Political issues

Let us start this chapter by saying that this website has no political agenda or intention, nor do we have a commercial interest in the European record industry. What we do intend is to share our interest in Europop in in doing so hope to raise awareness for the unique character of the music scene. Working for the Dutch IFPI/Impala association from 2000 to 2006 gave me an insight in how the political and economical wheels behind the music work. And also fed my ideas for our collection anc eventually this website.

Europop on the political agenda

Popmusic and (cultural) politics never have been a very happy marriage. Local artists have trouble to be taken serious by the governement and dubbed as a commercial product rather then a cultural one. Most politicians see European pop as a sort of Anglo American cultural output and feel to see the coleur local. Which is not that strange if you gather that 60 to 80% of the popular music sold in stores and played on the radio is from English or American fabricate. Some governements, like the French, did something about that and decided that 40% of the music played on radio has to be French (languaged). Not even did that push the local pop scene, but it probably even kept out the decline of the market due to the internet for several years. But failing to see popmusic as an outing of local culture and identitie is one side of the problem.

Economical over cultural

As said popmusic is largely considered a commercial product over a cultural art expression (like classical and jazz music are). It would be untrue to say that popular music is the most commercial succesfull of all art forms. But to put it into the same category as a loaf of bread is unfair.Meanwhile the commercial side of the landscape is dominated by large recordcompanies who have American stockholders. Inbetween is the local music scene that has to make it on it's own or with help from independent small record companies. Most of the artists on this website are local artists who can sometimes make a living and have fame within their market But that's about it. The unique character of Europop (it's diversity) is also the one that makes it almost impossible to be commercial succesfull outside the borders of your own country.

For cultural diversity

Talking to American CEO's at trade fairs Popkomm and Midem learned that they view Europe with American eyes. They fail to see that to truly understand the European popscene you have to acknowledge it's diverse character. You cannot say: "we have London so we have Europe". The cultural and social spectrum is much more diverse then the USA. In this opinion we are not alone. Independent record companies grouped in Impala created the petition 'For cultural diversity'. This petition is mostly about the European market being dominated by four major recordcompanies but their idealism that: " to flourish creativity requires diversity, plurality, fair competition and an open society" is the same.

Cultural diversity is also on the agenda of the UNESCO who started their Global alliance for cultural diversity in 2002. Their aim is to promote cultural diversity, support economic development and encourage job creation in a range of fields including music, publishing, cinema, crafts and the performing arts.

The initiatives are there, now the political awareness

- The 'for cultural diversity' petition.
- UNESCO Global alliance for cultural diversity