The “European Theatre Forum 2020: European Performing Arts in Focus” is an international platform for vision, discourse, exchange, networking and policymaking to strategically strengthen the structurally highly fragmented European theatre and performing arts sector.

The “European Theatre Forum 2020: European Performing Arts in Focus” is organised in the frame of the German EU Council Presidency and in cooperation with the German Minister of State for Culture and the Media and the European Commission. It offers, for the first time, a European representation for the entire sector as one of Europe’s major art forms, within and outside Europe. In focus: Impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the performing arts and perspectives for the sector.

During the three-day event, representatives of the European theatre and performing arts scene and key cultural policy makers will exchange views on current issues. 150 people from the 27 EU countries and third countries are expected to attend the industry meeting.

Online participation

Due to the current travel restrictions across Europe, the event will take place online. However, through a specially developed online platform, participants will be transported together to the host city of Dresden and will be able to meet, discuss, exchange and network as well as enjoy performances and installations from the “Fast Forward - European Festival for Young Stage Directors”. The programme will also be broadcast online via a livestream to offer open access to and participation in the Forum to the largest possible European professional audience.

Objectives

The aim of the “European Theatre Forum 2020: European Performing Arts in Focus” is to make visible and promote the outstanding importance of theatre and performing arts in Europe with its diversity of performance forms, across language barriers, both as an art form and an important public space for cultural-political dialogue. It establishes a creative dialogue process within the sector and with policymakers through partnership and international collaboration.

The first edition of the forum will focus on:

  • strengthening the European theatre sector through international networking and policy dialogue;

  • addressing the issues and implications of the Covid-19 pandemic for European performing arts;

  • and connecting the European theatre scenes and the national theatre and performing arts scene.

Background

In 2017, the European Theatre Convention (ETC) articulated to the European Commission that theatre and performing arts need more visibility on a European Level. With its new mandate as a strategic partner of the European Commission, ETC would contribute to a structuring and professionalisation of the theatre sector. ETC formed partnerships with Pearle* and Opera Europa to collaborate on joint sectorial policy initiatives.

In 2018, 6 prominent European theatre networks met for the first time in Bratislava, Slovakia, during the ETC International Theatre Conference. As a result, ETC issued a call for the creation of a European Theatre Forum and inclusion in the Creative Europe successor programme. The call was listened to and in 2019, the European Commission announced the inclusion of theatre sectorial support and a European Theatre Forum in its work programme for Creative Europe 2020.

On the invitation of the European Commission, the European Theatre Expert Group consisting of 11 European theatre and performing arts networks, had their first exploratory meeting in November 2019 in Brussels, Belgium. The results from a mapping of challenges in the European theatre sector, conducted by the EENCA, were presented to the networks which stated the need for a European Theatre Forum as an opportunity for the sector to overcome its fragmentation.

2020 saw the fruition of the European Theatre Forum during the German EU Council Presidency. ETC, together with ITI Germany and Bundesverband der freien darstellenden Künste, formed the Initiative Group and ETC was announced as the project coordinator. The networks of the European Theatre Expert Group were invited to form the Consortium Group with the joint responsibility of formulating the agenda of key issues facing the theatre and performing arts sector today.

In November 2020, the first ever “European Theatre Forum 2020: European Performing Arts in Focus” will take place in the frame of German EU Presidency, funded by the German Minister of State for Culture and Media, the European Commission and ETC.

 

 

Initiative Group

European Theatre Convention, Bundesverband Freie Darstellende Künste and International Theatre Institute – German Centre are the initiative group for a “European Theatre Forum 2020: European Performing Arts in Focus”, in the frame of the German EU Council Presidency, in cooperation with the German Minister of State for Culture and Media and the European Commission.

During a six-month dialogue process, the Initiative Group led the Consortium (see below) and working groups in order to design the content of the event programme. Their role was also to coordinate the development of a cultural policy strategic agenda for the European theatre and performing arts sector. Members of the Initiative Group are:

European Theatre Convention

 
As the largest network of public theatres in Europe, the ETC has 42 European Members from over 25 countries, reflecting the diversity of Europe’s vibrant cultural sector. Founded in 1988, the ETC prom... Read more

As the largest network of public theatres in Europe, the ETC has 42 European Members from over 25 countries, reflecting the diversity of Europe’s vibrant cultural sector. Founded in 1988, the ETC promotes European theatre as a vital platform for dialogue, democracy and interaction that responds to, reflects and engages with today’s diverse audiences and changing societies.

