ETC Vision 2030

ETC Image

In recent years, ETC grew to become the leading European theatre network for publicly funded venues.

Since the creation of its German association in 2017, various statutory documents and programmes set out its mission and defined specific goals. ETC’s multi-annual EU-funded network programmes ENGAGE and TRANSFORMATIONS identified a wide range of key focus areas in order to develop the organisation, in line with the funding objectives.

ETC’s board of directors now agreed to stipulate for the coming years a clear vision for ETC, both enabling the organisation to grow continuously building upon the success of the previous years while opening it for new opportunities to shape the future.

In June 2023, the ETC Theatre Advisory Council and ETC’s team organised an ETC Visionary Strategic Workshop, formulating ETC’s vision with a strategic plan for the next seven years, until 2030, identifying and determining key priorities and action areas.

(c) European Theatre Convention / Adrian Piclisan

ETC Vision 2030

ETC is the leading and largest theatre network in the EU. It is characterised by a shared commitment to sustainability, a spirit of cooperation without competition, openness to different perspectives and mutual respect.

This allows access to knowledge about different theatres and practices in the EU. The diversity of the houses/people/professions involved, creates dynamic networks and personal relationships that pool competencies.

Our mission is to increase the visibility and accessibility of the theatre of Europe and to bring the relevant discourses to life with the inclusion of new voices – artists, works and audiences alike. A central focus is on integration.

In order to realise this Vision 2030, we are working together on the social relevance of the theatres and the corresponding quality, content and audience development.

We are professionalising our networking, expanding our digital competencies and working on raising the profile of ETC, guided by our striving for diversity. To achieve this, we are optimising our processes as well as our strategies in terms of environmental sustainability and ETC's financial security.

Strategic and Operational Goals


Sustainability is our overarching goal, all strategic goals carry the sustainability idea. In devising our goals, we refer to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the EU Green Deal and the widely known definition:

“Development is sustainable when it meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." (Hauff & Brundtland, 1987)

Important guiding pillars of sustainability true to ETC’s work are:

  • Ecological Sustainability

Using natural resources only to the extent that they can regenerate. This means using resources sparingly, sensibly and carefully, enabling regenerative capacity and preventively avoiding environmental pollution.

  • Economic Sustainability

A way of doing business that can be operated without harming future generations.

  • Social Sustainability

Taking into account different actors and dealing with social tensions peacefully. This means in particular paying attention to good quality, respectful, trusting and appreciative cooperation.

  • Content Sustainability

Addressing issues of innovation versus preservation, balancing the interests and needs of audiences and theatre practitioners as well as their own strategic goals when developing plays, and ensuring that content is high quality/ artistically challenging and effective with audiences).

ETC’s sustainability goals for 2030 are further aligned with the objectives of the European Theatre Forum 2023.

With our work we strive to:

  • Address the geopolitical and climate-related crises and their implications for the sector
  • Address sustainable, digital and social challenges and practices in the sector
  • Develop and adopt a comparable sustainability assessment tool for the whole sector to measure and reduce its carbon footprint.

In addition, ETC remains committed to implementing the ETC Sustainable Action Code for Theatres with its three key strategies to strive to bring progress in:

  • Sustainable processes in theatre organisations
  • Sustainable theatre buildings
  • Sustainable theatre productions
European Theatre Forum 2023 (c) Michał Grocholski & Przemysław Jendroska


  • Diversity

In our theatres, we reflect the diversity of society in terms of gender, sexual identity, age, disability, religion/belief, ethnic origin and skin colour, as well as social status, personality and other dimensions. Because we know that these dimensions can cause social differences, as they are connected with evaluations that can lead to individual as well as structural unequal treatment, we act in a discrimination-sensitive manner.

  • Networking

ETC is the platform for strong international cooperation between theatre professionals and other partners within and outside the theatres. We cooperate in an open and goal-oriented way, establish new contacts and seek cross-theatre team development to optimise our joint knowledge management.

  • Green Deal for Theatre

The theatres take responsibility for the EU Green Deal. All buildings, processes, productions, etc. are continuously checked for their ecological impact and corresponding strategies such as air-conditioning technology, waste avoidance, separation/recycling, mobility calculation for resource conservation are developed, implemented and evaluated. This also includes a green narrative towards and with the audience.

  • Relevance & High Quality of European Theatre

We take our social mission seriously and set sustainable accents for the theatre of the future. Our Member Theatres create framework conditions that lead to the free development of artistic work and its content. The goals are to expand the aesthetic scope, new forms of experimental work and diverse programmes with different directorial styles supported by strong ensembles.

  • Efficient Processes

We constantly optimise our communication and adhere to the agreed organisational and committee structures. We work on the basis of agreed goals, measures and tasks according to consensual prioritisation. Decision-making competencies and processes are transparent. We shape digital transformation processes sustainably and responsibly.

  • Audience Development

Audiences and artists form an inclusive, lively, cosmopolitan theatre culture. The ETC theatres reflect the diversity of society in their audiences, are inviting houses, offer a good quality of stay for all audience groups and create a high occupancy rate. For the future-proof and sustainable development of the theatres, we emphasise in particular the work with young audiences.

  • Working Climate & Mental Health

The basis for social sustainability is an appreciative, mutually supportive cooperation in the theatres that places the emphasis on togetherness and sees diversity of opinion as an asset. This is also reflected in an enabling management culture with management staff who responsibly recognise, take seriously and reduce psychological stress factors in the theatre. The ETC theatres are employers with social responsibility, offer identification potential, individual development and a motivating promotion of young talent.

  • Financial and planning security

By planning costs and investments in advance and adjusting the budget annually to the rate of inflation, we ensure that we can use the available funds to implement the development of ETC in terms of content and infrastructure. This refers to both personnel and material resources.

  • Reputation, Awareness and External Impact

ETC has a high profile. This is also the result of lobbying for theatres at the European level and a corresponding localisation in EU bodies, a good image in regional and national media and a broad public. The aim is also to attract more theatres and, in the long term, to establish a global presence for European theatres with locations on other continents.

ETC Executive Director Heidi Wiley at the European Theatre Forum 2023 (c) Michał Grocholski & Przemysław Jendroska

Cover photo: © European Theatre Convention / Adrian Piclisan

Why Join ETC?

  • Meet and network with colleagues from other European theatres
  • Create international artistic collaborations
  • Get inspired by new ideas and shared best practices
  • Be represented at European and international level
  • Discover new contexts, cities and perspectives
Be part of the community: join Europe's network for public theatres!

Discover all your benefits as a member