AS (2016) CR 25
2016 ORDINARY SESSION
Thursday 23 June 2016 at 10 a.m.
In this report:
1. Speeches in English are reported in full.
2. Speeches in other languages are reported using the interpretation and are marked with an asterisk.
3. The text of the amendments is available at the document centre and on the Assembly’s website. Only oral amendments or oral sub-amendments are reproduced in the report of debates
4. Speeches in German and Italian are reproduced in full in a separate document.
5. Corrections should be handed in at Room 1059A not later than 24 hours after the report has been circulated.
The contents page for this sitting is given at the end of the verbatim report.
(Mr Agramunt, President of the Assembly, took the Chair at 10.05 a.m.)
THE PRESIDENT – The sitting is open.
1. Joint debate: Culture and democracy, and Educational and cultural networks of communities living abroad
THE PRESIDENT – The first item of business this morning is the joint debate on two reports from the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media and the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons. The first is titled “Culture and democracy”, Document 14070, and the second is titled “Educational and cultural networks of communities living abroad”, Document 14069. Both reports will be presented by Ms Vesna Marjanović, and Mr Andrea Rigoni will present the Migration Committee’s opinion, Document 14084. We will aim to finish this item by about 1 p.m.
I call Ms Marjanović to present the reports. You have 20 minutes in total, which you may divide between your presentation of the reports and your reply to the debate.
Ms MARJANOVIĆ (Serbia) – More than 20 years ago, a comprehensive Council of Europe document stressed the need “to bring millions of dispossessed and disadvantaged Europeans in…from the margins of society; and cultural policy in from the margins of governance.” The Council of Europe recognises the human right to participate in cultural life and to access culture, but have we brought the millions of dispossessed Europeans close enough to benefiting from that right? I think not.
My ambition as rapporteur was to remind ourselves of this Organisation’s excellent work over many years, of which we should be proud. The present political situation should warn us, and motivate us, to stop regarding culture and cultural policy as a pleasant decoration to our more important work. We should see culture and cultural policy not as a marginal activity but as a longstanding, deep and meaningful part of mainstream decision making.
The report is a direct consequence of the January 2015 attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris, which sent a dramatic message that something needs to be done. Little did we know that 2016 would see a repeating sequence of humanitarian disasters, violence, terrorism and hatred, with terrorist attacks in Paris, Istanbul and Brussels, concluding with the most recent tragedy, the killing of our colleague Jo Cox. Many of those attacks were executed by young people who were born, brought up and educated in Europe.
I draw attention to the indicator framework on culture and democracy, an extremely important Council of Europe project that proves to decision makers that investment in culture at all levels raises citizens’ democratic capacities. While preparing the report we had many interesting encounters with artists, art managers and academics. Not every story found a place in the report, but I will share some of them with you. In Paris last year, the Culture Committee had a dialogue with Shuck One, a poor immigrant boy from Guadeloupe who became a successful artist in France. He witnessed that art had been a liberating act for him since his youth. Art is a way for him to express himself, to assert himself, to uphold his values and to achieve personal growth. He regretted that culture was becoming increasingly elitist, preventing young artists from emerging. He said that culture and the arts should not only be a pastime for the elite but should benefit everyone.
Here in Strasbourg, at a conference on preventing extremism through education, Professor Martyn Barrett from the University of Surrey revealed the findings of his research on a number of young people who became activists for far-right organisations. When he asked them why they chose to join such organisations, the vast majority told him that it gave them a sense of drama, heroism, importance and self-respect. Could we not have given them the same feeling by giving them access to culture and the arts instead of letting them be preyed on by extremists?
I recently had the honour of representing the Parliamentary Assembly at the European museum of the year awards in San Sebastián. The Basque region, which was previously known for terrorism, is now flourishing with an economy based on culture. The region has invested in new museums, strengthening its rich network of cultural institutions and promoting folklore and national cuisine. The region has been transformed.
Another important recent event is the opening of the Millennium Iconoclast Museum of Art in the Molenbeek district of Brussels. The museum was planned to open on 23 March, but those plans were upset by the suicide bombings in Brussels on 22 March. Most of the attackers were from Molenbeek. The museum is attracting young people from the neighbourhood, which has a population of about 100 000 people, and is taking steps to create a cultural exchange with the nearby Brussels boxing academy. The academy has trained five national champions this year, but over the past five years it has unfortunately lost a handful of young people to fighting in Syria for Islamic State. A former member was arrested in Turkey in November and imprisoned on suspicion of being involved in the Paris attacks. Now the museum management is inviting young people to enjoy exhibitions highlighting urban art, which often reflects issues of personal rebellion and identity. If that does not prove that culture relates to security in an insecure world, as the report says, I do not know what does.
Our role here in the Parliamentary Assembly is to propose policies and principles to our parliaments and governments, and we must make clear the importance of culture in their policies and strategies. The title of the report may be rather vague and general, but this is becoming a central political issue. I believe that democracy as a system – it is the only system we have, and we have been building it for many hundreds of years here in Europe – is an empty shell if it is without culture. Or as Umberto Eco put it, “It is culture, not war, that cements our European identity.”
I strongly believe that security issues cannot be confronted only through security policies, and we have had much proof of that in recent times. For this report I was trying to find good examples in member countries, and we mention the policy proposal by Italian Prime Minister Renzi that for each euro invested in security, another euro would be invested in culture. We invite our Italian colleagues to follow that issue to see whether he keeps his promise.
The report emphasises that culture should be part of general strategic policies and governance. We therefore insist on interministerial programmes and believe that education policies should be a priority, because education equips young people not only with competences but with skills such as analytical and critical thinking, flexibility and respect for diversity.
We mention social policies, because we believe that access to culture is a universal human right. Now more than ever, we need to find ways to include the deprived, the poor and the ghettoised citizens of our cities, countries and societies. We also talk about how foreign policies can be changed to find innovative ways of using cultural diplomacy as part of a real exchange.
We mention another Council of Europe museum prize winner, Liverpool Museum, which has included people with dementia in its programme “House of Memories”. That is an example of integrating culture and health policies. We also mention research policies – cultural studies are becoming increasingly important for neuroscientists, who are finding out how people react to culture – and media policies, which may be even more important than ever in this day and age.
It is time for us to convince our fellow politicians that cultural institutions can play a crucial role and be a safe place for all citizens of Europe, especially the ones who are lost, deprived and still looking for their identity.
The PRESIDENT – Thank you, Ms Marjanović. You have 11 and a half minutes remaining. I understand that you want to take some more time now to present the second report.
Ms MARJANOVIĆ (Serbia) – Yes, Mr President. I have the honour of presenting the report of our colleague Mr Pierre-Yves Le Borgn’, who unfortunately could not be with us. I deeply regret that, because I know the personal conviction with which he worked on the report. As a representative of the French diaspora in the French National Assembly – and, as he often points out, as a man with a Spanish wife and bi-national children – he is more than expert in the subject.
Mr Le Borgn’ focuses on identities, following on from another important report on identities and diversity by our Portuguese colleague Mr Costa Neves, which stated that identities in Europe today go beyond nationality and are becoming more complex. Mr Le Borgn’ recognises the importance of the second and third generations, and the fact that their needs are deeply different from those of first-generation diasporas. He emphasises the important role of the voluntary sector and cultural networks for diaspora communities. He believes that closer and more institutionalised co-operation with diaspora communities would enable public authorities to reach first and second-generation immigrants more widely. He also says that diaspora organisations can play an important role as mediators between diaspora communities and public authorities. He emphasises that most diaspora organisations are based around voluntary work and strong enthusiasm, but that they often lack adequate structures and sustainable funding.
Mr Le Borgn’ argues that within national and local strategies for integration, we should provide adequate financial support programmes. He strongly believes in establishing a European platform for diaspora associations. He sees a crucial role for our Parliamentary Assembly, proposing that we set up a European parliamentary network on diaspora policies.
On behalf of the rapporteur, I invite the Assembly to vote for the report.
The PRESIDENT – Thank you, Ms Marjanović. You have nine minutes remaining.
I now call Mr Rigoni to present the opinion of the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons on the report entitled “Educational and cultural networks of communities living abroad”. You have four minutes.
Mr RIGONI (Italy)* – Our committee feels that this is a very important report. As we heard from Ms Marjanović, the subject is extremely important for our Parliamentary Assembly, because migrants coming into a new country of residence is one of the big issues that we need to tackle these days.
There can be no positive integration if we do not make the effort to integrate people educationally and culturally. People have to live alongside each other even if they have different lifestyles, religions and cultural inputs, and they intermarry and so on. The importance of diaspora communities at this time, in helping smoother integration of migrants to occur, is something that, of course, we want to promote.
As you know, the Migration Committee has talked on several occasions about the diaspora in respect of migration issues. In a recent report, on which I had the honour of being the rapporteur, we talked about the democratic participation of the diaspora, because it is clear that migrants will increasingly integrate if they can participate in the decision-making process in the country that they live in and to which they contribute. All of that has to happen within a general harmonisation effort. The response offered by the report addresses two very important aspects of diaspora networks – education and culture. These two aspects are particularly important given the fact that we are now facing a migration crisis.
In supporting the resolution, our Committee has come up with a few amendments that will be considered later today. We want to point out that a diaspora of migrants can function as a real bridge between their country of origin and the country in which they now live. So we need to consider the many positive aspects of these migration phenomena. There are some downsides, as we have seen, but there are many positive aspects, too.
As we have said in our report and in our committee, in addition to achieving greater integration, we need to promote a parliamentary network of the diaspora, made up of MPs from the countries concerned. That network can be a very important bridge between nations. So migration does not have to be just a problem; it can also be an opportunity for our countries.
Mr HOWELL (United Kingdom, Spokesperson for the European Conservatives Group) – There is no better way for me to start than by quoting from the opening sentence of the first report: “Culture and the arts…are a powerful tool for preventing radicalisation and…in building democratic citizenship.” That is an important and valuable statement.
In discussing education, the report points to the role of education in developing attitudes and values that enhance democratic competencies. We should all bear that in mind, both here in this Chamber, where we can encourage young people to visit the gallery above us and to observe our deliberations, and in our own countries, where we can encourage and participate in discussion groups in schools. We should take this role seriously. Indeed, the referendum in my own country – whatever you may think of it – has done precisely that. Regardless of the nature of a school or the make-up of its children, the referendum has galvanised interest in children under 18 in the political process and the political world.
