News from Brussels – September 2018

ECSA General Assembly in Belgrade, Picture by Oliver Dimić


ECSA Autumn Session in Belgrade

Hosted by ECSA’s Serbian member, Composers’ Association of Serbia, composers and songwriters from all over Europe met in Belgrade, Serbia on 17th of September 2018 in the framework of the ECSA Autumn Session. The 47 delegates from 38 European composer and songwriter associations were welcomed by the Minister of Culture Ivona Jevtić followed by the performance of the Jovan Maljoković Balkan Salsa Band. As usual, ECSA’s three committees, apcoe (popular music), ecf (contemporary music) and fface (audio-visual music) held their bi-annual committee meetings to discuss committee-relevant projects. In the evening, Prime Minister Ana Brnabić invited the ECSA delegates to a dinner at the Club of the Members of the Parliament. The Session concluded with the General Assembly in the Kolarac Cultural Center. It was also the first opportunity for the new ECSA Secretary General to introduce himself to the ECSA delegates in person.


ECCO Concert

RTS Symphony Orchestra, Bojan Suɖić. Picture by Marko Djoković

The 2018 fall edition of the ECCO concert took place in Belgrade on 18th of September 2018 at the Kolarac Concert Hall. The concert was conducted by maestro Bojan Suɖić and performed by the RTS Symphony Orchestra.

The following pieces were featured:

  • “Ein (kleiner) Winternachtstraum” by Jacqueline Fontyn (Belgium)
  • “Symphonic Slices” by Ülo Krigul (Estonia)
  • “The Horses of Saint Mark” by Isidora Zebeljan (Serbia)
  • “Tre piccolissime musiche notturne” by Nicola Campogrande (Italy)
  • “Memento” by Milan Mihajlovic (Serbia)
  • “Vellamon neidot” by Mikko Nisula (Finland)

The concert was very well attended with around 200 people. The pieces and performance of the orchestra were very well received with a long round of applause.

Dušan Bavdek, chair of the ECCO Working Group, said about the concert:

I was pleased with the very positive echoes about the concert of the RTS Symphony Orchestra under the ECCO brand. I believe the ECCO project proved again that it presents an excellent ground to bring together and present colorful and aesthetically diverse pieces of the rich mosaic of European art music.


Creators Conference


The 2018 edition of the Creators Conference took place on the 19th of September at the Kolarac Hall in Belgrade and was co-organised with the support of the Composers Association of Serbia. The focus this time was on “Serbian Music and Innovative European Programs of Synergy, Creativity and Business”. The conference sparked a lot of exchange and interesting discussions between the panelists and the audience. The three panel discussions addressed respectively: the development of the Creative Industries, the different music tourism strategies and the situation of the music sector in Serbia. It was concluded that there are good steps being taken by the new Serbian government to promote Creative Industries, however there is still room for improving the situation in the music sector. The panelist from outside of Serbia gave input and examples what has worked in their regions, which was received with much attention. We thank all speakers for their valuable contributions and for making this conference a successful platform to exchange best-practices and ideas to promote the value of music.

From left to right: Martin Cuff, Ana Ilić, Milena Dragićević Šešić, Antun Tomislav Šaban. Picture by Oliver Dimić




Authors’ rights: the European Parliament finally adopts its position on the Copyright Directive but the fight for author’s right continues

On the 12th of September 2018, the European Parliament finally adopted its position on the Copyright Directive, with 438 votes in favor, 226 against and 39 abstentions. The European Parliament position features the very helpful provisions for authors (Chapter 3 of the Directive – including a right of revocation supported by ECSA) as adopted by the Legal Affairs committee in June and positive provisions on Article 13 (the so-called “value gap”). In the run up to the vote, ECSA, together with its members and the Author’s Group (FERA, FSE, EWC, EFJ and ECSA) urged all Members of the European Parliament to adopt the Directive and published a statement signed by more than 130 organisations of authors across Europe, in favor of the Directive.

This is a very positive step forward but this is not the end of the process. The European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council will now start to negotiate with a view to agree on a common text. Once an informal agreement (in the so-called “trilogues”) is reached, it will need to be adopted by the European Parliament and the Council. Therefore, ECSA continues to meet with relevant policy makers in order to advocate for the best possible provisions for composers and songwriters. The first trilogue is expected to take place on the 2nd of October.


Creative Europe round table in the European Parliament

On the 25th of September, Mrs. Costa (S&D-Italy), rapporteur on the Creative Europe draft regulation (2021-2027) organized a roundtable to exchange views with a wide range of stakeholders on the draft regulation. ECSA called on  the EP to secure an ambitious budget for Creative Europe and underlined the importance of 1) author’s rights and artistic freedom 2) fair remuneration for authors 3) improving gender equality 4) fostering mobility for authors and repertoire across Europe and 5) improving professionalization of composers and songwriters. Mrs. Costa will now work on her draft report that will be discussed, amended and adopted by the Culture and Education committee in the coming months (foreseen adoption of the report by the CULT committee in February 2019). The European Parliament and the Council will then enter into negotiations to reach a common agreement on the Program. The forthcoming negotiations on the EU budget (MFF) will also be key to ensure an ambitious budget for the Programme.


New study on mobility of artists and culture professionals

The EP Cult committee published a study on the mobility of artists and culture professionals. This helpful study considers that mobility is now an integral part of the working life of artists and culture professionals and proposes to set up a dedicated EU mobility policy to achieve the following objectives and a better coordination of national initiatives to achieve the following objectives:

– Promote cultural diversity, intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding among Europeans;

– Generate economic and social innovation by encouraging mobility that supports experimentation, cross-disciplinary and transnational collaborations;

– Support the internationalisation of artists, culture professionals and entrepreneurs through pan-European networking and collaboration with third countries.

ECSA’s European Film Music Day features as an example of mobility programmes for networking purposes in the study (page 16).




UNAC in Strasbourg

Leading a delegation of authors et composers, UNAC went to Strasbourg on the 11th of September, the day before the vote of the European Directive. UNAC demonstrated in order for the authors to make their voice heard.


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About ECSA:

The European Composer and Songwriter Alliance (ECSA) represents over 30,000 professional composers and songwriters in 26 European countries. With 54 member organisations across Europe, the Alliance speaks for the interests of music creators of art & classical music (contemporary), film & audiovisual music, as well as popular music.

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