REGION, INNOVATION AND CULTURALITY
UNDER THE PATRONAGE OF EU-COMMISSIONER Johannes Hahn
IIn times of crisis the familiar takes on new value. The more dynamic and complex the world becomes, the more pressing our need for clarity. What are we after, what are the factors that determine whether we feel good? Is it not also a question of the renewed relevance of our origin, of continuity and change in traditions with the means and possibilities of the 21st century?
It is precisely their complexity that makes border areas so creative. Their stories alone confer on them an identity that transcends all borders. Whether it is language, taste or a different take on culture, the transparency and permeability of borders incite people to seek differences and elective affinities, always making them a dynamic hot spot.
Even if the march of time has caused considerable disruption, there remain common codes, to which each has added something of their own. Today, when regions have become valuable tourist brands, things have changed considerably. It is not the demarcation of regional identity that is called for, not an either/or but an openly avowed both/and. What is one's own and what is foreign do not exist separately and in isolation from each other but as a process of appropriation, as the diversity and wealth of culturality.
Thus - as the trends show - the yearning for familiarity is not the only determining factor: the desire for knowledge, expertise and cultural competence also come into play. And this is manifest in the most diverse sectors, be it art, forms of language, music and its forms of expression or in our everyday lifestyle.
Viewed in these terms, regionality is an open and future-oriented European recipe for success.
We are therefore trying to present cross-border regionalism as a complex set of codes and narrative, as a world of sense and sensibility, where the emotional reach becomes a positive vision of the future.