‘New Narrative for Europe’ could be further promoted during the European Year of Cultural Heritage

On 21 June 2016, EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Tibor Navracsics and four Ambassadors of the New Narrative for Europe project discussed their ideas on the future of this EU initiative with Members of the Committee on Culture and Education of the European Parliament. As one of the Ambassadors of the New Narrative for Europe, Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailovićemphasised how the New Narrative should build bridges between the different initiatives in the fields of culture and education and be linked to the upcoming European Year of Cultural Heritage in 2018.

MEP Silvia Costa and EU Commissioner Tibor Navracsics during the ‘New Narrative for Europe’ meeting held on 21 June 2016 at the European Parliament in Brussels. Photo: © European Union 2016 - Source: EP

MEP Silvia Costa and EU Commissioner Tibor Navracsics during the ‘New Narrative for Europe’ meeting held on 21 June 2016 at the European Parliament in Brussels. Photo: © European Union 2016 – Source: EP

“We have a much broader ambition now – to enhance the cultural dimension of the European project,” said MEP Silvia Costa, Chair of the Committee, by way of opening the debate and recalling the milestones of the project that was launched in April 2013 and is currently in its second phase. Silvia Costa thanked Commissioner Navracsics for his efforts in widening the debate as the project now seeks to involve in particular the young generation with the aim of creating a community among young people who can drive the debate in Europe.

Commissioner Navracsics presented this new emphasis of the ‘New Narrative for Europe’ in the second phase which offers online tools and platforms to engage in the debate: “We need to bridge the generation gap and reconnect Europe with its youngest citizens.” After thanking all the Ambassadors from the fields of culture, education and youth who have been supporting the ‘New Narrative’ by furthering the debate in their networks, the Commissioner invited the four Ambassadors present to share their vision of the project: Patrik Kovacs, President at JEUNE, Young Entrepreneurs’ Organisation of the European Union, researcher Michal Kleiber, former President of the Academy of Sciences of Poland, Paul Dujardin, Director-General of BOZAR Centre of Fine Arts Brussels and Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović.

Representing the voice of cultural heritage in Europe, the Secretary General of Europa Nostra stressed that “the ‘New Narrative for Europe’ is a shift in the way we perceive Europe, it seeks to revive the European spirit”. In particular, she called for creating synergies with other initiatives: “The New Narrative for Europe should focus on building bridges between the many initiatives in Europe: we need more synergies and exchange between youth, artists, heritage and history. At the same time, we cannot build a new narrative without knowing the “old” one, without knowing where we come from: Our history and cultural heritage! This is why the upcoming European Year of Cultural Heritage in 2018 can be an excellent platform to promote this new narrative we are developing.”
Incidentally, the discussion on a new narrative for Europe took place on the European Music Day – a very symbolic coincidence as music transcends borders and is part of our shared heritage in Europe.

Background information on the ‘New Narrative for Europe’ project and its first phase, including the Declaration and the publication ‘The Mind and Body of Europe: A New Narrative’, can be found here. More information on the second phase of the project is available here. Young people are strongly encouraged to get involved in shaping the New Narrative and can have their say and exchange ideas via an online portal www.nnfe.eu

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