Artistic freedom needs to be explicitly recognised alongside media freedom, as an integral part of freedom of expression. This was the key message that Freemuse Executive Director, Srirak Plipat, delivered at an online meeting with Members of the European Parliament held on 19 May 2020, where he presented the latest Freemuse report on the State of Artistic Freedom 2020. Funding is also crucial. There is currently no funding mechanism in the EU for promoting or monitoring artistic freedom despite the fact that violations in Europe are on the rise. The COVID-19 pandemic is hitting the cultural sector very hard. Every effort is needed to ensure open access to funding in the interest of Europe’s cultural diversity and democratic health.
Freemuse is advocating for the explicit recognition of artistic freedom which is necessary not only to promote cultural diversity but also for the democratic health of society. Europe’s artists need more protection as they are targeted by authoritarian regimes and shrinking civic space.