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Rede von Staatsministerin Müntefering zum Abschlusspanel der Kulturpolitischen Online-Konferenz “Europe takes part!”

29.04.2021 - Rede

In my opening statement I referred to a digital collage consisting of 5000 small pictures. In its complexity it raises more questions than answers, if you look at it.

Today I think it was the other way round: Together we have created a clearer picture of the digital landscape and its vast opportunities. We saw a lot of great examples and heard about important ideas. Before handing over to our last panel, I would like to highlight three points which have come up in the conference today.

First: The future of arts and artists in our future digital world

We have been talking about our common goods and a digital cultural space today because it is a necessity. Because it is reality. Because European artists and cultural institutions want and should be a part of it.

However: digitization is no end in itself. A European digital space must be a common good. It must serve the democratic public. How we will deal with digitization will have a big impact on how our democracies will develop.

For me: More aid is needed in support of culture and creativity: both to protect artists from the consequences of the crisis in the short term; but also to provide assistance and resources to seize the opportunities in the long-term.

My conviction is: The European Recovery Fund and the Green Deal must be complemented by a Cultural Deal for the future of Europe.

Second: The shaping power of digital art and content for our European societies.

Digital transformation paves the way for innovative and creative ideas. And it also offers new opportunities to trigger transnational cooperation.

We have been talking about creating a European public sphere for a long time. Now may be the time, when this vision becomes a reality.

Digitization has reduced and will continue to reduce barriers to work together beyond borders.

But: If we really want to make Europe grow together, we must make sure it is no privilege of an urban elite.

Digitization gives us the chance to finally create a common understanding and awareness of Europe amongst its civil societies.

So let’s seize this chance and facilitate projects such as the „European Cultural Hub“ which enables artists to develop and implement ideas that reach out and inspire a broad European public.

Last not least: The European culture digital sphere and its relations to the world

Digital art can be accessed worldwide without borders of time and space. This is a great thing. And it helps us build up networks between civil societies in Europe and world-wide.

Just think of scientists working together to develop vaccines; or climate experts joining their efforts to achieve the sustainable developments goals.

All of this makes the transnational cooperation approach of international cultural policy so important. But if we want to make a difference, we must speak up as Europeans.

Digitization can help us in this regard. It can facilitate communication and cooperation.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Our participation today shows that we are willing to take our place at the table. Thank you so much for your input and your dedication.

And please join me in thanking the organizers of this conference, the Goethe-Institut and the Progressives Zentrum. Without their great engagement, this interesting conference would not have been possible.

And now: I’m really looking forward to the concluding discussion of our conference „Europe takes part!“! The floor is yours!


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