herald

Monday 10 December 2018

'Let's make Europe a feeling', says Bono

Bono and European Council president Donald Tusk. Pic: Reuters
Bono and European Council president Donald Tusk. Pic: Reuters

Rock star Bono has called on artists to celebrate the "romance" of Europe at a time when the value of the EU has come under question.

Visiting the European Parliament in Brussels, the U2 frontman hailed the Euro- pean institutions as both a "brain" working to improve the lives of Europeans and a "loudly beating heart" bringing them together.

The anti-poverty campaigner did not mention Brexit in his comments alongside the parliament's president, Antonio Tajani, but said pro-European voices were needed at a time when "people are questioning Europe".

Romancing

"As an artist, I think I probably have a role to play in romancing the idea of Europe and seeing it as something warm-blooded," said Bono.

"Europe is a thought that needs to become a feeling and I am, as an artist, in service of that."

Describing himself as "European as well as Irish", Bono suggested Europe had lost out for the lack of the kind of positive artistic treatment given to America in films and songs.

"If you think about the mythology of America and you think about Hollywood and how Hollywood perpetuated the idea of the American dream, and when you think about artists involved in the project that is Europe, it's not that many," he said. "I think we need more as people are questioning Europe."

Mr Tajani thanked the singer for his engagement in the European project, adding: "We need to be united all together as friends with a common history, a common identity and common values - first of all, freedom."

Bono, who also met Euro- pean Council president Donald Tusk, was in Brussels for talks about improving the partnership between Europe and Africa.

"While America is on its holidays from big ideas, we should sit across the table with our African partners as equals and take over the world," he said.

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