Due to the coronavirus-pandemic and its consequences for artists and theatres in Europe, the members of the European Theater Convention (ETC)
and the European theatre network mitos21
have launched an initiative. In a joint declaration, they call on the EU and member states to take action. We would like to support this call.
Following governmental decisions of Member States to fight the spread of COVID-19, theatres in Europe have been ordered by national governments to temporarily stop performing, avoiding large gatherings. The cancellation of live performances across European countries will have unprecedented economic consequences and affects an already precarious sector.
While the harsh measures are responsible actions to face the severe situation, the degree of financial damage for theatres and all involved actors of the creative and cultural sector is yet to be determined.
1) We call upon the EU and Member States to provide necessary measures and allocate funds to compensate the loss of income.
- The announced Corona Response Investment Initiative by the European Commission shall also benefit the suffering theatre sector. Measures must take into account the various economic and legal entities of the public and private sector, small and medium sized enterprises and address the needs specifically:
- Public funds must not be held back nor cut according to the annual budget.
- Venues must not reimburse public earmarked funds for specific actions already spent and linked to cancelled performances.
- Loss of box office income for venues must be compensated.
- Individual artists and theatre companies must be compensated for the loss of income due to cancelled performances and creation processes.
2) We urge the EU and Member States to support theatres and all performing arts professionals in Europe, guaranteeing the sustainability of the sector and one of the key European cultural art forms which gathers people in social and democratic contexts.
3) We request that coordination of the distribution of those compensating funds will be put in place at EU and Member State level, allowing the sector to access them non-bureaucratically.