So much for democracy – what about culture? In the UK, we recently produced a culture government document that sets out how we intend to use cultural policies to safeguard our heritage, support young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and help other nations return to social stability after conflict. Access to cultural opportunities needs to support young people from disadvantaged communities and diaspora groups, and point the way forward for them, to ensure that the largest number of young people possible have high-quality cultural experiences. Surely, that is what paragraph 14 of the report means. As the report points out, it is also important that these cultural experiences include those engaged in them as actors and producers and not simply as observers.
In my own country, the Culture Secretary and a member of the House of Lords from an ethnic minority chaired a round table with Asian and Muslim broadcasters to consider the way that extremist narratives are presented.
The importance of diaspora communities is highlighted in the second report that we are considering. In the UK, I deal with one particular diaspora community from Africa, whose members we value very highly. Indeed, the government has recently appointed someone to deal with the diaspora community on its behalf. We work closely with diaspora communities to ensure that they participate fully in the cultural activities of the country.
Of course, language is a major issue. One of the best ways of enhancing cultural opportunities is to develop a common language, which is a fundamental tool, and I applaud the action education ministers took throughout the EU after the Charlie Hebdo attacks to promote citizenship, freedom, tolerance and non-discrimination through education. I am also very pleased that the UK Government has put £20 million of additional funding into helping to provide English teaching for speakers of other languages.
Culture can play an important role in driving development, in reducing poverty and in opening up new opportunities, and across all three of those areas we should concentrate our efforts and take advantage of what they have to offer.
Ms JOHNSSON FORNARVE (Sweden, Spokesperson for the Group of the Unified European Left) – My speech will concentrate on the excellent first report, on culture and democracy. On behalf of the Group of the Unified European Left, I thank the rapporteur, Ms Vesna Marjanović, for that report.
Access to culture should not be dependent on one’s social or economic background. Everyone should have access to the culture found in their locality, and the opportunity to engage in various forms of culture. Culture is an important democratic issue. It can contribute to the strengthening of societal bonds by building bridges between people of different backgrounds, and by creating stronger and safer communities where people can live together and feel secure.
For that to be possible, society must guarantee that there is good access to cultural venues such as libraries, museums, theatres and other facilities where cultural practitioners and cultural organisations can meet to practice cultural activities, such as song, dance, music, different forms of art, theatre and so on.
Let me give you a couple of concrete examples from Sweden. Recently, the Swedish Government decided to remove the charges for all State museums, which increased the number of visitors to these museums. That means, for instance, that, schoolchildren and other key groups now have more opportunity to visit museums. In addition, museums today have an educational approach that makes a museum visit both interesting and inspiring for the visitor.
It is especially important to invest in culture targeted at children and young people that is based on their interests. In Sweden, we have cultural and music schools that municipalities organise and control. This means that, for a small fee, children can learn to play an instrument, dance, perform theatrically, paint or engage in any other cultural activity. All children, irrespective of their economic or social status, should be given the opportunity to engage in culture, and we know that several of the most famous Swedish artists began as students in their local music school.
Research shows that people who practise and consume culture feel better, are healthier and increase their quality of life. Therefore, it is important that society invests in various forms of culture for people who are hospitalised and for elderly people in care. There are many different non-profit organisations engaged in various forms of cultural activity. It is obviously important that the community has a continuous dialogue with these groups and that they receive financial support from the community. However, it is also important that we demand that such groups are democratic and gender-equal. I have therefore written an amendment to clarify that point in the text of the report.
It is extremely important that society defends artistic freedom. Artists must have the right to express themselves freely, without fear of censorship or reprisals from the Government or other authorities. The principle of artistic freedom is a cornerstone of democracy.
Mr SCHNEIDER (France, Spokesperson for the Group of the European People’s Party)* – I, too, would like to thank Mr Le Borgn’ for his work, which reminds us that language and culture are something we share. I am Alsatian – I need not remind you that we are meeting in Strasbourg – and, as such, I am very much alive to your proposals on bilingualism. We have defended our bilingual classes from primary school onwards, and we have had assistance from you and many other colleagues who form part of the diaspora abroad. Bilingualism is an asset, culturally and economically. It is also a source of pride; we are proud that we have been able to create a dialogue using culture, despite our painful past.
As an elected member whose constituency is home to many people of foreign extraction, I know that cultural networks, diasporas and associations can bring us closer together and promote social harmony. When we set up an inter-faith dialogue group, we decided to bring the diaspora on board. After all, they are a precious go-between for those of us who have to take decisions in these matters. Involving the diaspora in integration programmes is an excellent idea. In France, ELCO – the education in languages and cultures of origin programme – is a good example because it shows that if you do not have monitoring and real co-operation, you run the risk of having a bit of a mix-up, because some of the classes can become classes for propaganda from a foreign country, rather than for the teaching of language and culture. You need to keep an overview.
We need to think about the role of diasporas in the process of integration, but we also need to think about language education more generally. For example, France used to have a long-standing tradition of learning from world-renowned Arab speakers and Russian speakers, but unfortunately those languages are hardly taught at all in our schools today. We are talking about culture and democracy, so we must of course speak about multi-lingualism, whether in Europe or across the wider world.
Teaching networks in our countries should of course provide teaching in our language for expatriated communities, but they should also provide an opening to our culture for other people in host countries. I am one of the members here who form part of the Parliamentary Assembly’s group on the French-speaking world – the francophonie. Children who go to French schools abroad in Europe or around the world are not just taught a language; they also learn about the culture and values we share. I am always pleasantly surprised when I meet young people in Chisinau or Yaoundé who tell me about their love of my language. I am also delighted to see how much they know about my culture. They are French-speaking children, and they are the best ambassadors for our values in the future.
Ms BİLGEHAN (Turkey, Spokesperson for the Socialist Group)* – I congratulate my two friends the rapporteurs, who are both members of our group. Vesna Marjanović has been re-elected in her own country. She is leaving us for a short period, but I am sure that we will work together again. We have worked with her on her report, and we have worked with Pierre-Yves Le Borgn’ on his. What they have done is draw a picture of the future of Europe’s cultural policies.
Today Europe is faced with economic and social difficulties, threatened by terrorist attacks and struggling with migration issues. As the report “Culture and democracy” notes, in such an environment culture undoubtedly plays a critical role in keeping people together, improving democracy and establishing peace. European States are aware of that and therefore are trying to devise appropriate policies. However, when governments need to cut their budgets, the first thing they think of is spending on education and culture. The report gives detailed ideas on what we can do in this context.
First, we need to think about cultural democracy. We need to implement policies that include all groups in cultural activities. We see that artists can sometimes lead the way in legislation and for politicians. For instance, the Serbian film “The Parade” dealt with issues of homosexuality in that country for the first time. Culture can make such topics items of discussion in our countries. When we cannot reach people with politics, we can influence them with art.
Ms Marjanović’s report reaches the important conclusion that culture and art should be an inseparable part of politics. We have seen that since the French Revolution, because here we talk about freedom, equality and the principles of solidarity. I come from a country that has seen that in its history. The Turkish republic was established 93 years ago, and the cultural reforms that followed, one after the other, have protected the cultural values of our country. We have become a unique State through our cultural reforms. Turkey therefore offers an example in this regard. Europe is going through such policies. We have to prevent migrants who come to Europe experiencing a cultural shock. We see that conventional assimilation policies are no longer valid. We must now look at a Europe that can bring together citizens with different cultures.
I was recently in Paris for the unveiling of an important statue. All the participants were sharing their own views. What we were trying to do was create cultural cohesion. We are not talking about a multicultural society; we are talking about cultures meeting in one identity and in harmony. Of course there will be risks, such as prejudice, intolerance, discrimination and fundamentalism, and their elimination must be our primary goal.
I hope that we will unanimously accept both of these important reports.
Mr MULDER (Netherlands, Spokesperson for the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe) – These two reports are about better integration and the prevention of radicalisation, which are two very important themes nowadays. I think that we are all agreed on those goals. The ALDE thinks that if we want to fight xenophobia and extremist politics, we have to feel people’s concerns about the economic crisis, globalisation, terrorism and the impact of migrants who do not necessarily share our European values, for example in relation to gender equality. It is about a feeling of identity. People want politicians who understand their concerns, who are in control and who have solutions.
In the first report, “Culture and democracy”, the rapporteur states that culture is a powerful tool for preventing radicalisation. On the other hand, she also states that in many countries budgets for culture are the first to be cut. To make a strong case for increased expenditure on culture, these projects have to be effective; they have to bring results. The report mentions many projects. What are the criteria for measuring their success? When do they work? Do they reach the people we want to reach? When people are radicalised, for example, they are very difficult to reach.
The other report is about integration. We liberals say that it is not someone’s origin that is central but their future, and that it is not the group that is central but the individual. Those are the liberal principles on integration. Having a job and learning the language are the key factors for successful integration. We should look to what I call the diaspora approach, where we see good examples of language learning. As has been mentioned, in the UK there are Saturday schools for language learning; in my country, we have them on Sundays – I do not know why.
For diaspora communities, the issue is not the integration of groups; it is better to talk about integration of individuals. The risk is that people who stay in their own group do not have to learn the language of their new country, because within their community they can speak their own language; also, if they stay in their own community they are not confronted by other values. One example of that is gender equality – in my own country, I see too many groups in which women stay at home or are kept at home because their community wants that. May we therefore please have a reaction from the rapporteurs to those risks of the community approach?
The PRESIDENT – The rapporteur will reply at the end of the debate – unless Ms Marjanović wishes to respond?
Ms MARJANOVIĆ (Serbia) – I will respond at the end.
The PRESIDENT – Thank you. I call the next speaker, Ms Schneider-Schneiter.
Ms SCHNEIDER-SCHNEITER (Switzerland)* – Dear colleagues, we are talking about integration. Many people have said that it has failed in Europe, given the events on new year’s eve in Cologne and the various terrorist attacks. We are even starting to talk about lawless districts and Muslim parallel societies in which Sharia Law operates, rather than the law of the country concerned.
Switzerland is also much exercised by questions of integration. Some 2 million foreigners live relatively peacefully with 6 million Swiss. Why is that the case? Is it simply that Switzerland is small, and that facilitates different cultures’ living together? I do not think it is about our size. One big reason for the excellent cultural integration is our school system. Unlike schools in many other countries, in Switzerland all classes of society still go to schools run by the State. All children go to the same schools, whether Swiss born or migrant – private schools are the exception in our country. Our State schools are also of very high quality. State schools do not simply teach children; they bring them together and communicate social and cultural values. That is a vital driver of integration. I acknowledge that even at the best Swiss State schools opportunities cannot always be exactly the same for everyone, but the excellent State school system really guarantees integration of children and the conveying of cultural values.
