wide approach to support the Cultural and Creative Sectors and Industries (CCSIs). Upon an invitation from the hosts, NEMO Secretary General Julia Pagel contributed to the discussion with the needs of the museum sector. In her speech, she focused on:

  • The long-term impact of the lockdown for museums and their learnings from it.
  • Steps to make museums more resilient to future crises.
  • Concrete recommendations for decision makers.

Hit hard by the pandemic, museums have nevertheless made several learnings from it. Museums are more flexible than they think and were quick in coming up with new digital offers during the first lockdown. The local community is likely to become a more important target group when museums start to open again. Museums are more than cultural spaces since they also provide spaces for learning, encounters and relaxation.

Pagel finished the speech by quoting NEMO’s reports on Covid-19’s impact on museums and recommended decision makers to:

  • Invest in and develop museums’ skills and knowledge to access and open new sources of funding outside state support through dedicated programmes and initiatives.
  • Put an emphasis on the basics of digital development, the development of digital skills and infrastructure of museums, including the development of sound metrics, frameworks and methods to track digital activities and success.

The joint declaration issued by the hosting political groups, starts by stressing the importance of culture and creativity in ensuring people’s wellbeing and its contribution to the EU economy. They call on the European Commission to urgently publish guidelines to facilitate the safe re-opening of cultural venues and organisation of cultural activities. They also call on the Commission and the Member States to provide sufficient financial support and to eliminate administrative barriers to innovation in the cultural and creative sectors with a view to contributing the sectors’ sustainability and resilience.