Policies for the enhancement of Culture and Cultural Heritage in European Cities have some common and crosscutting weaknesses: problems in designing integrated strategic actions; imbalance between policy formulation and assessment of results; limited involvement of private stakeholders.
Turning culture into investments, or rather, into a driving force for development, means acting for enabling cultural communities to "create a system", both at the territorial level, i.e. among the various local stakeholders, and at a wider level, in their relation with national and European decision-making levels.
"Networking" therefore becomes a strategic concept, to implement a real strategic planning of culture, to optimize the search for funding and establish the conditions for projects design and implementation.
Speakers from the European institutions, experts from the Promo PA Foundation and some European networks active in the field of culture joined the meeting.
The meeting was open to the member cities of the Italian Network of Cities of Culture (www.retecittadellacultura.it), the regional Liaison Offices in Brussels, experts and policy officers in the cultural sector.
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Cultural participation and networking: A strategic asset for policy-makers and practitioners of the cultural sector
Active participation and stimulating discussion at the workshop “Networking as a lever for cultural development for cities”, held in Brussels on June 18th 2019. Organized by the Promo P.A. Foundation, ENCATC member, in cooperation with the EU Liaison Office of Tuscany Region in Brussels, the workshop aimed to address the issue of "networking in the cultural sector" according to a European horizon, highlighting its advantages from the point of view of the integrated planning of cultural policies and financial opportunities. The workshop gathered almost 50 participants and was introduced by the Director for Culture and Research of the Tuscany Region, Roberto Ferrari, and by the President of PromoPA Foundation, Gaetano Scognamiglio.
Two main highlights emerged from the seminar:
Networks can provide cities and urban areas with multiple opportunities to connect at a local, regional, national, EU and international level. It is not just about access to advanced services but also a question of sharing a new approach where culture should be integrated with tourism, urban planning, environment, etc. – as explained by the ENCATC General Secretary, Giannalia Cogliandro, and by the Eurocities Project and Knowledge Sharing Director, Natalie Guri, during the interactive session moderated by Annalisa Giachi, Head of Research at PromoPA Foundation;
Europe is experiencing a real “cultural” momentum and new clusters of opportunities for Culture, Creativity and Innovation are being designed for the period 2021-2027 to build more resilient, skilled and inclusive societies.
Both at the level of cultural policy strategies/planning, as the result of the European Work Plan for culture 2019-2022 and at the level of the Framework Programme for research and innovation 2021-2027 (Horizon Europe), as emphasized by Erminia Sciacchitano, from the EC Directorate-General for Education and Culture and by Mariachiara Esposito, Policy officer at the EU Liaison office of Tuscany Region in Brussels.
The workshop was attended as well by a few Italian cities, that are part of the Italian Network of Cities of Culture, which illustrated their projects achieved at local level by linking them with European strands of interventions. The exchange between them, on one side, and the community of Brussels based cultural stakeholders and policy-makers, on the other, generated productive examples and ideas for leveraging transnational and multi-level cultural cooperation through a bottom-up approach.
The meeting confirmed “Networking” as a strategic concept, that is very relevant to make cultural planning effective and truly strategic, and to optimize the search for funding establishing the conditions for better projects’ design and implementation.