International Music Policy
We make an important contribution to international understanding and European integration through musical exchange across borders.
International music policy is one of the original tasks of the German Music Council, alongside its music policy work and the support and promotion of young musicians at home. The German Music Council actively promotes the idea of a common Europe as "unity in diversity". Through its participa-tion in European and international committees, the council encourages transcultural exchange and dialogue in the spirit of international understanding, for example by including numerous European and non-European countries in the national youth competition "Jugend musiziert" or by regularly sending council-sponsored ensembles to other European and non-European countries. The focus of cooperation is on the regions of Austria and Switzerland (DACH), France, and Poland. In addition, the German Music Council works constantly with the German UNESCO Commission (LINK), the Eu-ropean Music Council (EMC), and the International Music Council (IMC).
Since the signing of the cooperation agreement of February 2014, it has been the common goal of the German Music Council and the Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations (ifa) to make greater use of the synergies between domestic and foreign cultural policy through their cooperation. This co-operation was further intensified with the joint publication by the German Music Council and the ifa of "Music Opens Worlds" (edited by Prof. Christian Höppner and Ronald Grätz).
In the context of the international music policy of the German Music Council, the focus is also on planned registration obligations of raw materials for instrument making, which would lead to chang-es in the travel regulations for musicians. In the run-up to and during the CITES conference CoP19, the German Music Council - together with associations such as unisono (the German Music and Orchestra Association), the German Stage Association, PEARLE*, the League of American Orchestras, and others - campaigned for pernambuco wood, as an indispensable raw material for bow mak-ing, to continue to be available without a costly registration obligation and for musicians to be able to travel with bows made of pernambuco wood without a musical instrument passport. The German Music Council therefore welcomes the decision at the CITES Conference in November 2022 that pernambuco wood will remain in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endan-gered Species. The feared serious registration obligations for pernambuco wood, which would have affected the trade and transport of many instrument bows, have thus been averted for the time being. Pernambuco bows can therefore continue to be transported and traded without a musical instrument passport. Only the first export of pernambuco wood from Brazil now requires a license.
The regulations on pernambuco wood adopted at the conference can be found here:
The use of lead is to be included in Annex XIV of the REACH Regulation at the proposal of the Euro-pean Chemicals Agency (ECHA). This EU chemicals regulation stipulates, among other things, that individual chemicals must be registered before they are placed on the market. This means that they can only be used with special authorization. Since lead is used primarily for the manufacture of or-gan pipes and, in the case of brass instruments, for the production (together with nickel and chromium) of alloys, the German Music Council is calling for an exemption for the use of lead in instru-ment manufacture if the planned registration requirement should come into effect. Costly developments of new alternatives would lead to drastic increases in the sales prices of the instruments.
Especially in the case of the organ, no health risks from lead alloys are currently known to exist. For this reason, an exemption was issued for organ building in 2017 as part of the EU RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) regulation. The decision on whether to include lead in the annex of the REACH regulation is expected to be made in 2023. Since 2021, the use of lead has had to be notified to the ECHA, but so far it has not had to go through the complex registration procedure.