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Music is so much part of our daily life we sometimes take it for granted. But in a globalizing world, Europe's high quality popular music, its musical diversity and its top ranking border breaking artists deserve the public spotlight. That's why the European Union rewards success with the European Border Breakers Awards.

The European Commission worked closely with the representatives of Europe's music industry to select this years' award winners and to prepare the Award Ceremony. The awards supplement the European Commission's aim to stimulate the mobility of artists and their work. Through its Culture programme ( the European Union supports artists and cultural professionals in more than 30 countries.

Public policies need to be tailored to artists and audience's requirements. They also need to be tuned to the future to meet the challenges facing us in a world developing rapidly. In order to achieve this, the European Commission works closely with Member States and all stakeholders. The informal meeting between Ministers of Culture and representatives of the European music industry which will take place in Cannes in January 2008 is a way of gathering information for future policies. Find out more about how the European Commission proposes to do this in the EC's common agenda for culture in a globalizing world: /culture/eac/communication/comm_en.html

The music extravaganza for the European Border Breakers Award will take place in the Salon des Ambassadeurs in the Palais des Festivals in Cannes on 27 January 2008 and impressions of the event will be shown here immediately after the show.

Click here to experience Europe's musical diversity

About the awards

The vast majority of Europeans say that culture is important to them personally and that they are interested in arts and culture (see

The study The economy of culture in Europe ( acknowledges that music represents one of the most vibrant cultural industries in the European Union. The contribution of music to our economy and the growing importance of live concerts are just two of the subjects dealt with in this report. It also stresses that national audiences are very fond of listing to local artists, buying their CD's and going to their concerts. This national bonding between artists and audiences is important and it's something that could potentially cross over national borders into other countries. That is precisely the quality the European Breaking Borders Awards (EBBA) wants to highlight.

Ten European artists (or groups) will be receiving an EBBA during this year's ceremony in Cannes. The following criteria were used to select the award winning albums:

  • Original debut album of artists or groups from an EU Member State;
  • Sales in EU Member states outside the country of production;
  • Sales during the last year (between 01/09/2006 and 31/08/2007);
  • Touring capacity outside of the country the artist(s) is (are) based;
  • The artist's capacity to give live performances.

With this award, the European Commission supports artists and the European music industry by highlighting their success on the European and international markets.

About the European Commission's actions in the field of culture

Music is a very dynamic part of the European Union's cultural industries. It also plays an important role in our life: surveys show that over 60% of Europeans listen to music every day. The music industry is not only an important provider of cultural goods, it also directly employs around 650 000 people. The number of those directly or indirectly involved in the various music activities is – of course – far higher than this figure.

But music also bonds people and in this sense musical diversity helps to bridge cultural differences: it contributes to mutual understanding in a very unique way.

The European Commission promotes music as a part of the European cultural agenda. The Commission supports many cooperation projects in the field of music (tours of music ensembles, concerts, festivals) mainly through the Culture Programme 2007-2013. But it also encourages the sharing of best practices between all stakeholders in this sector in order for European policies to be more tuned to the future. The European Commission published a common agenda for culture in a globalizing world in May 2007. The agenda and the working method proposed have been agreed upon by the European Council. If you want to know more about the common agenda on culture click: /culture/eac/communication/comm_en.html

2008 is the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue (EYICD): cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue will be given extra attention this year through many projects and events taking place throughout the European Union. Here you can find out more about the EYICD and links to activities organised during the year:

This year's selection of the awards and the preparation of the ceremony took place in close cooperation between the European Commission and the music industry. During these meetings contemporary market developments were also discussed. These developments and the challenges the music industry faces, will be debated during a meeting of the European Ministers of Culture and music professionals on the afternoon of January 27th 2008. This meeting is a joint initiative of European Commissioner Jan Figel' ( and the French Minister of Culture Mme. Albanel and is aimed at identifying future challenges and finding a way to feed the gathered information into an effective, anticipative policy process. Meetings like this are important ways of targeting aims and tailoring policies to the needs in the sector. The meeting will take place before the EBBA Award Ceremony and a press release will be issued at the end of the meeting.

The European Commission is working together with the music sector on the organisation of its Midem 2008 activities. These representatives of the music sector are:

  • European Music Office The European Music Office is an international non-profit association promoting musical diversity and representing the interests of European music professionals at a European and worldwide level.
  • IFPI IFPI represents the recording industry worldwide. IFPI's mission is to promote the value of recorded music, safeguard the rights of record producers and expand the commercial uses of recorded music in all markets where its members operate.
  • IMPALA Impala represents European independent music companies and promote their competitiveness in the interests of cultural diversity.
  • GESAC GESAC represents the largest authors' societies in the European Union in the area of music, graphic and plastic arts, literary and dramatic works, and audiovisual as well as music publishers.
  • ICMP/CIEM ICMP/CIEM is the international umbrella trade association representing the interests of the music publishing community globally.

The European Union's stand at MIDEM

This year the European Commission will once again have a stand at the MIDEM (Stand R37.03) to show Europe's musical diversity, to highlight the cross border strength of European Border Breakers Award winners and to highlight the Commission's activities in the field of culture through the Culture Programme and the opportunities this programme offers for support to European cultural cooperation.