22nd December 2021
First of all, I would like to wish you all a very happy holiday season and hope that you and your loved ones are doing well!
In spite of this terrible pandemic, we have continued to work, with great energy and enthusiasm, to make the Centre Européen de Musique (CEM) a reality in Bougival. Strengthened by the progress made and the support we have received, such as that of the HIPPOCRENE, de ROTHSCHILD Foundations, CEEH and BNP-PARIBAS, the LINKCITY real estate development company and the OPEREL tourism and cultural development company, as well as the SNØHETTA and DEVILLERS ET ASSOCIES architectural firms, we wanted to go further and propose to the European institutions, following the example of the Bougival CEM, a narrative of belonging to the European soil, which can only be realised through culture, the very essence of our identity.
Thus, we have established various partnerships with countries such as Germany, Austria, Belgium, Spain, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Sweden, with cities as important as Athens, Cordoba, Seville, Lisbon, Venice, Naples, Baden-Baden and Stockholm, and with sites as emblematic as Aristotle's Lyceum in Athens, the Temple of Delphi and the Island of Delos. On the eve of the French Presidency of the European Council, we are strongly committed to one of the fundamental axes of this Presidency: belonging.
"Let culture be the future of Europe’’
Culture, and in particular music, are today vectors of belonging but also of recovery and sovereignty.It is only by becoming aware of our diversity, our crossroads, our heritage, our languages and our traditions that we will be able to offer it to future generations of Europeans. Nor can we offer it as a historical past but, above all, as a lived cultural and musical experience. Music in all things" will be the proof of this, because of its history, because of its capacity to marry opposites and, given its hybridity, to be able to offer us new creations as a result.
In these times, clouded by ideas that we thought were part of the worst moments of our history, it is time to join forces and to proclaim loud and clear, as Pauline García-Viardot and her friends did in the 19th century, that Europe and Culture are the answer to the dream wasters! Let culture be the future of Europe, through the awareness that it is not a national matter but a transnational matter, a good for all!That culture is no longer looked down upon by the economy but becomes a vector for sustainable economic development, as the CEM proves by achieving 13 of the 17 United Nation Sustainable Development Goals.
As Louise Weiss said in the European Parliament on 17 July 1979: "The Community institutions have made European beets, butter, calves and even pigs, but they have not made European men!'' The time as come to live this belonging, as the great Stefan Zweig wished: "for the new youth that is arriving and that will consider Europe, next to its own homeland, as the common homeland according to its heart."
It is time to follow the words of Beethoven, the European, who invites us to a change of tone! Let us therefore build this new tone, that of Brotherhood and Joy, that of the European and the universal!
Here are my sincere wishes for all of us, filled with hope!
Founding Chairman of the Centre Européen de Musique