(Brussels) Today the European Council has adopted an amending regulation that provides for the continuation of funding for the Youth Orchestra of the European Union. The funding is secured until the end of 2020, under the Creative Europe programme and its cross-sectoral strand. Within the scope of the Agreement, the Orchestra “will have to increase its efforts in areas such as audience development and visibility and to ensure geographically balanced representation of musicians”. “The EU – a statement from the Council reads – has ensured that the Youth Orchestra will remain among the best of its kind. It consists of outstanding and dedicated young musicians, conductors and soloists from across the EU, and is a source of pride for all of us”. This decision was reached also thanks to strong support from the European Parliament. The Youth Orchestra is a symbol of Europe and, the statement reads, “has played a unique role in promoting intercultural dialogue, mutual respect and understanding through culture. It has performed in major cities and festivals in Europe and around the world, in a variety of formal and informal settings using traditional and innovative formats and techniques for a wide range of audiences”. Through its activities the Orchestra acts “as a cultural ambassador for the Union by showcasing the richness and diversity of European culture and emerging talent”.