Commissioner Vassiliou hosted farewell reception at EC Headquarters in Brussels

Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, hosted a farewell reception at the EC headquarters in Brussels on the evening of 3 November 2014. Dozens of representatives from EU institutions and personalities from the world of culture gathered to pay homage to the remarkable work carried out by Commissioner Vassiliou over the past five years. Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović, Secretary General of Europa Nostra, was invited to speak at this special event.

Farewell reception Commissioner Vassiliou
“As Commissioner I tried to spread the belief that culture is vital not only for its own intrinsic value and for giving us a sense of identity but also as a new source of economic growth and employment. It was a pleasure and a privilege to work with so many interesting and committed Europeans across the entire spectrum of the arts, from music to literature, from heritage to cinema. I take this opportunity to thank and congratulate all of them – the artists, the creators and the thinkers – for contributing to the New Narrative for Europe and for keeping alive the vision of the European Union’s founding fathers”, stated Androulla Vassiliou.

Education, Multilingualism, Youth, Sport and Health were also at the centre of her speech. Commissioner Vassiliou started her address by recalling the unexpected invitation for the post made by President Barroso and ended it by making a wish. “That the crisis that has overshadowed my mandate comes to an end, and that the new Commission can work in more favourable conditions. I wish all of them, but especially my successor in DG EAC as well as the new Commissioner from Cyprus, every success”.

Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović conveyed personal words of appreciation and friendship from the President of Europa Nostra, Maestro Plácido Domingo, to Commissioner Vassiliou, and thanked her sincerely on behalf of the organisation and also on behalf of all members of the European Heritage Alliance 3.3.

“During your mandate as Commissioner, we have made major steps forward in developing and promoting a true EU strategy for cultural heritage. You started your mandate by launching the European Heritage Label and you ended it by adopting the far-reaching Communication indicating a road map for an integrated approach to cultural heritage by the EU and in the EU,” affirmed the Secretary General of Europa Nostra.

“I keep a special memory when we shared a moving visit to the buffer zone of Nicosia in October 2013. We both have the dream the buffer zone will become again the beating heart of Nicosia, a meeting place for Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. You coming from Cyprus and I coming from the Balkans, we know, first hand, how fragile peace in Europe is, and how vital it is to invest in culture and education as a means to combat hatred and divisions of all sorts,” she highlighted.

“We very much hope that your successor and his team will be inspired by your Power of Example. We look forward to many more years of joint work for promoting Europe of Culture and Cultural Heritage,” concluded Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović, after giving to Androulla Vassiliou an album of photos of numerous events held by Europa Nostra and attended by the Commissioner over the past five years.

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