Conference – march 2014

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A soul for Europe 2014

March 3rd, 2014

“A heart for Europe” whose seat is in Berlin is an initiative of the civil society. This global area network joined together since 2004 every two years of the cultural actors and the politicians linked by the will to reinforce the cultural dimension of the development of Europe.

One will retain this last conference initially the introductory declarations of MM Barroso, Juncker and Schulz.

The President of the Commission Mr. Manuel Barroso evokes to begin the developments of the European Union during the ten last years of his mandate. However it is necessary today to fight against the rise of the populisms and to affirm the European values. In the forefront of these values the culture is without which European integration is absolutely incomplete. In spite of the projections, European integration is not assured.

The scenario writer Wim Wenders challenges then the former President of the Eurogroup, Mr. Jean Claude Junker ; does he ask him why the culture, recognized to be essential, is not priority because do the European citizens need than regulations ? Mr. Juncker estimates that the designation of the European capitals of the culture offers a positive image of Europe. He recalls that with most extremely of the economic crisis and financial the cultural heritage of the most affected countries was not absent from thoughts of the European leaders.

Referring to his personal history and that of his family, one period of great difficulties but also of intense hopes, the President of the European Parliament Mr. Martin Schulz underlines the universality of art and the irreplaceable character of the literary experiment. However the culture is threatened : when books are not translated in fact as many worlds do not exist. In the same way the intellectual property and cultural diversity are threatened by new technologies of information. A multinational like Amazon does not pay taxes in Europe or if little but could override the existing structures of distributions of the books. A European cultural strategy thus is essential.

The President of the group of the Greens in the European Parliament Rebecca Harms has worried about little solidarity expressed with regard to Hungary country controlled for a few years by a party reactionary and currently with respect to the Ukraine whereas for the first time of the history of the demonstrators fell the European flag to the hand. The European culture of the national cultures affirms T from where is not the sum the effective competence of the EU in this field. The EU must contribute to the reunification of the cultures across the national policies.

Mr. Guy Verhofstadt Président of the group of the Alliance of the liberals and democrats in the European Parliament comparing Europe of before the 1st world war with the current situation does not fear to say that there is no more heart for Europe ; there are only national monocultures, a collection of islands isolated one from the other. The cultural life of an author as Kafka is inconceivable today. Meanwhile the centre of gravity of the culture moved towards the United States. The EU acts with the tools of the past. Without leader, a European public opinion is improbable. Let us seize the chance however that we gives the crisis to formulate a new European account, a new interpretation of subsidiarity.

During the debate which follows it is especially question of the means which would allow, inter alia :

– decentralisation of the culture
– the research of the interdisciplinarity (decompartmentalization of the economic, social and cultural subjects)
– a place increased with education in Europe
– the call to the intellectuals to take part in the democratic debate
– the encouragement with research on the automatic translation
– the possibility of a transnational list to the European elections.

On the practical level and in conclusion, the group members strategic of the Conference, evoke the institution from now on annual conferences, links with the whole of the commissions concerned of the EP and not only the commission of the culture and the creation of new synergies.

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