Breaking: EU announces ‘solutions’ for EUYO

This EU press release has just landed. It’s an instant fudge that admits no error and patches over the recent chaos. An appalling piece of misgovernance from start to finish.

European Youth Orchestra will be able to continue its activities

Brussels, 1 June 2016

Today, the European Commission has found short and long term solutions to keep the European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO) alive. The Orchestra has been a symbol of Europe’s cultural diversity for the last 40 years.

The EUYO has been supported by the European institutions since its beginning in 1976. The Commission wants to keep the spirit of the Orchestra alive, by allowing it to train the best European musicians in Europe for the benefit of all European territories. We count on the Orchestra in these challenging times to adapt their activities and to spread the European spirit of freedom, creativity and openness in Europe and for Europe.

The President of the Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, who gave his patronage to the EUYO when he took office, said: “For the last 40 years, the European Union Youth Orchestra has symbolised Europe’s cultural diversity. The Commission has been proud to support the Orchestra from the very beginning. When I learned that the Orchestra had financial problems, I was very worried and I immediately asked my Commissioners to find a solution. Today, I am happy to announce that we have found a solution, which will allow the European Union Youth Orchestra to continue in 2016 and 2017 and even beyond. I want to thank the European Parliament for helping us to find the solution and notably MEPs Silvia Costa and José Manuel Fernandes. Together we have shown that we can find creative solutions by overcoming bureaucratic procedures when something is in the interest of our citizens. I wish the European Union Youth Orchestra a very successful future.”

Commissioner Tibor Navracsics, in charge of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports, Commissioner Günther Oettinger, in charge of the Digital economy and Society and Vice-President Kristalina Georgieva, in charge of Budget and Human Resources, will implement the solutions found. These solutions are also the result of a close cooperation with the European Parliament.
tibor navracsics

Background information

A solution for 2016 to prevent the Orchestra from closing down would be based on an amendment of the Creative Europe programme’scurrent work programme, the main EU funding instrument for the cultural sector, by the implementation of an action grant for the amount of EUR 600.000.

For 2017, the European Parliament is proposing a “pilot project” to ensure that the EUYO has operational funding by amending the Commission’s general budget proposal. The Commission will support this amendment. Several Member States expressed their support for the EUYO during the EU Culture and Audiovisual Council which took place on 31 May.

In the long run, the Commission will propose to the European Parliament and to the Council sustainable solutions in the framework of the Creative Europe Programme which will provide certainty for the EUYO to continue its activities. In parallel, the Orchestra is invited to seek additional, complementary sources of financing to expand its activities.

The services of the Commission will work on the details to ensure that the activities and expenditures of the EUYO are managed according to the rules and to ensure there is tight control over how funds are used and that the money is spent in a transparent, accountable manner.

 

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  • Perhaps longer-term, the EUYO would do better to lose the ‘U’ bit, and get supported directly by a consortium of national governments or their cultural institutes, without having to resort to the EU any more? The funding is coming from taxpayers from individual nations anyway, so why waste more money on administration chanelling it through Brussels?

    • The individual nations’ governments are already contributing with grants, outside the 600.000 Euros that must come from Bruxelles every year in order for the orchestra to function. The rest of the funding is assured by private sponsors which the orchestra must continuously seek.
      But in the end, the total sum needed is nothing compared to the numbers that go to Bruxelles, nor to those that individual states themselves put in other things, such as football teams.
      Because the EUYO is so unique in its scale and reach, in its professionalism and social mission, I think it should simply have its own category of funding.

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