Subject: Bring culture back in the Commissioner’s title
Dear Ms. President-elect,
We congratulate you on finalising the challenging task of forming the future European Commission.
Culture is grouped together with youth, research, innovation, sport and education in the portfolio of Ms Gabriel. We are 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 the 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 the 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 the youth policies. However, it remains an autonomous domain of enormous dimensions bringing its own contribution to the construction of our societies.
Therefore, on behalf of cultural organisations co-signing this letter, we call for changing Ms Gabriel’s title into “Innovation, Youth and Culture”.
Considering culture’s immense role in very different fields of sustainable development, we appreciate that you have 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 synchronise actions among other commissioners and vice-presidents dealing with culture-related matters.
Teresa Badia, Secretary General of Culture Action Europe
List of signatories: (CAE has also launched an online petition to support the call for changing Ms Gabriel’s title to “Innovation, Youth and Culture”)
Luca Bergamo – Vice Mayor and Deputy Mayor for Culture, City of Rome
Salima Yenbou – MEP, Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance