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portrait of Beth Daley

Beth Daley

Editorial Adviser , Europeana Foundation

It’s time to prioritise digital culture and Europeana - take the European Union’s survey on the new Digital Europe Programme today

The Digital Europe Programme is a new funding programme from the European Union with a planned overall budget of €9.2 billion, which will shape and support the digital transformation of Europe’s society and economy. Europeana will be co-financed by this programme when it begins in 2021. 

The European Union is now consulting on what the priorities will be for the first two years of the Digital Europe Programme. While Europeana is mentioned in the proposed priorities, sufficient support for us and for digital culture is not guaranteed - the programme covers a wide range of issues, activities and projects, and we all know that culture is often one of the first areas to get squeezed out. Vocal support for our work and our sector will give us the best chances of being allocated sufficient funding. Indeed, the proposal document (p. 5) says as much, putting important store on this stakeholder consultation.

Your support is critical. Take the online survey now and show the EU that support and ambition for digital cultural heritage is vital.

Responding to the survey

The important question in the survey is in the ‘Areas and sectors for high impact deployments’ section and reads, ‘How important do you consider EU support for the digital transformation of cultural heritage institutions?’ We invite you to respond with ‘Very important’. 

You also have the opportunity to elaborate on the ‘actions you are most interested in’ within the ‘Synergies and implementation’ section. At Europeana, we believe that high quality, open culture coupled with cutting-edge tech is transformative and will lead to both social and economic innovations. Here, your survey response could include evidence from your own organisation about the importance of - and the challenges related to - producing high-quality open material and using digital technologies for culture. 

This consultation is an opportunity for you to make sure the Commission hears the voice of the cultural heritage sector, so that our activities can be geared to supporting you. How does being part of Europeana benefit your organisation and your audiences? What support does the cultural heritage sector need from Europeana to support its digital transformation? What technologies do you think are important for bringing cultural heritage to life for today’s audiences? 

What is the Digital Europe Programme?

The Digital Europe Programme is focused on ‘building the strategic digital capacities of the EU and on facilitating the wide deployment of digital technologies, to be used by Europe's citizens and businesses. 

The programme will boost investments in supercomputing, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, advanced digital skills, and ensuring a wide use of digital technologies across the economy and society. Digital cultural heritage and Europeana are part of these technologies.

The Draft Orientations for the preparation of the work programme(s) 2021-2022 (p.26) include two priority actions related directly to Europeana. One concerns the existing Europeana platform and activities, the other concerns supporting digital transformation of cultural heritage institutions, which is at the heart of all Europeana does. 

Prioritise culture!

Change doesn’t just happen. It requires individuals, organisations, countries, and indeed the European Commission to share the same priorities. To allocate resources. To be committed. By contributing to this consultation, you can provide evidence to the European Commission that a commitment to digital culture is important, indeed vital, to the cultural heritage sector.

Find out more about the consultation and take the online survey now. The consultation will close on 25 October. 

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