Cultural diversity

News Releases / Speeches / Declarations

L’Union européenne s’élargit à 25 pays : "une Europe des hommes plus qu’une Europe des marchés"

M. Jacques Chirac, président de la République française, le 29 avril 2004 – 2004/04/29

At an April 29 presidential press conference on European expansion, French President Jacques Chirac called for “a Europe that better protects the rights of all its creative talents, particularly by waging a relentless battle against piracy and strongly supporting cultural industries.” Regarding the future of Europe, Mr. Chirac stated that “tomorrow’s Europe must make education and culture a priority.” Reaffirming the need to protect cultural diversity and “guarantee France’s cultural exception,” he stressed that “the recognition of cultural and linguistic diversity in the future Constitution—a much-debated issue that France courageously promoted—creates exciting new avenues for our continent.” Mr. Chirac also warned “the most economically liberal Europeans”—those who want to see culture treated as a traditional economic activity subject to the same rules of competition and the single market—against questioning special protection, i.e., government assistance for film, which will benefit the cultural sector and the film industry, in particular, until 2007. Sharing his vision of a proactive Europe that invests “massively in research and innovation, protects workers and the quality of public services, and recognizes cultural diversity,” Mr. Chirac stated that Europe is “deeply attached to its unique social model, individual initiative, and values of justice and solidarity. It is a Europe of people more than markets. A Europe of freedom and justice.”
Mr. Jacques Delors, former president of the European Commission, set three reasonable objectives for Europe in the next 15 years: “First, to maintain and promote peace and understanding between peoples; second, to continue providing a framework for solidarity and sustainable development; and third, to stimulate cultural diversity, which has always been Europe’s prerogative and part of its distinct nature.” (Available in French)