ETC fosters an inclusive notion of theatre that brings Europe’s social, linguistic and cultural heritage to audiences and communities in Europe and beyond. Powerful and professional ETC governance ensures that the network will thrive and grow, taking into consideration the latest trends and developments.

www.europeantheatre.eu

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German Association of Independent Performing Arts – BFDK (Bundesverband Freie Darstellende Künste)

The German Association of Independent Performing Arts is the federal umbrella organisation of all state associations for professional independent performing arts in Germany. Founded in 1990, today it... Read more

The German Association of Independent Performing Arts is the federal umbrella organisation of all state associations for professional independent performing arts in Germany. Founded in 1990, today it is one of the largest associations in the field of theatre, dance and performing arts in Germany.

On a federal level, the organisation represents the interests of around 1,500 members nationwide – individual artists, groups, dance and theatre venues and production structures. All together the association represents about 25,000 stakeholders in the field.

www.darstellende-kuenste.de

 

 
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ITI Germany

 
The International Theatre Institute (ITI) is represented through national centres almost everywhere in the world. In Germany its members include 200 theatre artists and representatives of associations... Read more

The International Theatre Institute (ITI) is represented through national centres almost everywhere in the world. In Germany its members include 200 theatre artists and representatives of associations and institutions from all fields of the performing arts. As part of the globally active UNESCO organisation ITI Worldwide, the projects of the German ITI centre supports the international exchange and the free development of the performing arts, the rights of theatre artists as well as the diversity of cultural expression.

www.iti-germany.de

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Consortium

The role and contribution of the Consortium members is to curate the agenda of the “European Theatre Forum 2020: European Performing Arts in Focus”, based on their knowledge and areas of expertise. The consortium also contributes to the formulation of a cultural policy strategic agenda for the European theatre and performing arts sector. At the beginning of the six-month dialogue process, the consortium created three working groups to lead on key points of the project activity.

The Consortium consists of theatre networks and performing arts organisations that were present at the European Theatre Expert Group organised by the European Commission in November 2019 and the first theatre network gathering in November 2018 in Bratislava. Members of the Consortium are:

ASSITEJ

ASSITEJ exists since 1965 to build the field of theatre and performing arts for young audiences in every country in the world. ASSITEJ believes that every person has the right to access the arts and t... Read more

ASSITEJ exists since 1965 to build the field of theatre and performing arts for young audiences in every country in the world. ASSITEJ believes that every person has the right to access the arts and that art for children and young people is a vital part of the arts ecology.

As a global association, ASSITEJ links members into national centres, regional and thematic networks, and into the wider ASSITEJ membership spread throughout 100 countries including 30 European countries with 2500 members.

www.assitej-international.org

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Europe:Union of Theatre Schools and Academies (E:UTSA)

E:UTSA is a union of European theatre schools with the goal of enhancing the educational experience of European theatre students, celebrating the range and diversity of cultural and creative expressio... Read more

E:UTSA is a union of European theatre schools with the goal of enhancing the educational experience of European theatre students, celebrating the range and diversity of cultural and creative expression within the EU. The board of E:UTSA consists of students as well as institutional representatives. The network currently counts 17 members in Brno, Budapest, Glasgow, Hanover, Ludwigsburg, Madrid, Malmö, Moscow, Munich, Paris, Rome, Salzburg, Stockholm, St. Petersburg, Verscio, Vilnius and Warsaw.

www.eutsa.eu

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European Association of Independent Performing Arts

Founded in 9/2018, EAIPA operates at B2B level, its members being interest groups or representatives of the individual member countries, which in turn represent the actors from the Independent Perform... Read more

Founded in 9/2018, EAIPA operates at B2B level, its members being interest groups or representatives of the individual member countries, which in turn represent the actors from the Independent Performing Arts field. EAIPA responds to Europe’s cultural policy making and by raising visibility for the needs and achievements of the sector and to call for progressive changes in the financial and socio-political conditions. Currently, 16 members from 14 countries are part of the organisation.

www.eaipa.eu

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European Festivals Association

European Festivals Association (EFA) is a community dedicated to the arts, the artists and the audiences. EFA’s main role in the permanently developing world of digitisation and globalisation is to co... Read more

European Festivals Association (EFA) is a community dedicated to the arts, the artists and the audiences. EFA’s main role in the permanently developing world of digitisation and globalisation is to connect festival makers so to inform, inspire and enrich the festival landscape. In this perspective, EFA is a festivals’ service, knowledge and training provider; the oldest cultural network of European festivals, set up in 1952, established to bridge the distance between organisations and all kinds of stakeholders and to create connections internationally.

www.efa-aef.eu

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European Theatre Convention

As the largest network of public theatres in Europe, the ETC has 42 European Members from over 25 countries, reflecting the diversity of Europe’s vibrant cultural sector. Founded in 1988, the ETC prom... Read more

As the largest network of public theatres in Europe, the ETC has 42 European Members from over 25 countries, reflecting the diversity of Europe’s vibrant cultural sector. Founded in 1988, the ETC promotes European theatre as a vital platform for dialogue, democracy and interaction that responds to, reflects and engages with today’s diverse audiences and changing societies.