A second factor underlying successful cultural integration in Switzerland is integration through the world of work. After education and language teaching, integration in the world of work is the most important factor for true integration. Thanks to an elaborate system of vocational training, even young people from migrant backgrounds can get on the bottom rung of the ladder of a vocational occupation. Nowhere in Europe is unemployment among migrants as low as in Switzerland. Our vocational training system allows young people to start a job at 15 – by the way, that is one reason why Switzerland has not ratified the Council of Europe’s social charter; it is not compatible with our vocational training system. Our apprenticeship system is not about exploiting young people. It sets them up for a really good job. If people start early in a job, they become integrated because they have wages, a social context, a daily routine and access to social values.
A good education through State schools and a functioning vocational system are the keys to cultural integration of people from different cultures. I hope that it will continue, and thank the rapporteur for this important report.
Mr MAVROTAS (Greece)* – I thank Ms Marjanović for her report on culture and democracy. Education is the key. Without any sense of democratic culture we can never have a functioning democracy. We must reorganise our social relationships so that we do not simply have representation of big international groups alone – the more solidarity there is, the more equality there will be. Most European countries face the challenge of massive immigration. Those two factors are endangering the protection of human rights. The less integrated people are, the less their civil rights are protected. The consequence of that is a real threat to democracy throughout Europe. All the differences and divides there are today mean that there is not enough integration.
Culture should be an integrating element of the education system. Young people should not simply be prepared to become fully fledged members of a constantly and rapidly changing labour market; the school system should also train them to participate in the civilisation and values that our society is all about.
As we are talking about culture, I would like to see sport become part of our efforts on integration. Sport can play a very important role in helping children feel integrated into a society. Sport is the best school. It can integrate so many different civilisations and create a society of greater solidarity and cohesion. Through our collective efforts we can succeed much more easily, across the board.
As for cultural networks abroad, there has always been a Greek diaspora; there have always been Greeks outside Greece. Those networks can play a role of primary importance, for culture, language and education – although obviously we cannot have Greek teachers throughout the world. But such networks retain a link with the mother country, such as Greece. All the diaspora communities throughout the world retain such a link.
I congratulate our two rapporteurs on two very thorough and focused reports.
The PRESIDENT – Mr Ardelean is not here, so I call Ms Buliga.
Ms BULIGA (Republic of Moldova)* – I thank you for your report, Ms Marjanović, because I very much appreciate its relevance and quality. This important reference point will help us to set cultural and educational priorities within the whole process of strengthening European democracy. Political, economic and social changes are happening very fast and are highly complex, which is of course creating new challenges in the harmonious development of the entire system. It is very complicated to have civilised human coexistence.
The Council of Europe’s motto is “All different, All equal”, and cultural diversity plays a fundamental part in shoring up our democratic principles. What unites us in our cultural diversity is the intellectual basis: intelligence, creativity, tolerance and openness to knowledge and the improvement of ourselves as human beings. It is very important to guarantee the civilised coexistence of all members of society. Education, tolerance, technical creativity and culture, including political culture, are the tools we need to avoid narrow-mindedness, radicalism, violence, destructive attitudes and even terrorism.
By tradition, Moldovan society has always shown a great deal of respect for Christianity, deep-rooted national customs and behaviour based on the values of community, respect and common sense. I think the whole of Europe would feel at home in Moldova, but I acknowledge that my country could do a lot more to promote culture to integrate Moldovan society and ensure that cultural and inter-cultural processes are incorporated into our economy, politics, health, social services and social inclusion.
I also thank Mr Le Borgn’ for his far-reaching and consistent report. His ideas are excellent, and the subject matter is very important and topical for the member States of the European Union and for the Republic of Moldova. We are aware of all the advantages of the process: creating inter-ethnic communication channels, promoting national culture beyond a country’s borders, multilingualism, educational and cultural support, and of course reinforcing unity in diversity, which, incidentally, is the motto of the European Union.
Setting up associations, organisations and institutions that are much needed for communities abroad is a direct obligation on governments. At the same time, countries of origin must adjust their legal frameworks and develop adequate social policies to make them more attractive and encourage their citizens to return home. We have seen a massive outflow of highly qualified young people who have left our countries to look for jobs elsewhere, particularly in the fields of education and health.
It seems to me that our authorities have a specific role to play in this respect: to maintain policies that are already in place or still need improvement to guarantee continuity; to develop and create new ways of promoting and co-ordinating policies and initiatives; and, of course, to deepen such integration. That will require a systematic dialogue with diaspora communities. We will succeed as long we can shore up such a dialogue using all the platforms available and, where possible, parliamentary diplomacy.
Mr JAKAVONIS (Lithuania)* – We are very grateful to Ms Marjanović, Mr Le Borgn’ and Mr Mariani for their excellent work. Their reports are very timely because we all face so many problems involving war. To give an excellent example, during the Second World War, when the Minister of Defence visited the Prime Minister to request more money from the cultural budget, Churchill replied by asking why we need war when we have culture.
Culture is the face of a nation, and it is the only way to combat radicalisation in the democratic societies of all the countries represented in the Parliamentary Assembly. Lithuania spent 50 years without appearing on any maps, although we had developing traditions, values and culture. It is very important to make culture and education priorities in our work. We must stress that, from early childhood, children should learn not only about their own national traditions, but about international traditions. My country hopes that if we can tackle those problems in the education system, we will succeed in making positive steps on all the challenges facing our societies. We can solve our national problems if our societies adopt such an attitude. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe will help us to use that attitude to influence the outcome of international dialogues. Those living near borders are very much stakeholders in this process: these reports are of particular importance for them.
Mr REISS (France)* – In this joint debate on two excellent reports, I want to quote a great Frenchman who was a militant anti-fascist in the Spanish civil war, joined the resistance in 1944 and was involved in the French liberation, and was a great Minister of Culture under Charles de Gaulle. I am talking about André Malraux, who said that art is the easiest way to bring people together.
When confronted with an increase in fundamentalist religion and nationalism, inter-cultural dialogue is an asset for our weakened democracies. Culture is vital for understanding the world, but also for developing critical thinking and forging free will. That is why it is essential to have cultural activities in schools, which means that teachers must be trained and resources must be made available, because culture is not inherited, but learned and transmitted. Culture requires the keys of reading and of the knowledge of history and sometimes of religion. Cultural education is multi-disciplinary and cannot be improvised. Cultural activities should be based in a territory and a local network because culture is nourished by a region’s history, artists and traditions.
That prompts us to consider local cultural policy, particularly the policy targeted at young people. Although pupils can be taught culture, schools need to develop relationships with external partners, whether public or private, which, with their expertise and know-how, can enrich the implementation of cultural projects. Such cultural activities can also involve parents, who should be helped to create links with teachers, because those links do not exist in some schools. This sort of exchange can improve inclusion within schools and communities.
Communitarianism and falling back on identity and culture reminds us that we are all part of a community and that we are all citizens. Art is the expression of freedom and the equality of cultures is a fundamental value because we are all citizens. For young people who often feel lost or misunderstood, culture can become a real instrument: involving them in the development, preparation and implementation of projects can promote the values of mutual understanding and dialogue and encourage them to become active citizens.
In this area, local authorities have a key role to play in getting young people involved and encouraging them to act as citizens. In this region, Alsace, each year and within a month of each other, events are organised with partner associations that aim to promote citizenship. We also commend initiatives such as the interfaith rallies, which make it possible for young people to learn about other religions, and the “Who are you?” youth programme, which makes it possible to think about what it means to be a migrant and about integration.
It is through these cultural events and by transmitting our culture to our young people that we will ensure that the heart of our democracies continues to beat.
Mr OBREMSKI (Poland) – I thank Ms Marjanović for a wise and interesting report. It coheres with our research in preparation for my city of Wrocław becoming the European Capital of Culture in 2016. I am the chief of programmes on the council for that.
In Poland, we have the same problems as have been described elsewhere. The arts are on the school curriculum, but exam results are more important and the arts are not treated seriously in schools. Public TV fights for audiences and pursues sensation. We are trying to change this by opening up TV to high culture. After 1989, we went far too far with liberal reforms, and now the health system and some elements of education and culture are treated as commodities.
I agree with only 75% to 80% of the views expressed in the report. I am afraid that it is now the fashion in Europe to use culture for innovation and the economy – everybody has read the Florida books – and to reduce the social gap, and we look to culture as a remedy for refugees and handicapped minorities. I do not believe in having a special culture for them. The sonnets of Shakespeare are not only for LGBT people; they are for everybody. The quality of culture, in my opinion, is more important than what or who it is for.
Politicians expect there to be projects for minorities. The grant writer prepares them, but the result is seldom good for the excluded group. Artists and activists take money, and politicians look good in their annual report. Art should not be part of social help. I am not against these kinds of projects, but I cannot stress enough that art can be engaged, but is not key for value. In Nazi and communist times, art was treated only as a tool for social change. Of course, culture helps democratic systems, but not directly and never as a tool. We should remember that even Wagner did not stop the Holocaust.
Finally, it is true that high culture divides – one might mention Pierre Bourdieu – but democracy needs an elite, and the elite needs high culture in order to better understand the future, for reflection and for more sensitivity. French socialist de Tocqueville and the Spanish Ortega y Gasset teach us that. Therefore, the State budget has to pay for high culture.
In democratic systems, in the pursuit of social cohesion we flatten everything by not having high culture. Culture should not be used as a tool. We should create only the space for freedom and for a new Mozart, a new Caravaggio, a new Arvo Pärt – given that we now have the Estonian presidency of the Council of Europe – or, in this anniversary year of Shakespeare’s death, a new Shakespeare. In the long term, only great art is important. The rest is silence.
(Ms Mateu, Vice-President of the Assembly, took the Chair in place of Mr Agramunt)
THE PRESIDENT* – Mr Pâslaru is not here. I call Mr Vareikis.
Mr VAREIKIS (Lithuania) – I am very happy to speak in this chamber on the subject of culture and democracy, but I would like to change it a little and say that democracy is a part of culture.
We have some great problems and misunderstandings here between ourselves and some people who are not present. Yesterday afternoon, we had a debate on interparliamentary communication and how to speak with Russians. Listening to that debate, I had the idea that we have no problems with the Russian language or the Russian people; we have the problem of cultural misunderstanding. Very often we think that politics or democracy is a matter of interest and that culture is a leisure activity, so on one side we have interest – interest can be cruel, rational, radical – and on the other we have culture as simply leisure. My Polish colleague has just said that we need a new Shakespeare or a new Wagner. Understanding Wagner as something that is only a part of leisure will not help us.
