Tal under bokmässan i Göteborg (24 september 2015) [fr]
Läs ambassadör Lapouges tal på engelska vid EUNIC Café Europa på bokmässan i Göteborg den 24 september 2015.
"Dear Virginia Piombo, Director of the Italian Cultural Institute,
Dear authors, ladies and gentlemen,
It is a pleasure to be here with authors, literature professionals, and representatives of thirteen European cultural institutes and embassies. It is my first time at the Gothenburg Book fair and I must say I am impressed. It feels like a beehive and I can understand, just from what I’ve seen this afternoon, why it truly is one of the most important literary events in Scandinavia.
I’m particularly happy therefore that the European Union National Institutes for Culture (Eunic) decided to create such a space. Having authors from over 13 countries meeting and discussing their work, together and with the readers, is a strong statement that Europe is a space for exchange of ideas and opinion.
The thematic for this year’s Book fair is Freedom of Expression, and it has a particular echo in this period. I remember the very emotional manifestation we organized last January in Stockholm with reporters without borders to commemorate those lost in the Charlie Hebdo shootings, and I know there was also a gathering here in Göteborg. It is important to continue working together for mutual understanding and keeping the spirit of these gatherings.
Catherine Beaunez, I would like to take this moment to welcome you and thank you for your talent and the courage of your drawings.
It is often through the arts and literature that our society analyses itself and reflects on the current challenges. And so I would like to thank the authors present tonight for their work, their engagement and the change that they inspire.
It is indeed for the authors that we, officials and diplomats are here, to emphasize that we are committed to support them and all those working within the publishing industry. We all have developed programmes to support the sector when it comes to translation, publishing or inviting authors to promote their books.
EUNIC Café Europa is also a good example of this commitment. By joining our resources, we have been able to invite 28 personalities (authors, translators, publishers…) to the Gothenburg Book Fair. Altogether they will participate to nearly 50 different events on this very same stage and 15 of them will have a seminar on the official programme.
Let me take the opportunity to salute the BIEF (Bureau International des Editeurs Français) and its presence, with some important French publishers. I invite you to go and visit their stand and discover the remarkable books they have brought with them.
So I thank you again and, it is the privilege of the last speaker, welcome you to the reception of the Eunic member countries. I hear that there will be fantastic Czech beer, but I am happy to say that there will also be a French contribution, the wine obviously."