Messrs. Kaaczyński, Orban and Salvini are teaming up. They call for a fortress Europe, building walls. They celebrate national myths and champion nationalistic visions as well as cultural expression. They accuse the EU of threatening national identities(1). Historically cultural policy contributed to building the nation state. It is now used to wage war against a humanist vision of Europe, that welcomes cultural exchanges, encourages freedom of expression, diversity and mutual understanding. The authoritarians exacerbate xenophobia and nationalistic visions, tearing down the European ideal. They show that it is not possible to build Europe without consideration for culture.
How should a cultural administration be made relevant to promote the values of the European project based on democracy, freedom of expression and the rule of law? How can art and culture contribute to build values of tolerance, empathy or mutual understanding, the very foundations of a closer Union? What could a European policy for culture that embodies humanist values be?