Yuste analyses the strengthening of European identity through education and culture

The European and Ibero-American Academy of Yuste Foundation has opened the course “Culture, Heritage and European Citizenship: Strengthening European Identity through Education and Culture, and How to Manage It”, where forty one students from the following universities: Complutense of Madrid; UNED; Salamanca; Huelva; Jaén; the Pontifical University of Salamanca; Granada; Seville; Carlos III; the Autonomous University of Madrid; Extremadura; Rey Juan Carlos; the Miguel Hernández University (Valladolid); the Polytechnic University of Valencia and the Pablo de Olavide University (Seville), participate.

Those entrusted to open the course were the Director of the European and Ibero-American Academy of Yuste Foundation, Juan Carlos Moreno Piñero; the Director of the project on Culture, Heritage and European Citizenship, (MBA Culture, Heritage & Citizenship –MBA CHC-), who is also the Director of the course, Steve Austen; the Director of the Heritage Research Institute of the University of Extremadura and Secretary of the course, Felipe Leco Berrocal and the Vice-Rector of Quality from the University of Extremadura, Juan Carlos Preciado Rodríguez.

The Director of Yuste Foundation pointed out that Europe pursues to “be united in its diversity” as stated in the European Union’s motto. In this sense, Moreno affirmed that “the difficult balance that seeks to preserve everyone’s identity without breaking the unity is only possible through culture, which implies getting to know an individual that is different and respecting him/her”.

The Director of Yuste Foundation stressed that “History is a relay race and the baton we pass from one generation to the other is culture”; it is thus necessary to “protect our cultural heritage and know how to preserve it”, because culture should be a “fundamental right that may help us to be freer, as it isn’t a luxury, but a need”.

In this vein, Felipe Leco pointed out that one of the seminar’s aims is the “analysis and assessment of culture, education, cultural processes and European cultural identity as a cornerstone to achieve sustainable development”.

Leco defended that “culture should be understood from the stand point of the current processes of community governance, from the management of heritage resources, from the perspective of development and society’s economic welfare”; he thus affirmed that “territorial heritage must break and cross the frontier of the museum, which is why the heritage’s management and social revitalisation is also important. Its real value does not only reach natural and cultural reality, but also cultural, economic and that related to the population’s identity and their territory”. Leco highlighted that “heritage should be understood as a dynamic activity of local economies that enhances territorial identity, integration and social cohesion”.

Professors and experts from Austrian, Dutch, German, Hungarian and Italian important institutions, such as Abram de Swaan, member of the European and Ibero-American Academy of Yuste; Doctor Inge Ceustermans, Managing Director of the Festival Academy; Professor Mario Neve from the University of Bologna; Professor Jan Van Zwieten, Rector of Netherlands’ Business Academy or Professor Izabella Agárdi, Research fellow at the iAsk Institute of Advanced Studies, meet up in Yuste until the 28th of September.

This course is organised in the framework of a European project co-financed by the Erasmus Plus Programme in order to develop a European interdisciplinary curriculum that will launch a Master of Business Administration (MBA) on Culture, Heritage & Citizenship -MBA CHC- in English) co-financed by the Erasmus Plus Programme. The project is led by the Netherlands Business Academy, based in Breda.

The partners of the project are: the Netherlands Business Academy (the Netherlands, Holland), which is the leading organisation of the project; the Amsterdam Summer University Foundation (the Netherlands); Alma Mater Studiorium from the University of Bologna (Italy); the Fondazione Flaminia (Italy); the Institute for Social and European Studies (Hungary); the Pakhuis de Zwijger Foundation (the Netherlands); the Stiftung Zukunft Berlin (Germany) and the European and Ibero-American Academy of Yuste Foundation (Spain).