JOINT STATEMENT OF THE MINISTERS OF CULTURE OF THE EUROPEAN UNION

Sunday, January 11, 2015

On Wednesday 7 January 2015, a terrorist attack on the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris killed 12 people, most of them journalists and artists working for the magazine.

JOINT STATEMENT OF THE MINISTERS OF CULTURE OF THE EUROPEAN UNION

JOINT STATEMENT OF THE MINISTERS OF CULTURE OF THE EUROPEAN UNION 

On Wednesday 7 January 2015, a terrorist attack on the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris killed 12 people, most of them journalists and artists working for the magazine. 

Despite regular death threats, they had vowed to continue expressing their freedom to think and to create with humour and talent. They were murdered because they drew and published cartoons. 

This unspeakable act was intended to silence them forever, to terminate the publication of the magazine and more broadly, to restrict the freedom to think, to speak and to create. These freedoms are core values of European democracy. They are universal democratic values. 

In this time of profound sadness and grief, we, the ministers of culture of the European Union, condemn this senseless barbarity, which attempts to undermine our essential values in the most violent way. 

We unanimously express our belief that artistic freedom and freedom of expression stand firm and unflinching at the heart of our common European values. France and her allies in the EU safeguard these values and promote them in the world. We affirm our determination to continue to do so in the future. 

We, the ministers of culture of the European Union, do not accept terrorists’ attempts to impose their own standards. Since time immemorial, the arts have been an inspiration for reflection giving rise to new ideas and fighting against intolerance and ignorance. It is the freedom of expression in a culturally diverse environment that brings these ideas into meaningful dialogue. 

We, the ministers of culture of the European Union, stand in solidarity to defend the freedom of expression and vow to protect the rights of artists to create freely.

Dace MELB RDE, Minister for Culture Holder of Rotating EU Council Presidency, Latvia

Josef OSTERMAYER, Federal Minister for Arts and Culture, Constitution and Media, Austria

Fleur PELLERIN, Minister for Culture and Communication, France

Joëlle MILQUET, Vice Minister President of the French-speaking Community and Minister for Education, Culture and Childhood, Belgium

Jean-Claude MARCOURT, Vice Minister President of the French-speaking Community and Minister for Higher Education, Research and Media, Belgium

Isabelle WEYKMANS, Vice-minister-president of the German-Speaking Community and minister of Culture, Employment and Tourism, Belgium

Sven GATZ, Flemish Minister for Culture, Media, Youth and Brussels, Belgium

Vezhdi RASHIDOV, Minister for Culture, Bulgaria

Prof. Costas KADIS, Minister for Education and Culture, Cyprus

Daniel HERMAN, Minister for Culture, Czech Republic

Ph.D Andrea ZLATAR VIOLIĆ, Minister of Culture, Croatia

Prof. Monika GRÜTTERS, Minister of State for Culture and Media, Germany

Marianne JELVED, Minister for Culture, Denmark

José Ignacio WERT ORTEGA, Minister for Education, Culture and Sport, Spain

Urve TIIDUS, Minister of Culture, Estonia

Pia VIITANEN, Minister of Culture and Housing, Finland

Zoltán BALOG, Minister of Human Capacities, Hungary

Konstantinos TASOULAS, Minister of Culture and Sports, Hellenic Republic

Heather HUMPHREYS, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Ireland

Dario FRANCESCHINI, Minister of Cultural Heritage and Activities and of Tourism, Italy

Šarūnas BIRUTIS, Minister for Culture, Lithuania

Maggy NAGEL, Minister for Culture, Luxembourg

Dr. Owen BONNICI, Ministry for Justice, Culture and Local Government, Malta

Dr. Jet BUSSEMAKER, Minister for Education, Culture and Science, The Netherlands

Sander DEKKER, State Secretary for Education, Culture and Science, The Netherlands

Prof. Małgorzata OMILANOWSKA, Minister of Culture and National Heritage, Poland

Jorge Barreto XAVIER, Secretary of State for Culture, Portugal

Ioan VULPESCU, Minister for Culture, Romania

M.Sc. Julijana BIZJAK MLAKAR, Minster for Culture, Slovenia

Marek MAĎARIČ, Minister for Culture, Slovak Republic

Alice BAH KUHNKE, Minister for Culture, Sweden

Ed VAIZEY, Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy, United Kingdom

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Luc Tuymans, Flemish Village 1995.  Collection MuHKA, Antwerp

Luc Tuymans, Flemish Village 1995. Collection MuHKA, Antwerp

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