Tuesday

19th Nov 2019

Charter of Fundamental Rights to be re-written as 80-minute-long epic poem

  • The agency is also planning to recraft the charter in the language of children (Photo: unicefiran)

The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) wants the EU's human rights charter recast as an 80-minute-long epic poem, accompanied by music, dance and "multi-media elements."

"The FRA intends to launch a negotiated procedure for the creation and implementation of an artistic concept for the presentation of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights in Poems," reads the agency tender issued this month.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 year's of archives. 30-day free trial.

... or join as a group

The Vienna-based agency has opened a process of contracting a poet to devise a composition based on the articles of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and hire a company of performers to accompany a presentation of the poem with music, a dance interpretation of the piece and "multimedia elements", as well as what the tender refers to as "etc."

The inaugural reading of the poem, whose working title is ‘The Charter in Poems', is to take place at the bloc's 2010 Fundamental Rights Conference on 7 December.

In a move that is likely to provoke the ire of francophones, already smarting from what they view as the galloping advance of the English language within the EU institutions and European communication with citizens at the expense of French, the tender required that poem be composed in the language of Shakespeare as English is, according to the tender document, the "literary language".

However, "the performance itself need not be limited to just English, and indeed is encouraged to include other official languages of the EU."

Friso Roscam-Abbing, spokesman for the FRA, told EUobserver that the poetic re-visioning of the charter aims to make the "dry, legal language of the charter, which is very inaccessible, more relevant to European citizens."

"We hope to raise the visibility of the charter via a nice, literary manifestation of the document in a way that brings the charter to life."

"We are also in the process of developing a children's competition, putting it into children's words to express what the legal language means to them."

Mr Roscam-Abbing said that the requirement that the poem be written in English was "a mistake in the tender announcement."

"It will be put out in all three of the working languages of the EU: English, French, and German, plus Dutch."

Five bidders have responded to the tender. Mr Abbing said he could not reveal from which member states the poets hailed.

The author or authors of the Charter in Poems must also transfer all intellectual property rights and publishing rights to the Fundamental Rights Agency.

Although the tender has now closed, poets may still contact the agency to be involved, according to Mr Roscam-Abbing.

The development comes as European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, a poet in his spare time himself, announced this week he is to publish in April an anthology of his three-line Japanese haiku poems.

Feature

Widow's plea as EU diplomats debate Magnitsky Act

"If evil is not defeated, it tends to expand", Natalia Magnitsky, the widow of a Russian anti-corruption activist, has said, as EU diplomats discuss human rights sanctions 10 years after his death.

Commission defends Breton's Atos over police data

The European Commission defended Atos for hosting EU police data, despite its own public guidelines that state operational and technical copies should not be entrusted to third parties. Atos former CEO Thierry Breton is set to become a European commissioner.

Exclusive

Breton's firm hosted unlawful copy of EU police data

France's Thierry Breton is set to become the next European Commissioner for industrial policy. While he was CEO of IT giant Atos, the firm hosted unlawful partial copies of EU police data on behalf of the United Kingdom.

No large-scale disinformation detected in EU this year

The EU set up a 'Rapid Alert System' in March to allow national authorities in member states to inform the rest of the bloc of any large-scale disinformation campaigns. No alert has so far been triggered.

News in Brief

  1. Hungary's new commissioner approved by MEPs
  2. Balkan coal power plants fail to meet emissions targets
  3. Belarus vote: zero opposition candidates elected
  4. Germany: Tehran should hold dialogue with protesters
  5. US ex-diplomat: Trump's 'historical mistake' on EU
  6. France's MoDem finance director indicted on EP funds
  7. Cyprus hopes for reunification talks in December
  8. Russian link to €406m crypto disappearance

Stalling on VAT reform costing billions, says Commission

German media outlet Correctiv, along with other newsrooms, have revealed how criminals annually cheat EU states out of billions in VAT fraud. The EU Commission says solutions exist - but member states refuse to budge on tax unanimity.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersEarmarked paternity leave – an effective way to change norms
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Climate Action Weeks in December
  3. UNESDAUNESDA welcomes Nicholas Hodac as new Director General
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersBrussels welcomes Nordic culture
  5. UNESDAUNESDA appoints Nicholas Hodac as Director General
  6. UNESDASoft drinks industry co-signs Circular Plastics Alliance Declaration
  7. FEANIEngineers Europe Advisory Group: Building the engineers of the future
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNew programme studies infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance
  9. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  10. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021

Latest News

  1. Von der Leyen commission on track for December start
  2. Ukraine boats added to EU-Russia summit preparations
  3. Migrants in Malmo - separating fact from fiction
  4. Which parties and countries chair the EP committees?
  5. European beekeeping in crisis
  6. France unveils new model EU enlargement
  7. Key moments for new commission This WEEK
  8. EU threatens legal action against UK over commissioner

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us