“Culture is the cement that binds Europe together.”
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JOIN US GET IN TOUCH Music is the language of the spirit. It opens the secret of life bringing peace, abolishing strife.  Kahlil Gibran
Culture is, and always has been, the cement that binds Europe together. It is an essential part of the very foundations of our European project and must remain firmly entrenched in our ideals if we are to succeed in achieving a more united, a stronger and open Europe. Culture is also a tool of diplomacy. It is about connecting with people all over the world. It is about universal values and inspirations. Indeed Europe's global influence also lies in our cultural openness to other societies, our openness to the world. (...) Creative sectors play indeed a crucial role for the sustainable development and social cohesion of our regions and cities. Culture is a driver for urban and regional regeneration. (...) Our aim is to help artists, cultural professionals and cultural organisations so that they can work across borders and ensure that their works reach as many people as possible. Creative Europe will also contribute to improving access to finance through the creation of a new loan guarantee facility. Indeed spending on culture is not a luxury but a sound investment and not only for the distant future. Culture is not a "nice to have", but a "need to have". If Europe is to emerge stronger from these difficult times, we need more than ever to stimulate a new model of growth, underpinned by knowledge and creativity, research and innovation as its key drivers. Cutting spending in such key areas would be exactly the wrong thing to do. This would be the shortest way to lower growth and fewer jobs in the future. (...) We need all the representatives of the arts and culture, because culture is the thread that links us together in our diversity and which allows us to take ownership of our shared European destiny. (Speech at the opening of the 3rd edition of the European Culture Forum, Brussels, 4 Nov. 2013)
President of the European Commission
José Manuel Durão Barroso