Europe is rich in examples which make the path to ‘intercultural society’ look like a long obstacle course:

Nearly 10 000 Tunisian refugees have piled up on the island of Lampedusa since February, and part of the EU response is to assist Italy in “strengthening their border control activities”. See new PICUM bulletin.

Black African artist invited to perform in the UK have been refused visas on flimsy suspicion of wanting to stay on beyond their engagement. See South African playwright Mike van Graan’s blog.

The new German minister of the interior regresses the German Islam Conference by refusing to acknowledge that Islam has become part of Germany and alienates its participants by proposing a ‘security partnership against extremism and terrorism’ between the German state and Muslims in Germany.

The Platform for Intercultural Europe gets requests on such a variety of occasions to ‘take up’ the issue and ‘open discussion’. Our Steering Group does feel and consider the urge for action generated by events which demonstrate xenophobia and discrimination. At the same time, we hold to the conclusion that our work should be focused on other areas than taking specific positions on concrete examples. Slow as EU processes feel, we believe that our work on the intercultural agenda between EU cultural policy and EU integration policy is a solid base for struggle and a necessary part of the strategy. This Newsbulletin provides news from both domains.

If you have questions or comments on our course or feedback on this Newsbulletin, please write to newsbulletin@intercultural-europe.org

Sabine Frank, Secretary General

Patience needed

First meeting of EU Council working group on access to culture and intercultural dialogue, 8th March 2011

The high hopes that the Platform for Intercultural Europe would now have an interlocutor in the EU Council on the topics of intercultural dialogue and the cultural participation of migrants and ethnic minorities were damped down as a result of the first meeting of the expert working group under the Open Method of Coordination. Probably only in 2012 will this group turn to these topics. Until then, the cultural access and participation of children, disabled people, the elderly, socio-economically disadvantaged people, etc. will play a greater role.
The fact that the Platform for Intercultural Europe can participate in the meetings of this group is however positive. Its Secretary-General, Sabine Frank, invited the expert group to pick up work begun during the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008 and to take into account preparations for a New EU Integration Agenda, which include suggestions for the integration of migrants into cultural life. Given the background of the nominated experts, however, this did not meet with enthusiasm.
The next meeting of this OMC WG will take place on 14 or 15 June. In the meantime, participants will gather information in their respective countries on how participation, wider access and target groups are defined in cultural policy, and what indicators are used and what statistics are gathered. They will also select 3-5 examples of good practice in widening access/improving participation in culture from their country. The work will progress under the chairmanship of Francois Marie from the French Ministry for Culture and Communication.

Report available! Fourth Practice Exchange for Intercultural Capacity-Building Interculturalism: Art and Policy

Rose Bruford College, Sidcup, London, 15/16th December 2010

Compact insights of leading arts practitioners into advancing interculturalism. Reflections on the British and European political context of the arts. Recommendations for advancing the intercultural agenda in the arts. No boring report, but an inspiring read: Full report; summary version.

Platform for Intercultural Europe Discussion Papers 1 & 2

Joel Anderson and Sukhvinder Kaur-Stubbs on Enabling free, full and equal participation

It is part of our mission to develop understanding of the concepts behind intercultural dialogue and action. In realising our vision of an Intercultural Europe we have choices to make. We need to shed well-meaning, but ineffective projects and activities from those that bring real change. We need to be equipped with knowledge to carry out our work and with language to present it.
The Platform for Intercultural Europe Discussion Papers 1 & 2 mark the beginning of a series of occasional papers intended to stimulate organisations in our membership and wider network to reflect on their strategic orientation. "There is a particularly clear need for a more explicit statement of the relationship between power and dialogue, in order to highlight the ways in which genuine intercultural dialogue can be challenging and transformative for all involved", says Joel Anderson.
Please read and distribute Discussion Papers 1 & 2.

