The Council of Europe released a new report entitled Free to Create: Artistic Freedom in Europe, which examines the challenges European artists and cultural workers face in the practice of their right to freedom of artistic expression. These range from laws that curtail creative freedom, attacks from non-governmental groups and online threats to the “under-the-radar” pressures that contribute to self-censorship.
Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić stated: “With democracy under great pressure, the key role of arts and culture as powerful means for maintaining constructive dialogue in democratic, diverse and open societies becomes ever more evident. The right to freedom of artistic expression is a key to this and ensures the pluralism and vitality of the democratic process.”
The Compendium welcomes its member’s thematic focus as it is very much aligned with this year’s research campaign “Silent Dissent? On Barriers to Freedom of Artistic Expression“. It shows that we all take the current increase in populist and anti-democratic tendencies in European (cultural) policies seriously.