Photo: Oleg Popov (EU2018BG)
EU ministers responsible for culture have stressed the need for wider access to culture, preservation of cultural diversity, more serious public funding, and the mobility of artists. The ministers held an informal meeting in Sofia on 28 February 2018 under the motto "Culture – inclusive value of the EU". Several delegates also referred to culture as a means of resisting Euroscepticism and populism.
"I deeply believe that culture has a primary role in the future of the European Union and Bulgaria. In the context of the European Year of Cultural Heritage, the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU aims to contribute to the promotion of the place of culture and cultural heritage in the political agenda of the Union",
stated the Bulgarian Minister of Culture Boil Banov.
Views on two topics were exchanged at the forum: the strengthening of the feeling of belonging to Europe through culture; and taking into account the interests and the role of young European citizens by searching for ways to mobilise their energy and potential in the preservation and development of the European values through culture. Minister Banov stressed the role of a unique Bulgarian institution, the Community Centres, in this process. He also pointed out insufficient public funding for culture. The delegates shared their countries’ experience in the implementation of various projects aimed at integrating young people through cultural policies.
Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for education, culture, youth and sport, and Petra Kammervert, Chairperson of the European Parliament’s Committee on Culture and Education, took part in the informal meeting of EU ministers responsible for culture.
The writer and director Teodora Dimova gave a welcoming speech to the participants. She pointed out that Bulgaria is the oldest country in Europe and was set to mark 140 years since its liberation within days of the meeting.