The Etxepare Basque Institute represented the Basque Government this past Thursday and Friday in Milan at the European Culture Forum. The European Culture Forum is a biennial event organised by the European Commission to raise the profile of European cultural cooperation, to bring together cultural sectors´ key players and to debate on EU culture policy and initiatives.
Invited by the European Commission, Euskadi is the only European region that took part in the plenary session, defending the voice of regions and nationalities in helping culture tackle future challenges in the EU. The plenary session will shape the lines of work to be included in the new European Agenda for Culture, which will be launched in 2018.
In her presentation, Irene Larraza, Director of Cultural Promotion and Dissemination of the Etxepare Basque Institute, defended a new European cultural narrative that makes European regions key players in developing the creative potential and strategic dimension of culture in Europe in the medium and long term.
Larraza underlined the value that regions add to the development of European cultural strategies and intelligent policies of specialization, as well as European cultural diplomacy and cooperation. She also spoke of the contribution of nonhegemonic cultures and languages to European patrimony and underscored the need for European Union authorities to prioritize cultural diversity in the EU. Larraza referred to culture as a tool for solidarity, mutual understanding and conflict resolution.
Lastly, Larraza stressed the potential of culture and creativity in territorial development and reported on the European initiative Creadis 3 – Smart Specialisation Creative Districts. Headed by the Basque Country with support from the Etxepare Basque Institute, this project, links the six regions of the European Union and align territorial public policy agendas to support the development of more efficient cultural policies in territories aiming to generate innovation and economic development in European regions.
The“Davos” of European culture
The European Culture Forum is the flagship event organised by the European Commission. It is key to European cultural policy, focusing on creative and cultural industries and rasing the profile of culture to the Commission’s priorities. This year’s edition marked the official launch of European Year of Cultural Heritage celebrated throughout 2018.
The event brought together hundreds of professionals from the cultural and creative sectors, as well as representatives of international bodies, cultural platforms, networks and public and private entities, including the President of the European Commission, Jean Claude Juncker, the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, and the Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Tibor Navracsics.
Watch here the full video (from 5:35:00)