Cultural diversity

News Releases / Speeches / Declarations

"L'Union européenne respecte la richesse de sa diversité culturelle et linguistique, et veille à la sauvegarde et au développement du patrimoine culturel européen"

Mme Noëlle LENOIR, ministre française déléguée aux Affaires européennes, le 5 février 2004 - 2004/02/05

Within the context of the Franco-German Seminar held in Fischbachau on February 5, 2004, Noëlle Lenoir, Minister Delegate for European Affairs and Secretary-General for Franco-German Cooperation, maintained that “with its enlargement, the European Union clearly chose to protect and promote cultural and linguistic diversity.”  However, she stated, “it would be wrong for us to confine ourselves, in this generous claim, to a vision limited to cultural heritage.”  If “linguistic and cultural diversity truly represent one of the major challenges to controlled globalization,” this means that it is not only the variety and quantity of cultural products in danger of being standardized that is at issue, but freedom of expression and the right to pluralism of information as well.  “This is the direction the French government is taking in the Francophonie.  This is the scope of the commitment made by the President of the Republic in support of the planned international convention on cultural diversity,” she stated.  In particular, she stressed that “when the principal of this convention was debated within UNESCO, we were able to see the convergence in points of view between Germany and France.  France and Germany have devoted themselves to promoting these common values not only within the European Union, but throughout the world.”  She also maintained that “diversity as a value” supplements another principle, “diversity as a resource.”  She further stated, “The Information Society, the Knowledge Society, and the Knowledge Economy will only become a common development project for Europe if we arm ourselves with the means stress the promotion of cultural and linguistic diversity.” (Available in French only)