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#FAbdx - Account of the closing session: Let's get involved!

Closing session with Günther Oettinger, European Commissioner for digital economy and society, Didier Reynders, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign affaires (Belgium), Alain Juppé, Mayor of Bordeaux, President of the Bordeaux Metropole, Cartooning for peace (Nadia Khiari /Willis From Tunis, Lars Refn, Nicolas Vadot, Urs, Plantu), Hervé Digne, Chairman of the Forum d’Avignon, presented by Laure Kaltenbach, managing director if the Forum d’Avignon.

In line with the theme, Enterprising culture, the Forum d’Avignon wishes to call upon artists, citizens, entrepreneurs, leaders to rally around the pact between culture and security, reminds Laure Kaltenbach, managing director of the Forum d’Avignon. Our attention is also turned to the “Cultural urgency” (Jérôme Clément) – and even the “cultural state of emergency” (Olivier Poivre d’Arvor). This situation beckons a renewed pact between culture, economy, and digital technologies, while reclaiming the specificity of creation as a future model for society.

Relive Laure Kaltenbach and Günther H. Oettinger's speeches:

“For each euro spent on national security, a euro must be invested in culture”, proposes Günther Oettinger, EU commissioner for economy and digital societies. Culture is much more than a mere artistic expression. Indeed, culture is our only chance for a future, our only means of survival. We must invest more in culture. Digital technologies are not an end within themselves, but rather a tool in service of citizens’ creativity. So that these technologies may be efficient, we must provide a leveled playing field, as well as a fair distribution of benefits between authors, producers, and users.

Copyright law is a key challenge and must fulfill two main tasks: allow fair pay for artists and encourage corporations to invest in young artists.

Relive Didier Reynders, Alain Juppé, Hervé Digne and Plantu's speeches:

A second challenge of primordial importance is access to culture. Culture without an audience is an oxymoron. Too few European citizens benefit today from equal access to culture, as offered by digital platforms. We must allow EU heritage (namely that of the audiovisual sector) to reach as wide an audience as possible, through licensing hubs for example.

The fight against piracy remains a priority, especially at a time when access to funding persists as a major difficulty within the cultural sector. Further funding should be provided, as well as more efficient proposals to coordinate national funding opportunities.

The future of the EU’s position within the cultural sector, as well as that of the creative industries producing content, depend mainly upon these entities’ ability to adapt to new technologies and to make the best use of them.

“It is now, more than ever, vital to invest in culture so as to fight against barbarism”, pleads Didier Reynders, Vice Prime Minister and Minister of International en European Affairs in Belgium. Amongst the most successful Belgian investments, he names the Suez group sponsorship of the Magritte Museum, which thus benefited from private and public funding. Reynders also cites the Tax shelter that allows numerous Belgian movies to sweep prizes during international festivals, in addition to encouraging international productions to shoot in Belgium. These mechanisms will be extended to the performance art and street art disciplines.

Relive the closing session:

“Culture’s vitality is also its resistance power against barbaric acts”, synthesizes Hervé Digne, President of the Forum d’Avignon. The Forum adopts a pragmatic perspective, which entails detecting innovative initiatives and allowing them to thrive.

In light of this, the slogan “culture for everyone, by everyone” is of fundamental significance. The Forum d’Avignon places itself in the heritage of public policies searching to promote and extend culture to all.              

The team of Cartooning for peace, led by Plantu, sketches with their usual energy, and produces a series of drawing for the International meetings in Bordeaux.

Mr. Alain Juppé, thanks all the speakers, attendees, and the organizing team of the Forum d’Avignon and Cote Ouest.