IFRRO Launches “Re:start Conversations” Events With EVA, EWC And FEP

On 17 March, IFRRO launched the first of its “Re:start conversations” events, together with our partners EVA, EWC and FEP.

The cultural and creative sectors (CCS) have been badly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic and have had to quickly come up with new approaches, creative alternatives and short and long-term solutions. The “Re:start conversations” events aim to create better awareness about the actions authors, publishers and collective management organisations (CMOs) in the text and image sectors have taken to make content available and accessible during the Covid-19 crisis. As the book and image sectors have proven to be particularly hard hit, the theme of our first event was “Beyond the crisis: Recovery, resilience and sustainability of the book sector”.

Sabine Verheyen MEP, Chair of the European Parliament’s (EP) Culture Committee, opened the event by discussing the EP’s work in support of the of the CCS, including its Resolution on the Cultural Recovery of Europe in September 2020. Barbara Gessler, Head of Unit for “Creative Europe” in the European Commission’s (EC) DG for Education and Culture (DG EAC), discussed some of the EC’s work to support the CCS, including the Creative Europe funding programme, and spoke of the EC’s commitment to the EU’s CCS and to defending copyright.

During a panel discussion, Nina George, novelist and EWC President, Ángel L. González (Member of the Federacion de Gremios de Editores and the Educational Publishers Forum, invited by FEP), Carola Streul, Secretary General of European Visual Artists (EVA) and George Andrew Zannos, Managing Director at OSDEL (Greek Collecting Society for Literary Works) discussed the impact of the crisis on authors, publishers, visual artists and RROs, how they have responded with best practices and their recommendations for a sustainable future

Rita Brasil de Brito from the Portuguese Presidency of the EU (and current Chair of the Council’s Culture Committee) discussed the Presidency’s priorities in the field of culture, which include: recovery, resilience and sustainability of the cultural and creative sectors (on which Council Conclusions are foreseen to be adopted at the Culture Council meeting on 18 May); culture and social cohesion, and arts and education. For more information about the work of the Portuguese Presidency, see here.

The event concluded with some closing remarks from the Chair, IFRRO President Yngve Slettholm, who said that our community will continue working together, as well as with the EU Institutions and other stakeholders, to ensure that the text and image sectors can recover as quickly as possible, and be as sustainable as possible going forward.

We thank all the speakers and participants for making the event such a success! A short summary of the event can be found here. IFRRO members can find further details about the event on the Members Only part of our website, including a recording.

We are delighted to announce that our next “Re-start conversations” event, “Investing in a high-quality digital education ecosystem is investing in democracy” will take place on 16 June 2021 (10.00-11.30 CET).