The European Union does not have a direct influence on music life and the higher music education in the member states. But indirectly everyone who has contact with AEC knows that the resources that the EU makes available in the three major programs Creative Europe, Erasmus and Horizon are of great importance for the development of our sector. Through exchange, projects and research, we develop our institutions and prepare the students for a future in an ever-changing musical life.

What will it look like in the coming years after the elections to the EU Parliament, and what will happen now that the votes have been counted and the 720 new members have been elected? What is AEC’s role and plans in this regard? That is the theme of this month’s article on advocacy.

After the elections to the European Parliament, several key processes and events occur to shape the functioning of the European Union (EU):

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) align themselves into political groups based on their political affiliations and ideologies. These groups are crucial as they influence the legislative and decision-making processes. The newly elected MEPs then vote to elect the President of the European Parliament. The President represents the Parliament externally and oversees its activities and debates.

The European Council proposes a candidate for the President of the European Commission, usually considering the results of the European elections. The European Parliament must approve this candidate by a majority vote. The nominated President then selects Commissioners from each member state, who must be approved by the European Parliament as a whole.

As this newsletter goes live, it appears that former Commission President, German Ursula von der Leyen will continue in the post, while former Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa will become President of the European Council. The EU’s new Chief of Foreign Policy will be Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas.

With the new Parliament in place, there is typically a period of increased legislative activity and negotiations as MEPs, committees, and political groups push forward their agendas and priorities. This period sets the tone for the Parliament’s work in the coming years.

What is the role of the AEC?

AEC constantly monitors developments and follows where important decisions are made. First of all, it is now a matter of getting to know the parliament’s new culture committee, identifying the politicians and ensuring that higher music education enters their radar along with the other cultural areas.

The AEC is sending a welcome message to the politicians, and we are working with our partners Culture Action Europe and ELIA, assisting Commission officials in preparing an introduction package on culture and arts education for the politicians.

Important decisions where AEC will seek influence include EU’s multiannual financial framework (MFF) as well as the new editions of the funding programmes Creative Europe, Erasmus+ and Horizon.

AEC firmly believes in the value of artistic education as an indispensable pillar in the development of healthy and inclusive societies and this is our clear message when we welcome the new EU Parliament to Brussels.