At present - following the latest admissions in 2022 - the European Association of Cultural Researchers e.V. (ERICarts Network) counts 111 members in 35 countries in Europe and other parts of the world.
Article 4 of the Statutes of the Association stipulates the following membership categories: Full Members, Student Members and Honorary Members. While specific membership requirements are mentioned only with respect to "Honorary Members", it was clear from the beginning that only experts with experience in scientific research related to the arts, cultural policy, the heritage and the media could become Full Members, with preference given to those who were already involved in comparative projects. The 2019 Paris Assembly adopted a Resolution that mentions "Alumni", i.e. Full Members that retired from their previous professional positions and may be entitled to special membership conditions.
During the last three decades, most of the Association's members have been involved as authors and experts in research, monitoring and documentation projects, which are usually managed by the ERICarts Institute. The "Compendium of Cultural Policies & Trends", founded 1998 jointly with the Council of Europe, has been, and still is, one of the highlights in that respect. Our current President acted as Treasurer and the Secretary General as Board Member after the new Compendium Association was founded in 2017.
In principle, the General Assembly of the Association has the right to set additional guidelines or criteria for the definition of the status of members and for their election. In the absence of such regulations, applications for membership in the ERICarts Network can be made without formal requirements (except a meaningful CV); they may be sent by ordinary mail or e-mail to the Secretary General, who will then forward them to the Board for approval. The 2015 Assembly in Wroclaw/Poland decided that membership fees may be introduced if these are needed to sustain the Association; the 2019 Assembly in Paris confirmed this decision and empowered the Board to specify such such obligations.
According to a survey carried out among our members in 2005, a large majority of the respondents saw the main function of the Association in its status as the founder and active partner of the ERICarts Institute, which would include e.g. taking up members' ideas for new projects or suggesting experts for ERICarts project teams. In addition, activities that could help:
- to promote scientific and cultural cooperation in Europe and with the Southern Hemisphere;
- to improve methodologies for comparative cultural research; and
- to empower members to participate in each other's research projects and to conduct similar exchanges
were seen as priority areas in the work of the Association.
A new survey, conducted in 2019, revealed that
- the main goals of the Association are still considered valid;
- participating in the Compendium as an expert or in its governance remains in the focus of members' interests;
- as regards finances, there is a majority that opts for (preferrably obligatory) membership fees, but many also still hope for project financing; and
- except for one, all respondents voted to "remain" in our Network, albeit a few of them in a less active role (alumni)...