ENCATC Policy Debate

Brussels, Belgium

Responding to the crisis with culture: towards new models of governance for the cultural sector

ENCATC organised a Policy Debate on the economic crisis and what this could mean for the cultural sector on 6 July 2012 in partnership with CIVA who hosted the event.

This debate was be chaired by Anamaria Wills, CIDA, the Creative & Innovation Company.  Among the speakers were: Gerald Lidstone, Goldsmiths, University of London, United Kingdom, Fabio Donato, University of Ferrara, Italy, Donato Giuliani, Regional Initiative’s Project, Nord-Pas de Calais, France, Jaakko Pitkänen, Mikkeli University of Applied Sciences, Finland, Annick Schramme, University of Antwerp, Belgium, and Lise Lyck, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark.


No one ignores today the huge importance and global impact of the current economic crisis in Europe and in most developed countries. It has not only economic consequences (in the financing, production, consumption and working markets) but also political and social ones. National governments are becoming unable to solve for themselves problems rooted in circumstances beyond their possibilities for action. Even the European institutions have difficulties reaching a consensus and working together efficiently. People everywhere suffer the consequences of the crisis in their daily lives. The crisis deepens socio-economic cleavages and unrest spreads to the core of our stable societies.

The cultural production sector and markets have some very specific economic characteristics which explain, in a way, some of the opportunities, threats and difficulties they have in relation to the economic crisis. This is a risky sector of prototype kind of products, most of them with a high but subjective symbolic value (reference). At the same time, the sector is living a huge transformation of their business models by the impact of new communication technologies. A great part of the supply of cultural activities survives thanks to the generous support of public funds (and in some places also with additional philanthropic support), as a result of a historical process of social valuation. The crucial importance of governmental policies explains why the transformation of the welfare estate and the new trends will particularly affect the sector.

ENCATC Policy Debate