European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth Androulla Vassiliou will be among the keynote speakers at the first International Culture Summit in Edinburgh on 13-14 August. Culture Ministers from across the world, as well as artists, thinkers and other players in the cultural field, willparticipate in the event which takes place at the Scottish Parliament as part of the world-renowned Edinburgh Festivals.
Commissioner Vassiliou will lead a discussion on the role of culture and the arts in fostering international dialogue between cultures and nations, as well as outlining the Commission's proposed new €1.8 billion funding programme in support of the cultural and creative sectors, 'Creative Europe'.
Speaking ahead of the Summit, Commissioner Vassiliou said: "Culture and the arts have the power to transform individual lives and help bring countries together. The over-arching aim of the European Union's policy in this area is to promote cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue, to unlock the potential of culture for creativity and innovation, and to make full use of culture in developing relations across the world. The challenge for Europe is how to sustain diversity where the economic and technological force of globalisation often results in homogenisation. Culture represents a public good in which every citizen has a stake and I believe that the case for public intervention is as strong today as it has ever been; the markets alone cannot deliver all that a civilised society needs.
"Our new Creative Europe programme will help the cultural and creative sectors to adapt to the challenges of globalisation and to exploit the opportunities of digitisation, through new business models and new skills. I look forward to enriching discussions in Edinburgh."
The two-day Summit is a collaboration between the Scottish Government, the UK Government, the British Council and the Edinburgh International Festival. The debates will focus on three main strands:
The role of the arts and culture in deepening and broadening our understanding of the relationships between cultures and nations;