Your Majesty, Your Royal Highness, Madam Ambassador, dear Anne Dorte Riggelsen, Mr. Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Paris Opera National, dear Bernard Stirn, Mr. Director of the Paris Opera National, dear Nicolas Joel, Director of Dance at the Opéra National de Paris, dear Brigitte Lefèvre, Artistic Director of the Royal Danish Ballet, dear Nikolaj Hübbe, Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear friends,

The magnificent representation of August Bournonville’s masterpiece, in
which we have just attended, reminds us of the seniority and intensity
cultural ties between our two countries, including the Royal Ballet of
Denmark and its choreographic tradition marked by its close ties
with the French school are an undeniable manifestation. I know
also, dear Nikolaj Hübbe, your connection with the Paris Opera House,
you who danced with Isabelle Guérin, Sylvie Guillem and Manuel Legris.

For the seventh time since its accession to the European Community, the
Denmark will assume the presidency of the European Union, alongside
Poland and Cyprus. We are living, as you know, in crucial times
for the future of the Union. Europe’s eyes are turning to
Copenhagen, for the revival of growth, for a Europe
responsible and dynamic. In this particular climate, I take all the
measure of what, for so long, has connected us, values that
are common, commitments we share on the stage

I was this morning in Domrémy, Lorraine, with the President of the
Republic, to commemorate the 600 years of Jeanne’s birth
of Arc. By revisiting the variegated landscape of all interpretations,
contradictory proofreading of this national figure, the thousand and one faces
of a mythology at once so complex and constitutive of our history,
I had in mind the face of Renée Falconetti and her shaved hair, in the
masterpiece by Carl Dreyer. It is a Danish master who will finally have the
the universal significance of a French figure, in a hymn
The Triumph of the Soul over Life” which stands forever in the Pantheon of
the history of world cinema.

For France, Denmark will always remain the homeland of Tycho Brahé and
the Søren Kierkegaard observatory, that of the courage of a
people during the Second World War. But beyond these
that history bequeaths us, there is everything that the cultural scene
brings us, and whose dynamism shows us that our old
Europe has never lost the path of creativity.

The prolific Copenhagen scene reshapes the jazz landscape, in
building new ties with the French scene. Long-time in the
in the field of design and visual arts, Danish artists continue
to impose their brand in France, in line with Richard Mortensen and
Robert Jacobsen, who were very connected to the circle formed by Denise
Renée: Danish artists have their place in the Fonds
National French Contemporary Art. Your fashion designers continue
to inspire their French counterparts in the legacy left by the
late Erik Mortensen. To the Great Arch of Defense signed by
the architect von Spreckelsen, came to answer the creative gesture of Jean
New for the large concert hall of the Danish Radio and Television.

And then there’s this common passion that France and Denmark
share for the cinema, from Carl Dreyer to Babette’s Feast
by Karen Blixen, so beautifully adapted to cinema by Gabriel Axel in
1988, and the resounding success of the directors of the group Dogma 1995 -
Thomas Vinterberg, Lars von Trier, Soren Kragh-Jacobsen
several times in the most prestigious European film festivals.

Danish literature was in the spotlight at the last Paris Book Fair,
which paid tribute in 2011 to Northern letters: if our memories
of Andersen’s tales, of his
of his ugly little ducks and his soldiers
of lead, the French public now reads the novels of Sven Åge Madsen
translated and published by Gallimard, as well as Jens Peter Grondahl.

These are just a few examples, among many others, of
Danish culture in France, particularly well reflected
in the excellent programming of the House of Denmark in Paris, one
the most active foreign cultural institutes in the capital - as in
its jazz festival, its exhibitions, from design to video game,
reflecting all facets and genres of contemporary creation. The
Denmark in France is also the Danish Foundation in the City
international university in Paris, and all the artists who come to
residence – and I know the importance that the Danish government
grants mobility to artists.

