Conclusions of the subjects 1991

Theme 1991: The treaty of maastricht

The role of the arts in a Europe on the way to integration.
A debate on social and cultural issues with political implications.
First Symposium August 10-15, 1991, at 'De Bron', Holland


Theme 1 The European Community would not have come into existence if it had not already had a common cultural basis. Inspired by its desire to uphold the Greek-Humanist and Judeo-Christian heritage of Europe, Christian Artists Europe sees its role as consisting in supporting and safeguarding the values and significance of its heritage.

Theme 2 As part of the process of cultural integration, it is important that people in Europe get to know and appreciate each other's values. Art, through its communicative function, can contribute to that process.

Theme 3 The new cultural paragraph in the EEC Treaty generates space to create a European policy on culture. Art no longer depends on economic values. The cultural paragraph respects the relative autonomy of the cultural sphere of life. But missing from this paragraph is a formal democratic possibility for giving advice. involvement and insight in European Community responsibilities by organisations concretely involved in this cultural sphere can make up for this lacunae and impress upon politicians that European society demands a structure which can implement cultural pluralism.

Theme 4 The living conditions of artists might be introduced via the Social Economic committee. In the absence of a meaningful social paragraph in the EEC Treaty, people have to rely in particular on their national state's provisions. Through the European Parliament, action aiming at the creation of such a social paragraph can be undertaken. A third possibility might lie in direct negotiations with the European Commission. This is why artists need their own lobby group.

Theme 5 The European Community, if necessary in dialogue with the Council of Europe, should enter into a dialogue with cultural organizations that exist at a European level. (Christian Artists Europe is one of them.)

Theme 6 Through their art, artists express their concerns and values. The Christian Artists Europe association promotes this internationally. Such promotion of interests goes beyond the artists own social interests. It also relates to the European dimension. In an integrating Europe, the teaching of the arts, the history of cultures, the history of the Church, and the importance of ecumenical dialogue as well as the media all play a cultural role. Artists' organizations need to find partners with whom they can work together in synergy.

Theme 7 The value of each religious tradition needs to be recognised within a cultural dialogue. Genuine openness and insight into one's own values and those of others generate a climat for dialogue and cooperation. The arts can fulfil this communicative function because they appeal to universal values which can rise above the differences of opinions between traditions.

Theme 8 Governmental cultural subsidiarity policies should protect all art forms including minority cultures. A European democracy will have to draw attention to cultural political problems in this context. The association Christian Artists Europe should be involved in this process. Cultural values are not limited by national frontiers. Artists can criticise nationalist or nationally oriented cultural policies out of the values they would like to see enhanced.

Theme 9 Strategic alliances are very important. They will have to be underpinned by the values that a majority of people advocate. Responsibilities have to be clearly defined. Concrete projects must result, e.g. festivals, exhibitions, symposia, tours, seminars, scholarships, etc. adding substance to alliances. Contacts also need to be made at government levels. Named potential partners are: - artists' organizations - the media -political parties - trade unions - religious communities/churches.

Theme 10 In addition to. theme 9, financial means and organizational capacities are needed to support alliances, networks, research of governmental policies and inquiry into concrete possibilities in the social field.


The Association of Christian Artists intends to continue its international work (networks, seminars, publications, contacts with artists, Christian unions and political parties). Another symposium will be taking place to define further strategic moves for thefuture: artistically, spiritually, and for a better social and political dialogue.