60 years ago, the treaties of Rome prepared the ground for the European Union. When celebrating their 60th anniversary in March this year, Member States will have the opportunity to reaffirm their commitment to fundamental European values whilst creating a new understanding of a sustainable European project, deeply grounded in the European societies.
This is essential in times of deep societal changes, when European citizens feel disconnected to the Union. It is vital in a time, when Europe faces major political challenges and needs to redefine its global positioning.
Culture and the arts can help to strengthen the European project; therefore, the 33 signatories of this statement call on European institutions and Member States to include culture and the arts in the strategic goals of the Union.
Culture and the arts are the basis of the European project and moreover the essence of every civilizational development. They are substantially important to our identity, give meaning to human existence and reflect our shared history.
European culture and the arts refer to 3000 years of shared cultural heritage while bringing contemporary relevance to people’s lives today. Flourishing in dialogue with other cultures, they reflect our “living together”, interconnect people in society, and transmit knowledge and values.
Culture and the arts engage with the concerns of all citizens. They create a feeling of belonging and are the response to the cultural, social, economic and religious tensions existing inside societies, within the EU and outside European borders.
Culture and the arts constitute a vital lever for developing the Union’s future project.