We have to understand that culture is primary among all issues. If we want to be real politicians, we have to base our politics on cultural values or on values as we understand them. Yesterday, we discussed the question of how to speak with Russians, and I understood that we have different languages, but we are the Council of Europe and we have to base our language on values. Russia may base its language on interest, on business, but politics is not business. We must understand that.
I am from Lithuania. I do not know how many of you remember how we became free and independent. We did not fight with guns or with oil; we had a singing revolution. It was a cultural approach to politics, and the Soviet Union, despite its power, had no idea how to prevent it. Now, we have radical Islam, and when they shoot and bomb we ask, “What is this?” The answer is that it is someone’s interest. People from Islamic countries say, “Look, Islam as a culture has no interest in killing”. Christianity as a culture has no interest in killing, occupying or annexing territories.
When speaking about democracy and culture we must understand that culture is primary. If we follow our cultural heritage, democracy is a part of culture. If we follow our interest, democracy will become “demo-crazy”, as my students say, and “demo-crazy” is not part of our culture.
Mr ÖNAL (Turkey)* – The concept of migration and subjects such as diasporas, integration and assimilation are important research topics for social sciences and sociology. Lately, with the immigration crisis that we have been facing, especially in European countries, these things have become an important subject for tests and examinations. The ramifications in the social and political spheres are more apparent every day. Once we talked about equality, freedom and democracy, and Europe was a cradle and a castle for these values in the world. Now, it faces social division and radicalisation. I therefore thank the rapporteurs for their diligent work.
We have started to see in Europe a weakening in support for the ideas of living together and pluralism. Even the EU project itself – such a big hope at the beginning – is now debated. Some circles take a nationalist and protectionist approach, believing that cultural diversity threatens European values. In particular, increasing radicalisation and xenophobia following the 11 September attacks are forcing countries to tighten migration rules, and this is creating significant difficulties for diaspora communities. We must never forget that Europe’s richness stems from its historical cultural diversity. If migrant groups in Europe are to maintain their own cultures and hand them down to future generations, we will need to establish some other basis of social unity.
Integration is a two-way process. Immigrants should participate in the social life of the society in which they live, and measures, including legislative measures, should be taken in order that they might achieve this. In that regard, the rapporteur should have mentioned the good practices of Turkish immigrants in France and Germany. As field research has shown, Turkish immigrants hold positive opinions about local populations, but their participation in work life is restricted. The report mentions this. It is leading to the alienation of Turkish groups in these societies, especially in the second and third generations.
The amendments to immigration law in Germany, France, the Netherlands and Switzerland are negatively affecting our citizens and creating problems, especially in respect of family reunification for Turkish groups, who are facing significant restrictions on their fundamental rights. In particular, their rights under international conventions should not be restricted, and the gains of Turkish immigrants, following the EU-Turkey partnership legislation, should not be neglected.
Ms BLONDIN (France)* – I commend the motivation and ambition of Ms Marjanović’s draft resolution and recommendation on culture and democracy. The defence of our democratic values in building inclusive societies is at the heart of our discussion. France has focused on this in its response to the terrorist attacks, which drew our attention to the importance of the republic’s values while demonstrating how fragile they were. We have a duty to monitor what is happening in societies that too often take those values for granted. The government has adopted measures to integrate these values into public policy and to involve all our citizens, particularly our youngest citizens, in order to breathe life into them.
In 2010, France introduced a system of civilian service so that young citizens might experience at first hand what it means to be a citizen and to show their commitment to the republic. While terrorism aims to tear apart our societies and promote hate, we are working to promote cohesion, solidarity and tolerance. Since the programme was created, 90 000 volunteers have taken part – 82 million hours committed to the service of the nation – and one of its nine focal areas is culture. It has two key aspects: first, to promote access to culture for all citizens, in order to open doors to places not always available to them; and secondly, to promote socio-cultural and leisure activities. Some 19% of the volunteers come from socially deprived areas – the people who often have the most difficulty accessing culture. The government has focused on promoting culture among those citizens furthest from cultural life, and the civilian service is a clear demonstration of its investment in people and culture. This is at the heart of what the Assembly does: defending social cohesion, opening people’s minds and promoting tolerance. The civilian service is a vital tool in our fight against that which threatens our societies.
Ms DALLOZ (France)* – This debate is particularly important in the current context – for instance, the destruction wrought upon Palmyra and the conflicts affecting the whole of Europe. The culture of the “other” is sometimes an object of derision or, worse, destroyed, and when that happens, democracy is always in danger. In Ukraine, it was the ban on the use of minority languages that provoked such strong reactions in the communities concerned – and we all know what that led to. If we can work with the cultural networks of Russian-speaking communities – and Polish and Hungarian-speaking communities in the west of Ukraine – we could re-establish dialogue, build bridges, as Pierre-Yves Le Borgn’ put it, and avoid further ruptures.
It is a question not of favouring this or that culture, but of preserving the culture of people’s antecedents, while respecting that of the host country. I remain convinced that democracy is possible only if citizens are open to the culture of others. The anthropologist Margaret Mead said that knowing another culture should enable us to value our own more clearly and appreciate it more warmly; anyone who has lived abroad will know how true that is. Diasporas and their cultural networks and organisations have a role in preserving links with the culture of the home country and in encouraging people to be more receptive to the culture of the host country.
That is what we call integration, and we must continue to highlight its importance, given the huge migrant fluxes today. Culture is the key. However, maintaining links with the culture of the old country must not mean a lack of links with the language and culture of the host country, which is why initiatives that support women, such as by providing them with a bilingual sponsor from their own community, are an asset to democracy. Maintaining that link with one’s original culture should never lead to a rejection of the other culture, even if there is a problematic shared history and integration has not been easy. Initiatives such as the museum of the history of immigration in France allow every citizen to find their own history and understand the way in which their ancestors came to join our common values.
Culture can be a vehicle for democracy only if it is accessible to everyone everywhere. For example, the French regions – the départements – provide mobile libraries in rural areas that do not have a bricks and mortar library. That gives those who live in such places access not only to the greatest French literature, but to foreign literature, be it Goethe, Pushkin, Tahar Ben Jelloun or Orhan Pamuk. Those are all open doors to other cultures that help us to learn how to be a democracy.
Mr R. HUSEYNOV (Azerbaijan) – What defines homo sapiens is that they are civil beings; culture belongs to every sphere of our lives. That is to say that there is culture in everything, from politics to economics, and from co-existence to warfare – everything has a specific culture of activities and existence.
Culture has the most democratic of values because it does not recognise borders and has no national or religious restrictions; thus it belongs to humanity as a whole. Therefore, any misdeed against culture and cultural values means the humiliation of democracy and democratic values.
I have dealt with cultural issues all my life and today I lead one of the biggest museums in my country. For 25 years, 22 of the more than 200 museums in Azerbaijan, six art galleries, 762 cultural monuments of local or global significance, 1 413 cultural enterprises and 927 libraries containing 4.6 million books and manuscripts have been in territories occupied by Armenia. An alarming picture emerges when one investigates the destiny of that heritage and wealth through the prism of culture and democracy. This wealth can be counted not in centuries, but in millenniums. This heritage is therefore a legacy that belongs to humankind beyond Azerbaijan.
None the less, most of it has unfortunately been either destroyed or Armenianised. It is enough to cite one example. The ancient castle of Aghoghlan, which has been preserved in the district of Lachin, is being kept under Armenian occupation. In 2006, the Armenians added 26 written stone tablets to the walls of the castle to prove that the monument belongs to them. They have tried to create the impression that they are not newcomers to the place, but have inhabited it since the middle ages. However, history cannot be fabricated so easily. In the 1970s, Azerbaijani archaeologists and historians researched the monument thoroughly and published books and dissertations on it. Those undeniable arguments immediately and unconditionally expose the Armenian lies.
Armenia looks miserable even against the background of culture and democracy. The 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, the 1992 European Convention on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage and the 1972 UNESCO Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage demand a quite different attitude to our heritage.
What is Azerbaijan’s attitude towards cultural heritage? In recent years, the Heydar Aliyev Foundation of Azerbaijan has carried out such noble cultural projects as the restoration of Saint Marcellino and Pietro’s catacombs in Rome, as well as five 14th century stained glass windows in Strasbourg cathedral. Muslim Azerbaijan cherishes the wealth of Christian culture and, even though it may be far away, treats it like its own native culture. I guess that if such an approach became the traditional way of thinking for everyone, the results we would achieve together would make our continent more secure, more beautiful and more lovely for living in.
Mr TUPONJA (Montenegro)* – One striking feature of the 21st century is that we are becoming closer and closer together. Never have so many people been on the move. I am not talking about people going on holiday, but about people who are forced to spend time away from home for a longer period for reasons beyond their control. I am talking about people who relocate to find jobs or people who are forced by a difficult situation to leave their home country and find a better place for them and their families to live.
Migration brings with it multiculturalism, which is an asset for societies. Multiculturalism and the integration of migrants go hand in hand. Integration is vital, but it cannot be taken for granted. Host countries must find ways to promote integration. Unfortunately, migrants in Europe are being increasingly excluded, which can lead to bigger divisions based on linguistic and religious differences. That can have profound consequences for societies, so it is vital that we understand the important role that culture can play in promoting our values and developing our societies.
We should promote associations for migrants. That is not being done at the moment, but such associations can have a real impact on the social integration of migrants and play an extremely important role in promoting their integration. That is a key reason why we need to make better use of the potential of those organisations. That is why I support the recommendations made in the draft resolution, which promote pluralism and mutual understanding. They provide a useful input for policy in this area.
We need to take steps to promote educational networks for migrants. I come from Montenegro, which unfortunately does not have any specific figures on the number of people who leave our country to work abroad. It is estimated that another entire Montenegrin population is living abroad. I call on my own country to do more for those people than has been done until now.
Immigrants can build bridges. They link cultures to one another. It is up to all of us to recognise their value and provide them with the necessary support to guarantee that they are properly integrated into our societies.
Ms QUÉRÉ (France)* – At a time when fear of others and xenophobia all too often pass for politics, the excellent report by Pierre-Yves Le Borgn’ reminds us that, through diasporas, cultural diversity can be seen as a source of enrichment – a real asset for Europe at a time of globalisation. For who could deny today that bilingualism and multilingualism are great assets?
