Clôture de l’année européenne du dialogue interculturel [da]
Lors de la cérémonie de clôture de l’année européenne du dialogue interculturel, Madame Bérengère Quincy, ambassadrice de France au Danemark, a prononcé un discours sur l’intérêt du dialogue interculturel dans le contexte européen. Outre des discours, le programme de clôture présentait entre autres du cirque nouveau et de la musique.
Madam Minister, Dear friends, Kære Venner
It is a pleasure for me to participate today in this gathering. You know how close cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue is to the heart of France. We are working to make the issue an important feature of our current EU presidency.
In Europe, our societies are more and more diverse. Some see this new reality as an intercultural village where ethnic and religious diversity are a source of enrichment. Others see Europe as a kind of threatening tower of Babel which erases peoples identity. We have to address those concerns and yet recognize we have come a long way : Now we are living together in peace, sharing common values.
Indeed Europe was built on intercultural dialogue. Together in diversity, that is what makes our strength. It has been a learning process and it remains a challenge. Diversity is vital for our future and key to a society of knowledge, creative of growth and employment.
Let me also stress here the importance of languages. Languages open doors, they allow interaction, they promote understanding and respect.
The European Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008 recognises all that.
The Year has featured a number of flagship projects on a European level, as well as a lot of national projects. The active involvement of civil society has been essential.
Throughout 2008, we aimed at making young people more aware of the importance of engaging in intercultural dialogue in their daily lives and of becoming active European citizens.
Just to name one project, Alter Ego, driven by the European Network of Cultural Institutes, here in Denmark under the direction of Finn Andersen.
From April until September 2008, young people (14 to 18 years old) from 22 countries were invited to take part in an exciting competition, by creating a portrait of themselves alongside someone, their alter ego, from another cultural background. Over 750 works were uploaded . The homepage shows today the 44 winners, 2 per country, two in Denmark as well. Go and have a look at it !
In order to promote intercultural dialogue and cultural diversity in Europe and to mark its Presidency of the Council of the European Union, France has invited its 26 EU partners to showcase the best of their heritage and creative talent during the second half of 2008.
Under the title of the European Cultural Season, this series of events has highlighted the creative vitality of European cultures.
Hundreds of events were staged around France and across Europe to bring this Europe of creation and heritage to as many people as possible. Being French ambassador to Denmark, I would like to highlight the Danish-French project, called “tandem“. This program enabled French and Danish contemporary artists to work together and explore new sounds around electro acoustic creation and poetry both in Aarhus and Montpellier.
And finally, on September 26th, Paris flew the flag of European languages and throughout the whole day a lot of events were staged in its squares, gardens and even on its bridges.
For the first time in Paris, the public discovered the linguistic diversity of Europe through artistic performances : surprising, entertaining and poetic events. Thousands of words and phrases in every language appeared around the city in the form of banners and balloons. Danish sentences and words together with all the other European languages were to be seen around Paris on that day.
Let me conclude in French :
Le dialogue interculturel passe par l’ouverture à l’autre et la tolérance. Il passe aussi par la diversité des langues. Cela reste un enjeu important de la construction européenne. Nous devons le garder à l’esprit si nous voulons faire de l’Europe un véritable acteur global.
Tusind tak for i dag !