Heritage and identity: the agenda of the EU

Cultural heritage plays a key role in Europe's future, ranging from being the cause of conflicts to a component of identity. Stephen Clark, director for relations with the citizens at the European Parliament, explains why this is the case. He describes the institutional activities devoted to communicating the heritage, including the initiative "House of European History"

"What does it mean to be European? The answer is not easy. But the answers we find, will rooted in our collective memory, in our collective culture” – this is the way Stephen Clark, Director for Relations with the Citizens at the European Parliament, describes the vision and beliefs that inspired the initiative of the House of European history, the latest in a long series of actions taken by the European institutions to enhance and communicate the heritage.

In his speech during ICS Europe organized by Pomilio Blumm, dedicated to heritage communication, Clark emphasized the importance of our cultural heritage in creating identity and social cohesion: "During the Heritage Days in Brussels the curiosity of the people was enormous. Similarly, many works kept in the buildings of the European Parliament generate great interest, because they can speak to people in the universal and shared language of art."

Heritage, memory, identity and culture - remarks Clark - in the past have also nurtured nationalism and led to wars. Today, the things that used to separate  can instead help to unite, creating cohesion and identity for the future. "The aim of the project of the House of European history - he continues - is to show our history as a European history, not an amalgam of national histories; provide a pluralistic view of history; show what we are now together, not what we apart. We also want to stimulate reflection on our future: how did we get to the point we are at now? What will happen next? Where will this story that we have together will lead us? ".



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