Open Method of Coordination (OMC)


In line with the objectives of the European culture agenda for 2008-2010 and the European Council’s conclusions, artists and culture professionals’ mobility is now one of the 5 priority areas of the Open Method of Coordination (OMC).

The OMC is a European Commission consulting organisation made up of delegates (on voluntary basis) of all EU member states. Representatives of culture ministries and practitioners designated by national authorities, work together on recommendations and predefined themes. Subsequently, the Cultural Affairs Council (CAC) decides on whether those recommendations are put into effect.

OMC_Mobility of artists and culture professionals

The OMC_Mobility of artists and culture professionals was started on March 1st 2008 and has 22 countries represented in it. As a result of the exploratory phase, the group defined five priority areas as a general framework for organising its work:

  1. Improved information, advice and guidance
  2. Development of programmes and support schemes promoting mobility
  3. Mobility professionals and intermediaries in different sectors of culture
  4. Removing obstacles to mobility relating to legislation, rules and administrative Practices
  5. Improving statistics on mobility in the European Union

These priority areas were researched by small work groups (sub-groups) that were free to take on the subject in the manner they wished. The involvement in the different groups was done on a voluntary basis. The presentation of other work groups’ results, of national studies, conferences and information from other Commission DGs fed into this work group. Moreover, 2 studies were commissioned to support to the work group’s reflection :

  1. « Study on the mobility of cultural workers in Europe » (ERICarts, 2008)
  2. « Feasibility study for a comprehensive scheme designed to provide a European wide system of information on mobility in the cultural sector » (ECOTEC, 2009)

The sub-group on intermediaries

SMartBe was designated by the Francophone Community to preside the sub-group on intermediaries. Initially, the presidency was to be taken on by the UK, but due to a maternity leave, this proved impossible. SMartBe started its work in September 2009. The initial time allotted to this project was cut back from 1 year to 6 months in order for the Commission to present the report to the Council of Cultural Affairs in July 2010 and prepare the budgetary lines for the 2011-2013 EU Culture Program.

Following the UK’s presidency, SMartBe received an A4 specifying the sub-group’s progress. To further advance on the matter, SMartBe met with the sub-group members (FI, FR, SE, CY & UK) and prepared a questionnaire. 11 organisations answered it (members of the sub-group and intermediaries designated by members). The answers, as well as a large number of discussions and debates fed into the recommendations of the sub-group.

Please find these recommendations here.

Recent developments

The June 2012 OMC on Building a Strong Framework on Artists’ Mobility is also available here (or the executive summary here).