Newsbulletin #1
april 2009

• Editorial
• European Forum: “The distinctive contribution
of the arts to Intercultural Dialogue?” Brussels, 8 June

• Intercultural Capacity-Building:
Practice Exchange and Roundtable

• Launch of Panorama: A resource collection
for Intercultural Dialogue

• Political expectations
• Continued support for the Rainbow Paper
on Intercultural Dialogue counts

• Become a Member
• Save the Date: First General Assembly of the
Platform for Intercultural Europe

• Members’ News




Editorial

Most of you will receive this newsletter as a result of having signed The Rainbow Paper. Intercultural Dialogue: From Practice to Policy and Back. You lent your support to our approach to Intercultural Dialogue and to our political recommendations. Thank you! Over 300 organisations and over 250 individuals have done so to date.

And where to from here? The European Year of Intercultural Dialogue is over. Intercultural Dialogue will not become a dedicated policy in the EU. Financial pressures are such that a concentration on core policies will be advocated in the preparations for the next generation EU budget. Intercultural Dialogue will remain a policy objective across a range of EU policies and programmes, but will its invocation ring hollow or be filled with life?

The political context for our implementation of the Rainbow Paper is challenging, and the danger of dulling the cause by giving it the EU treatment of bureaucratic process and protocol repetitions is real. Yet the task of European comparison and learning continues to arise from local diversities related to migration or ethnic minorities. European guidance, if not guidelines, on dealing with diversity constructively remain desirable.

The Platform’s secretariat and steering group have worked hard to hammer out an operational plan for 2009, which translates our convictions into actions and builds on our work of the past two years. This newsletter introduces you to this plan. Given that we have recently received the good news of an EU grant for 2009, it is now a realisable plan. The European Cultural Foundation and the Network of European Foundations also continue to support us, for which we are grateful.

In order to be able to operate beyond the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue, we have recently transformed from an informal initiative to a proper not-for-profit association. It needs committed members now to be a living thing. Please join us! This newsbulletin will tell you what is involved.

Sabine Frank, Secretary General

European Forum
"The distinctive contribution of the arts to Intercultural Dialogue. A view from and on the arts”, Brussels, 8 June

The European Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008 was primarily a communications campaign to promote cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue. It was a time to make bold claims and catch a bit of the limelight. We now want to take a more critical look at the role of the arts in intercultural dialogue in particular and also invite the views of people from other domains. A bit of EYID follow-up, but also useful in light of the upcoming review of the EU culture programme - does this programme need to be more specific in what it supports as intercultural dialogue projects? The claims of other sectors will be examined at similar future roundtables.

This one-day event is supported by the European Commission. The agency TeamWork will handle invitation mailings and registrations on its behalf. Please keep the date! You will soon receive another communication. To consult the draft programme click here.

The Annual General Members Meeting of the Platform will take place in the late afternoon of the same day (see below).

Intercultural Capacity-Building: Practice Exchange and Roundtable
Pilot in Malmö, 15/16 June

What issues do real people in real organisations face when the try and work more interculturally? When they try to establish and apply a diversity policy to their staff, their governance structures, and their work with constituencies? We want to know how the goal we have set in the Rainbow Paper translates into practice. We want to be able to make more concrete demands for public support to the intercultural capacity-building of organisations.

This investigation will take us first to Malmö in southern Sweden for a structured exploration of the practical issues faced by Norwegian, Swedish, Danish and Finnish arts & culture professionals. The event will take place at the Spiritus Mundi Centre and be hosted by the Nordic Forum for Interculture. Participation is by invitation only, but we are looking to holding three more seminars of this kind in other regions of Europe in the second half of 2009. If you are interested in hosting such a seminar and want to find out more, please get in touch: dialogue@intercultural-europe.org.



