Raphael Oni with EU Presidency News
Minister of Foreign Affairs Anže Logar inaugurated the flagship cultural and promotional project of the Slovenian EU Council Presidency together with David Sassoli, the President of the European Parliament, and Gitte Zschoch, the Director of the European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC), in the Citizens’ Garden in Brussels.
“The Slovenian Presidency is placing culture and creativity high on the European agenda,” declared Minister Logar in his introductory address.
President Sassoli congratulated the Slovenian Presidency for this flagship initiative that, according to him, puts culture at the heart of the European project, representing a link between the past, the present and the future. “Literature, culture, the arts foster our common European sense of belonging. Not only do they contribute to the social cohesion of our societies, our democracies and economies, but they also reflect our European diversity, values and history, our way of life,” he added regarding the goals he was very happy to see being shared and promoted by the Slovenian Presidency.
Europe Readr invites readers around the world to evaluate the past and reflect on and discuss the present, as well as envisaging the future they want to live in. “We find it extremely important to move beyond rhetoric to action, implementing concrete, tangible projects that, in our belief, encompass our common EU values,” stressed Minister Logar, adding that Europe Readr is providing free access to 27 literary works from all EU member states in 24 official languages during the Presidency.
“It’s the first time EUNIC members have joined a global action together with the EU Council Presidency and the EU institutions,” said Director Gitte Zschoch. “Europe Readr creates new public spaces for exchange and debate on shared European – and global – values. It also contributes to the New European Bauhaus by linking creativity with sustainability and social inclusion – in Europe and beyond.”
The art installation that will adorn the Citizens’ Garden from 14 July to the end of September 2021 is made of the wood of twelve different indigenous Slovenian trees, thus symbolising the twelve Europe Readr partners in the EUNIC network. The installation conveys a message of coexistence and acceptance of the European Union’s cultural diversity. Its inauguration was followed by a literary event entitled “Writers on the Future of Living” with the participation of the authors Axel Lindén from Sweden, Marlen Schachinger from Austria and Jorge Carrión from Spain. It was moderated by Julio Baquero-Cruz.