A Soul for Europe resolution passed the European Parliament

22 June 2009

The resolution on Culture as a means for regional development passed the European Parliament on 2 April. As a first result of the informal EP Intergroup ‘A Soul for Europe’ established on the initiative of a group of members of the European Parliament, the resolution calls up for including culture as a means for sustainable regional development in Europe. Incorporating one of the main aims put forward by the civil society initiative A Soul for Europe, Parliamentarians argue to support regional development through contemporary culture projects based on civil-society initiatives as the most effective and powerful players. Following the foundation of the informal Intergroup in 2008 on the initiative of Volker Hassemer, Spokesperson of A Soul for Europe, and Doris Pack, Member of the European Parliament representing the EPP-DE Group, the Intergroup will be formalized in 2009 after the European Parliament elections. Its aim will be to promote a new European Agenda for Culture from within the European Parliament in all policy fields: “The EU and its member states should make better use of its cultural assets. The opportunity of the intergroup is to influence the Commission’s agenda and to promote its call for the cultural dimension to be incorporated into other relevant, “non-cultural” EU policies” – as Volker Hassemer, former Senator of Berlin, underlines. The Resolution is a first step in this direction: it calls on the Commission to commission a Green Paper with a possible range of measures for contemporary cultural activities aimed at strengthening cultural development in European regions. It claims support for regional conferences together with regional authorities and the local civil society and for actions and awareness campaigns about the role of contemporary culture projects. The next steps include the forwarding of the resolution to the European Commission and the European Parliament. Find attached the full text of the resolution. Members of the informal Intergroup include Members of the European Parliament and representatives of other European or public institutions and civil society: Mr Elmar Brok, Mr Hugo De Greef, Ms Brigitee Fouré, Mr Vasco Graca Moura, Mr Gerd Harms, Ms Jeleva Rumiana, Mr Sepp Kusstatscher, Mr Jo Leinen, Ms Ljudmila Novak, Ms Doris Pack, Mr Mihaela Popa, Ms Bilyana Raeva, Mr Kathrin Rahn, Ms Anne-Marie Sigmund, Mr Hannes Swoboda, Mr Jacques Toubon, Ms Helga Trüpel. A Soul for Europe is a civil society initiative building on an international network of partners seeking to influence cities and regions, EU member countries, the worlds of culture and business, and European policy-makers to understand that in the process of European integration, Europe’s cultural strengths must be harnessed more efficiently than in the past: