Figel’: Culture must be brought closer to the centre of EU policies

12 May 2009

On 2 April, European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Youth, Mr Ján Figel', held a speech in the European Parliament about “Promoting education and culture as priority policies for the EU” in the framework of the structured dialogue with the EP Culture Committee. The Commissioner reviewed the work of the past five years on education, training, culture and youth policies and looked ahead to the challenges of the future. Mr Figel’ touched upon the most important dossiers on the agenda in this context: the European Institute of Technology (EIT), the launch of the Lifelong Learning Programme, the forthcoming adoption of the European Commission Communication of Culture, the European Years and the European Agenda for Culture. Figel’ stressed that “culture is a significant industry in its own right” and that the 2009 European Year of Creativity and Innovation was “about helping people fulfil their personal creative potential.” Referring to the 2008 European Year of Intercultural Dialogue the Commissioner underlined “that intercultural dialogue is the first pillar of our agenda for culture. Europeans are learning to cope with growing diversity in their cities and regions.” Regarding the Union’s first comprehensive European strategy for culture Figel’ stressed that the European Agenda for Culture “reinforces our commitment to cultural diversity, intercultural dialogue, and the role of culture as a catalyst for creativity.” Concluding, the Culture Commissioner spoke about future challenges faced by the Commission in the next years. Against the background of the current crises Figel’ highlighted the importance of increasing education budgets and of “emphasising our shared values, by promoting mobility and by supporting intercultural dialogue.” Read the complete speech of Ján Figel’ here.