Panorama on Intercultural Dialogue

Resources at your finger tips

Our resource collection has been updated and its website improved. Further work is planned. Search official documents, articles, studies, reports, etc. Delve into intercultural competence, education and communication on panorama.intercultural-europe.org

New EU culture programme in line with EU strategic objectives

Our contribution to the public consultation

On 16th February, the European Commission rounded of its public consultation on the redesign of the EU Culture Programme for 2013-2020, with a stakeholder meeting in Brussels. Several hundred cultural operators used the opportunity to register their interests.
The European Commission highlighted that the Culture Programme will have to be adapted so as to contribute to the EU’s strategic goals. One of its consultation questions concerned this need.
Platform Secretary-General Sabine Frank answered the question with regard to the programme objective ‘intercultural dialogue’. She referred to research undertaken by the Platform for Intercultural Europe and Culture Action Europe and presented recommendations which centre around the need to define intercultural dialogue more precisely for the purposes of the programme as “European exchange and collaboration on the arts and heritage dedicated to ensuring that people of all backgrounds and identities participate fully and equally in society.” Read the summary of the PIE/CAE study. Read the full report.

Join the we are more campaign: For an EU Culture programme which supports artistic and cultural experimentation in the intercultural field

we are more is a Europe-wide arts advocacy campaign that seeks to mobilise everyone who cares about culture in Europe to influence the political negotiations on the next EU budget (2014-2020) – an opportunity that only comes once every decade! The ultimate goal of the campaign is to contribute to a strengthened recognition of the role of arts and culture in the development of our European societies. The we are more campaign is set up by Culture Action Europe – the umbrella advocacy organisation for the arts and culture in Europe. Join the thousands who have already signed the manifesto!

Forthcoming New European Agenda on Integration of Migrants

The European Commission is preparing a Communication for a New European Agenda on Integration due to be published at the end of May. The purpose of this Agenda is to supplement the Stockholm Programme of 2009, which focuses predominantly on tackling terrorism, organised crime and illegal immigration, with a chapter on integration.
As Eva Schultz from DG Home Affairs and Justice explained to the last meeting of the European Civil Society organisations (CSOs), which participate in the European Integration Forum (EIF), the Commission intends to reinvigorate the Common Basic Principles on Integration of 2004 (including the principle of “two-way integration”). In particular the EC intends to emphasise that migration creates diversity from which receiving societies benefit also in a cultural sense, and it wants to set out the importance of cultural participation for the integration of migrants.
The Platform for Intercultural Europe has contributed to a joint submission by EIF CSOs to the drafting of the Agenda.
The next European Integration Forum will take place on 23/24 May and will be about the role of local and regional authorities in the development of national integration strategies and the creation of national consultative for a. For info on developments in the domain of integration policy, please go to the European Website on Integration.

Migrant Integration Policy Index

MIPEX III with education indicators launched

The Migrant Integration Policy Index is a reference guide and fully interactive tool to assess, compare and improve integration policy. It measures integration policies in all EU Member States, Norway, Switzerland, Canada and the USA. It is produced by the Migration Policy Group and the British Council.
Using 148 policy indicators it creates a rich, multi-dimensional picture of migrants' opportunities to participate in society. The third edition was supplemented for the first time with indicators for education: access of migrants to education, treatment of migrants in education, segregation, intercultural education for all, etc. “Education emerges as a major area of weakness in the integration policies of most countries.”
The results of the third MIPEX edition have just been released.

News from our European members

To become a member please go to our membership page and send us your application form.

European Educational Exchanges – Youth For Understanding (EEE-YFU)

Young Europeans’ Seminar 2011

In early July 2011, 500 young Europeans who have just completed their exchange year in another European country will gather for the Young Europeans' Seminar (YES). Through interactive workshops and a mock parliament the participants will explore the topic "A World Without Borders - A European Dream?"  The YES helps long-term exchange participants debrief their year abroad and become more aware of their intercultural learning as well as explore their responsibilities as European citizens.  Along with long-term exchanges, the YES helps develop young people’s intercultural competences which are needed for them to become actors in intercultural dialogue in their communities. More information.

