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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!

26/27th November 2013,
Brussels, Belgium
- EIF forum

10th European Integration Forum - Participation of migrants in the democratic process – Towards an inclusive citizenship

Organiser: European Commission, European Economic and Social Committee

EIF TarafaEIF logo

In the context of the European Year on Citizenship, the Forum discussed the 'Participation of migrants in the democratic process – Towards an inclusive citizenship'. PIE was represented by Tarafa Baghajati (Adviser to the PIE board). He joined in the call for common EU rules on easier access to national citizenship. Even though rule-making on citizenship is likely to remain the prerogative of the Member States, EU fora such as the EIF must be used to raise awareness for the importance of access to citizenship after five years of residency. Furthermore, Tarafa drew attention to the importance of giving migrants who participate in party politics fair electoral chances through good positions on candidate lists. He also highlighted the connection between migrants’ cultural participation and their inclusion in the democratic process. “Migrants must be seen for their contribution to culture and not just for their contribution as cleaners”, Tarafa remarked.

The programme included plenary debates with high representatives of the European institutions and academic experts, as well as parallel roundtables, with different subjects related to the main theme. A roundtable on the future development of Home Affairs policies after the Stockholm Programme (2014-2020) was also held. See Commission Communication 'A new European Agenda for Home Affairs'

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 …

a future for Civil Society

Action visual

As part of the EU Culture Forum on 4-6th November in Brussels, Platform for Intercultural Europe held a 45-minute "Flash Session" under the title “A future for Civil Society?” on Monday 4th Nov, 17h.

Cuts and changes to funding regimes for Civil Society Organisations have been rolled out across Europe in recent years. They are going too far - achievements of the past are being undermined.

As the EU enters a new budget period, the cuts are being applied to EU funding programmes. European organisations and networks that have helped create a European identity and European public space fear for their existence.

14th October 2013,
deBuren, Brussels, Belgium

Colloquium ‘L’Arabe de Service / Do your Arab thing’

Organiser: Moussem

L'arabe de service

Logo moussemFollowing the publication of the book "Traduit de l’arabe" Moussem, the nomadic art centre, organised in collaboration with its European partners and deBuren the colloquium "L'arabe de service / Do your Arab thing". PIE Director, Sabine Frank moderated one of the workshops.

The event served to reflect on the classical Western canon from the perspective of artists with a link to the Arab World, who live and work in Europe. The field of the arts often gives these artists the floor only when they conform with certain stereotypes or expectations. Each artist reacts to this in his or her own way. The aim is to renegotiate a new dynamic canon with the contribution of these artists who are entirely part of our society.

Zahia Rahmani, responsible for the program "Art and globalisation" of the Paris INHA was the keynote speaker.

10/11th October 2013,
Brussels, Belgium

5th OMC expert group meeting - Cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue (Phase II)

Organiser: European Council

Logo European CouncilExperts from 11 EU Member States formed the hard core who thrashed out which recommendations from the work of over one year should make it into the final report of the group on Cultural Diversity and Intercultural Dialogue (under the Open Method of Coordination). The group set itself the challenge to condense over sixty draft recommendations into a final twelve which would have a chance of being taken up. PIE provided strong encouragement to avoid ‘general recommendations’ and consider the addressees of each – in particular to be clear about the responsibilities of national policy-makers, and to include proposals for the next EU Council Work Plan on Culture.

Chairwoman Sonja Kralj-Bervar and four other experts had previously met in Budapest to draw the work of four subgroups together in a first draft. By its fifth meeting the group had reached the level of maturity for really engaged discussion, but it was still apparent that more time would be needed to come to a deep common understanding.

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.

3/4th July 2013,
Brussels, Belgium

4th OMC expert group meeting - Cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue (Phase II)

Organiser: European Council

Logo European CouncilAt their penultimate meeting, the nationally appointed experts grafted hard to get closer to the expected output of the group - a report identifying policies and a good practice manual for public arts and cultural institutions. They divided into four subgroups in order to each examine four practice examples according to a set of parameters proposed by Chris Torch from the European Expert Network on Culture (appointed by the European Commission to help steer the work). Since the previous meeting, the experts brought together a total of 80 examples of intercultural work, presented in a single format. Chris Torch selected 32 ‘revealing actions’ and placed them on a matrix which maps different kinds of relationships between practice and public policy.

PIE contributed to the subgroup on ‘diversifying the staff and boards of cultural institutions, and offered its help with drafting the final report which will be discussed in the group’s last meeting in October.

SF Oslo 1  SF Oslo 2

Norway with its richness from North Sea oil and gas is the giant in the trio of European Free Trade Association (EFTA) states which form the European Economic Area (EEA) together with the EU. Norway ‘pays’ for its free access to the EU market by financing a grants programme covering 6 policy areas, from which the poorer 15 EU countries can benefit. 988.5 million Euro have been available for 2009-14.

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