European Union External Action

European culture in the spotlight at the world's largest Book Fair

09/10/2018 - 18:40
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High Representative / Vice-President Federica Mogherini spoke today at the opening ceremony of the Frankfurt Book Fair (Frankfurter Buchmesse), the world's largest trade fair for books that this year features Georgia as Guest of Honour. “Yes, there is a European identity, a European culture, a name tag, a unity of purpose that comes even before our common policies, and that can and must be represented in the world”, she said stressing that pluralism is the essence of our European culture and identity.

Culture is a key component of EU foreign policy and the EU strategy for cultural relations (Joint Communication) adopted in 2016 aims at enhancing cultural cooperation between the EU and its partner countries. Promotion of a global order based on peace, the rule of law, freedom of expression, mutual understanding and respect for fundamental values is one of its ultimate goals.

Since its adoption the strategy gained substantial traction and support from Members States, partner countries, cultural institutes and operators around the three objectives, namely 1) supporting creative industries, 2) promoting intercultural dialogue and 3) reinforcing cooperation on cultural heritage.

In line with the strategy, the EU supports a vibrant cultural sector in Georgia, which engages citizens, state actors and cultural operators, strengthens civil society and offers new economic opportunities. Romain Gary, Carl Frode Tiller, Italo Calvino, Katri Lipson, Daniel Pennac - these are just a handful of the 20 European authors, whose works are being translated into Georgian with the support of the European Union’s Creative Europe programme and its support to literary translation, allowing Georgian readers to get acquainted with important works of European literature.

Up to now thousands of activities have been organised both in Europe and outside, with EU Delegations playing a key role in coordinating cultural outreach and engagement with people across the world. Among the many success stories, it is worth mentioning the 3 days 'Long Night of LiteratureS' organized by the European Union in India as well as EU’s participation as a Guest of Honour to the largest book fair in Asia, the New Delhi World Book Fair.

The EU promotes European literature through many other book fairs in the world, for example in Hong Kong and Taiwan, in Algeria and the United Arab Emirates, in Bolivia and Dominican Republic, in Ethiopia and Eritrea, just to name few. The EU has also helped organise several book contests, like the “Gutenberg Literary Award” in Uruguay, the European Prize "Makomi" for Congolese literature or the Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Award in South Africa.

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