Cultural actors discuss UNESCO’s global report “Re|shaping Cultural Policies” in Berlin

On 9 February 2018, more than 120 representatives from various cultural and public institutions gathered at the Barenboim Said Academy in Berlin to discuss UNESCO’s 2018 Global Report "Re|Shaping Cultural Policies", and how the findings can be used  to inform Germany‘s cultural and media policy. The event was organized by the German National Commission to UNESCO in cooperation with the Deutscher Kulturrat, the Kulturpolitische Gesellschaft and the Barenboim-Said Academy.

This report, published with the support of the Swedish government, monitors the implementation of cultural policies around the world through the implementation of UNESCO’s 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. The German language edition of UNESCO’s Global Report (Executive Summary) was presented and distributed at the event in Berlin.

Christoph Wulf, Vice President of the German National Commission to UNESCO and Michael Naumann, Rector of the Barenboim-Said Akademie opened the event, followed by a presentation of the Report by Danielle Cliche, Secretary the 2005 Convention and UNESCO’s chief editor of the report.

"145 countries and the European Union have ratified this Convention. Today's discussion is also a contribution to the debate on the future of cultural policy reform that we are having with our European neighbors and international partners. Essentially, Europe is also a cultural project!” stressed Christoph Wulf.

 “UNESCO’s 2005 Convention and this Global Report remind us that cultural policy also needs to be understood as social policy.  They are policy tools to promote a more balanced access to markets, trade in cultural goods and services, and increase cultural participation. Germany is challenged on all federal levels to put these issues at the forefront of political action, which are essential for social cohesion and development,” said Christian Höppner, President of the Deutscher Kulturrat.

Participants emphasized the need for timely policy monitoring to inform good governance and decision-making processes: "Good cultural policy needs data, facts, and evaluation”, reminded Tobias Knoblich, Vice President of the Kulturpolitische Gesellschaft.

The next Global report will be published in June 2021, announced Danielle Cliche. “Until then, UNESCO will continue to actively support policy design and monitoring processes, especially in countries lacking the required legal and institutional frameworks”, she underlined.

Targeting cultural and creative industries

The event took place in a context of increasing investment in the Creative and Cultural Industries (CCIs) in Germany. Since 2007, the German government has targeted the CCIs sector with the creation of the Cultural and Creative Industries Initiative, which publishes an annual report on the contributions of CCIs to economic growth and job creation.

According to the 2017 edition of this report, CCIs accounted for 3.1% of the GDP share of the country in 2016 and well above 1.6 million people working in this sector. In total, the estimated gross value added during that year was €98.8 billion. Most recently, in 2016, Germany launched the Centre of Excellence for Cultural and Creative Industries whose goal is to promote cooperation between creative industries and other sector as well as provide a platform for networking.

The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) will be also funding in 2018-2019 a new UNESCO project targeting the music industry in Morocco. The project aims at unleashing the potential the country’s music sector as an avenue for new employment and income generation opportunities for young people.