Cultural diversity

News Releases / Speeches / Declarations

"Pour une Europe fondée sur sa culture" - Déclaration des artistes et responsables culturels européens

Le Monde, édition du 7 juin 2004 - 2004/06/07

In this edition of Le Monde, European artists and cultural representatives issued a declaration calling on the heads of state and government and European institutions to make the European Union “a cultural power that speaks with a common voice and is listened to as a moral authority.” They remarked that Europe does not play the role it should, but rather “maintains the illusion that the Union is first and foremost an economic and monetary project. It seems cut off from its past and swayed by blind forces, while it should manifest itself as a project solidly rooted in its heritage.” They believe that “if the Europe of production and consumption were to dominate Europe as a civilization, if Europe as a common market were to replace Europe as a political and cultural project, the present global crisis could cumulate in a crash between the forces of fundamentalism and those of materialism. This clash would be as traumatic and devastating as the worst scourges that have hit humanity during the last century.”
That is why they call on “the heads of state and governments of the 25 member states to adopt a European Constitution that is a genuine civilization project, founded on our cultural heritage and our shared values of democracy, freedom, and respect for human rights and dignity. As such, economic objectives must be considered more a means than an end.” The group notably asks governments and European institutions to “give proof of their genuine common political will to launch an ambitious European project capable of cementing a European cultural identity that reflects both unity and diversity. The whole of Europe should become a living space, vibrant with creation and exchange, fueling the circulation of ideas and works of their creative artists.” They also urge “those countries most committed to the process of unification to foster new, daring, and federalizing initiatives that will help develop and enhance the European common cause, especially its cultural dimension,” and call upon “the artists and cultural leaders to play an active and prominent role in supporting a Europe of culture.” (Available in French)