Celebrating culture & diversity across the globe
In a joint statement to mark World Day for Cultural Diversity, High Representative Federica Mogherini and Commissioner Tibor Navracsics stated that on this occasion "we pay tribute to the essential role of cultural diversity in Europe and around the world for fostering dialogue, respect, and contributing to sustainable development and growth. Europe is a continent of cultural diversity. Our societies, institutions and laws are the outcome of centuries of exchanges of ideas, values, traditions and memories."
The EU has a longstanding tradition of cultural exchanges and contributing to the development of the creative industries and the preservation of cultural expressions in Europe throughout initiatives like the European Capitals of Culture, Erasmus+, Creative Europe or DiscoverEU.
The EU is furthermore strongly engaged in cultural diplomacy on the global scene as an investment in peace, conflict prevention, stability, development and reconciliation.
During last year's European Year of Cultural Heritage, the European Union's work to promote cultural diversity worldwide has been especially fruitful. Throughout the year, the EU launched initiatives to foster cultural exchanges worldwide, such as the Cultural Heritage Route in the Western Balkans and the pilot project of the European Houses of Culture.
As culture is also a source of sustainable growth and job creation, the EU finances a series of projects across the world, including Creative Europe projects in countries from the EU's Eastern Neighbourhood; the Ethical Fashion programme employing craftsmen in textile productions in Western Africa; or an annual programme in the Caribbean and Cuba that stimulates the creative industries and mobilises cultural heritage notably through sustainable tourism.
As part of the UNESCO 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, we work to protect cultural heritage sites and fight illicit trade in cultural goods in the framework of the Unite4Heritage programme in Syria, Libya and Yemen. In Central Asia, Afghanistan and Iran, the Silk Road heritage corridors programme contributes to prosperity, peace and social cohesion.
The EU’s strength lies in its cultural diversity, and together with its Member States and partners on the ground, stays committed to support protection and promotion of cultural spaces and cultural exchanges as a powerful tool for dialogue and positive change locally, in Europe and worldwide.