Plenary Debate

After a presentation of the members of the Parliament and the Senate the
participants were invited to discuss the role of the European Cultural
Parliament and to compare expectations. The discussion was moderated by Mr Pär
Stenbäck, Finland.

L. Donskis, Lithuania (philosophy)
Europe has been
divided for a long time between East and West with violence and ethnic
and
nationalistic culture of hatred. Classical humanistic issues should be
discussed to find alternatives for the future Europe. We have to discuss them
now, before it is to late – the future of east and west Europe as an inescapable
part.


K. Milne, Ireland (history)
I have experienced democratic
deficiencies at a local level, when Ireland rejected the referendum of the
expanding Europe in June 2002. This was a shock for the
Parliament who
realised that they had to begin to take people serious. The scepticism
about
Europe is a fact. EU is seen as a concept of political elite.


M. Pistoletto, Italy (fine arts)
Cultural Europe is
large. Don´t forget the south of Europe, the countries around
the
Mediterranean!


L. Gogoberidze, Georgia (film)
A lot of topics are
important for the future of Europe. How can we turn them into
reality?
Equality of the states – danger of globalisation – preservation of
the culture of diversity – overcoming of the hatred.


I. Caramitru, Romania (theatre)
Rumania thought the
integration would come immediately. Now we have waited for 12 years.
It is a
long process and we are frustrated, we preserve the principal of the limit of
the spirit.
The costs for the integration into Europe are very high.


G.S. Pristas, Croatia (theatre)
We are not here to give
answers, but to do creative work. Important questions are:
How do we
act?
What makes us act?
What happens when we act?
What is non-European
within Europe?
Identity is the future – where are we now?
Is our action
for the masses or for the elite?


2.


Ch. Zentgraf, Germany (senator)
We should not exclude the
economical structures. Why is culture important for companies?
We need a
dialogue, an interaction. Culture is a surviving factor, but we have to learn
the language of “the others”.



B. Kadinov, Bulgaria (architecture)
Culture –
lifestyle – politics – high culture
How can we link culture, create a common
European culture and preserve diversity?
Cultural identity can be a
danger.


S. Carbonaro, Italy (design)
In the 70:ies Italian design
was a radical political movement. You tried to design a better world. Today it
is more objects for every day life – democratic. – the design of the
market.
We should go back to core values. The “uniformisation” of the world
has no future.
Culture separated from economics is a big risk. We should ask
what is consumption?
I see the possibility of a new development to make the
business world become aware of social or civic responsibility. Creation of new
socially engaged companies with diversity.


R. Picht Germany/Belgium (College d´Europe)
Cultural
diversity – what can we do to preserve our heritage and protect
it?
Globalisation is going on – we have no choice – but we need a more
dynamic approach how to develop the world further.


H. Helgason, Island (literature)
We are globalisation, we
don´t lose our identity – we can influence the globalisation.
How can media
and internet be used in a proper way? How can good ideas be materialized
and
put into practice? The ECP could give input to this discussion. But there is no
big
system.


K-E Norrman, Sweden (senator)
We have a growing amount of
NGO:s in the world. Some of them are very strong. The NGOs and the “civil
society” are becoming very important. There is, until now, no NGO with this kind
of cultural lobby.


M. Mohar, Slovenia (fine arts)
What can we do? We can
create our own history of contemporary art, build collections.
We have a new
situation with a wider community, with new values. Common problems is
our
common identity.


3.


P. Curman, Sweden (observer)
There is a new global
network for cultural diversity (INCD), a group formed of politicians and people
from cultural life. It is a new political instrument for a regular discussion
within the global framework
The threat from globalisation for example for
your own language which you have to save.
The role of culture in areas of
war, example: Cyprus where they have started a cross-border project to save
cultural identity.


M-L v. Plessen, Germany (history)
What is the definition
of cultural? How maintain identity and diversity?
How shall we stand in
relation to “political correctness”?
We have experienced war and destruction
in Europe. There is only one possibility, we have to come closer to each other
to take mutual steps for the construction of the mutual future.
Identity was
formed by excluding the others and by splitting up territory. Culture should
stand
before politics and not after. We should maintain peace and culture
should not become an instrument for the market or for egoistic political
power.


N. Ikstena, Latvia (literature)
How much do we know about
each others cultures? Can we shape a serious organisation to make the
politicians listen to us in Brussels?


E. Asse, Russia (architecture)
As I do hate institutions
and bureaucracy I was first scared by your invitation. But here is a good
collection of personalities, no representatives of states, institutions,
official bodies, we just represent ourselves. Russia has lost and ruined its
identity between Europe and Asia. Who are the people? Where are they going? Are
Russians Europeans? They have to search for their identity. Culture is made by
individuals, by personalities and not by institutions. How can we perceive every
personality in every country to reach mutual understanding? What can we do for
common understanding?


U. Grape, Sweden (observer)
I am a project leader and
work with finding new employers for artists. I also do scientific research about
art. It is medically proven that people feel better by consuming art. We
have
to sell this experience to business companies. We must find an European
way to make politicians and business people listen to art.


D. Lordkipanidze, Georgia (archaeology)
Culture is
necessary for education and for our future. We need to prove that we are
useful.
We should try to produce products which are understandable. We need
public support.
We should discuss different kind of projects, i.e.
exhibitions.


4.


After this plenary discussion the Parliament decided to form three groups,
where the discussion continued. The groups had the following themes:


IDENTITY – DIVERSITY – POLITICS (Robert Picht)


HATRED vs DIALOGUE (A. Beksta)


GLOBALISATION; BUSINESS AND PROTECTIONISM (S. Carbonaro)


 

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