ETC fosters an inclusive notion of theatre that brings Europe’s social, linguistic and cultural heritage to audiences and communities in Europe and beyond. Powerful and professional ETC governance ensures that the network will thrive and grow, taking into consideration the latest trends and developments.

www.europeantheatre.eu

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German Association of Independent Performing Arts – BFDK (Bundesverband Freie Darstellende Künste)

The German Association of Independent Performing Arts is the federal umbrella organisation of all state associations for professional independent performing arts in Germany. Founded in 1990, today it... Read more

The German Association of Independent Performing Arts is the federal umbrella organisation of all state associations for professional independent performing arts in Germany. Founded in 1990, today it is one of the largest associations in the field of theatre, dance and performing arts in Germany.

On a federal level, the organisation represents the interests of around 1,500 members nationwide – individual artists, groups, dance and theatre venues and production structures. All together the association represents about 25,000 stakeholders in the field.

www.darstellende-kuenste.de

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IETM-International network for contemporary performing arts

IETM - International network for contemporary performing arts is a network of over 500 performing arts organisations and individual members working in the contemporary performing arts worldwide: theat... Read more

IETM - International network for contemporary performing arts is a network of over 500 performing arts organisations and individual members working in the contemporary performing arts worldwide: theatre, dance, circus, performance, interdisciplinary live art forms, new media. Members include festivals, companies, producers, theatres, research and resource centres, universities, and institutional bodies.

IETM advocates the value of the arts and culture in a changing world and empower performing arts professionals through access to international connections, knowledge, and exchange.

www.ietm.org

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ITI Germany

The International Theatre Institute (ITI) is represented through national centres almost everywhere in the world. In Germany its members include 200 theatre artists and representatives of associations... Read more

The International Theatre Institute (ITI) is represented through national centres almost everywhere in the world. In Germany its members include 200 theatre artists and representatives of associations and institutions from all fields of the performing arts. As part of the globally active UNESCO organisation ITI Worldwide, the projects of the German ITI centre supports the international exchange and the free development of the performing arts, the rights of theatre artists as well as the diversity of cultural expression.

www.iti-germany.de
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mitos21

mitos21 is a European theatre network representing some of the most prestigious national and public theatre institutions in Europe. mitos21 serves as a platform for collaboration among artists and the... Read more

mitos21 is a European theatre network representing some of the most prestigious national and public theatre institutions in Europe.

mitos21 serves as a platform for collaboration among artists and theatre professionals who are willing to reconsider and reinforce the role of theatre in society and to strengthen the links between artistic creation and urgent issues of European and global interest.

www.mitos21.com
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Pearle* - Live Performance Europe

Pearle* - Live Performance Europe is the European Employers' Association of live performance organisations. Through its members, it represents more than 10,000 managers of theatres, concert venues, th... Read more

Pearle* - Live Performance Europe is the European Employers' Association of live performance organisations. Through its members, it represents more than 10,000 managers of theatres, concert venues, theatre production companies, orchestras, operas, ballet and dance companies, festivals, promoters, and other professional organisations in the performing arts in Europe. Pearle* is the leading organisation on EU and international regulatory affairs issues affecting daily operations in the sector.

www.pearle.eu
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Prospero

The ten partners involved in the multi-annual cultural cooperation project "Prospero" wish to make an artistic and cultural gesture, and to promote an ambitious theatre project that is also a politica... Read more

The ten partners involved in the multi-annual cultural cooperation project "Prospero" wish to make an artistic and cultural gesture, and to promote an ambitious theatre project that is also a political gesture, thus participating in the construction of an artistic and cultural Europe. The Prospero project is a challenge to artists, professionals and spectators on the very question of European identity: a certain culture of openness.

www.prospero-theatre.eu
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Union des Théâtres de l'Europe

The Union des Théâtres de l’Europe (UTE) is an alliance of European theatres, founded in 1990 by Jack Lang, French Minister of Culture, and Giorgio Strehler, director of the Piccolo Teatro di Milano.... Read more

The Union des Théâtres de l’Europe (UTE) is an alliance of European theatres, founded in 1990 by Jack Lang, French Minister of Culture, and Giorgio Strehler, director of the Piccolo Teatro di Milano. First centred on a programme of festivals aiming to unite East and West, it later developed into an alliance of European theatres combining artistic and political goals and using existing artistic platforms to strengthen exchange and promote an open Europe of culture.

