Uniarts Helsinki’s objectives for European elections 2024 

Art, arts research and arts education play a key role in building up the kind of Europe that is competitive and able to successfully solve challenges that we face in the future. Uniarts Helsinki’s objectives for the elections to the European Parliament in June and for the upcoming EU parliamentary term highlight that it is imperative to acknowledge the role of the arts and culture as the pillars of the success of Europe

1. The role of the arts in building a more sustainable Europe must be recognised 

Unstable economy, climate change, ageing population, unemployment and changes in the security environment are examples of challenges that Europe must find solutions for in the coming EU period. We need art as well as research and teaching in the arts to enable and promote a systemic change, which is a requirement for building an ecologically, socially, culturally and financially more sustainable Europe. Unstable economy, climate change, aging population, unemployment and changes in the security environment

Art has the ability to cross language and cultural barriers and deal experientially with the basic questions of being human that unite us all. At the same time, art also has the ability to bring out phenomena that otherwise remain on the margins or unnoticed. Therefore, art plays an essential role in the continuous redefining of the cultural and value-based core of Europeanness, in supporting democracy and crisis resistance, and in reducing segregation and polarization. 

The moments of reflection, pausing and awakening that art offers are a resource and a tool that we can rest our scientific, technological and societal development on. Therefore, the European Parliament and Commission must recognise the role of art when introducing innovations and new technologies. 

2. Funding for the arts must be brought to a sustainable level for the next EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation 

Fields of social sciences and humanities, including the arts (=SSAH, social sciences, arts and humanities) are central in integrating social, financial, human and cultural perspectives into all research and in the assessment of the impact of research. These fields should be allocated considerably more funding during the validity of the next EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation for 2028–2034. The arts must also be featured in the content of the future work programmes under the framework programme. 

The success of Europe must be guaranteed through high-level competence, education, research and innovation activities. That is why Uniarts Helsinki supports the shared goal of Finnish universities outlined through UNIFI to double the funding of the framework programme to a total of 200 billion euros for 2028-2034 and emphasizes the need to better consider the humanities and art fields in its planning. 

3. Public funding for the cultural sector must be safeguarded 

The creative sectors offer employment and chances of considerable growth for the EU. According to the Central Organization for Finnish Culture and Arts Associations, Kulta ry, the cultural and other creative sectors grew faster than the EU’s economy on average, and the trade balance recorded a surplus of 8.6 billion euros. The creative sectors also employed over 7.6 million euros people in Europe before Covid – over eight times more than data communications and three times more than automotive industry. 

Uniarts Helsinki supports Kulta’s message: We must safeguard the competitive edge of the European culture sector both through funding and by applying up-to-date regulations. In order to operate successfully, the cultural sector requires both public funding and the promotion of private of investments. The EU’s financial instruments are a significant enabler also for the Finnish cultural sector, cultural heritage and cultural tourism.