Italian Prime Minister vows to fight terrorism threat with culture

As a response to the Paris attack, the Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, announced in November his plan to match every euro invested in security with a euro invested in culture.

The global budget for this new plan amounts for 2bn EUR: €1 billion would be spent on security and defense purposes and the other €1 billion would go to cultural programs.

This includes more money for disenfranchised neighbourhoods on the outskirts of big cities, where there are often clashes between Italians and immigrants, but also a €500 bonus for every 18-year old to spend at theatres, concerts and museums. The idea, according to Mr Renzi, is to reinforce their sense of identity through a common yet diverse cultural heritage.

"What happened in Paris signalled a step-up in the cultural battle that we are living" Mr Renzi said at a speech at the Capitoline Museum in Rome. "They imagine terror, we answer with culture. They destroy statues, we love art. They destroy books, we are the country of libraries."

This announcement echoed the conclusions of the March Council for Education Ministers, that took place in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo attacks, where the 28 Education ministers adopted the Paris Declaration on promoting citizenship and the common values of freedom, tolerance and non-discrimination through education.

This Declaration has been then followed by the elaboration in the European Parliament of a report, drafted by Julie, on "the role of intercultural dialogue, cultural diversity and education in promoting EU fundamental values".

Julie welcomes this courageous and concrete approach, and wishes other EU governments will follow the good example of Italy.

 

Read more about Mr Renzi's proposal here

Find out more about Julie's report here