Today we celebrate both in Europe and globally the 8th World Circus Day, held on the third Saturday of April every year – originally an initiative of the Férédation Mondiale du Circe led by the Princess Stéphanie of Monaco.
This year, together with Princess Stéphanie and the International Circus Federation we are launching a Europe-wide social media video campaign for traditional circuses. Traditional circuses – soon celebrating their 250th anniversary – have been the subject of many falsely generalizing attacks in recent times, mainly due to the sustainability of animal shows, circus conditions and traditional circus elements. However, it is unfair to label every single representative of a 250-year old artistic form, just because a handful of them do not respect the rules and occasionally engage in truly repellent behaviour. We need to be able to differentiate between those exemplary circuses who follow written and unwritten rules and those who break them consciously. Therefore we have established a special quality assurance system, the “Big Top Label” that will guarantee both the acknowledgement of contemporary social demands and traditional values of circus art as well.
Circus art is an integral part of European culture and economy that provides millions of people with quality entertainment and thousands with their livelihood. Beyond the obvious cultural and economic merits it also has a strong social value; the circus shows an example of respect for traditions, cooperation, trust, partnership, internationality, and intercultural dialogue. Our video-campaign presented today on the World Circus Day further emphasizes this message: “Watch the magic, see the truth!”
MEP, responsible for tourism in the European Parliament
József Richter Jr.
Golden Pierrot-awarded Hungarian artiste, director of the Hungarian National Circus