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Culture, languages and media
Europe United believes that the European Union should only have a mandate to involve itself in, and support, those aspects of the cultural life of the Union that are Europe or EU wide. The cultural life of individual Member States, and inter-state (events involving 2 or more EU/European states but not all, or nearly all, such states) cultural events should be covered by the subsidiarity principle. This implies the following two rules for the EU's involvement in the cultural life of the union:
1. The EU should actively support and be involved in Europe and EU-wide cultural events such as the UEFA Cup, Eurovision song contest, European games, etc.
2. The EU should only be involved in localised cultural events and inter-state events at the express and unsolicited invitation of the organisers of such events. Such events could include festivals to celebrate the twinning of two European cities, the Edinburgh tattoo, etc.
Europe United sees it as the duty of the EU to promote and encourage minority forms of culture - those forms of culture that struggle to compete with more populist forms for survival - in an effort to protect Europe's rich cultural tapestry even when the Union does not have a mandate in such areas. When not explicitly invited to support minority culture events such as theatre and other productions the EU will be restricted to merely offering vocal and moral support. If the organisers of the productions/events invite the EU to participate the EU is to concentrate a disproportionate amount of its cultural budget toward such programmes. It is through the support of such minority culture that the EU can most effectively protect Europe's cultural diversity. Sports events and more populist and larger cultural events are generally far better at raising their own funding and so are in less need of financial or other support than minority forms of culture.
The EU's capital
Europe United believes that Brussels should remain the capital of the EU. If Brussels is to be kept as the capital of Europe it should be greatly improved to be worthy of that title.
Europe United suggests that such improvements be financed from the cost savings of permanently locating the seat of the European Parliament in Brussels. As such this proposal is cost neutral to the European tax payer.
Europe United also wishes to see an EU quarter in every Member State capital of the Union so as to make the EU more accessible to its citizens. The cost of this would also be partly covered through the savings made by permanently locating the Parliament in Brussels.
A new public holiday
Europe day should be celebrated on 9 May throughout the Union and made into a common public holiday in all Member States.
The EU should actively promote Europe and EU-wide sporting events. It should also promote intercontinental competitions and European participation in these competitions. Europe United would very much like to see an intercontinental football tournament held every four years where a European team made up of the best players in Europe take on teams of the best players from the other continents.
Europe United also encourages (but does not mandate) athletes and representatives of EU Member States at international cultural and sporting events to wear discrete EU emblems to indicate that while they first and foremost represent their state they also represent the EU. It is, of course, up to the individual athletes and Member States to decide whether they wish to show make this display of solidarity or not. The wearing of such symbols should be completely voluntary, but this party believes that such displays of solidarity would be positive for European unity.
General media policy
Europe United believes in free media and believe that, apart from the sections below, media policy should be the responsibility of member state or regional authorities according to the principle of subsidiarity.
EU Media dialogue
The EU should spend a great deal more effort on communicating effectively with the media in order to ensure that it is fairly represented. Europe United believes EU institutions should increase their public relations budgets, hold more press conferences, have educational seminars for the public, and invest in speaking clearly to the public. The goal is to ensure that the public is well informed and that there is an open and continuous high quality channel for communication between government and the governed.
European Broadcasting Corporation (EBC)
A public service news, documentaries, and debates channel covering the entire Union, provisionally called the EBC, should be established as soon as possible. This could possibly be developed out of Euronews. Its remit would be to cover news and public interest stories from across the Union from a European perspective. To ensure its independence it would have its own funding through an indirect dedicated tax. The EBC should be independent of any political structure. About one third of programming content would be local to the Member State and two thirds would be common to all EU States. In any Member State the EBC would broadcast on at least two channels, one where the language used is the auxiliary language of the Union, the other where it is the national language of the state the broadcasts are in. This service could be augmented with further channels for minority/regional languages at the Member State's behest.
In accordance with Europe United's vision of a diverse pluralistic continent this party wishes to see all European languages given the space and resources needed to flourish. Linguistic diversity is one of Europe's great strengths and adds significantly to the richness of European culture.
Part of our vision is also of a dynamic and unified continent. The fact that many Europeans cannot communicate directly with one another is a hindrance to both the unity of our continent and its dynamism. It hinders our unity because language barriers prevent free discourse across our union. People who can't communicate with each other feel estranged from one another. It hinders our dynamism as it works against one of the central principles of the single market: the right for any European to work wherever they want within the EU. Today no European can exercise that right because no European can speak all the national languages of EU Member States. It is extremely difficult (in most employment sectors impossible) to work in a Member State where one cannot speak the national language. This hinders freedom of movement throughout the Union and so detracts from labour mobility and the dynamism and competitiveness of the EU economy. The EU is materially poorer and its economy growing more slowly than its potential because labour movement around the Union is restrained in this way.
The problem is how to solve the economic and social problems caused by linguistic diversity without sacrificing that linguistic diversity. Europe United's solution to this problem is to actually increase the linguistic diversity of Europe.