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Culture Is the ‘Perfect weapon’ Against Xenophobia and Other Prejudices Says Schinas, Vice President of the European Commission

DUBAI, 23 October 2021 – Culture has a unique role in battling ideologies and prejudices that foster hate and division, particularly in times of crisis and uncertainty, such as the pandemic, said Margaritis Schinas, Vice President of the European Commission, holding the Commission’s portfolio for ‘Promoting our European way of Life’, on Saturday.

“Culture, music, arts and solidarity inspire Europe – they contribute to our peace and harmony around the world. And this is something that we need now, more than ever before,” the European Commissioner said in his opening remarks at “Global Harmonies: a panel discussion on music, arts and solidarity” – one of numerous events taking place across Expo 2020 Dubai as part of EU Honour Day.

He continued: “Culture is the glue that keeps us together. And this is even more true in times of crisis and uncertainty. In these times, like the ones we’ve been through in the past 18 months… times that are inward-looking, nationalistic, often racist, and xenophobic, we have to fight against these pathologies. And culture is probably the perfect weapon to help us in this fight.”

Schinas, whose responsibilities include leading the Commission’s efforts to maximise the potential of culture and sport, said cultural cooperation helps battle ‘stereotypes, prejudices and hatred’, while helping to nurture “dialogue, mutual respect, understanding and openness.”

He added: “The EU believes that bringing together the world’s current and future creators, scientists, innovators and policymakers will fertilise the intercultural understanding – and reinforce multilateral cooperation, which is necessary in a world that often sounds uncertain and unsafe.”

National Days and Honour Days at Expo 2020 are moments to celebrate each of the mega-event’s 200-plus International Participants, shining a light on their culture and achievements, and showcasing their programming.