European Culture in the 21st Century
(Steve Bowden, United Kingdom) 46
Steve Bowden 47
OUTLOOK FOR the 21st century
In January 2000, the Committee on Culture, Youth, Education, the Media and Sports of the European Parliament requested the Directorate General for Research (DG IV) to draft a study on cultural policies in the EU Member States as part of the Annual Research Programme. This study would facilitate a better understanding of the various EU Member States' cultural policies. To complement the picture it was also decided to invite one artist or cultural personality from each EU Member State to write an essay on her/his personal reflections on "European Culture in the 21st Century".
Reflections of artists from EU Member States on "European Culture in the 21st Century".
Abridged versions of the complete texts are provided in English, French, Italian and German in separate volumes.
Artists from such cultural fields, as literature, poetry, architecture, music, film, theatre and plastic arts contributed to the collection on "European Culture in the 21st Century". Texts were received between July 2000 and January 2001.
The essays reflect the artist's position in a rapidly changing economic and social environment in Europe, and develop ideas and proposals for cultural policies. Some authors regret that artistic production seems to be more and more affected by the market economy. The importance of artistic freedom and independence is underlined.
Several contributions emphasise the richness and diversity of European culture as an important basis for a European identity. In order to develop such diversity, it is proposed that the EU should support, to a greater extent, translations of European literature. It is suggested that access to financial support be made easier for intercultural artistic cooperation and projects.
While many authors see strong similarities in Europe's cultural panorama, they agree that diversity dominates. Unison of certain artistic styles in certain historical eras and multiple identities and cultures are the result of migration and intercultural dialogue. The strengthening of such a dialogue is important for any future cultural policy. The basis for such a dialogue should be for "minority", or marginal, and "stronger" cultures to be equally heard and respected.