UTE unites 31 members, amongst which 13 major theatres with national and international influence from all over Europe.

www.union-theatres-europe.eu

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National Organisations

One of the objectives of the “European Theatre Forum 2020: European Performing Arts in Focus” is to connect the European and national scene. To that end, 13 theatre and performing arts organisations from Germany, the Forum’s host country for 2020, were invited to share their expertise and guidance with the Consortium, to support the curation of the programme content. During the Forum, there will be a dedicated opportunity for networking between the European and host country organisations.

ASSITEJ e.V (ASSITEJ Germany)

 
ASSITEJ Germany has about 400 members - professional theatres, venues, independent companies, cultural institutions, publishing houses, universities, researchers and others who are active in the field... Read more

ASSITEJ Germany has about 400 members - professional theatres, venues, independent companies, cultural institutions, publishing houses, universities, researchers and others who are active in the field of performing arts for young audiences (www.assitej.de). ASSITEJ Germany's biggest and longest running project is the "Children's and Young People's Theatre Centre in the Federal Republic of Germany" (www.kjtz.de).

www.assitej.de

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Bund der Szenografen

 
Bund der Szenografen are the German-speaking organisation for professional scenographers, costume and make up designers for theatre, set and costume designers for film, television and video, puppet de... Read more

Bund der Szenografen are the German-speaking organisation for professional scenographers, costume and make up designers for theatre, set and costume designers for film, television and video, puppet designers and puppet theatre outfitters as well as video artists and lighting designers for theatre.

www.szenografen-bund.de

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Bund Deutscher Amateurtheater (BDAT)

 
Bund Deutscher Amateurtheater (BDAT) is one of the biggest associations for performing arts in Europe. Being publicly recognized and supported by federal funds, BDAT represents amateur theatre in the... Read more

Bund Deutscher Amateurtheater (BDAT) is one of the biggest associations for performing arts in Europe. Being publicly recognized and supported by federal funds, BDAT represents amateur theatre in the field of arts, culture, politics and society. The basis for BDAT’s cultural policy work is the membership of 2500 theatre ensembles. Nationwide teaching programmes qualify the members. On an international level, BDAT is part of the worldwide International Amateur Theatre Association (AITA/IATA).

www.bdat.info
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Bundesverband Theater im Öffentlichen Raum (BUTIÖR) // The German Association for Theatre in Public Spaces

 
BUTIÖR connects artists, producers and event-organizers and works towards the recognition of the genre as an independent artistic form within the performing arts. It represents and strengthens the gen... Read more

BUTIÖR connects artists, producers and event-organizers and works towards the recognition of the genre as an independent artistic form within the performing arts. It represents and strengthens the genre in political & cultural institutions, offers contact for politics, research & media and is a centre of information, discussion & documentation. As co-founder of the International Federation for Arts in Public Spaces and member of the IETM it has built a broad network on (inter)national level.

www.theater-im-oeffentlichen-raum.de

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Bundesverband Zeitgenössischer Zirkus e.V. (BUZZ)

 
BUZZ is a network and nationwide platform for the contemporary circus in Germany. It acts as the umbrella organization of professional circus artists and institutions and represents their interests to... Read more

BUZZ is a network and nationwide platform for the contemporary circus in Germany. It acts as the umbrella organization of professional circus artists and institutions and represents their interests towards cultural policy on national and federal level. The main aim is the sustainable improvement of support structures and working realities of circus performers as well as the creation of synergy programs at national and international level.

www.bundesverband-zeitgenoessischer-zirkus.de

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Deutscher Bühnenverein

 
Employers' and interest organisation of German theatres and orchestras founded 1846; members are 142 public theatres, 68 private theatres and 100 orchestras, 31 of them free; settling collective agree... Read more

Employers' and interest organisation of German theatres and orchestras founded 1846; members are 142 public theatres, 68 private theatres and 100 orchestras, 31 of them free; settling collective agreements for the artistic staff with the unions; advocate of theatres and orchestras in the national and international political context.

www.buehnenverein.de

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dramaturgie-netzwerk

 
Founded in 2019 as a part of ensemble-netzwerk, we are a think tank for future theatre. We discuss what dramaturgy is today and what it could be. What do we need for a diverse, socially relevant, arti... Read more