The report tells us that 17.9 million people in the European Union live in a different member State from their own. Another striking figure is that 15% of marriages in the European Union are mixed marriages. It would be interesting to have similar statistics for the 47 member States of the Council of Europe. Rapporteur, could you perhaps ask the Secretary General whether it would be possible to conduct a feasibility study on this issue? If we want good policies, we need to be properly informed of the situation as its stands. That is urgently needed, because our rapporteur has clearly shown us that diasporas can help us to strengthen pluralism and democracy in our societies. In fact, if I may use the rapporteur’s own words, diasporas are vital bridges between our cultures.
I wholeheartedly support the rapporteur in wanting to use the educational and cultural networks of communities living abroad. With that in mind, it would be appropriate for us to set up a European parliamentary network to look at diaspora policy across the board. After all, one of the assets of this Parliamentary Assembly is that, through our very existence, we allow for the exchange of experiences and best practice among members. I also support the idea of setting up a European platform to collect data relating to our diasporas and to assess their impact, while at the same time promoting the exchange of good practice and joint projects.
I do not think one needs to deny the cultural identity of one’s country of origin. At the same time, one should foster a feeling of belonging to the national community of one’s country of residence. I wonder about this whole idea of supervising language courses for minors in our member States. This might well be useful for pedagogical reasons and also to prevent indoctrination. It is common sense and a good precautionary measure, and the same should hold true for all curricula for minors.
In conclusion, I welcome the message of hope and faith expressed in the report by Mr Le Borgn’ – hope and faith in a united and democratic Europe. At this time of economic difficulty, rapid change and uncertainty, we need to open up our societies to diversity and show that it can be an enriching experience, both individually and collectively.
Mr YATIM (Morocco, Partner for Democracy)* – I thank the two rapporteurs for the excellent work they have done, which I very much subscribe to.
Democracy is not just a political system. Above all, it is a system of values – the values of dialogue, living together and accepting others, whatever their religion or political school of thought. Any democratic process needs to be accompanied by thorough groundwork on cultural and educational issues, within families and political parties, as well as the media and civil society. Cultural activity should not just be about whatever the ministers of culture think up; it should go across the board. There is an urgent need to improve access to the arts for young people, especially the marginalised and deprived. Investment in the arts should be just as much a priority as investment in the economy and other infrastructure. The right to culture should be just as important as civic rights and economic and social rights.
I welcome the recommendation in the report to devote a future World Democracy Forum to culture and democracy. The Council of Europe is right to say that there has to be a cultural aspect to neighbourhood policy. The partners for democracy have shown this, because if we do not share the same values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law, we cannot share cultural enjoyment. This has been proven by the North-South Centre. There are more and more cultural activities that can overcome the rise in xenophobia and fear that derive from the attacks in Paris and Brussels. We need to take into account the role that diaspora associations and networks can play, particularly in countering radicalisation.
I would like to say something about the cultural dimension in the process of democratisation in my country, Morocco. The preamble to our constitution says: “Morocco wishes to maintain its national identity, united and indivisible. Its unity is forged by the convergence of its Arab, Islamic and Saharan components, which have drawn on African, Indo-European and Jewish antecedents”.
Mr FARMANYAN (Armenia) – I would like first to thank the rapporteurs for what is an excellent text, in terms of political considerations and also from an academic point of view.
Education and culture are powerful tools to prevent radicalisation and empower civil society to build democratic citizenship. At the same time, education and culture are a powerful source of intellectual renewal and growth, enabling us to acquire knowledge, a critical mind, a broader understanding of the world around us and the ability to see it from different perspectives.
I have a concern – a concern amplified by both reports – that we lack an adequate understanding of the impact of education and culture on societal changes. Educational policies generally focus on providing professional skills and knowledge that are targeted on economic needs, while personal development, which is an important tool for societal well-being, has been neglected over recent decades in Europe. Economically driven political discourse, education and cultural policies should be reviewed to meet the increasing complexity of modern challenges.
Regrettably, culture and education were among the first sectors to which many European governments made cuts in public funding recently. As a British colleague of mine rightly mentioned, investment in culture and education must have the same priority as the economy, security and all other areas that are crucial for Europe. However, the situation differs in many European countries and the generalisations that the rapporteurs have made efforts to make are, to some extent, relative.
The rapporteurs mentioned the dangers of indoctrination in education and culture in certain circumstances. That is something we have seen in our history, in the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, where cultural and educational indoctrination served the political agendas and goals of particular governments. That is what we see today in Azerbaijan. Listen to what our colleague Rafael Huseynov has just said. His accusation that Armenians are laying claim to Azerbaijan’s so-called cultural heritage is proof of the fact that cultural indoctrination is serving political agendas.
The other report deals with diaspora communities. The integration of diaspora communities and migrants represents a big challenge for Europe today. Education and culture offer systematic frameworks to ensure the integration of all groups with differing identities. Diaspora organisations should of course receive public funds from States, and Sweden comes here as a model country for how diaspora organisations can receive public funds. On the other hand, diaspora organisations and minorities should respect social cohesion and the concept of living together in the countries in which they live. Unfortunately, on 9 April this year, the leader of a Turkish community organisation made a speech in a square in Stockholm in which he used the slogan “Death to Armenians”, which led to the resignation of the minister for urban development in Sweden. It was a dangerous attempt at radicalisation and to use diaspora organisations for political influence outside their countries of origin.
Mr NEGUTA (Republic of Moldova)* – I thank our colleague, Ms Marjanović, and the whole Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media for their excellent work. The Moldovan diaspora is a very real thing – 1 million Moldovan citizens live abroad. The main country to which they emigrate is the Russian Federation, for obvious reasons. With no visa requirements and no language difficulties, there are between 450 000 and 500 000 Moldovans in Russia at any one time. In other words, 50% of Moldovans abroad live in Russia. The second country of destination is Italy, which has 150 000 Moldovans. The diasporas in France, Spain, Portugal and Ireland are also large.
Why are Moldovans leaving their country? It is because there are no jobs. Our government is not capable of creating decent conditions for people to stay in their own country. Who looks after these Moldovans abroad? The government has set up a bureau for relations with the diaspora, but unfortunately it is not capable of fulfilling that essential role. It does not have the financing or the resources to carry out its function. The government has adopted a good action plan, but there have not been any real changes yet. There are no educational or cultural networks for Moldovans abroad. The government needs to learn from the experience of Romania, which set up a national institute with branches in other countries. Russia has set up a strong ministerial council to support Russian citizens abroad. We need to learn from the experience of other countries, as discussed by Mr Le Borgn’ in his report.
Distinguished colleagues, I appeal to you to seek out contacts with the Moldovan diaspora in your constituencies and to help these good, calm, normal people to integrate into your society.
The PRESIDENT* – Thank you. I do not see Mr Shahgeldyan, so the next speaker will be Mr Gonçalves.
Mr GONÇALVES (Portugal)* – I start by congratulating our rapporteur, Mr Pierre-Yves Le Borgn’, on his high-quality report on cultural and educational networks of communities living abroad, which is an issue of great importance that is becoming increasingly global. Our Assembly understands the importance of communities living abroad and the role of cultural networks and associations in host countries so that such communities can remain linked to their countries of origin.
I know what I am talking about. There are 5 million Portuguese living abroad, and approximately 1.8 million of them are living in another European Union country. Everyone knows that Portuguese communities find it very easy to integrate, mostly because of our networks. There are different types of associations, including sporting associations, folklore associations and associations that promote the teaching of Portuguese and training. The system is excellent because it makes it easier for Portuguese to integrate into other countries. We never forget the importance of promoting links with Portugal itself.
Thanks to all that hard work, many dual-culture communities enrich themselves and enrich the countries in which they live. The draft resolution makes many important recommendations, but I stress the importance of diasporas participating in the institutions of their home country. In Portugal, for instance, we have the Council of the Portuguese Communities, which is elected by universal suffrage. Since the end of the 1970s, our national parliament has had deputies representing Portuguese abroad, including me.
Civil and political participation are a sine qua non for Portugal, not only for our relationships with our communities in other countries but for the host countries themselves. Through public education campaigns and through participation in society, the work developed in such networks is fundamental. I would like to raise the profile of such organisations. We need a platform to collect information on everything related to diasporas. My country would be stronger and more effective if it took more notice of what its expatriates are doing, and I think that is true for the whole of Europe.
Ms FATALIYEVA (Azerbaijan) – Democracy and culture are products of human thought and activity. History shows us that culture is the way to freedom. As a phenomenon of social life, democracy only becomes possible at a certain stage of civilisation when all elementary and immediate needs have been satisfied. The relationship between culture and democracy is manifested in the fact that democracy promotes the development of culture, and vice versa. Every step on the path of culture is a step towards freedom. It is indisputable that it is impossible to have complete freedom and democracy without culture. Democracy, both at the top of society and for the masses, has been developing for centuries, even millennia, not through slogans but in the daily lives of every citizen who belongs to a group that is considered to have a national identity and individual culture.
My country is a vivid example of the connection between democracy and culture. Azerbaijan has some of the key factors that help to build democratic societies. With deep democratic and cultural traditions, Azerbaijan was the first democratic republic in the eastern world, and it was the first to give women the right to vote and to be elected. Azerbaijan produced the first ballet and the first opera in the east. We have always been committed to those values, and it is State policy to preserve and develop our cultural heritage.
During the first years of independence, State cultural policy was directed towards getting rid of the ideological heritage of the Soviet Union. The main task was to reintroduce the works of famous writers and poets, certain folk epics and musical styles such as mugam – all of which were declared harmful because they did not fit the ideology of Marxism and Leninism – to national and State cultural spaces.
To get rid of the shackles of totalitarianism, culture needs to return to its roots. We succeeded by making cultural policy a top priority. Azerbaijan holds an annual Rostropovich festival, the international mugam festival and the Gabala music festival, and it has hosted the World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue and other events in which foreign visitors have participated, thereby creating favourable conditions for preserving cultural heritage, transmitting culture to younger generations and strengthening intercultural dialogue. Traditions of high levels of education and dedication to secularism, tolerance and multiculturalism will provide a decent future for the country and its people.
Building a democracy is a long process consisting of many steps, but we should not forget that democratic development goes hand in hand with preserving and developing culture. Today, we all face disasters such as terror, radicalism and religious and ethnic intolerance, which change our societies and our world. More and more young people are getting involved in, and becoming victims of, radical movements. By paying more attention to culture and directing young generations to its development and preservation, we can prevent people from becoming victims of terrorism and prevent its spread in the future.
