Productivity of Culture

Culture and Economy

Friday Oct 19th - 9.30 - 11.00


Chair Person: Simone Beck - Ex General Secretary of ECCM, Coordinator Luxemburg European Cultural Capital 1995


EU wakes up to Culture - resume of the EU Study on ‘culture and economy’

"A European Union commission will put down a set of proposals for a common cultural policy by June 2007. As APA and Der Standard report, it is the first time that the EU has undertaken such an initiative since the Maastricht Treaty of 1992 made culture a part of the EU agenda. . . . According to a financial study commissioned by the agency, culture employs 5.8 million (3.1 percent of employed EU citizens) and accounts for 2.6 percent of gross GNP, more than the chemical industry (2.3 percent) and real estate (2.1 percent). Cultural profits—in 2003, estimated at €654 billion ($866.8 billion)—outdo the auto industry (€271 billion [$359.2 billion]), as well as information and communication technologies (€541 billion [$717 billion]).

Source: ArtForum, December 18 2006

Comment by Dr. Hatto Fischer

Ongoing discussions about the importance of culture within Europe reflect different strands (e.g. UNESCO on 'cultural diversity', 'Soul for Europe' as a way to 'brand' culture as European, and the conference 'Culture makes Europe / Kultur macht Europa' in Berlin, June 2007). As of late Wiesand from ERICs attempts to modify all too high expectations in culture to become a key economic factor. The position is altogether not yet clear to what extent the growing dynamism between culture and economy can be said to alter both economic and cultural dispositions within societies responding to global challenges. Moreover research has not yet come up with conclusive evidence that the designation of a city as European Capital of Culture alters significantly this relationship between culture and economy.

The ECCM Network and the Network of Networks aim with the symposium to argue for an independence of culture besides the economy. However, it all depends how ‘productivity of culture’ is considered and measured. Certainly European cities express interest to develop further an urban based cultural policy with a global dimension.

To remind what Louis Baeck said here in Athens at the Fifth Seminar, ‘Cultural Actions for Europe’ (see in 1994, there is a need to distinguish between the Mediterranean and Atlantic tradition with the latter clearly favoring a sharp distinction between culture and economy whereas in the Mediterranean context culture means to integrate the economy into the household. That reminds of how Homer describes the management of the house of Odyssey even when absent. Later Vergil would say that once people forget how to tame wild horses and when to cut the olive tree, then the empire will collapse.
Athens 17.3.2007


Speakers of the session 'culture and economy'


"From Productivity to Creativity: the Making of the cultural Economy"

Hatto Fischer - Dr. in Political Philosophy, Poet, Co-ordinator of Poiein kai Prattein and Associated Member of the ECCM-Network

further contents - CV

"A Perspective for a Civilized Life"

George Krimpas - former Director of OECD - Greek Section, Prof. of University of Athens

further contents - CV

"Culture and Economy - a possible dialogue about new policy measures"

Joanna Sanetra-Szeliga - International Cultural Centre of Krakow

further contents - CV

"Ruhr 2010 – Creative Industries: Project related to the Process"

Bernd Fesel - active member of the team ‘Creative Industries’ for RUHR 2010, Capital of Culture

further contents - CV

Further materials / links

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