Freemuse: REPORT “Security, creativity, tolerance and their co-existance: the new European agenda on freedom of artistic expression”

Article originally published on Freemuse website, 10 January 2020 – accessible here

The Security, Creativity, Tolerance and their Co-existence: The New European Agenda on Freedom of Artistic Expression outlines how European governments carry the legal responsibility to respect, protect and fulfil obligations to artistic freedom. The report further draws attention to the alarming trend of governments targeting artists under the existing laws such as anti-terrorism legislation, or with the use of laws prohibiting offending religion such as hurting “religious feelings” and art that is considered to be “blasphemous” or “obscene”.

The report is an analysis of the human right to freedom of artistic expression based on monitoring of legal and policy development and individual cases of violations of artistic freedom in Europe over the past two years (January 2018 to October 2019).

According to Freemuse Executive Director Srirak Plipat, “European cultural values are being challenged by the rise of populism, the shrinking space for civil society and the expansion of new unregulated public spaces online which restrict artistic freedom. Our report and its recommendations are the beginning of decisive and positive action towards addressing challenges to freedom of artistic expression at both European and state levels.”

Based on the in-depth analysis of the cases, Freemuse provides recommendation directed towards relevant international bodies, regional bodies belonging to the European Union, governments and civil society organisations.