Mr GHAMBOU (Morocco, Partner for Democracy) – I think Mr Le Borgn’ for his rich report, which provides us with useful tools to support our positive argument that developing cultural networks for migrant communities reinforces and strengthens the process of integration rather than undermining it. We cannot continue to live in a state of denial, expecting migrants to drop their cultural and religious background once they move abroad. In fact, history has shown that migrants tend to exaggerate, idealise or even mythologise their country of origin when they are deprived of the opportunity to enjoy their cultural rights openly and democratically. That is particularly true of second and third generation migrants born and raised in Europe. Some of them do not feel part of Europe, and we have to deal with that feeling of alienation.
No cultural policy regarding diasporas will have much impact in our societies today if it does not help us fight radicalisation on one hand and racism on the other. From the perspective of a country that has more than 5 million citizens living abroad, I emphasise that any integration policy will remain incomplete if it does not call for strong and permanent co-operation between the country of residence and the country of origin.
Good and inspiring examples are not lacking. I think particularly of the co-operation between France and Morocco, which consists of training imams and religious leaders on how to promote the values of tolerance and responsible citizenship among our Muslim communities in Europe. Another good example is the French Government’s recent decision to put the Arabic language in the school curriculum for those who wish to learn it, which was supported by most diaspora organisations. Such cultural networks can be extended further to include social institutions such as workplaces, sports centres, places of worship and the media.
Moroccan deputies – those who are here and those who are not – will be happy to join the European parliamentary network recommended in the report. As members know, there are two sides to how Morocco is dealing with migration. First, we are dealing with sub-Saharan African migrants in Morocco – we have the same migration issues as other countries, which is a new experience for us. Secondly, we are considering how to keep in touch with and serve our community abroad.
Ms ZOHRABYAN (Armenia)* – I cannot remember how many times we have talked in this Chamber about culture and democracy, and about the importance of respecting and safeguarding the religious and cultural heritage of national minorities in the member States of the Council of Europe. We have also said that cultural vandalism should have no place in any member State.
Our colleague Ms Marjanović raises important points in the report, and I agree with her that in today’s dangerous world, culture has become a security issue. She is right that culture is a powerful means for minorities to safeguard their identity and a powerful instrument for preventing radicalisation and intolerance, which represent one of the main challenges facing us in the modern world. However, I cannot agree with Ms Marjanović that Turkey offers one of the best examples of that. It can probably serve as an example in how it protects its own culture, but if I had been in her place I would have looked into how Turkey treats the culture and religion of national minorities. I would have looked into how cultural and historic monuments and Armenian churches in modern-day Turkey have been destroyed. According to UNESCO data, the majority of the few thousand Armenian churches and monuments on Turkey’s current territory have been destroyed. Immediately after the 1915 genocide, Turkey embarked on a programme of cultural genocide, which continues even today. There was a single objective behind the genocide of Armenian culture in Turkey – to destroy the cultural heritage of Armenians.
Just a few weeks ago the Turkish press alerted us to the fact that Turkey wanted to demolish a dilapidated Armenian Protestant church in the historic town of Kharberd, which is now in Turkish territory. The Turks had been using that church as a stable and garage, and they wanted to build a hotel in the place of that marvellous church. For Turkey and its little brother Azerbaijan, where the historic stone crosses in the cemetery of Jugha were bulldozed, there is a state plan to wipe out any trace of Armenia. I very much hope that in the next such report, the Assembly will address such important problems.
Since we are talking about Turkey, I add that 11 German members of parliament of Turkish origin voted in favour of the resolution recognising the Armenian genocide on 2 June in the Bundestag. They are now subject to serious threats from Erdoğan and other Turkish extremists. We must stop the march of this Turkish fascism, because we know what it means to be the heirs of the Young Turks.
Mr WOOD (United Kingdom) – I start by adding my thanks to Ms Marjanović and Mr Le Borgn’ for two excellent reports, and to Mr Mariani for a well drafted opinion from his committee.
The diasporas present in member States across Europe present both significant challenges and enormous opportunities for many communities and States. There are opportunities both within our wider culture and within the communities in which people live. The challenges are clearly understood, such as the pressure that diasporas can put on particular schools, especially as many migrant communities tend to live in concentrated areas. That means that some schools face much greater challenges than others in absorbing students and meeting their needs.
The opportunities are similarly clear. Diasporas not only add variety to our culture but expose other students to opportunities to study from a young age alongside people from different parts of the world who bring different understanding and experiences. I know that the schools in my own community have found this to be a huge advantage for many of their other pupils. One of the things that we find with members of migrant populations is a perhaps even greater understanding than other families in our communities of the importance, indeed the critical value, of a good education, and we are finding that this has a knock-on effect around the class.
I would like to speak in particular about migrant students – children from diaspora communities – who have special needs, and about how we can ensure that their needs are considered so that they get the education that they require. I know from my own work with the Global Campaign for Education that attitudes around the world vary enormously regarding the type of education that should be made available for children with physical disabilities or learning disabilities, so it is absolutely essential that our authorities do everything they can to recognise the requirements of diaspora children with special needs in particular. They should satisfy those needs but perhaps most importantly they should ensure that they communicate clearly why it is so important that special education is made available to those students. In that way, such education can be provided more effectively. That is important because education is not only an absolute necessity for economic development in all our countries, but a vital tool for promoting integration, cohesion and mutual understanding.
Once again, I thank both rapporteurs and the draftsman of the Committee’s opinion for what has been a very successful debate this morning.
Ms GAFAROVA (Azerbaijan) – I thank the rapporteurs and congratulate them on these reports. The issues they deal with are very important nowadays. It is a fact that today the world community faces many serious threats. On the one hand, major damage to economies has been caused by ongoing global processes, and especially the financial crisis, and on the other hand there is public concern about confrontation in the political arena. Alongside those issues, religious and racial discrimination, as well as outbreaks of terrorism, cannot leave us indifferent to the problems that exist. In this situation, the role of culture and democracy is increased. Active participation in cultural activities helps people to acquire a critical mind, to develop a broader under understanding of different world views, to interact with others, to have a voice and to define their role in society.
I agree with the rapporteurs that long-term investment in culture and education must be given equal priority with investment in the economy, infrastructure, security and all the other areas that are seen as being crucial to enhancing Europe’s global economic competitiveness and stability. The issue for governments today is not only how to make the best use of limited resources but to find a way to ensure that culture and education are given due recognition and seen as a lasting political priority.
I will inform colleagues of the measures taken by the Azerbaijani State in this regard. My country is a young democracy, as has been mentioned in the speeches of several colleagues, but I would like to point out that Azerbaijan is not a younger “brother” of any country, as it was described by the representative of Armenia. We have our own culture and we are developing it. Azerbaijan, in incorporating the cultures of both east and west, has a rich cultural heritage. In this context, the State has a great responsibility to preserve that heritage.
The Azerbaijani Government has introduced substantial, even comprehensive, measures to develop multiculturalism and national culture, to encourage effective cultural activity in various areas, and to protect the country’s cultural and historical heritage. In 2014, the Service of the State Counsellor on Multiculturalism, Interethnic and Religious Affairs was established. In the same year, the President of Azerbaijan established by decree the Baku International Multiculturalism Centre and the Knowledge Foundation of Azerbaijan. They aim to analyse the social, political and other aspects of the multicultural models of other countries to assess their compatibility with the multicultural environment of Azerbaijan, and to enhance scientific, technical, socioeconomic and humanitarian knowledge, including analysis of the processes taking place in the context of globalisation. In our country, 2016 has been declared as the year of multiculturalism.
It is known that educational policy plays an important role in the development of culture and democracy. Consequently, supporting talented young people must be one of the main goals of a government. I bring to your notice the fact that Azerbaijan has adopted a law on youth and is implementing a special programme related to young people. Specific measures about the development of young people are contained in both the law and the programme. To promote the development of the potential of young people, the State has established the Azerbaijan Youth Foundation, which enables the development of the creative abilities of young people, motivates them and focuses them on becoming involved in management. Every year, hundreds of our young people are assigned to study abroad and their overseas education is financed by the State.
(Sir Roger Gale, Vice-President of the Assembly, took the Chair in place of Ms Mateu)
Lady ECCLES (United Kingdom) – I am a member of the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media, and a former rapporteur on the report, ”The libraries and museums of Europe in times of change”. I am therefore very pleased to have an opportunity to contribute to this important debate. I congratulate Vesna Marjanović and Pierre-Yves Le Borgn’ on their determination to argue the case that culture should be more prominent on the political agenda in our own countries and at European level. They both make the most convincing arguments and they have drawn on many examples.
This debate gives me the opportunity to say a few words about the relevance of libraries and museums in the context of culture and democracy. In today’s world, the role of libraries has changed considerably. In smaller localities, their main function in the past was as lending libraries. However, the advent of electronically produced material such as e-books has reduced the demand for printed material in libraries, as it has in so many other aspects of daily life. The word “agora” is sometimes used when describing libraries in the 21st century. Libraries have many functions now that were unimaginable even a short time ago. It was obvious that information technology would open up opportunities, but even so we soon forget what the world without the internet used to be like. The Internet has made it possible for the range of services available in libraries to have expanded in a way that must surely be democratic and that also has an advantageous cultural effect.
One of the recent developments in libraries and museums was discovering the importance of their audience. This has meant a greater appeal to different groups of people in response to their specific perceptions and needs. Knowledge and understanding of their users and visitors has become part of the professionalism of library and museum staff. Indeed, it is now as important as their expert knowledge of their collections.
The growing interest in libraries and museums is causing them to take account of cultural differences. Sometimes, they can act as intermediaries in debates between cultural groups. In this way, they can encourage closer relationships between different communities. Paragraph 40 of the report gives a good example of this. The Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations, known as the MUCEM, in Marseilles was the winner of the Council of Europe Museum Prize in 2015. It has emerged as the great French national museum, with a new and innovative concept. As the report says, “Besides being an exemplary museum, the MUCEM also functions as a contemporary Agora.” The MUCEM has an impressive programme of activities, which are made widely accessible with modest fees and which address a vast array of contemporary and often controversial issues surrounding the Mediterranean.
I would like to say a few words about the Faro Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society. This ground-breaking political instrument was introduced in 2011 by the Council of Europe. It is based on the idea that knowledge and use of heritage form part of the citizen’s right to participate in cultural life, as defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Cultural heritage will form a fundamental base on which to build a stable and prosperous society. These two reports make a notable contribution to highlighting the importance, both at home and abroad, of culture and democracy in today’s world.
Ms EL OUAFI (Morocco, Partner for Democracy)* – I thank the rapporteur for providing us with a North-South platform from which to reflect on the fundamental question of culture and democracy. The struggle for freedom in Morocco and the development of democratic institutions and the rule of law has been first and foremost a cultural process, although of course with political, social and economic dimensions. This work is being done every day.
