Amsterdam Manifesto for Europe


What Can Culture Do?

"The European Union was born at the crossroads during the aftermath of a terrible war and while much has changed we still live in unpredictable times. The many challenges we’ve faced have remained or evolved and are now being fought with ideas and social media rather than with tanks and missiles, and we need to generate ideas with a new lens to best counteract today’s issues.”

-- André Wilkens, Director, European Cultural Foundation

Division and polarisation are threatening decades of peace and European cooperation. Inequality is eroding the fabric of our societies. Culture and identity are being misused to divide communities, and we seem to have forgotten why the European Union was created in the first place.

To better understand the challenges and opportunities Europe faces and what culture and philanthropy can do to address them, in early 2019, we organised a multi-European What Can Culture Do tour to listen and understand feedback from well over a dozen institutions.  

The tour provided the input for the ECF strategy as well as focus and activities for the next five years. After analyzing and studying the feedback gained in collaboration with experts, we developed the Amsterdam Manifesto for Europe.