AEC looks back with satisfaction on an intensive and successful year of lobbying and advocacy. Of course, AEC's activities not only address the institutions of the European Community, but also cultural and educational organisations and associations, as well as parties and governments at national level. Planned actions and initiatives with partner organisations are becoming more and more crucial.

Advocating at the European level

As usual, representatives of AEC attended numerous meetings and events as a voice for higher music education within the process of political decision-making.
  • The European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 is almost coming to an end. Although own initiatives were not presented, AEC took an active part in an inspiring dialogue at the annual conference of the influential 'European network on cultural management and policy' (ENCATC) in Bucharest. Stefan Gies took on the role of representing Higher Music Education in a debate on the challenges which the traditional cultural institutions have to face due to an ongoing social and cultural change.
  • Together with Eirik Birkeland, Stefan attended several dialogue meetings on cultural and social inclusion organised by the European Commission. A concluding document recognises both the contribution of culture in strengthening social inclusion and the intrinsic value of art.
  • The special attention drawn by the European institutions to culture and education continues to rise. In a joint effort with partners such as ELIA and Cultural Action Europe, the acronym STEM is replaced by STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) as key parameters for European educational policy documents, such as the funding guidelines of the European Social Fund ESF+.
  • Thanks to continuous advocacy, forwarded by AEC with patience and persistence, the latest drafts of the Erasmus regulations beyond 2020 include a new category for ‘short-term mobility’. However, further support is still needed from our local members to ensure that the priorities do not shift in the next phase of the decision-making process.
  • There has been increasing attention and promotion on the topic of artistic research by European Union’s institutions dealing with cultural and educational policy. A lot will depend on whether the art sector succeeds to speak with one voice. Amongst those who are representing, associations from different art disciplines hold regular discussions, which is a reason to be cautiously optimistic. As part of the regular meetings amongst higher art education partner organisations (AEC, CILECT, Cumulus, ELIA), artistic research is an ongoing theme. Bulgaria is increasingly taking centre stage as the upcoming location for the 'International Summit of Higher Art Education' on the 21-23 May 2020 in Sofia.

Strengthening partnerships at the global level

  • In addition to several ongoing collaborations (PEARLE*, NASM, EMC, EAS and EMU), new partnerships are developing or recently established. Amongst those are partnerships with Classical:NEXT, The College Music Society, the European Coalition of Cultural Diversity (CEDC) and IMZ.

Involvement at the national level

  • The AEC will continue to provide support at national level. Discussions are currently taking place to prepare for meetings in Spain and Romania, which are scheduled for the first half of 2019.