That process is essentially a cultural one in a country that has acquired a rich cultural diversity over its 1 000-year history. That diversity is reflected in the many languages spoken in Morocco, which is one of the characteristic features of the country. Arabic, Amazigh and Hassaniya are recognised as official languages by the 2011 constitution. In practice, however, in certain regions they are replaced by Hassanya, Rifain and Tachelhit. This shows our great linguistic pluralism. However, that has followed a process of enhancing cultural pluralism, because the path has not been lined with roses.
Cultural diversity was tackled very early on in Morocco with a view to promoting cultural pluralism and diversity, and as a framework for economic and human development. Morocco can also demonstrate the use of cultural diversity as a tool for resisting radicalisation. The establishment of the Royal Institute of Amazigh Culture and the Equity and Reconciliation Commission was very important, as were fundamental reforms, such as the family code and the constitution, and the Arab Spring. The definitions of Moroccan national identity given in the preamble to the 2011 constitution are marked by cultural and historical pluralism. That was an important itinerary, but also a difficult one, accompanied by institutions and associations.
In parliament we have discussed the organic law, produced by a committee appointed to producing a law for a national council for the languages and culture of Morocco and a national council for Amazigh culture. This confirms the interest in languages and culture as tools for the democratisation of Morocco in a very difficult context. From a security point of view, this is an institutional tool for resisting radicalisation. Morocco has provided a specific model for defending the principle of tolerance and rejecting xenophobia.
Importance is also given to the Jewish component of Morocco’s historical identity through many programmes, including for the preservation of Jewish cemeteries. This also led to a series of publications devoted to Jewish memory in Morocco and the institutionalisation in the justice system of Jewish heritage and the preservation of cemeteries and places of worship. This is a greater heritage. Sahrawi has been elaborated through the National Human Rights Council, with a southern agency to use different initiatives to enhance the Sahrawi heritage in the Moroccan Sahara.
Faced with terrorism and the culture of violence, I think that the presence of 4 million Moroccans who are bi-nationals and citizens of the world constitutes a platform for dialogue and cohabitation. We have to draw advantage from their presence and construct an institutional civilian and parliamentary framework against radicalisation in order to save younger generations from the deadly ideology of terrorism.
The PRESIDENT – Thank you, Ms El Ouafi. Unusually, we have a little time left, which means I am able to invite contributions from the Floor. Do any members who have not already spoken wish to contribute to the debate? I call Ms Pashayeva.
Ms PASHAYEVA (Azerbaijan)* – I would first like to thank the rapporteurs, who have touched upon subjects that are very important for the future of Europe and the rest of the world. Culture and democracy are intertwined, because culture is a message that teaches us that differences are in fact diversities. However, while we have been discussing these very important topics, some of our colleagues have spoken against Azerbaijan and made completely irrelevant arguments. I think that is deeply regrettable, because today we are discussing the importance of being more tolerant in our societies. Unfortunately, statements have been made that might be against the #NoHateNoFear campaign, which is also deeply regrettable.
My Azeri colleagues have already spoken about the importance we place on culture. In Azerbaijan we have a centre for intercultural dialogue. We have people from different ethnic origins and who speak different languages, and they co-exist peacefully, as the documents from many international organisations can prove. We have Christians, Muslims and different ethnic groups living in Azerbaijan, and we show the same respect to all the monuments, whether or not they are Azeri.
What one of our colleagues from Armenia has said bears no relation to what is happening in Azerbaijan. Ms Zohrabyan stated that we are destroying Armenian monuments in Azerbaijan. That is not true. But Armenia has invaded Azerbaijan’s territory and has unfortunately destroyed the majority of the cultural monuments and religious buildings located in that territory. We have proof of that destruction. The worst blow is the destruction by the Armenians of the history and cultural heritage of Azerbaijan, including a most important monument for Azerbaijan.
We respect cultural monuments and sites and religious buildings. We must respect each other’s cultures. If we do not there is no way we can respect each other, and such respect is vital for coexistence.
The PRESIDENT – Thank you, Ms Pashayeva. Are there any other contributions from the floor that are directly relevant to the reports, from people who have not already had the chance to speak? I give the floor to Mr Küçükcan.
Mr KÜÇÜKCAN (Turkey) – I congratulate the rapporteurs on their reports on such an important issue, namely inclusive democracy and culture. The Council of Europe is here to inculcate that culture of democracy and tolerance, and to establish links between parliamentarians. Its spirit encourages us to build bridges between us, so that cultures and civilisations can coexist. But some members of this Assembly seem to go against such principles. For example, our Armenian friends and colleagues have only one thing in mind, namely blaming Turkey and Azerbaijan. Parliamentarians should be here to bridge cultures.
I will give one example so colleagues can understand what we do for Armenian heritage in Turkey. In Van in eastern Turkey there is a church, the Holy Cross of Aghtamar, that for a long time was closed. It was restored by the Turkish Government, which spent millions of dollars on doing so, and is now open for prayers. Once a year, thousands of Armenians come to Turkey. We invite our Armenian friends in the Council of Europe to come and see with their own eyes how we preserve the cultures we inherited from the Ottoman Empire.
Recent developments in Turkey show that we are trying to revive the pluralistic culture that is part of democratisation and democracy. For example, in Edirne is a synagogue that is the second biggest in Europe. For many years it was closed, not because the Turkish Government closed it but because there was not a big enough congregation. The Turkish Government has spent millions on restoring it and reviving that part of our culture. It has been reopened, and recently a wedding ceremony was held there for the first time in many years. We celebrate and welcome that.
That should be the spirit among colleagues here. Rather than concentrating on differences we should look at inculcating the desire to build bridges and empowering ourselves to be able to do so. That is the spirit of parliamentary democracy. I congratulate the rapporteurs on their reports, which lay a foundation of common ground for us. Our duty is to raise questions and resolve conflicts. In Europe and elsewhere, there are many conflicts. We are gathered here from 47 countries. There will of course be differences and disagreements between us, but we are here not to emphasise those disagreements or underline the differences between us but because the Council of Europe provides common values for us. I urge all members and parliamentarians to move closer to one another and emphasise our common ground. That is how we will be able to preserve our heritage and leave a good legacy for our children.
The PRESIDENT – Thank you. We have exhausted the small amount of time available for other speakers and must move on. I call the rapporteur, Ms Marjanović, to take her nine minutes to respond to the debate.
Ms MARJANOVIĆ (Serbia) – Thank you, President, and my thanks to each and every colleague who has spoken for a very interesting debate. Sometimes those of who are interested in culture can seem to be a minority, but we are at least a loud one. Many of you have expressed your pride in your own national cultures, as is natural, but here in this European institution we have to go a step further than that.
I thank John Howell and Mike Wood from the United Kingdom for emphasising the great importance of funding for culture, as well as the importance of good education for everyone. Ms Bilgehan emphasised Turkey’s unique example; I also thank her for mentioning a good example from my own country, Serbia, of how art can help in resolving conflict. Ms Johnsson Fornarve raised the importance of cultural sensitivity and awareness. Mr Schneider, Mr Reiss, Ms Blondin and Ms Dalloz from France mentioned the importance of learning languages and talked about culture as a remedy for the pain of the past. They also reminded us of the impressive tradition of French cultural policy.
Mr Mulder, of the Netherlands, asked about how we can reach isolated communities. That question was answered by other speakers. Ms Schneider-Schneiter from Switzerland and Mr Mavrotas from Greece emphasised the importance of education. It is a known fact that the earlier we reach out to people, and children in particular, the better the results. Integration is also important. We need to open up and build inclusive societies in our countries.
I say to Mr Obremski from Poland that I was in Wrocław earlier this year, and was impressed by the preparations for the city’s role as 2016 European Capital of Culture. As he said, we do not agree on some of the issues he raised. I believe that we need to provide an atmosphere of freedom of expression, including artistic expression. We have to realise where our values come from. They come from institutions, including educational and cultural institutions. Where do artists come from? Did Mozart or Shakespeare come from the elite? I do not think so. We need to make sure there are opportunities for everyone to become part of our countries’ cultural life.
I thank my neighbour, Mr Tuponja from Montenegro, for emphasising the importance of the integration of migrants. I am grateful to our friends from Morocco for sharing their experiences and supporting the recommendations of Mr Le Borgn’ on the creation of a parliamentary platform for diaspora communities, and for their support for the topic for the next World Forum for Democracy.
Listening to our colleagues from Azerbaijan and Armenia reminded me of the ongoing debates we still sometimes have between the neighbouring countries of the former Yugoslavia. I come from a post-conflict region, and I appeal to you to use your cultures and cultural sites for resolving conflicts and creating peace and understanding between your peoples. The sooner we understand that we have a common European cultural heritage, the easier it will be to resolve many of our issues.
Our two reports provide relevant guidelines for the important #NoHateNoFear campaign launched by the President of the Assembly. The importance of elevating culture as a priority, the indicative framework on culture and democracy and the platforms recommended by my colleague Mr Le Borgn’ are just some of the guidelines that may prove useful in that campaign. Last but not least, I thank the dedicated secretariat of the committee, which is keeping the fire of culture alive in our Assembly.
The PRESIDENT – Thank you, Ms Marjanović. I call Mr Ariev, Chair of the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media. You have two minutes.
Mr ARIEV (Ukraine) – Cultural society is a precondition of maintaining democracy: it will never let dictatorship be imposed. Ms Marjanović’s report is therefore very important. I emphasise that both rapporteurs, Vesna Marjanović and Pierre-Yves Le Borgn’, have put their heart and soul into their reports.
Our committee insists that education and culture are pillars of democratic stability, social cohesion and development, and that sustained investment in these policy areas must be given equal priority with investment in the economy, infrastructure, security and all other areas that are seen as crucial to Europe’s global economic competitiveness and stability. We strongly believe that this year represents a window of opportunity in Europe to assert new political priorities and ensure there is tangible progress on the political declarations made by the European Union culture ministers in Riga and Council of Europe education ministers in Brussels earlier this year on the promotion of citizenship and the common values of freedom and non-discrimination in culture and education. The Council of Europe has long experience in the field of culture and democratisation, and it must stay at the forefront of positioning culture as an integral part of the democratic process.
Member States need to do more to integrate cultural activities into the education system to improve access to culture for marginalised and underprivileged children and young people, who are often from an immigrant background, and to support projects that aim to integrate cultural activities into other policy sectors, such as health, social services and prison and penitentiary rehabilitation schemes.
