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Culture Committee meets to discuss ‘safeguarding cultural diversity’
Culture Committee meets to discuss ‘safeguarding cultural diversity’ by Davyth Hicks & Alexia Bos Solé Christa Prets (PSE) rapporteur for the European Parliament Report ‘safeguarding cultural diversity: role of European regions and international organisations’ guided it further towards it becoming a Resolution yesterday. The Report makes some far-reaching and innovative
Jacques-Yves Le Touze pour EUROLANG le 6/11/03 19:19

Culture Committee meets to discuss ‘safeguarding cultural diversity’ by Davyth Hicks & Alexia Bos Solé Christa Prets (PSE) rapporteur for the European Parliament Report ‘safeguarding cultural diversity: role of European regions and international organisations’ guided it further towards it becoming a Resolution yesterday. The Report makes some far-reaching and innovative proposals and if successful will also act to complement UNESCO’s moves to safeguard the ‘intangible’ cultural heritage. It states that the ‘preservation and promotion of cultural diversity’ as a founding principle of Europe, that ‘cultural diversity cannot be preserved unless every individual has access to, and can participate in, his or her own culture’. It considers cultural diversity as a ‘means of supporting and developing local cultures and cultural policies … protecting indigenous and national institutions and achievements, including the rich variety of languages …’. It adds that the ‘safeguarding and promoting of cultural diversity is likely to be achieved through stronger EU involvement in multilateral fora, such as the Council of Europe and UNESCO…’. Speaking to Eurolang Christa Prets said: ‘I am optimistic about the positive outcome of my report on cultural diversity.’ However, the Report met with some resistance from within the Cultural Committee. The Portugese MEP Graça Moura (PPE-DE) stated bluntly that he would be voting against some points. MEP Geneviève Fraisse of the Confederal Group of the European United Left said that there were some unclear aspects to the report questioning the definition of the word ‘culture’ and ‘innovative’. Greek MEP Alyssandrakis (GUE/NL) emphasised the need to distinguish culture from trade. Mr Aparicio (European Socialist Party) criticised the report saying that ‘we’ll be cutting the ground from under our feet if we have more legal bases for cultural policies’. However, a spokeswoman for Eurig Wyn MEP (EFA) said that amendments that he would be making would put in a ‘regional dimension as the Report always mentions Member States. In many countries such as Wales, culture is the exclusive competence of that area, so the Report should not simply refer to Member States’. She also mentioned the support for Nelly Maes MEP's amendments from September which urged that ‘language diversity should be fully recognised at state and nation level as a basic fact of development cooperation,…and calls for specific strategies for the preservation and protection of diversity..’ Nelly Maes’ amendments also underline the need for regional institutions to protect and guarantee indigenous and minority languages. Amendments have to be in by 11th November.

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Eurolang? is a specialist niche news agency covering topics related to lesser-used languages, linguistic diversity, stateless nations and national minorities within the European Union. It provides an expanding on-line daily service across Europe, to NGOs, the media, European, State and local government, academia, researchers and the general public. The purpose of Eurolang is to provide, on a daily basis, relevant and current news about Europe's regional, stateless and minority language communities, numbering some 46 million speakers, to the general public and to national and regional media (newspapers, magazines, TV, radio, internet media) in Europe and worldwide.
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