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Procedure : 2022/2759(RSP)
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Document selected : B9-0473/2022

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PV 20/10/2022 - 8.6
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Thursday, 20 October 2022 - Strasbourg
Cultural solidarity with Ukraine and a joint emergency response mechanism for cultural recovery in Europe

European Parliament resolution of 20 October 2022 on cultural solidarity with Ukraine and a joint emergency response mechanism for cultural recovery in Europe (2022/2759(RSP))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Article 167 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to the Treaty on European Union, in particular the Preamble thereto, Article 3 thereof and Protocol (No 2) thereto on the application of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality,

–  having regard to the Preamble to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,

–  having regard to its resolution of 1 March 2022 on the Russian aggression against Ukraine(1),

–  having regard to its recommendation of 8 June 2022 to the Council and the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on the EU’s Foreign, Security and Defence Policy after the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine(2),

–  having regard to the statements on Ukraine by Parliament’s leaders of 16 and 24 February 2022,

–  having regard to its resolution of 17 September 2020 on the cultural recovery of Europe(3),

–  having regard to its resolution of 20 October 2021 on the situation of artists and the cultural recovery in the EU(4),

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 18 May 2021 on the recovery, resilience and sustainability of the cultural and creative sectors,

–  having regard to the question to the Commission on cultural solidarity with Ukraine and a joint emergency response mechanism for cultural recovery in Europe (O‑000030/2022 – B9‑0026/2022),

–  having regard to Rules 136(5) and 132(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the motion for a resolution of the Committee on Culture and Education,

A.  whereas Russia’s war against Ukraine is an attempt to eradicate the identity and culture of a sovereign nation, also through strategic and targeted acts of destruction on cultural heritage sites(5), constituting a war crime under the 1954 Hague Convention(6) to which both countries are signatories;

B.  whereas the attack against Ukraine is also an attack against our common European identity, our values and way of life, characterised by open societies based on democracy, respect for human rights, dignity, the rule of law and cultural diversity; whereas the extremely damaging consequences are being felt by millions of people across the world, ranging from loss of life to food shortages, shrinking global energy supplies and increasing inflation and migration flows; whereas Russia is using these intended consequences as political and strategic threats;

C.  whereas the Russian invasion of Ukraine also puts at risk artists and cultural workers, journalists and academics, spreading a climate of fear and disbelief to the detriment of freedom of the arts, quality news, media independence and access to information, academic freedom and freedom of expression in the wider sense;

D.  whereas the illicit destruction of cultural heritage and the looting and smuggling of cultural property and artefacts represent a major threat to the identity of all Ukrainians and minorities within the country, and will hamper post-conflict national reconciliation;

E.  whereas the wide-ranging impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic took a considerable toll on all aspects of our life and living environment, especially on the entire cultural ecosystem, already characterised by fragile organisational and financial structures, and often precarious working conditions, as well as threats to freedom of artistic expression; whereas the cultural and creative sectors and industries (CCSI) have still not fully recovered from the COVID-19 crisis;

F.  whereas these major crises have not only challenged the Union’s strategic autonomy, but have also revealed its great potential to forge a strong sense of belonging to Europe, to come up with joint responses to pressing needs and consolidate support behind European integration;

G.  whereas culture remains an important vector of mutual understanding and peacekeeping among populations;

Reinforce support and solidarity towards the Ukrainian cultural ecosystem

1.  Welcomes the overall strong support by the EU and its Member States to the Ukrainian CCSI and the swift mobilisation of financial instruments by the Commission, government actors, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and civil society to support the artists and culture professionals who are fleeing the war, the cultural organisations of the countries receiving Ukrainian refugees, as well as the protection of cultural heritage; welcomes, in particular, the swift response initiatives such as the Culture of Solidarity Fund for Ukraine;

2.  Expresses its sincere solidarity with performers, artists, creators, authors, publishers, their companies and all other cultural creators and workers, including amateur creators, as art and culture will have a fundamental role to play in the healing and rebuilding of Ukraine; salutes in particular the action of the Ukrainian artists and creators who have acted in resistance to the Russian invasion by practising their art;

