Statement on the European Commission’s Communication “Strengthening European Identity through Education and Culture”

Today, following the initiative of Council President Donald Tusk on the Leaders’ Agenda, EU heads of state and government come together in Gothenburg, Sweden for a debate on culture and education.

The European Alliance for Culture and the Arts very much welcomes this meeting and the attention paid by heads of states and government to the importance of education and culture.

The Alliance has been calling on the European Institutions to clearly include the value of culture and the arts in the ongoing reflection and debate on the future of Europe, as both have an enormous potential for becoming a unifying and mobilising force in Europe. We therefore fully endorse Commission president Juncker’s standpoint that “education and culture are the key to the future”.

Taking into account the Commission’s contribution to the Leaders’ meeting in Gothenburg, which is the Communication on Strengthening European Identity through Education and Culture, the Alliance calls on the Commission and the Council to involve stakeholders from the cultural field and discuss policy suggestions and concrete initiatives put forward in the paper.

Whereas we recognise that the Commission highlights the role of culture in preserving and nurturing common values, and promoting a shared European identity, better understanding across borders and active citizenship, this is not fully reflected in the proposals for concrete future initiatives in the field of culture which are to be discussed with European Member States.

The Alliance calls on the Council to take an ambitious approach in the area of culture ahead of the European Council on 14-15 December 2017.

Download the statement here.