The Creative Europe Unconference

The Creative Europe Unconference

Paolo Montemurro, Director of Materahub, tells about what the meeting of the Creative Europe projects’ coordinators should have been and the opportunities born from that canceled event.

A testament to the enduring spirit of EU cooperation

As the struggles and separateness brought about the COVID-19 resides into the past, this year, the European Commission decided to reinstate in its busy calendar of its most highly regarded gathering: the meeting of the Creative Europe projects’ coordinators. On the 17th of October, professionals from around 200 European organisations were expected in Bruxeless to discuss strategies and measures that can expedite the green and digital transition within projects funded by the EU.

Well, this was the original plan.

However, on the eve of our scheduled gathering, Brussels found itself haunted by a disquieting sense of déjà vu, harking back to the 2016 attacks that shook the city to its core when a series of explosions hit both the Belgian capital’s airport and subway system and the fear for further terrorist attacks shut the city down for few days.

As I woke up in the morning, the city’s threat level escalated to the maximum and the European Commission decided to cancel the first after the pandemic Creative Europe coordinator event.

As I was considering whether to take a flight back to Italy or spend the next 48 hours locked in my hotel room working, I received a text from an old friend and long-time EU project partner from Hungary:  “Hey, are you stuck as well? Why don’t we meet up anyway? I am in contact with a bunch of other EU project managers who have no flight back before tomorrow.”

Once again, European magic unfolded, and a sense of unity dispelled the fear that had begun to permeate the desolate streets of the capital.

In my many years of traversing Europe and attending its gatherings, I had never felt such a profound connection to a community founded on shared values. I will forever cherish what transpired following that moment as an epitome of European cooperation, a vivid embodiment of the essence of being European.

And so we gathered, safely and in disguise. In the early part of the morning, those who chose to participate in the spontaneous gathering presented the Creative Europe project they are coordinating, providing a compelling overview of the various initiatives across Europe and fostering new collaborations.

Afterwards, we decided to focus on a few key themes that held common interest among all the organizations, breaking into smaller groups for more in-depth discussions. Some of the selected topics included establishing successful partnerships, improving fundraising opportunities, the realms of architecture and “artivism”, and how bigger organisations can support and facilitate newcomers.

This was definitely a theme of interest for Materhub!

As we defied the shadow of fear, our decision to unite in the face of adversity and uncertainty represented a resolute commitment to the European Union’s values:

a testament to the enduring spirit of EU cooperation and a collective dedication to fostering a brighter future for all.

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