European Network Against Racism (ENAR)

The nomination phase for the ENAR Foundation Awards begins!

The ENAR Foundation has the pleasure to announce that the nomination process for the awarding of the ENAR Foundation Awards, to be held on 24 June 2011, has started. The ENAR Foundation Awards will be given to individuals, NGOs and companies for their outstanding contributions to the promotion of equality and a racism-free Europe. The awards nomination criteria are, amongst others, innovation, strength, and sustainability of each project. More information.

Trans Europe Halles

71st network meeting

The meeting, entitled Shifting Gears will take place at Creative Center Carnation in Tartu, Estonia, on April 14 -17th 2011. The meeting will focus on autonomous cultural centres’ visions for the future following the news that TEH’s network project Engine Room Europe has been awarded a €960.000 grant from the EC Culture Programme. Also, the project TEH Leaders Lab has received support from the Nordic Culture Point, and will be launched at the meeting. More information.

CHANGING ROOM Study published!

Trans Europe Halles has published the academic study Changing Room - Mobility of Non-Artistic Cultural Professionals in Europe. Based on first-of-its-kind research carried out by the Sibelius Academy, it examines mobility issues of the “backstage staff” of European culture within the Trans Europe Halles project CHANGING ROOM. Its outcomes include key learning points and concrete recommendations on how to develop mobility practices for non-artistic staff members in the future.
The study is available for free download from the TEH website and the CHANGING ROOM Knowledge Base.

European Music Council

From Seoul to Bonn - Translating the Goals for the Development of Arts Education to Music in Europe

On 16 May 2011, the EMC will host a seminar entitled 'From Seoul to Bonn - Translating the Goals for the Development of Arts Education for Music in Europe' in cooperation with the German UNESCO Commission. The UNESCO Seoul Agenda formulates three goals, on 'quality', 'access' and 'social and cultural challenges'. Based on these goals, the seminar will examine formal, non-formal and informal music education strategies and how they can reflect the Seoul Agenda in a European environment.
Register now! More information on the seminar.

News from our national members and network


art aspects (Germany)

New EU funded arts and educational seminars

Intercultural competence and mediatory conflict settlement is the topic of art aspects’ course “New Perspectives” to take place on the island of Lanzarote, Spain, in October. It aims to sustain and upgrade the resources and faculties which individuals require and will offer theoretical introductions as well as practical results. Participation in Art aspects’ courses is supported by EU Lifelong Learning mobility programmes of Grundtvig and Comenius. Deadline for all funding applications is 29th April 2011.

Intercult (Sweden)

Outlining intercultural challenges

Chris Torch, Senior Associate at Intercult and also representing the PIE Steering Group, outlined intercultural challenges at two recent events: Belfast One City Conference (9-11 March) was a remarkable gathering of business leaders, social and cultural activists, local political representatives who are re-inventing the city which has faced such trouble. Clear connections between culture and urban re-generation were made.
A seminar of regional and local directors of ARCI Nazionale (24-25 March), the Italian network of cultural associations and centres, served the preparation of an anti-racist and intercultural action week to be held in July 2011. In both cases, great interest was shown for the cross-sectoral approach taken by the Platform for Intercultural Europe and reflected in its Rainbow Paper.

Intercultural Xpeditions

Intercult, together with partners from Slovenia (Exodos, PIE member), Croatia, Sweden (Umeå 2014) and Poland (Gdansk 2016 - Candidate) has received EU Culture funding for four intercultural Xpeditions during the next 18 months.
25 artists/researchers from several countries and minorities will travel to CORNERS North and CORNERS Caucasus (2011), followed by CORNERS East and CORNERS Balkans (2012). The artists will meet with community, environmental and cultural groups in order to link with artworks to be produced further along in the process. An attempt to stimulate encounters between Art and Society, using intercultural approaches: http://www.intercult.se/corners


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The Platform for Intercultural Europe has been funded with support from the European Commission.
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