Culture can develop and deliver many benefits to the economy, society and young people through cooperation and collaboration of forces, coming either from the top or from below or from society itself. Regions and cities are located right in the middle and this position is advantageous – underlined Apostolos Tzitzikostas while addressing the joint meeting of the European Parliament’s committees for Culture and Education (CULT) and Foreign Affairs (AFET) yesterday.
European Committee of the Regions’ rapporteur on the EU strategy for international cultural relations was invited to present the views of the CoR in front of the Parliament’s committees discussing their report led by co-rapporteurs Elmar Brok (EPP/DE) and Silvia Costa (S&D/IT). Apostolos Tzitzikostas (EPP/EL), Governor of the region of Central Macedonia in Greece took the occasion to present three key elements of his opinion, urging MEPs to take into account:
- The key role that the CoR and regional and local authorities should play during the strategic planning phase and development of EU policy for international cultural relations.
- The need to connect culture with the development of the European Union’s international relations, by giving greater importance to cultural diplomacy as part of the cooperation with other countries, which will strengthen even more the EU’s role globally.
- The key dimension that culture can bring to tackling the major issues and challenges that the European Union faces today. In this context, the development of cultural and creative industries as well as tourism can play a decisive role in the economic recovery of certain regions. Moreover, better understanding of our cultures and origins can ease tensions and differences arising from the refugee crisis and act as a counterweight to populism.
Mr Tzitzikostas concluded by inviting the European Parliament to cooperate with the CoR during the next steps prior to the adoption of its report, as well as, to the preparation for the European Year of Cultural Heritage in 2018.
See the full intervention of Mr Tzitzikostas here