In the run up to the EP Elections – MEP Candidates’ Opinions on Culture
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On 25 April 2019, six Members of Parliament candidates in the European Parliament elections got to answer peoples’ questions in an online dialogue organized by Culture Action Europe (CAE). In order to help people make an informed decision in the elections, CAE has summarized the opinions and statements expressed during the dialogue.

The MEP candidates that participated represented the major party groupings ALDE, S&D, Greens, VOLT and ECR. Below you may find a summary of the views that they shared with the voters during the online dialogue. To get to know members of the European parliament and the major European Parties further, listen to CAE’s Podcast CAE Salon Culture.

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Luca Jahier, EESC President
“Cultural sector is a hidden reserve of positive energy of the Europe of today and it creates a unique opportunity to reinvent territories. Culture, as well as sustainable development, should be the drive of the future of Europe!”

Julie Ward, MEP S&D
“Culture is something that is fluid, constantly changing and not always tangible. Culture is very closely linked to identity. Because today’s battle in Europe is a lot about identity, politicians are more and more aware of the important role culture will play in the future of Europe.”

Christophe Calis, MEP candidate, VOLT
“Europe has to ensure that cultural sector has no barriers for youth and students, cultural participation should be as inclusive as possible. Furthermore, we need to maximise freedom of expression (including artistic expression) in the EU.”

Petra de Sutter, MEP candidate, Greens
“Culture, education and research are part of a positive agenda to bring people together. We need to promote European identity and a common European heritage. Moreover, artistic freedom and cultural identity can contribute to fight populism.”

Elisabeth Alteköster, MEP candidate, ECR
“Any budget cuts for culture would be a mistake, because culture is equally important to other sectors. Promoting of ‘alternative’ culture that falls outside of the market economy system must be one of the key challenging issues for the EU.”

Raquel Garcia, MEP candidate, ALDE
“Culture is what brings Europeans together and creates a shared sense of belonging. It is part of European identity and I want to promote it as such. In order to support initiatives promoting common European culture, aid from national cultural sectors will be necessary.”