Online only

Culture requires easier travel

OVER 100 organisations in the performing arts wrote to the EU and US ahead of today's summit to observe that "Reducing the obstacles to visas and work permits is... an essential instrument to bring hope, future and a new start of cultural exchange between the two continents."

The letter is addressed to Charles Michel, President of the European Council; Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission and Joe Biden, President of the US. It points out "the difficulties that artists, crew and cultural professionals encounter which relate to cumbersome and costly visa processing when travelling to the USA for the purpose of work and the great variety of conditions US artists face to obtain work permits in the different countries of the EU."

It declares that experts in the EU and US would be glad to jointly prepare recommendations for easing the visa burden. "Whilst the US and EU can be proud of a thriving cultural exchange," it observes, "we, the artist communities on both sides of the Atlantic call, upon you for a solution-oriented approach as regards artist mobility."

The Freelance is pleased that the reference to "cultural professionals" includes journalists - not least those of us who report on performing artists' works. We will contact PEARLE about further pressure - not least to complement efforts to ease visa and work permit restrictions between the UK and EU.