The Romanian Ministry of Culture and National Identity, through its Project Management Unit, organised in Bucharest, on June 21st2019, the conference Music Moves Europe – Opportunities and challenges of the music sector in the digital age.
The event was held under the Romanian Presidency of the EU Council (RO PRES) and was preceded by a workshop on copyright in the music sector jointly organised with another RO PRES conference, New challenges regarding copyright in the Digital Single Market.
For the first time in Romania, representatives of the public sector, experts and policy makers from several EU Member States and from the European Commission, professionals from the music sector and representatives of European music organisations exchanged ideas under the same roof. Discussions had the role to contribute to a better understanding of the music sector and its challenges, and also to a closer collaboration at policy level that can consolidate the European diversity and competitiveness of this industry.
More than 200 delegates from Romania and other 27 European countries were present at the event, covering a wide geographical area, from Norway to Greece and from the Republic of Moldova to Portugal.
June 21st was full of fruitful discussions, debates and presentations on important issues for the music industry in the digital era: from the importance of festivals in the life of cities to promoting music diversity, creating policies and incentive schemes to ensure a level playing field for the diversity of the European music sector, identifying challenges and obstacles related to the cross-border music circulation at European level and encouraging the entrepreneurial dimension of the industry through financing, training and mentoring programmes.
The introduction in the broader European context was made by Mrs. Susanne Hollmann, Deputy Head of the Cultural Policy Unit in the European Commission (DG Education and Culture), who presented the main support measures that the Commission is implementing for the European music sector:
Funding for cooperation projects, European music networks and platforms via the Creative Europe programme;
Managing a permanent dialogue with European professionals in the music sector in order to discuss the challenges they are facing;
The Preparatory Action For Music, started in 2018 to analyse and offer solutions to the challenges regarding music distribution, training and education, music export, music venues, etc;
The EU Music Talent Award for emerging European artists;
i-Portunus, a pilot project to support artist mobility, including those from the music sector.
In the next multiannual financial framework for 2021-2027, the Creative Europe programme will pay even more attention to the music sector, proposing new priorities and dedicated financing schemes.
The main topics addressed during this conference will be reflected in a set of conclusions of the Romanian Presidency of the Council, which will feed into the next actions and work methods dedicated to the music sector in the Council’s Work Plan for Culture in the following 4 years.
About the „Music Moves Europe” conference
Co-financed by the Creative Europe 2014-2020 programme of the European Union, the June 21st conference was part of the cultural policy component of the Music Moves Europe initiative, which represents a general framework for the strategic actions of the European Commission in support of the European music sector.
The Music Moves Europe conference was the last event dedicated to the cultural field organised by the Ministry of Culture and National Identity – Project Management Unit in the RO PRES context. With this conference, the Romanian Presidency of the EU Council contributed to the identification of good practices in support of the music industry and of appropriate sectoral policies at Member States level.
SUMMARY OF DISCUSSIONS
There were two days of fruitful discussions, debates and presentations on different important topics for the music sector in the digital era.
The first panel focused on festivals’ potential to be a driver of urban development and regeneration. Music transforms cities, makes them richer and more vibrant. It enhances the attractiveness of a place, promotes social inclusion and helps local economy and tourism to flourish. Local authorities can support music by financing projects and specialised institutions, by investing in the development of a local urban infrastructure, by developing policies that enhance collaboration between several domains, such as culture, urban planning, tourism, the hospitality industry, transport, etc. We heard about the examples of two festivals, MENT in Ljubljana and UNTOLD in Cluj-Napoca, about the impact they had on their cities’ growth, as well as the support they received from local authorities. Also, we learned about the city of Gabrovo in Bulgaria and its 10-year cultural development strategy, where music plays an important role.
The second panel illustrated a series of good practices linked to the promotion of musical diversity across the continent, from the perspectives of four European countries: Estonia, Finland, Romania and France. The music export offices in the network of 21 countries are an essential support in building creators’ capacity to conquer new international markets, by offering training programmes, funding and relevant networking contexts to connect with other specialists and develop common projects. Other important actors in promoting musical diversity are small live music venues and local festivals that have emerging European artists in their line-ups.
The third panel was focused on transferable best practices in the field of policy and financing that address market failures and sectoral challenges for the music ecosystem implemented by the ministries of culture in four EU states: (Austria, The Netherlands, France, Estonia) and by Liveurope, a pan-European platform dedicated to the promotion of live music venues. Examples enabling a sustainable development of the music sector included: funding schemes and incentives for artists and professionals, state-backed export organisations, infrastructure of sector-specific public institutions, education and training programmes, EU-funded projects, quota systems for promoting music in a certain territory, etc.
The fourth panel was dedicated to discussions about obstacles in the cross-border music circulation in Europe. One of the main challenges is the lack of data about the sector or, many times, the lack of access to existing data that prevents artists, managers and other industry professionals to strategically plan their next marketing steps, especially outside their country of origin. An important discussion during the panel was about the role of DSPs in promoting European music in the current digital context.
The fifth panel had as main topic the know-how exchange in developing the entrepreneurial dimension of the music industry, especially through trainings on business competences, mentorship programmes, collaborations or financing schemes. The know-how transfer from more to less experienced professionals is extremely important, and networking opportunities and participation in international professional events should be seized every time in order to stay updated with the latest topics and trends in the music industry.