Karl-Erik Norrman, founder of ECP and former Swedish ambassador, opened the
8th session with a warm welcoming to Gothenburg. He encouraged each participant
to ”bring back home the vital, interesting, intellectual and inspiring messages
that are going to be shared during these days.”
Karl-Erik Norrman also introduced the theme of the year with the
”Why this theme? Well, there are more and more concerns about these issues.
There is not only a climate crisis and an economical crisis but also a crisis of
quality and a crisis for democracy.
There are many signs in the world of culture, arts and media that speed and
profit are the number one priorities. And of course we can’t forget the factor
of globalisation. Globalisation itself gives us fantastic opportunities, but it
is also a challenge for the world since there is a tendency of more and more
superficiality, banality and stupidity to be found in the media and
pseudo-culture. In the European Cultural Parliament we only have members who are
prepared to fight for a sustainable culture in the world. You share one thing –
a strong responsibility towards high quality in culture.”
Hosting speeches and welcome:
Annelie Hultén, Mayor of Gothenburg
Margareta Wallin-Pettersson, Pro Vice Chancellor,
University och Gothenburg
Representatives from Gothenburg; city/region/university welcomed the members
of the ECP to the wintry realms of Sweden during the darkest time of the year,
illuminated by Christmas lights and the traditional appearance of the Swedish
Peter Hjörne, chief editor of Göteborgs Posten, ”Editorial Quality in
the digital Age”
I firmly believe that the media companies have an advantage over most other
companies in that we already have a mission. To tell the truth, to be published
and be damned if you will, in order to make a better society.
Quality is the key. If we manage all these challenges we, the quality media
organisations, can survive. We will not be alone; we will have to share the
stage with celebrity sites and all sorts of social media. But I think we stand a
good chance of disappointing the British playwrite Tom Stoppard by staying
alive. For it was he who said:
“I am all for freedom of the press. It is the
damned newspapers I cannot stand.”
Questions asked after the speech:
+ Are you making profit on the online version of the newspaper?
Hjörne: It is the same thing as with the papers. The news companies operate
them. News has become a commodity and no one wants to pay for it so it’s not
+ Where should the money go – to citizen journalism as a part of the
editorial work or to high quality journalists who do a good work?
Hjörne: I’m a liberal so I would say both. It’s important in the future that
there is enough money and time for both.
target=_blank .pdf>Full speech in pdf (28 KB)
Åsa Bernlo, Gothenburg Film Festival, “The Quality of being
We want to bring the best films from all over the world to our audience. We
want to give them the possibility of a choice. Because, how diverse can a choice
ever be if it is a choice between blockbusters alone? These productions are more
easily accessible and that is the gap we have to fill and the difference we want
to make. The difference between having a limited choice and having the whole
world at hand.
No matter how accessible the world has become
through computers in our homes, there is still a great demand for experiencing
films from all over the world, in the company of others in theatres throughout
ECP Member Katia Guerreiro, Fadosinger from Portugal, gave
us a taste of the traditional music-culture of her homeland Portugal.
ECP Member Miha Pogacnik (Slovenia), Culture ambassador of
the Republic of Slovenia Polyphonic European Identity
With help from his
violin he demonstrated the process of the union between Western and Eastern
Europe. Whilst playing the violin he “deconstructed” a piece of Bach’s
Siziliana: “Everybody is screaming but it’s the foundation of new ideas. This is
the new quality: pure dialogue, which is gentle and kind. Then a turnaround –
what was below is above and reversed. It finally becomes one melody. A great
force brings it to one piece.”
Enterprise in Europe held a mirage in connection to the ECP session. Some
participants made an installation in image and words of many languages.
On the 13th of December, Sweden celebrates the
martyr Lucia. Therefore, Jenny Soffel, Anna Kasel and Nik Dee-Dahlström
presented a condensed version of Santa (Saint) Lucia to give the ECP-members the
possibility to enjoy this old Swedish tradition.