In my State of origin, Ukraine, we have no problems in relation to minorities, and we provide all the needs of minorities in the fields of culture and education through the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. However, I regret that France, the State which hosts the Council of Europe, has still not ratified the charter, which raises concerns about the rights of minorities in France. Our committee recommends devoting one of the World Forum for Democracy sessions to the theme of culture and democracy pragmatically to promote innovative policies and the exchange of good practices with stakeholders in the member States.
I ask you to support both reports.
The PRESIDENT – The Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media has presented a draft resolution to which one amendment has been tabled and a draft recommendation to which one amendment has also been tabled. I remind you that speeches on amendments are limited to 30 seconds.
I call Ms Johnsson Fornarve to support Amendment 1 to the draft resolution.
Ms JOHNSSON FORNARVE (Sweden) – I would have liked to withdraw my amendment, but I cannot do so because there is a sub-amendment. I agree with the sub-amendment and urge all members to support it.
The PRESIDENT – The procedure is that you move the amendment and we can then take the sub-amendment which, if it is agreed to, becomes the substantive text. Are you moving the amendment formally?
Ms JOHNSSON FORNARVE (Sweden) – Yes.
The PRESIDENT – Thank you. We now come to the sub-amendment on behalf of the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media. I call a member of the committee to move the sub-amendment.
Ms MARJANOVIĆ (Serbia) – The sub-amendment is an improvement on the amendment tabled by Ms Johnsson Fornarve. Instead of the words “that work in a democratic and equality oriented manner”, the amendment would insert the words “committed to promoting inclusion, non-discrimination and democratic values”.
The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the sub-amendment? That is not the case.
What is the opinion of the mover of the amendment?
Ms JOHNSSON FORNARVE (Sweden) – In favour.
The PRESIDENT – The committee is obviously in favour of the sub-amendment, so I shall now put the sub-amendment to the vote.
The vote is open.
The sub-amendment is adopted.
Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment, as amended? That is not the case.
What is the opinion of the committee? It is presumably in favour.
Mr ARIEV (Ukraine) – In favour.
The PRESIDENT – I shall now put the amendment, as amended, to the vote.
The vote is open.
Amendment 1, as amended, is adopted.
We will now proceed to vote on the draft resolution contained in Document 14070, as amended.
The vote is open.
The draft resolution in Document 14070, as amended, is adopted, with 85 votes for, 0 against and 3 abstentions.
The Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media has also presented a draft recommendation to which one amendment has been tabled.
I call Ms Gambaro to support Amendment 2. You have 30 seconds.
Ms GAMBARO (Italy) – The purpose of the amendment is to include in the draft recommendation a direct reference to the new strategy adopted by the European Commission on 8 June to put culture at the heart of EU international relations. It was not possible to make such a reference before the strategy had been adopted. I add that I support the committee’s sub-amendment.
The PRESIDENT – We now come to the sub-amendment on behalf of the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media. I call a member of the committee to move the sub-amendment.
Mr ARIEV (Ukraine) – The committee proposes to add, for clarification, the word “recent” in relation to the EU strategy.
The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the sub-amendment? That is not the case.
What is the opinion of the mover of the amendment?
Ms GAMBARO (Italy) – In favour.
The PRESIDENT – The Committee is obviously in favour of the sub-amendment, so I shall now put the sub-amendment to the vote.
The vote is open.
The sub-amendment is adopted.
Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment, as amended? That is not the case.
The committee is clearly in favour.
Mr ARIEV (Ukraine) – In favour.
The PRESIDENT – I shall now put the amendment, as amended, to the vote.
The vote is open.
Amendment 2, as amended, is adopted.
We will now proceed to vote on the draft recommendation contained in Document 14070, as amended.
The vote is open.
The draft recommendation in Document 14070, as amended, is adopted, with 73 votes for, 1 against and 3 abstentions.
The Committee on Culture, Science and Education has presented a draft resolution to which four amendments have been tabled. I understand that the committee wishes to propose to the Assembly that the four amendments to the draft resolution, which were unanimously approved by the committee, should be declared as agreed by the Assembly. Mr Ariev, do you wish to confirm that?
Mr ARIEV (Ukraine) – I confirm that all amendments were adopted unanimously.
THE PRESIDENT – Are there any objections?
As there is no objection, I declare that the four amendments to the draft resolution have been agreed.
We now proceed to vote on the draft resolution contained in Document 14069, as amended.
The vote is open.
The draft resolution in Document 14069, as amended, is adopted, with 85 votes for, 1 against and 1 abstention.
2. Next public business
THE PRESIDENT – The Assembly will hold its next public sitting this afternoon at 3.30 p.m., with the agenda that was approved on Monday morning.
The sitting is closed.
(The sitting was closed at 12.40 p.m.)
1. Joint debate: Culture and democracy and Educational and cultural networks of communities living abroad
Presentation by Ms Marjanović of the reports of the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media, Documents 14070 and 14069
Presentation by Mr Rigoni of the opinion of the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons, Document 14084
Speakers: Mr Howell, Ms Johnsson Fornarve, Mr Schneider, Ms Bilgehan, Mr Mulder, Ms Schneider-Schneiter, Mr Mavrotas, Ms Buliga, Mr Jakavonis, Mr Reiss, Mr Obremski, Mr Vareikis, Mr Önal, Ms Blondin, Mr Dalloz, Mr R. Huseynov, Mr Tuponja, Ms Quéré, Mr Yatim, Mr Farmanyan, Mr Neguta, Mr Gonçalves, Ms Fataliyeva, Mr Ghambou, Ms Zohrabyan, Mr Wood, Ms Gafarova, Lady Eccles, Ms El Ouafi, Ms Pashayeva, Mr Küçükcan.
Draft resolution in Document 14070, as amended, adopted
Draft recommendation in Document 14070, as amended, adopted
Draft resolution in Document 14069, as amended, adopted
2. Next public business
Representatives or Substitutes who signed the Attendance Register in accordance with Rule 12.2 of the Rules of Procedure. The names of Substitutes who replaced absent Representatives are printed in small letters. The names of those who were absent or apologised for absence are followed by an asterisk
Lord Donald ANDERSON
Mehmet BABAOĞLU/Salih Firat
Theodora BAKOYANNIS/Georgios Mavrotas
Gérard BAPT/Jean-Claude Frécon
José Manuel BARREIRO*
Anna Maria BERNINI*
Maria Teresa BERTUZZI*
Andris BĒRZINŠ/Boriss Cilevičs
Philippe BLANCHART/ Petra De Sutter
Mladen BOSIĆ/Saša Magazinović
Piet De BRUYN
Margareta BUDNER/ Jarosław Obremski
Vannino CHITI/Carlo Lucherini
Lise CHRISTOFFERSEN/Hans Fredrik Grøvan
Katalin CSÖBÖR/ Mónika Bartos
Joseph DEBONO GRECH*
Manlio DI STEFANO
Francesc Xavier DOMENECH/Miren Edurne Gorrotxategui
Sir Jeffrey DONALDSON
Alexander [The Earl of] DUNDEE*
Lady Diana ECCLES
Franz Leonhard EẞL*
Joseph FENECH ADAMI*
Cătălin Daniel FENECHIU
Doris FIALA/Manuel Tornare
Daniela FILIPIOVÁ/Ivana Dobešová
Axel E. FISCHER
Sir Roger GALE*
Xavier GARCÍA ALBIOL*
José Ramón GARCÍA HERNÁNDEZ*
Mihai GHIMPU/Alina Zotea
Francesco Maria GIRO
Carlos Alberto GONÇALVES
Oleksii GONCHARENKO/Vladyslav Golub
Alina Ștefania GORGHIU/Maria Grecea
Emine Nur GÜNAY*
Maria GUZENINA/Susanna Huovinen
Sabir HAJIYEV/Sevinj Fataliyeva
Andrzej HALICKI/Killion Munyama
Alfred HEER/Jean-Pierre Grin
Johannes HÜBNER/Barbara Rosenkranz
Ekmeleddin Mehmet İHSANOĞLU*
Denis JACQUAT/ Frédéric Reiss
Michael Aastrup JENSEN*
Frank J. JENSSEN
Aleksandar JOVIČIĆ/ Stefana Miladinović
Marietta KARAMANLI/Catherine Quéré
Nina KASIMATI/Georgios Psychogios
Filiz KERESTECİOĞLU DEMİR*
Danail KIRILOV/Krasimira Kovachka
Ksenija KORENJAK KRAMAR*
Alev KORUN/Eduard Köck
Rom KOSTŘICA/Gabriela Pecková
Borjana KRIŠTO/Bariša Čolak
Eerik-Niiles KROSS/Andres Herkel
Yuliya L OVOCHKINA*
Pierre-Yves LE BORGN’/Pascale Crozon
Jean-Yves LE DÉAUT*
Luís LEITE RAMOS
Filippo LOMBARDI/Elisabeth Schneider-Schneiter
Soňa MARKOVÁ/Pavel Holík
Meritxell MATEU/ Carles Jordana
Liliane MAURY PASQUIER
Sir Alan MEALE*
Ermira MEHMETI DEVAJA*
Ana Catarina MENDES*
Anouchka van MILTENBURG*
Thomas MÜLLER/Hannes Germann
Marian NEACȘU/ Titus Corlăţean
Judith PALLARÉS/Sílvia Eloïsa Bonet
Florin Costin PÂSLARU
Jaana PELKONEN/Anne Louhelainen
Cezar Florin PREDA*
Lia QUARTAPELLE PROCOPIO*
François ROCHEBLOINE/André Schneider
Melisa RODRÍGUEZ HERNÁNDEZ*
Alex SALMOND/Mike Wood
Aleksandar SENIĆ/Vesna Marjanović
Arturas SKARDŽIUS/Egidijus Vareikis
Ionuț-Marian STROE/Ion Popa
İbrahim Mustafa TURHAN*
Leyla Şahin USTA*
Snorre Serigstad VALEN/Kristin Ørmen Johnsen
Imre VEJKEY/Rózsa Hoffmann
Mart van de VEN
Stefaan VERCAMER/ Dirk Van Der Maelen
Vladimir VORONIN/Maria Postoico
Katrin WERNER/Annette Groth
Leonid YEMETS/Pavlo Unguryan
Marie-Jo ZIMMERMANN/Marie-Christine Dalloz
Vacant Seat, Croatia*
Vacant Seat, Cyprus*
Representatives and Substitutes not authorised to vote
Lotta JOHNSSON FORNARVE
Marko Antonio CORTÉS MENDOZA
Ulises RAMÍREZ NÚÑEZ
Partners for Democracy
Nezha EL OUAFI
El Mokhtar GHAMBOU