It is also, of course, the strong attachment of a Francodanish royal couple
to our country. That of Your Majesty, who
the Sorbonne, a Queen who, with her husband, translated Simone from
Beauvoir; that of the family of the Counts of Monpezat, by whom the estate
castles of the kingdom extends from Rosenborg to Caix in the Lot. A
love of France that you share with your children, the Crown Prince
Frederik, who was stationed at the Danish Embassy in Paris, the Prince
Joachim, also married to a French woman, and your grandchildren.

This attachment that your family embodies in the first place, we find it again
in the quality and density of our cultural cooperation, which translates
every year by a multitude of events in the fields of
more varied. For example, in Copenhagen, the exhibition on
Gauguin and Polynesia at the Ny Carlsberg Museum, with the support of
the French Institute, which has just ended; at the next exhibition on
François Boucher, or the one in progress on Toulouse-Lautrec at the Gallery
with your precious support, since a great
many of the works presented come from the royal collections, one
the world’s richest for the artist’s graphic production – from the
same way as the exhibition «When Versailles was furnished with money»
had been able to show the French public the Danish coins of the castle
Rosenborg, co-organizer of the event. I am thinking of the
music Athelas, where Pierre Boulez will be invited, and to which Your Highness
Royale kindly gave his patronage to the music project
French, baroque to our day, currently conducted in Denmark to
initiative of Peter Augustinus. In the field of music, there are
less than three months, the festival Les Boréales, organized by the
regional letters of Basse-Normandie with the support of my ministry,
was marked by the remarkable concert of Agnes Obel during the 20th
edition of the festival, last November.

Our cultural cooperation is also our exchange of expertise on
heritage issues, and their emerging legal and
close partnerships between the National Library
of France and the Royal Library of Denmark, notably in the
preservation of digital data, and their participation
common to Europeana; exchanges of students and teachers between
our art and design schools.

In the audiovisual field, I would like to mention
joint commitments on cultural and linguistic diversity,
to draw your attention to the visibility of TV5 Monde
Denmark, which seems to be partly questioned by operators
concerned. I have no doubt that the ongoing negotiations with
the operator can reach a favourable outcome.

I am also pleased that the Council has taken the initiative to study
Nordic, the creation of a cultural television channel common to
the entire Scandinavian space, on the model of ARTE, of which we
20 years. I made sure that ARTE could participate in this
beautiful project of ARTE Norden, in its new contract of objectives and
resources, particularly in terms of programme delivery.

The quality of this cooperation must serve as a spur to
intensify our joint projects at European level.

In the cultural fields, there is no shortage of challenges for the
Danish Presidency, with the elaboration of common positions on the
on the place of culture in the external relations of
the European Union, with the opening of negotiations for the
Creative Europe programme, which will replace the Media and
Culture. On all these subjects that fall under our common responsibility,
you can count on the involvement and close collaboration of the

I know that your government was visited by Mr.
Jacques Toubon, on the taxation of cultural goods and services. We
have, as you know, adopted in France a law on the single price of books
digital. This is a key issue for the world of books, in
France as in Denmark. We need to rethink policies together
of the book in the digital age, anticipating the upheavals in
courses rather than undergoing them. France has proposed to the Council, the
Commission and the European Parliament
Question: Danish support in this area would be crucial.
The book, of course, is not the only sector affected by the revolution
digital: video, music, the press are equally concerned. For
France has applied a reduced rate of VAT since the 1st
In general, I am convinced of the need to
a tax environment conducive to the development of offers
of cultural content. The development of these services is
currently hampered by differences in tax treatment within
the Union. Here too, the Danish Presidency could make it possible to reopen this
question in a Community framework.

The future of cultural creation in the digital age was precisely
the subject that brought us together last November in Avignon for the summit
G8-G20 culture: we were able to share with our partners our
convictions on the need to preserve copyright, which protects
and pay creators, on the need to guarantee a legal offer
cultural content online, to fight in a way
coordinated against piracy of works, to share, in a way
our responsibility in the face of this major
all sectors of culture and communication.

On the occasion of this beautiful moment of Franco-Danish friendship that brings us together
this evening, I express the hope that in all these areas, in the face of our
joint responsibility for the commitments to be made, dialogue with
your government can be as successful as possible.

Thank you.