Voices of Culture > Culture and the Sustainable Development Goals: Challenges and Opportunities

Voices of Culture provides a framework for discussions between cultural stakeholders and the European Commission. The third topic of Voices of Culture 2019 – 2021 will ask questions about the challenges and opportunities for culture and the sustainable development goals. How can new priorities, policies, actions and funding streams better address this issue?

The United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a 15-year global framework. It is centred on an ambitious set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 169 targets and over 230 indicators. The SDGs address all UN Member States and the European Union. They address governments, civil society and the private sector. And they include culture.

For cultural organisations, the Sustainable Development Goals create both challenges and opportunities. The main challenge is how to ensure the effective contribution of culture to the global policy agenda. The main opportunities lie in demonstrating culture’s importance to society, and supporting advocacy.

The EU and its Member States are committed to implementing the 2030 Agenda. In November 2019, the Council amended its Work Programme for Culture to prioritise the SDGs, and invited the Commission to prepare an action plan on the cultural dimension of sustainable development. In September 2020 senior officials of EU foreign and culture ministries discussed the issue.

To contribute to its reflection on culture and the Sustainable Development Goals the European Commission has asked Voices of Culture to organise a conversation among stakeholders, and they are now calling for applications from potential participants.

Successful applicants will be invited to a digital Brainstorming Meeting taking place 2-3 December 2020 and to a Dialogue Meeting on the 11 February 2021 to share their input on five suggested areas of discussion: Education, Growth and Employment, Sustainable Communities, Climate Action, and Freedom of Expression.

The call is open to representatives of the cultural and creative sectors (professional organisations, cultural institutions, non-governmental organisations, European networks, foundations, private organisations, etc.) with relevant expertise. Organisations applying must be from one of the 28 EU Member States.

Deadline: 11 October 2020

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