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The Maastricht Diplomat

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[Politico] European far-right “critical” of EU’s cultural visa program

Lawmakers in the European Union’s (EU) Parliament gathered on Friday morning to discuss possible proposals for cultural heritage in the European Union amidst rising issues of immigration and European identity. 

The issues discussed primarily consisted of the cultural visas and the promotion and preservation of EU member states sovereignty and identity. The far-right parties presented what they called the “dangers” of a common European identity. They argued it would lead to a united European state, which would without a doubt fail, according to them.

The more left-leaning parties raised the idea that such an identity would not mean a loss of member states’ individual cultural recognition.

The parties continuously discussed the merits and concerns over the implications of a united identity before moving on to a second debate concerning the cultural visa program. 

Belgium’s far-right Vlaams Belang (VB) from the Identity and Democracy group (ID) expressed concerns over how a common identity could be “extremely dangerous for culture and heritage” and could destabilize relations with Russia and China. 

Meanwhile, the Czech Republic brought to attention that unified principles are already amongst the members of the European Union, and to focus on the matters that unite and not divide us.  Estonia and Italy echoed similar sentiments.

A Romanian lawmaker pointed out that a unified identity can assist the EU going forward in global affairs. 

“We cannot promote international relations and love other countries without loving ourselves,” retorted Germany’s Alternative for Germany (AfD), also part of ID.

Also on Friday morning, VB lawmakers said they were “extremely critical” of the cultural visa program and called for it to be abandoned. 

Czechia’s center-right representative argued that the cultural visa would be a valuable asset to strengthening European culture, a statement that faced disapproval from the AfD, which considers the program as a tool aimed at making European identity fall apart. 

One VB MEP told Politico that “we must collaborate with the EPP (European People’s Party, center-right),” but the party is however not open to discussions with the left-wing Greens.

EuroMUN Committee: European Parliament (EP)


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