Newsbulletins

Our Newsbulletin is published four times per year. It contains news on activities of the Platform for Intercultural Europe and outlines participation or feedback possibilities. It also carries news from our membership. 

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For PIE, 2013 ends in the knowledge that a chapter closes. Under the Creative Europe programme (2014-2021) support to Structured Dialogue Platforms, of which PIE was one of three, is no longer foreseen. The 2013 “Evaluation of the Open Method of Coordination and the Structured Dialogue as the Agenda for Culture’s implementing tools at European Union level” found a “lack of common understanding about ownership of the Structured Dialogue and how it should work in practice. … Each Platform developed its own management structures and organizational arrangements leading to very different approaches.”

We celebrate our contribution to this chapter nevertheless with the publication of PIE Discussion Paper #3 which documents our input to the OMC work on intercultural dialogue – see below.

The PIE board has just met and affirmed that our mission of promoting intercultural dialogue as a means to enable the free, full and equal participation of Europe’s diverse people remains as needed as ever. Our “Brokering Migrants’ Cultural Participation” project will be one way of realising our mission in 2014 and beyond. We will work with our members to sustain and further build PIE as a cross-sectoral platform as our mission requires.

We take a break to get ready for the challenges of the New Year. Best wishes to our members & supporters as they do the same!

The 2013 edition of the European Culture Forum (Brussels, 4-6th November) brought together over 1000 'cultural stakeholders' from across Europe for a complex conference programme with many engaging speakers. The main intention behind the choice of topics - "Measuring the True Value of Culture", "Exploring New Funding Models", and "Making Cultural Participation a Reality" – appeared to be to spur on the cultural sector’s ingenuity in coping with irreversibly (it seems) decreased public funding.

Commission President Barroso’s remark in his keynote that "It is not smart to cut spending on culture" could not deflect from this impression; and neither did the fact that the Creative Europe programme – see Commission press release on its adoption - with its prospective 146 billion EUR budget (over 7 years) was presented as a 9% increase (on the current Media and Culture programmes, which will be amalgamated).

Read on to find out how PIE used its 'Flash Session' at the European Culture Forum (accorded to it as a - still - 'Structured Dialogue platform') to draw attention to cuts and changes in funding regimes for civil society organisations …

PIE member organisation Les Amis du Monde Entier baffled the Culture Forum audience a few times by taking the floor to point out that cultural policy-makers concern themselves too little with the interest of migrants and minorities. Read on to find out about a new project on "Brokering Migrants’ Cultural participation" which PIE set on the rails …

How do we recognise that we live in a time of transition? In a time where a new model for society is in the making? One indicator amongst several is that different interest groups coalesce. ‘Shrimps stop pretending to be lobsters’, look to band together for wider appeal and greater impact. A social movement emerges around expressions of dissent, the mobilisation of ‘ordinary’ people and attempts to reset political agendas and to influence politics.

The recent European Citizens’ Summit, organised for the first time by a coalition of NGOs from the fields of health, education, human rights, environment, development, women’s rights and culture, exemplified this desire to band together. Yet the common themes on which their joint activism might go forward have yet to become clear. See the coalition’s message to the official EU summit two days later.

Commission President Barroso recently launched the project “New Narrative for Europe”. Artists and intellectuals are called upon to come up with a ‘new European story’ which addresses the “need for citizens to regain their trust in Europe”. Can the situation really be remedied with a ‘new story’?

It is certainly legitimate to appeal to national politicians and national media to speak well of the EU where it does well, and to acknowledge where it is complex because it deals with complex tasks. But does the ‘new story’ not also need new content? Concrete solutions to concrete problems?

Here some candidates for new content for a ‘new narrative’: Pioneering a new form of market economy which is built around cooperation and contribution to the common good rather than first and foremost around profit and competition; or developing exemplary ways of welcoming the diversity of the world and of innovating interculturally. These would need open-minded and courageous political leaders; then artists and intellectuals might have better reason to invest themselves in EU initiatives.

PIE gladly plays its part in promoting intercultural innovation. As a European network supported by the EU, it gladly spreads the cosmopolitan values of the European project.
Please read this Newsbulletin to learn about our activities and those of our members.

News from organisations such as the Platform for Intercultural Europe tend to be about upcoming events and new initiatives. But as events are ‘all about the follow-up’ - about identifying the ‘take-aways’ and reflecting on the future of the new connections made -   it’s as legitimate to fill this bulletin with reports.

Europe is on fire – burning with rage about disadvantage and hatred of the Other, but also with passion for making intercultural connections and building cohesion. Read on about Northern Ireland and Slovenia as well as practice examples gathered in Turin. Read on about work on creating intercultural spaces in the EU.

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