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European unity must take account of diversity: Polish president

(Xinhua)

09:05, September 09, 2011

WARSAW, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) -- The European character has always been based primarily on cultural identity, Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski said here on Thursday when opening the European Culture Congress, local media reported.

The grandeur of European culture manifesting itself in fondness of diversity can be easily seen here in Wroclaw, Komorowski said.

"European unity must take account of diversity, only then is it possible to reach a full-fledged European character, reflecting the complicated traditions, cultures, tongues, creeds in its entire diversity," Komorowski declared.

President of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek also noted that the EU is united in diversity. It has 27 member states, half a billion citizens, long ages of history but its culture is coherent enough to call it a single culture, Buzek said.

Culture is Europe's anchor and foundation, according to EC commissioner for education, culture, and youth Androulla Vassiliou. Moreover, culture can help fight the economic crisis, she claimed.

"Culture can play a great role in building an EU that is socially strong and includes all of its citizens. Today the well-being of nations depends on knowledge and innovations," the commissioner noted.

"It is evident that investing in culture is in our common interest," she added.

The European Culture Congress is among the most important events of the cultural dimension of Poland's EU presidency. The congress features over 100 interdisciplinary meetings and projects under the general motto "Art for Social Change."

An informal meeting of 20 culture ministers will be the political high point of the Congress, while artistic events includes film shows, theatre performances, concerts and exhibitions. The congress will end on Sunday.

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