Welcome to Madrid and the Círculo de Bellas Artes: the programme of the EWC Annual General Assembly.


Posted on May 18, 2022, 11:45 am
12 mins

With a Welcome Reception, a Concert Evening, the EWC Burning Issues Forum and a Press Conference, the EWC AGM 2022, co-sponsored by CEDRO and ACE, will be the first meeting in presence since 2019.

10-12 June 2022, Madrid.

VENUE OF ALL EVENTS:                              
Círculo de Bellas Artes (CBA) / Casa Europa
Alcalá, 42, 28014 Madrid, Spain.
ENTRANCE: C. del Marqués de Casa Riera, 42.

CHECK-IN DESK                                              
Sala María Moliner, Círculo de Bellas Artes (CBA), Fifth floor (elevator).

Madrid becomes the European writers’ capital

From 10 to 12 June 2022, Madrid will become the capital of European writers. The General Annual Assembly of the European Writers’ Council will be hosted by the Asociación Colegial de Escritores (ACE), and the event will have the collaboration of the Centro Español de Derechos Reprográficos (CEDRO) and the Círculo de Bellas Artes (CBA) – Casa de Europa.

The European Writers’ Council (EWC) will hold its most important meeting of the year at the Círculo de Bellas Artes. 41 delegates from 21 countries, representing 160,000 writers and translators from the European book sector, will discuss the political, economic and literary challenges, both present and future. The event will conclude on Sunday with the Annual General Assembly, not open to the public, at which new member organisations will be ratified, and the future political visions for writers and translators in the European book sector will be set out.

“It is an honour for us to meet our colleagues at the ‘House of Europe’ in person for the first time after three years of a very serious health, social and economic crisis and at one of the most decisive moments for Europe and the book sector in recent years,” says Nina George, President of the European Writers’ Council (EWC), underlining the significance of this event. George adds: “We are at a crucial moment for the freedom, diversity and viability of the sources of the entire book culture and literary economy, whether it is the management of intellectual property law, whether it is the changes in the field of artificial intelligence, and above all: how we are going to respond to dictatorial, warlike and free speech attacks on writers, media and cultural professionals.”

For Manuel Rico, President of ACE, “hosting this event in Madrid at a time of such importance for the future of Europe after almost three years of pandemic and with a war close to its borders, is an honour and a satisfaction. It is also a way of highlighting the commitment of Spanish writers to the deepest values of European literature and its authors and to the defence of freedom of expression, copyright and civility, today threatened from different fronts. Without authors there is no culture.”

At the press conference on Friday, 10 June, ACE and EWC will highlight the five issues that are likely to shape the world of books and their authors and translators in Europe over the next 20 years, an era marked by the advance of information technologies, artificial intelligence and the demands of the digital market in the field of culture and, in particular, literature and books.

  • The transposition of the European Copyright Directive (2019/790) into the Digital Single Market by ensuring that authors receive “the appropriate share of the revenues” generated by the use of their content by Information Society Platforms as royalties and through collective management societies.
  • The EWC survey on contract law in Europe also showed in particular the growing importance of common remuneration rules and the need of more author-friendly contracts. Streaming monopolies and online platforms such as Amazon must comply with EU law, especially on remuneration and the documentation of use.
  • Increasing the resources allocated to public library lending. Its payment must be guaranteed by all administrations with the consensus of all sectors involved. We demand higher budgets for public library lending in all European countries. The future of education and literacy must no longer be at the expense of authors; we need a common pact for education and significant budgets.
  • Improving working and contractual conditions and social protection for authors who are self-employed, bringing Spanish legislation into line with the most advanced in the European Union. Furthermore, artists’ social insurance and pension scheme should be harmonised throughout Europe.
  • Implement systems of transparency in the fulfilment of contracts between authors and publishers in the traceability of sales of contracted books. This also applies across borders, especially to the growing digital distribution of works. Europe’s book sector is going digital – but only the transparent usage overview guarantees fair remuneration and sustainability.

The EWC will also present within an exclusive preview the #FreeAllWords (freeallwords.org) translation-project to support writers from Belarus or Ukraine, whose freedom of expression is under threat. Three texts are already translated into Spanish by the translator Ángela Espinosa Ruiz and by the following authors from Ukraine and Belarus, to mark the pre-start of the European support project by authors for authors.

  • Kaciaryna Andrejeva (BELARUS): A POEM FROM BEHIND BARS
  • Ángela Espinosa Ruiz (SPAIN): TRANSLATIONS

The participants in the press conference on 10 June (for Media only) will be as follows:

  • Nina George, President of the European Writers’ Council (EWC), international bestselling novelist.
  • Manuel Rico, President of the Asociación Colegial de Escritores (ACE), Spanish poet, narrator and literary critic.
  • Valerio Rocco Lozano, Director of the Círculo de Bellas Artes (CBA), Madrid.
  • Miguel Ángel Serrano, Secretary General of the Asociación Colegial de Escritores (ACE) and Vice President of the European Writers’ Council (EWC).
  • Nicolas Couchepin, President of the A*dS – Swiss professional association of authors and literary translators (CH), writer and translator.

Additional information

The Asociación Colegial de Escritores (ACE) is hosting the three-day event and welcomes all delegates from the European Writers’ Council (EWC).  Founded in 1976 and legalised in 1978, ACE is the largest professional organisation of writers in Spain and brings together writers who write in Castilian or Spanish or the other co-official languages of Spain. It is made up of more than 2,100 writers, translators and playwrights based in Spain, the rest of Europe and Latin America.  ACE provides services, information and legal advice to its members and is an interlocutor with the Administration and with the professional bodies of publishers, booksellers and distributors in the defence of the interests of authors, intellectual property and the social and labour rights of writers and translators.  It has autonomous sections for theatre (AAT), translators (ACEtt) and Andalusia (ACE-Andalucía). Since 2019 it has been promoting the ACE Ángel María de Lera Award for the promotion of the work of writers. ACE Board of Directors 2019-2023: ACEscritores Board of Directors

The Círculo de Bellas Artes (CBA), founded in 1880 by a small group of artists, is one of the most important private cultural centres in Europe. This multi-disciplinary centre has a programme of activities ranging from plastic arts to literature, as well as science, philosophy, film and the performing arts, bearing in mind the most innovative artistic movements. The CBA is a private, non-profit cultural institution declared a ‘Centre for the Protection of Fine Arts and of Public Interest’.

The CBA was founded in 1880 thanks to the efforts of a small group of artists. It is a private, non-profit cultural institution, officially declared a ‘Centre for the Protection of the Fine Arts and of Public Interest’.

During the early years of the 20th century, its directors included important cultur-al figures of the period such as Jacinto Benavente and Carlos Arniches. The young Picasso attended painting classes here and Ramón María del Valle-Inclán frequent-ed its rooms.

The CBA’s current headquarters is a building by Antonio Palacios, the architect who designed many of Madrid’s most characteristic buildings such as Palacio de Comunicaciones, the Banco Central (also on Alcalá street) and Maudes Palace, among others. It was inaugurated by King Alfonso XIII on Monday, November 8, 1926 with an exhibition of paintings by Ignacio Zuloaga in the Goya Room.

Rooftop terrace of the Círculo de Bellas Artes

The rooftop terrace of the Círculo de Bellas Artes affords one of the most spectacular views of Madrid, a unique perspective of the city’s urban layout with the buildings of the Gran Vía avenue just a stone’s throw away. To access the roof-terrace, take the lift in the lobby to the top floor where there is a bar and restaurant. Tickets can be purchased in reception.