3.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to include the emergency needs of the culture and cultural heritage sectors within the EU’s humanitarian support to Ukraine; strongly believes that, in line with the historic decision of the European Council of 23 June 2022 to grant EU candidate status to Ukraine, dedicated support must also be allocated within the future Ukraine Trust Fund , endorsed by the Heads of State and Government in the European Council Conclusions of 24-25 March 2022;

4.  Urges the EU to offer targeted support to Ukrainian cultural actors, small and medium-sized enterprises, NGOs, local cultural activities, universities and civil society in designing and developing the country’s roadmap to reconstruction and recovery;

5.  Believes that the EU should offer its support to the Ukrainian authorities, in particular at the local and regional levels, together with civil society as a constructive partner in the reconstruction of the country and, in particular, in the restoration of cultural sites; in this regard, stresses that the EU should encourage those involved in the reconstruction to consider applying the highest quality standards; acknowledges that the New European Bauhaus has the potential to contribute to the post-war restoration with the involvement of the Ukrainian CCSI;

6.  Considers that special attention must be paid to the cultural and historical works present in Ukraine and the protection of the country’s cultural heritage; affirms the willingness of the European Union to participate in the preservation of works of art and cultural heritage through the application of all legal tools for the protection and the prevention of trafficking in or the illegal export of cultural heritage in times of war;

7.  Stresses the urgency of supporting Ukraine in documenting thoroughly all attacks on cultural heritage, especially those that constitute potential war crimes and are committed against cultural heritage protected by international conventions; recalls that in addition to the physical protection of monuments and artefacts, the EU should further strengthen support for the digitisation and digital documentation of cultural heritage;

8.  Considers that any financial support given to Ukraine in the cultural field should not jeopardise the funding made available to the CCSI in the European Union through the Creative Europe programme;

Supporting the resilience and post-crisis recovery of the EU’s cultural ecosystem as a whole

9.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to place a focus on culture in all key EU policies and priorities such as climate action, the digital transformation, economic recovery and international relations; invites the Commission to make further use of the multidimensional potential of the CCSI for the well-being of societies and citizens in Europe, and to proactively promote public cultural discourse with the aim of involving as many people as possible in the formation of public opinion and of fostering international cultural cooperation;

10.  Highlights the need to support and coordinate actions at all levels of governance and with both public and private stakeholders, including civil society and philanthropic actors, which include targeted support for the cultural, creative and cultural heritage ecosystems and for fair working conditions for their workers;

11.  Urges the Commission and the Member States to scale up their innovation capacity in terms of cooperation and public-private partnerships in order to increase resilience against future crises affecting the CCSI; in this context, urges the Commission and the Member States to further foster the digitalisation of the CCSI and ensure broad digital access to artistic and cultural creations;

12.  Calls on the Commission to explore the possibility of establishing or acting as a partner in a European emergency response and recovery mechanism dedicated specifically to the cultural, cultural heritage and creative ecosystems, based on a multi-stakeholder approach; invites the Commission to propose the legal and fiscal framework for such a mechanism and draw up a list of associate strategic partners from all sectors concerned, public or private and including philanthropic partnership models, in full compliance with the principle of additionality, in order to enable the strategic pooling of resources, thereby strengthening public funding and optimising support for the CCSI;

o   o

13.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.

(1) OJ C 125, 18.3.2022, p. 2.
(2) Texts adopted, P9_TA(2022)0235.
(3) OJ C 385, 22.9.2021, p. 152.
(4) OJ C 184, 5.5.2022, p. 88.
(5) As of 21 September 2022, UNESCO has verified damage to 192 sites since 24 February 2022 – 81 religious sites, 13 museums, 37 historic buildings, 35 buildings dedicated to cultural activities, 17 monuments and 10 libraries.
(6) See the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Article 8, paragraph 2(b) (ix).

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