Launch of Panorama
A resource collection for Intercultural Dialogue

The 2008 work of the Platform for Intercultural Europe has also born the fruit of a collection of information sources on the subject of intercultural dialogue - collated by independent cultural policy expert Lidia Varbanova. It has just been launched online at:

http://panorama.intercultural-europe.org


The collection ranges from a comprehensive web survey of definitions and key resources on intercultural dialogue (official documents, articles, books, research studies, virtual libraries and action-oriented intercultural dialogue projects) to an overview of resources on cultural diversity and cultural competence. The resource collection is complemented by extensive bibliographies on specific specialised themes linked to intercultural dialogue.
Discover also the gallery of photographs by Valery Klamm and cartoons by Oleg Dergachov. The pictures provide vivid borders to “Panorama” and can be revealed at full size with a simple click. You can then stretch your imagination for a few seconds before returning to browsing in the resource collection.

Political Expectations

Our Platform will be funded this year as a “policy support structure” under the EU Culture programme. The creation of this funding line followed the establishment of two further thematic platforms based on our model in 2008. All three platforms are the partners in the “structured dialogue” between the European Commission/EU Council and civil society in the field of culture.

At stake in this dialogue is the implementation of the “Agenda for Culture”, a policy strategy document adopted in 2007 – intercultural dialogue/cultural diversity is one of its three objectives. We therefore now have a formal place at the political table.

There are expectations to be fulfilled: We need to engage with the other platforms and the working groups of the EU Council, we need to make a contribution to the Culture Forum in September (a way mark in the implementation of the Agenda). Besides these central obligations, we will keep an eye on related policy fields such as EU integration policy, in order to expand our advocacy in the years to come in line with our aspirations to represent all sectors with a concern for Intercultural Dialogue.

Continued support for the Rainbow Paper on Intercultural Dialogue counts

The Rainbow Paper will inform our activities in the years to come. It is our chief advocacy tool. The more people sign it, the more force it will have. Signing it is also the way to Platform membership. Please help encourage others to sign!

A product of two years’ broad consultation, the Rainbow Paper is a call to action in five areas:

• Positive lifelong learning about cultural diversity through formal, non-formal and informal means (Education)

• Ensuring the everyday practice of 'interculturalism' (Building capacity in organisations)

• Sustaining good policies and practices and learning from bad ones (Monitoring)

• Keeping the lifeblood of 'intercultural dialogue' flowing (Mobilising across boundaries)

• Guaranteeing adequate investment (Resourcing intercultural dialogue).

For full details and sign up, go to: http://rainbowpaper.labforculture.org

Become a Member

Our mission is to be a legitimate and effective interlocutor between European Institutions and civil society organisations committed to the values of intercultural dialogue. We do this by:

• Developing understanding of the concepts and practice of intercultural dialogue

• Representing the experience, insight and needs of all those who act to promote it

• Influencing European and national policy to improve support for their work

• Providing a space for reflection, dialogue and learning in our field.

From now on the Platform, as an established association, is open to members. Membership is open to local, regional, national and international organisations from all sectors working in the field of Intercultural Dialogue (arts & culture, education, anti-discrimination, interfaith dialogue, citizenship education, youth, migration etc.). Individuals can become associate members. Find out more.

Save the Date
First General Assembly of the Platform for Intercultural Europe

Our first General Assembly of Members will take place in the afternoon of 8th June in Brussels, after our Forum. Everybody who intends to become a member of the Platform by 8th June must consider this Newsbulletin as the convocation of the meeting. To take a look at the draft agenda, click here. Registration will be launched in tandem with that for the Forum (see above). If you are interested in standing for election to the steering group, please express your interest in writing to dialogue@intercultural-europe.org. Steering group members serve in an individual capacity, but can be representatives of member organisations as well as individual members.

Members’ News

This space will be dedicated exclusively to our members. Finally we have a tool to help you present your activities and find out about other organisations. A call for entries will be issued a couple of weeks in advance of each Newsbulletin issue.

ECF logo - NEF logo - Culture Action Europe Logo

The Platform for Intercultural Europe was initiated by the European Cultural Foundation (ECF)
and Culture Action Europe, the European Forum for the Arts and Heritage. The Platform is supported by the Network of European Foundations (NEF). NEF is a consortium involving the following partners: Compagnia di San Paolo, European Cultural Foundation, Evens Foundation, Fondation Bernheim, Freudenberg Stiftung, Stiftelsen Riksbankens Jubileumsfond.


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