- By Jamie Shea
Earlier this year, the European Young Leaders (EYL40) programme, led by Friends of Europe, established the EYL40 Working Group on Arts and Culture to share and brainstorm ideas for collaborating on pan-European projects related to arts and culture.
Brexit, the rise of populism and the pandemic have threatened a sense of ‘European-ness’ among the citizens of Europe. Arts and culture – a core European industry contributing to 4.4% of European GDP – can be used as tools to reinforce the European identity while relaunching economies.
The Working Group has published its policy briefing, ‘Prioritising arts and culture in a renewed social contract’, authored by Mary Fitzgerald, writer on Euro-Mediterranean affairs, specialising in Libya, Friends of Europe trustee and EYL40 alumna. The recommendations of the report, which aim to strengthen Europe as a leader in artistic creation, anchor cultural practices and celebrate the diversity of European identities, carry one clear message: “We all – as citizens of Europe – should reassess what we value as Europeans and explore the vital role that culture can play in fostering a sense of shared values and an inclusive vision for the future of our continent.”
Published just as the Union prepares to welcome a new presidency trio, the upcoming French presidency of the European Council in 2022 will be crucial for the sector, as France has always been a champion of the arts and culture.
The EYL40 represent an alternative infrastructure of leadership – a new generation of leaders able to inspire action and generate change. Their passion, diversity of backgrounds and opinions, coupled with their innovative thinking, create the right formula for generating fresh ideas to build a more forward-thinking Europe. Click here to learn more about the EYL40 programme.
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