Frankfurter Buchmesse 2016 : "This is what we share"
Together with the Belgian and Dutch kings, Minister-president Geert Bourgeois, European Parliament President Martin Schulz and the ministers of culture Boris Rhein (Hessen), Jet Bussemaker (the Netherlands) and Sven Gatz (Flanders) officially opened the Frankfurt Book Fair on October 18, 2016.
Flanders and the Netherlands are together “the guest of honor” at this edition of the largest and most important literary fair in the world. Under the motto "This is what we share" the Low Countries want to present themselves to the world by focusing, not on the differences, but on what unites us. A motto Minister-president Bourgeois also looks for in our attitude towards the European Union.
"The European idea is unique. It is based on preserving the balance between respect for the individuality of cultures and mutual tolerance for and understanding of diversity. And just this is the greatest challenge we face today. Culture can help us find this ‘unity in diversity’ ”. Minister-president ended his speech with this appeal: “Let us start by reading each other’s books”.
European Parliament Chairman Martin Schulz also made the link between the motto and the European Union: "After the wars in the first half of the 20th century divided our continent, it were the Low Countries amongst others that reached out to us and co-founded the European Community we know today. It would be unwise to decline the same proposal today ".
After the opening ceremony intendent Bart Moeyaert welcomed the guests in the Flemish-Dutch pavilion. The interior of the pavilion is inspired by the North Sea; the sea that connects Flanders and the Netherlands. But also connects the Low Countries and Germany.
The Frankfurt Book Fair runs until October 23rd. After the fair still many events and activities are planned in Germany and Europe.
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