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CCE Research

Creative Alliances for Europe

November 26, 2015

Authors : Paul Collard and Rolf Witte

Institution: German Federation for Arts Education and Cultural Learning (BKJ), Creativity Culture and Education (CCE) with funding from the Stiftung Mercator

Full Reference: Collard, P and Witte, R (2015). Creative Alliances for Europe. CCE and BKJ


This report explores how the reach and impact of creative and cultural education in Europe can be improved, how creative and cultural education can strengthen our understanding of the value of Europe and how we can improve capacity in Europe for working collaboratively.

The report studied a range of international strategies for creative and cultural education. The most significant are:

  • Article 31 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
  • The Seoul Agenda, adopted at the UNESCO summit on Arts Education held in 2010
  • Culture 21 adopted at the first Culture Summit of the international organization United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) in 2015

These documents, to which almost all the world’s countries and regions are signatories, put the case effectively for the need and benefits of creative and cultural education. The report concludes that further restatements of the arguments are not necessary as the problem lies not in the absence of strategies, but in why they are not implemented.

The research found most creative and cultural education was designed funded and delivered locally, and that the decision making processes which supported such activity were generally local, internalised and opaque. However, there are few mechanisms to connect these decision making processes with international strategies, research and best practice.

In the case of Europe, the report argues that it is debate itself which appears to define Europe, rather than any commonly held set of beliefs, and that many of the ideals aspired to by Europeans are in themselves illusory or contradictory.

For this reason, the report concludes that to be active and constructive citizens of Europe, Europeans need to develop the skills necessary to navigate these complexities. It is precisely these skills that high quality creative and cultural education can develop. So, in addition to having the wealth of European culture made available to them, young people benefitting from a creative and cultural education would:

  • develop the capacity to solve problems without violence
  • develop the creativity and resilience to imagine and realise a better world
  • dare to be different and  value diversity
  • develop the skills necessary to collaborate effectively

The report concludes that to support local decision making and implementation and to connect it with best practice, experience and research across Europe, a web of local alliances, acting locally but internationally connected is required. Many of these local alliances already exist and others can be nurtured, but investment in the connection between them is necessary.

Read the full report