MEPs Call for European Culture Comeback in Rare Display of Unity

02.06.2021, Greek Reporter

European lawmakers called on the EU to assist European culture by reopening venues and allowing public cultural activities to flourish once more, in a rare display of unity across political groups on Tuesday.

A declaration by the Culture Committee of the European Parliament, signed by all major political groups, stresses the importance of culture and creativity in ensuring the wellbeing of all European citizens — as well as its contribution to the EU economy.

It notes, however, that the sector is among those who suffered the most from the confinement measures and lost around a third of its revenues in 2020, amounting to a cumulative loss estimated to be around 200 billion euros.

The declaration calls on the European Commission to facilitate the safe re-opening of cultural venues and organization of cultural activities. In addition, it urges the Commission and member states to earmark two percent of their National Recovery and Resilience Plans for culture and protect and improve working conditions in the cultural and creative sectors.

European culture a catalyst for bridging our differences

Among the supporters and instigators of the declaration was Greek MEP Alexis Georgoulis on behalf of the Left grouping in the European Parliament.

“Culture is the catalyst for bridging our differences. It strengthens the dialogue between all Member States. We, the Members of the European Parliament from different political groups, in the Committee on Culture joined efforts to achieve a European framework for working conditions in the cultural and creative Sectors,” Georgoulis said.

Georgoulis, the popular Greek actor-turned-politician, is at the forefront of efforts as a member of the European Parliament to promote common EU approaches to culture and heritage.

The former star in the television series “The Durrells,” who played the character of Spiros Halikiopoulos, says that Europe should pull its act together to defend and promote its culture and its heritage.

The full declaration of the Culture Committee follows:

“We stress and recall the importance of culture and creativity in ensuring our wellbeing as well as its contribution to the EU economy. Culture and creativity are engrained in our DNA and our identities, they are a quintessential element of our social fabric, bringing us together to feel, experience and think about who we are and also who we could become. They are also a rich and diverse ecosystem, which generates high economic value in terms of both total turnover and employment.

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