The UK’s EU referendum is of key importance to the future of the European Union. It will demonstrate the continuing will of individual countries to support a democratic project of peace and collaboration.
When UK citizens vote in the upcoming referendum, they will carry the responsibility for the wellbeing of future generations, for their own children, but also for all the other European citizens who stand beside them in the European project. This voting decision should therefore not be taken lightly. Self-interested anti-European rhetoric, misinformation and the influence of temporary emotionally driven reactions must be countered by fact-driven information and especially by promoting hope and confidence.
Many initiatives exist, and these should be strengthened and collaboration sought with other sectors with similar perspectives (higher education, science, sports, social movements). It is the unique strength of culture and the arts to convey messages that can hardly be gripped in words alone – messages that speak of communities’ needs, hopes and common aspirations.
The UK and Europe are stronger together and drive positive change on a national, European and global level.
The European Union’s functioning can and should be criticized, as it is done throughout Europe: this is a fruitful process in all democratic structures. Change can and must be driven from within.
It is only by standing together that we can show the world, and the future generations, that unity is stronger and can overcome fear and reclusion, creating a European Union we can all be proud of.
Kick-off meeting held on 30 November 2015, London.
Participants were UK-based Culture Action Europe members, members of members, had been connected to the CAE network via prior activities, or were suggested via participants. Approx. 35 people attended, representing organisations active in the cultural and artistic field, political stakeholders and academics (analysts/researchers) and to a lesser extent, arts practitioners. Participants’s list in annex.
Moderation: Clymene Christoforou, ISIS Arts, Member of the Culture Action Europe Executive Committee
Upcoming meeting: 22 January 2016, Manchester (UK)