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Industry backs EU’s pilot programme to support music community

By | Published on Thursday 15 February 2018

European Commission

An entire blancmange of music industry trade groups (hey, why not join me in my bid to make that the official collective noun?) amassed in Brussels yesterday. They were there for the launch of Music Moves Europe, a new pilot programme from the European Union’s culture directorate. The initiative will test various schemes that could become part of a fully-fledged EU music programme that would launch in 2021. Which is exciting. Something else the music community of Brexited Britain will miss out on. Woo!

As well as attending the launch, the blancmange also put out an open letter to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker welcoming the new initiative and urging him to support a decently funded permanent music-centric support programme at the end of the pilot. When it comes to cultural stuff, the EC has a history of putting a lot more effort into supporting the European movie industry than anything else.

In the letter, the blancmange writes: “Together, we are marking the launch of the Music Moves Europe Preparatory Action, a pilot project adopted by the European Parliament that will help test ideas and projects which could be replicated at a larger scale in the next generation of EU programmes. Seizing the opportunity provided by this event, the undersigned organisations from across the spectrum are joining their voices to call on all EU institutions to endorse the idea of a dedicated EU music programme as part of the next multi-annual financial framework”.

“The Preparatory Action is designed to be a first step towards filling a gap in today’s EU cultural policy”, it goes on. “The next step is a tailor-made EU music programme with a budget which is proportionate to its economic, social and cultural contribution. Among other things, a fully-fledged music programme would help trigger more investment in the sector, boost diversity and increase the mobility of artists and repertoire across borders. Let’s give ourselves the means to make this one of the EU’s great success stories”.

The letter concludes: “The signatories of this letter are committed to making this Commission project – which has already garnered significant cross-party support in the European Parliament – a reality. We ask you to join us in support of a dedicated EU music programme with an appropriate budget corresponding to the sector’s challenges. To fully unlock the potential of the EU creative sectors, we join others in the larger cultural sector in urging all institutions to double the overall budget dedicated to culture. Adequate funding for culture is the essential foundation on which a genuine pan European cultural economy can be built. Creativity is where Europe excels. Let’s make our culture shine even brighter”.

One of the trade groups involved is indie-label repping IMPALA. Its Public Affairs Manager Matthieu Philibert said: “Building on the Commission and Parliament’s ground-breaking work so far, a music programme would fill a gap in the current European cultural framework. Such a programme would be a strategic move to boost music, which is one of Europe’s key economic sectors. It would be a first and would help the sector to continue to shape and adapt to a fast-changing environment”.

Thinking about it, I wish I’d gone with a ‘cacophony’ of trade bodies. Can we make that the collective noun? After all, I hear that an entire cacophony of music industry trade groups amassed in Brussels yesterday for the launch of Music Moves Europe, a new pilot programme from the European Union’s culture directorate.