Following the announcement of the Commissioner-Designates and their portfolios by President Ursula von der Leyen last Tuesday, Culture Action Europe has launched a public campaign urging the President to bring culture back!
Culture is grouped together with youth, research, innovation, sport and education in the portfolio of Ms Gabriel. Culture Action Europe is pleased to see culture embedded in this range of areas, which are vital for the future of the European Union. However, we are deeply concerned with the downgrading of the position of culture within the Commissioner’s portfolio, primarily reflected in the fact that “Culture” is missing from her title.
Culture is a distinct and vast component of European unity, which is essential for building a shared prosperous future for all European citizens. The tremendous role of culture in European integration has been consistently recognised by European institutions in the past few years, creating an unprecedented opportunity to seize its potential for building a strong and united European community. Now, with culture missing from the official title of the designated commissioner, we have serious doubts as to whether it will remain at the appropriate level of recognition. Undoubtedly, all cultural and creative sectors are powerful drivers of innovation; moreover, culture is closely linked with youth policies. However, it remains an autonomous domain of enormous dimensions bringing its own contribution to the construction of our societies.
Therefore, CAE has launched an online petition to support the call for changing Ms Gabriel’s title to “Innovation, Youth and Culture”.
Considering culture’s immense role in very different fields of sustainable development, Culture Action Europe appreciates that Ms. von der Leyen has embedded some cultural aspects in the portfolios of other Commissioners. To reinforce the new structure, we call for a specific mandate to foster dialogue and synchronize actions among other commissioners and vice-commissioners dealing with culture-related matters.