of the Republic of Slovenia, in cooperation with the European Commission, the European
Cultural Foundation, and the foreign ministries of Austria and the Netherlands, organisedthe international conference New Paradigms, New Models – Culture in the EU
The conference represents the follow-up to similar events that focused on culture in a
globalising world, deriving from the European Commission Communication on a European
agenda for culture in a globalising world (10 May 2007) where the culture is outlined as a vital element of the EU external relations at the strategic level.
The conference will gather participants from the EU and neighbouring regions – the
Western Balkans, the Mediterranean and Eastern Europe – who will discuss effective
integration of culture into the EU external relations.
The conference was attended by distinguished guests, including
EU Foreign Commissioner Ferreo-Waldner, Ex-EU-AntiTerror-Zar Gijs van Vries
Slovenian Foreign Minister Dr Dimitrij Rupel,
the President of the European Parliament Mr Hans-Gert Pöttering,
European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture, Youth Mr Ján
European Commissioner for Science and Research Dr Janez Potočnik,
Minister of European Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Mr Frans Timmermans.
According to Ferrero-Waldner, the European Commission is determined to give cultural activities a higher profile in the EU's external relations, and to promote cultural aspects in all EU policies. The EU's work in this area is still in its early stage, but the commission is fully committed to putting culture at the heart of the EU's external relations, she affirmed.
Gijs de Vries, EU anti-terrorism coordinator, meanwhile said that artists, scientists and other representatives of the civil society can surpass governments' policies and contribute to intercultural dialogue in the best possible way.
The programm included: Workshop 2: The Mediterranean
"Although Euromed is a construct referring to the interest and intention
of the EU to create regional cooperation and development with
its Mediterranean neighbours, the reality seems to be different. On
the one hand, there are bilaterally intense relations between Southern
European countries (Spain, France and Italy) and Northern
African countries (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya) recalling
the colonial past; on the other hand, there is constant dissent and
conflict in the Eastern part of the region (Israel-Palestine, Syria-
Lebanon, Cyprus problem). The physical presence of the global super-
power, the US, in the region serves to complete this picture.
What is to be done to make the EU a major player in the region?
Here, the role of cultural action in the EU’s external policy-making
is becoming essential. The question is not only exploring cultural
instruments to support external policy but also to make culture an
integral part of it." (p.18)
The event, held as part of the EU enlargement policy, is meant to kick off the process of collecting donations from private and public sources.
The initiative is proof of constant EU efforts to preserve cultural monuments of major importance and to "build bridges between different ethnic and religious communities within and among the countries in the region, thereby encouraging reconciliation, cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue," Figel said.
"The role of active citizenship in bringing together people of different faiths will be discussed on Wednesday 14 May in the third Brussels Debate organised in the framework of the 2008 European Year of Intercultural Dialogue. The debate entitled “New horizons: active citizenship to bridge inter-religious divides" has been prepared by the European Commission in cooperation with the European Policy Centre. Mario Mauro, Vice-President of the European Parliament, will wrap up the Debate. Ján Figel’, European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Youth, and Mario Mauro, Vice-President of the European Parliament, will discuss with Nadine Iarchy, European Vice-Chair of the International Council of Jewish Women, and Imam Dr Abduljalil Sajid, Chairman of the Muslim Council for Religious and Racial Harmony UK"
"UGANDANS have been advised to adopt a more dynamic cultural dialogue and respect different cultures.
The head of the European Union (EU) delegation to Uganda, Vincent De Visscher, said the Government and the cultural institutions were willing to promote intercultural dialogue that reinforces peace and unity in the country.
The envoy was speaking at a cocktail at his residence in commemoration of the Europe Day on Friday.
"It is by pulling resources and building closer ties within Europe that we unified our continent in peace, bringing freedom, security and prosperity to our citizens," De Visscher said.