World Crafts Council Europe & Ateliers d’Art de France launch Manifesto for Future of Craft

Posted 28.05.19



World Crafts Council Europe (WCC Europe) and the Ateliers d’Art de France professional federation take action to ensure the survival and development of fine crafts for generations to come.

In conjunction with Révélations, the international biennial of fine crafts and contemporary creation which took place at the Grand Palais in Paris from 23rd to 26th May 2019, the Ateliers d’Art de France professional federation organised the fourth international gathering of worldwide fine crafts professionals. This year, the event took the form of a symposium and featured a presentation of the Crafting Europe Manifesto signed by Ateliers d’Art de France and the 31 member organisations of World Crafts Council Europe (WCC Europe). The event aimed to engage public authorities, European institutions and national decision-makers by putting forth six measures intended to ensure the survival and development of fine crafts for generations to come.

The struggle for recognition of the fine crafts sector
Today, as fine crafts come under the spotlight through both the Révélations Biennial and projects to rebuild Cathédral Notre-Dame de Paris, it is vital to protect and perpetuate these professions. The fine crafts sector faces a number of threats, and several initiatives are underway in France to secure its future.

In July 2018, Ateliers d’Art de France submitted a proposal for the official creation of a professional branch for fine crafts. Subsequently, in December 2018, French MP Philippe Huppé published his report, “France, Métiers d’Excellence,” containing 22 recommendations to support professions centred around fine crafts and living heritage. Ateliers d’Art de France, which was consulted for the report, judged certain measures ill-suited to realities on the ground. Indeed, the sector plays a key economic role in France today, accounting for 60,000 jobs throughout the country, broken down into 281 fine crafts professions. It also contributes vigorously to enhancing the dynamism and appeal of French regions, keeping in mind that tourists flock to France from all over the world, attracted in large part by the country’s heritage. The savoir-faire of fine crafts professionals (glass blowers, stone cutters, ceramic artists, etc.) is often instrumental in maintaining and enriching this heritage.

The fourth international fine crafts symposium aimed to clearly convey the views of a sector remarkable for its Europe-wide economic, cultural and tourism-based impact

Promoting fine crafts beyond national borders
From Portugal to Ukraine and from Iceland to Romania, the diversity and local roots of fine crafts give the sector a forward-looking spirit. This year, the central theme of the fourth international fine crafts symposium was “Crafting Europe: championing a European strategy for fine crafts”. In line with their mission to raise awareness and champion fine crafts at a European level, WCC-Europe and Ateliers d’Art de France used the fourth symposium to promote fine crafts across borders. Bringing together a number of countries committed to the future of the sector, the singular venue for dialogue among decision-makers, professionals and international fine crafts institutions gave participants the opportunity to work together in shaping a future-oriented, Europe-wide programme for the industry. Proposals on subjects, ranging from training to legal status and economic development, were presented to address current issues facing this sector unique for its dynamism and based on values of humanity and sustainability. 

An action plan to ensure the future of fine crafts   
As European elections approach, the 31 organisations of the World Crafts Council Europe (WCC Europe) and Ateliers d'Art de France resolved to take action by conducting a survey of their members to identify current issues in the world of fine crafts. The results of this survey, presented at Révélations, informed the Crafting Europe Manifesto and the associated Action Plan. This detailed roadmap, grounded in the economic, cultural and tourism-based impact of fine crafts for local areas, will serve to make the sector’s voice heard.

Ateliers d’Art de France and WCC Europe called on European institutions and national decision-makers to support the Crafting Europe Manifesto and commit to advocating and implementing the six measures in the Action Plan to ensure the survival and development of fine crafts for generations to come.

The abundance and diversity of occupations in the world of fine crafts endow the sector with unique assets. The task now is to help the industry maintain its momentum while adapting to today’s borderless economy.


  • Illustrate the societal, cultural, economic and heritage-based benefits of fine crafts in Europe.
  • Celebrate the sector’s diverse and creative nature, highlighting the bonds that link mankind with its environment and leading the way to sustainable development for local economies.
  • Provide tools and legislation conducive to commercial growth for the sector.
  • Build the future of fine crafts by establishing training programmes geared towards younger generations.
  • Stimulate innovation in all its forms to support the development of fine crafts.
  • Enhance the visibility and renown of the sector with a view to preserving, protecting and promoting European fine crafts heritage from one generation to the next.

The complete Manifesto is available upon request. Alternatively, click here to download the Manifesto


The mission of Ateliers d’Art de France is to call attention to the role and the importance of fine crafts in our society. As the French professional fine crafts federation, it brings together over 6,000 professionals throughout the country. Ateliers d’Art de France represents and advocates for fine crafts professionals while promoting economic development for the sector, both in France and internationally. 

The World Crafts Council (WCC) was established in 1964 as a non-profit membership organisation.  It was set up to promote an international interest in crafts and encourage contact between the craftspeople of different countries. Its mission is to elevate awareness and appreciation of crafts as an integral part of our society’s cultural, social and economic well-being. Its vision is a world where craftsmanship and its inherent skills are valued and appreciated at every level of society. Its purpose is to promote and strengthen the status of crafts as a vital part of cultural, social and economic life through our global network of members and affiliates.

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