Founded in 2019 as a part of ensemble-netzwerk, we are a think tank for future theatre. We discuss what dramaturgy is today and what it could be. What do we need for a diverse, socially relevant, artistically intriguing theatre where people treat each other with respect? What kind of structural changes do we have to implement in theatre institutions to make them more sustainable? We aim to improve structures of publicly funded theatre institutions as well as the specific working conditions.

www.ensemble-netzwerk.de/drnw

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Dramaturgische Gesellschaft / Society of Dramaturgs

 
The Dramaturgs’ Society (dg), founded at Berlin in 1956, unites theatre makers from all German-speaking regions. It’s an open platform for the exchange on artistic work, further developments of aesthe... Read more

The Dramaturgs’ Society (dg), founded at Berlin in 1956, unites theatre makers from all German-speaking regions. It’s an open platform for the exchange on artistic work, further developments of aesthetics, methods of production and the social function of theatre. Among its 800 members are theatre makers of all genres and all organizations, whether municipal theatre or independent scene, as well as publishers, journalists and students. The dg is an independent and non-profit organisation.

www.dramaturgische-gesellschaft.de

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ensemble-netzwerk

 
An NGO engaging to improve the working conditions for theatre professionals, both employed as well as freelance (actors, directors, dramaturgs, authors, assistants and more). For that we work on cultu... Read more

An NGO engaging to improve the working conditions for theatre professionals, both employed as well as freelance (actors, directors, dramaturgs, authors, assistants and more). For that we work on cultural lobbyism on a communal, state and federal level. We also work in close contact multi-laterally with relevant unions and NGOs both from the employers & the employees side. Our main goals are better pay, improved work-life balance, transparency& inclusivity. We represent over 800 members.

www.ensemble-netzwerk.de

 

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FREO - Freie Ensembles und Orchester in Deutschland e.V. (FREO e.V.)

 
FREO e.V. is the association of independent ensembles and orchestras in Germany. The association was founded by organisations such as Ensemble Modern, Freiburger Barockorchester, Ensemble Resonanz, Mu... Read more

FREO e.V. is the association of independent ensembles and orchestras in Germany. The association was founded by organisations such as Ensemble Modern, Freiburger Barockorchester, Ensemble Resonanz, Musikfabrik Köln, among others. The association’s work is focused on three fields: 1. Network, transfer of knowledge, education and training; 2. Research (history and working conditions of independent music ensembles and orchestras); 3. Lobbying for the improvement of the working conditions.

www.freo.online

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Genossenschaft Deutscher Bühnen-Angehöriger (GDBA) r.V.

 
GDBA is the trade union for the artistic and artistic-technical personnel in German theatre: Solo Artists, Dance, Opera Choir and ATuV (Equipment, Technology and Administration). The aims of GDBA are... Read more

GDBA is the trade union for the artistic and artistic-technical personnel in German theatre: Solo Artists, Dance, Opera Choir and ATuV (Equipment, Technology and Administration). The aims of GDBA are the preservation and promotion of the artistic, social, economic and legal interests of the German theatre in general and of union members in particular. The union publishes the annual yearbook of the stage „Deutsches Bühnen-Jahrbuch“ and the monthly magazine "Bühnengenossen­schaft".

www.buehnengenossenschaft.de

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Pro Quote Bühne e.V.

 
The association Pro Quote Bühne e.V. demands a 50:50 quota for women in all artistic positions and leadership positions in German theatres and operas. We fight for Gender equality, we challenge stereo... Read more

The association Pro Quote Bühne e.V. demands a 50:50 quota for women in all artistic positions and leadership positions in German theatres and operas. We fight for Gender equality, we challenge stereotypes and we are raising awareness of the unconscious bias. We demand: Gender Monitoring; Gender Budgeting; 50% Quota for women in all artistic and leading positions.

www.proquote-buehne.de

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regie-netzwerk

 
We are one section of the German organisation Ensemble-Netzwerk. We represent freelance directors in all parts of theatre (public funded as well as independent theatre), especially focusing on working... Read more

We are one section of the German organisation Ensemble-Netzwerk. We represent freelance directors in all parts of theatre (public funded as well as independent theatre), especially focusing on working conditions of directors,  juridical questions, networking and cultural politics.

ensemble-netzwerk.de/rnw/

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Project Team

The European Theatre Convention (ETC) was appointed by the European Commission as the project team for the European Theatre Forum. The project team is responsible for the coordination and management of the Forum, in close consultation with the project partners of the initiative group and the consortium, the event partners and cultural policy partners. To get in touch with the project team, view the Contact page.

 

Funding Partners

The European Theatre Forum 2020: European Performing Arts in Focus is funded by the German Minister of State for Culture and Media in the frame of the German EU Council Presidency, the European Commission and European Theatre Convention.