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Culture: a priority for young Europeans

June 25, 2014

An overview of the June 6, 2014 workshop attended by the delegates of the European Youth Parliament during the Caen International Forum to discuss the place culture will have in Europe’s development.

How does culture help build a Europe that is stronger, more harmonious and open to the world?  At Vivendi’s initiative, 150 members of the European Youth Parliament, which met for a workshop during the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings, proposed answers to this question.

According to the young “parliamentarians”, culture plays a major role in the construction of European citizenship. Although relatively few of them have participated in a cultural exchange program in another EU country, the young people are adamant that this type of initiative can help develop a European conscience. The performing arts, music and literature are among the cultural areas considered to be most effective in creating bonds among Europeans. Several concrete proposals have been formulated to improve knowledge and transmission of European culture, including:

➜ creating a European portal to centralize information about cultural events
➜ promoting the value of multilingualism
➜ systematically integrating national programs into the European audiovisual offering – an integration that is judged indispensable if people are to “understand each other better”.

Moreover, the young delegates consider culture to be one of Europe’s strengths. In response to the survey carried out during the preparations for the workshop, a large majority of them said that to stimulate growth and well-being, culture should be encouraged more than it currently is. “Couldn’t our consumer society move toward becoming a society that consumes culture?” asked one delegate. In the view of these young people, culture is also a key component of the European Union’s external strength, through cultural cooperation that ensures a competitive advantage for the 28 member states, but also because of the wealth of cultures inside the EU, which is considered to be a genuine advantage. “Cultural diversity,” said another delegate, “breathes new life into international relations.”

The young delegates will continue to express their opinions on this subject in the De Facto section.

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Culture and citizenship discussed at the European Youth Parliament

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150 young Europeans will debate on the future of Europe, just  as members of the European Parliament do, during  the Caen International Forum which takes place from May 29 until June 8 2014.

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