European values & identities

Concepts like European identity/ies and European culture/s are difficult to define. Some say they don’t exist. Some say they only make sense in its plurality and that the European culture is based on freedom to express our differences. Others say that layers of history and cultural traditions and exchanges have given us a shared understanding of what it means to be European. If past encounters among Europeans have enabled us to construct the Europe we have today, what is the future of EU culture in times of European and global mobility?

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  • "Our cultural heritage is what makes us European as it reflects our varying and shared values,
    cultures and memories. Therefore, it is the true embodiment of Europe’s “Unity in Diversity” and
    it helps us resist divisive forces which are a danger to our society." This is one of the statements of the Berlin Call to Action "Cultural Heritage for the Future of Europe" which has been signed by more than 2,200 citizens and organisations since June 2018. 

    What is your view about this - also in the light of today's discussion and spotlight sessions?

  • Article 2 of the TReaty on the European Union lists many things as values:

    "The Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. These values are common to the Member States in a society in which pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men prevail."

    What do we know about the link between what we in the "Bubble" hold dear (let's say, the values above) and what the majority or at least pluraity of he people really hold dear. 

    I dont see in TEU the following words which I am sure for many many people trump some of the Art 2 values: family, community, defence/being protected, traditions/customs, "slow change" etc...

    What do you think, what are the true values of Europeans, or at leats can we draw up "tribes" of Europeans with some relatively homoegenous and coherent value sets?

    Certianly us "bubble dwellers" could be one tribe, but let's face it, we are a small (and over proportionally influential) one. 

    Would the various values surveys and Eurobarometers be of help here? 

    And if we can find objective proof that values touted by our tribe are far away from the values of the "people", is that a reason for reflection and change (especially in this age of "populism")? And what should change, if somehting should: EU values, or their 'translation' into everyday values?

  • Coording to a recent research: Contrary to popular perceptions – young people are generally more satisfied with democracy than older citizens. Moreover, satisfaction with democracy has increased among Europeans of all ages. As long as citizens believe that democratic regimes work well in practice, it is doubtful that support for democracy will erode.

    • Thanks. There are indeed several cases in (recent) history of non democratic (illeberal) forces coming to power in a democratic way. The role of media, social media, digitally secure campaigns and digital literacy are key factors in this equation.

    • however, in some countries democracy is decreasing "under the carpet" without people noticing. Will it not be too late when they notice that democracy has "gone by"?

  • Dans une Belgique divisée plus que jamais. Que veulent/peuvent défendre les politiciens belges sur la scène européene pour représenter notre pays?

    Quelle est la voix belge qui doit être entendue?

    • Bonjour. Nous sommes en train d'écouter la session "Spotlight" (sur cette plateforme) du projet "Next Generation Please!" avec des jeunes politiciens au Bozar . Vous y trouverez peut-être des réponses ! Je pense que la session sera ensuite disponible en streaming. 

  • To contribute to this session on European identities and values I would like to share with you the #Ode2Joy challenge which was launched by Europa Nostra together with its President Placido Domingo on the occasion of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018.

    This year, in the context of the European elections, it particularly aims at celebrating our shared European heritage and values as positive forces for the future of Europe.

    The idea is simple : reinterpret the ‘Ode to Joy’ (the European anthem) in a creative way, record it at a heritage site and share it via social media on 9 May- Europe Day.


    What do you think about this participatory initiative, does it convey the sense of shared identities and values in Europe?


    Also please feel free to contribute or promote this challenge! :)

    For more infomation: ;

    Emilienne Hepp, Trainee at Europa Nostra

    • We are discussing some complex issues today, but let us also see cultural heritage and the other chatroom themes as inspiring as well as informing the elections: voting is a form of expression, and seing MEP @lojzepeterle playing Ode to Joy on the harmonica was a great encuragement for the Challenge, and reminds us that shared responsibility can be enjoyable!

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