Brussels , Belgium<br />
February , 14/2013</p>
<p>The cultural freedom in Europe<br />
<p>On this picture : Bertholde Franke / Martin Westlake / Sylvia Binger</p>
<p>ï¿?EU2013This afternoon I was given the pleasure and the privilege of welcoming the participants in a symposium, hosted by the EESC,  about cultural freedom in Europe. The symposium was part of a broader project bringing together the EESC, the Committee of the Regions, the Brussels branch of the Goethe Institute and the Sint Lukas Gallery (Brussels). Other partners included the EU’s culture programme and the Robert Bosch Stiftung. The previous evening the Committee had launched an exhibition on the same theme. This exhibition is in turn part of a broader project, Europe (to the power of) n, a trans-regional art project undertaken by eleven institutions in different European countries. Before handing over to the symposium’s chair, Dr Berthold Franke, I stressed the importance of Europe’s cultural diversity to its very essence. The EU’s ongoing success as a process was not down to some gradual homogenisation of its different cultures but, rather, a celebration of that diversity and the encouragement of mutual understanding. Indeed, I concluded, the European Union’s institutions could be described as being houses of mutual understanding. Where better, then, to hold a symposium on the theme of cultural freedom?