New Narrative for Europe: Video interview with Europa Nostra’s Secretary General

With the aim of promoting the ‘New Narrative for Europe’ project, the European Commission Representation in Portugal conducted video interviews in various European cities with seven members of the Cultural Committee which, in 2013 and 2014, was entrusted with the task of assisting the European Commission with formulating and promoting a New Narrative for Europe. Europa Nostra’s Secretary General Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović was selected to take part in this initiative. In addition to the 20-minute documentary featuring highlights of the interviews with all the participants, short individual documentaries were produced and are available online.

In her video interview, which was recorded in The Hague on 14 November 2014, Europa Nostra’s Secretary General promotes the key role of culture and heritage within the ‘New Narrative for Europe’ and the wider process of European integration.

The other six members of the Cultural Committee for the New Narrative for Europe interviewed were: Tomáš Sedláček, Economist and Writer, in Prague; Peter Matjašič, President of the European Youth Forum, in Barcelona; Paul Dujardin, Director General of BOZAR, in Brussels; Olafur Eliasson, Visual Artist, in Copenhagen; Luisa Taveira, Director of the Portuguese National Ballet, in Lisbon; and Kathrin Deventer, Director of the European Festivals Association, in Brussels.

The 20-minute documentary was shown at the international conference ‘New Renaissance and New Cosmopolitanism’, held on 23 January 2015 at Casa da Música in Porto. All the video interviews were posted on the website of the European Commission Representation in Portugal in March 2015.

Europa Nostra has contributed to the ‘New Narrative for Europe’ project since February 2013. This initiative was launched by the then European Commission’s President José Manuel Barroso, together with Vice-president Reding and Commissioner Vassiliou, in Brussels on 23 April 2013. Three major public gatherings, hosted by President Barroso, were held in Warsaw with the then Prime Minister Tusk (11 July 2013), in Milan with the then Prime Minister Letta (8-9 December 2013) and in Berlin with Chancellor Merkel (1 March 2014). On that occasion, the Declaration on the New Narrative for Europe was presented by artists, scientists and intellectuals. Two other important debates took place in Brussels (21 May 2014) and Venice (7 September 2014). Europa Nostra organised a panel discussion about the New Narrative for Europe and Cultural Heritage during its European Heritage Congress in Vienna (4 May 2014). The book ‘The Mind and Body of Europe: A New Narrative’, which constitutes a milestone in the implementation of this fundamental project, was presented in Brussels on 28 October 2014.

The European Commission (DG Education and Culture) will continue to promote the ‘New Narrative for Europe’ project in 2015 and 2016 and seek a stronger involvement of the younger generation of Europeans. Europa Nostra will continue to advocate the need for a strong cultural (heritage) dimension of any New Narrative for Europe.

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