Italy’s role in the new EU strategy for International Cultural Relations debated in Rome

Silvia Costa, MEP and former chair of the European Parliament’s Committee on Culture and Education, organised a high profile conference in Rome on 30 October entitled International Cultural Relations: Italy’s role in the new strategy of the European Union with the participation of Federica Mogherini, the Vice-President of the European Commission and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

Federica Mogherini talked about culture as a central component of the European Union’s foreign policy. She announced that from now on the European Union’s civilian mission will always include a cultural expert, helping security forces preserve endangered cultural heritage, and combat the illicit trafficking of cultural goods.

Sandro Gozi, the Italian Undersecretary of State, stated that without culture and cultural diversity Europe would not exist and that Italy fully supports this European strategy. Italy is currently a non-permanent Member of the UN Security Council and among the priorities of its mandate is the protection of cultural heritage threatened by destruction and by terrorist groups and in situations of armed conflict.

Europa Nostra was represented by its Secretary General Sneska Quaedvlieg Mihailovic who addressed the audience and welcomed the important achievements outlined in the joint communication to the European Parliament and the Council “Towards an EU strategy for international cultural relations“, such as the European Year of Cultural Heritage and the due involvement of civil society within the European Heritage Alliance 3.3. Silvia Costa and MEP Elmar Brok were the rapporteurs of this joint communication.

Other contributors to this important debate on International Cultural Relations were:

David Sassoli, Vice-President of the European Parliament David Sassoli
Dario Franceschini, Italian Minister of Culture and Tourism
Franco Bernabé, Italian National Commission for UNESCO
Walter Zampieri, Head of Unit at the European Commission, Culture policy and intercultural dialogue

See full list of speakers in the poster of the event.

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