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White Paper on the Relationship between Museums and Municipalities in Europe

By Anne Krebs and Xavier Greffe, Museums and Municipalities, European Policy Analysis Group, Brussels, 2011, 131 pp.

Which benefits derive from the relationship between museums and municipalities? How can the existing partnership be enhanced? Do museums and local municipalities face the same challenges? Which mechanisms are required to make these relations more efficient? These are some of the questions which this White Paper addresses.

Prepared and written by Anne Krebs (Musée du Louvre) and Xavier Greffe (Université Paris I Sorbonne), this White paper is the main outcome of the activities organized by the Museums and Municipalities, a European Policy Analysis Group initiated in 2010 by the European Network of Cultural Administration Training Centers (ENCATC) members and supported by the European Commission under the Culture Programme.

The document underscores the synergies and differences relating to the analysis of the museums' missions and the shared expectations of museums and municipalities. The relationship between museums and municipalities has greatly evolved due to numerous factors: municipalities have gradually acquired numerous collections which they entrust to the museums; local authorities are taking on greater responsibilities as a result of decentralization; the financial crisis has forced the State to reduce contributions to museums, and both museums and municipalities have started to look at each other as potential partners in a quest to achieve sustainable development. Whether museums are public or private, for-profit or not-for-profit, they are creating closer ties with corresponding municipalities and are becoming more aware of their role in contributing to the social and economic development.

In light of such transformation, this European Policy Analysis Group focused its activities in 2010 on the analysis of the relations between museums and municipalities in Europe. Input into this document was provided through an important questionnaire widely disseminated to museum managers, curators, local authorities, researchers and experts throughout Europe, as well as through debates, concrete proposals and best practices emphasized at an international conference organized by ENCATC in Brussels in April 2010. Included in the electronic appendices to the White Paper are 14 case studies in the following countries and cities: Germany, Lyon, Dunkerque, Paris (France), Portugal, Venice (Italy), Billbao (Spain), Split (Croatia), Japan, Sweden, United Kingdom, Rouen and Antwerp (Belgium).

The electronic version of the White Paper is available at www.encatc.org

For additional information and to contribute to the debate about Museums and Municipalities in Europe, please consult the blog of ENCATC's Museums in Europe Thematic Area under www.encatc.org/museums-in-europe/?page_id=2