European House for Culture welcomed with "Bravo"

5 October 2009

On 27 September 2009, at the Flagey in Brussels, the European House for Culture, an initiative of the European Festivals Association (EFA) was publically presented. More than 100 invited guests attended the official launch of the House that ambitions to be a meeting place for cultural actors and all who support the arts and confirm their commitment to living culture in Europe. In her opening speech Commission Director General Odile Quintin applauds “that this House is a space of synergy between the different sectors of European Culture and also between the European institutions and the world of Culture. Bravo for having created this House.” The statement underlines the willingness to seize the opportunities the House will create. Hugo De Greef, founding member of the House and former Secretary General of EFA, stresses: "The cultural lobby sometimes seems abstract or virtual. Our own efforts to develop a recognisable physical place like the House here at the Flagey can change that." Following the artistic opening with Thespian Play by Falk Hübner, the President of the European House for Culture, Frans de Ruiter, reiterated the mission of the House: to serve as a landing dock and a place of welcome for cultural operators and to build bridges between the sector, policy-makers and civil society. Members and partners of the House engaged into a lively exchange of thoughts and expectations: Jacques De Decker, Rose Fenton and Bernard Faivre d’Arcier (members), Ilona Kish and Jean-Pierre Deru (partners), Katelijn Verstraete (Acting Director Cultural Exchange Department of the Europe-Asia Foundation) and Helena Drnovsek-Zorko (Head Division for International Cultural Relations Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia) share the firm belief that the House can be the stage from where the cultural sector can project its voice, a space for communication, dialogue and shared values. The evening was closed with a reading of a speech of Victor Hugo by Michael Lonsdale underlining once again the spirit of the House: “I do not merely say it is capable of being put into practice, but I add that it is inevitable.” For more information about the launch, the programme, the contributions, the concept of the House, visit the EFA website at Contact: European House for Culture Place Flagey 18 1050 B-Brussels T + 32 9 241 80 81 E Related documents: • Press releaseEuropean-wide media coverageReport