Europe is a question of common values
We are part of Europe, aren't we? Forum Lyon was a concrete answer to this question. It was important to confront the local political scene with the simple answer “yes, we are”. Whatever our political field of responsibilities is, Europe is made of our daily acts. The general conclusion of Forum Lyon was that Europe is more a question of common values than territories or religions: democracy, tolerance, diversity. As a political territory, it concerns everyone. France is one of the founder members of the European Union, and even if it is clearly discussed, hated or loved, we have all integrated, even if not expressed, a European identity.
Forum Lyon is a call to be more active in that sense. Europe works because we are part of it. Unlike events organised by associations or governmental and administrative offices, Forum Lyon was an authentic civil society initiative.
After Forum Belgrade (March 2007, October 2008), Forum Pécs (November 2007) and Forum Skopje (April 2008), this was the first time that an important Western European city, hosted a Forum X conference. The event took place in the "Célestins" Theatre, a strong symbol of a free agora, on 10-11 October 2008. Forum Lyon gathered an audience of 100 persons who also enjoyed a performance by Image Aiguë "Ici là-bas".
Panellists included high-ranking political representatives as well as numerous decision-makers in non-institutional cultural organisations. The European Parliament was represented by Jo Leinen and Hannes Swoboda. Further participants of the Forum were, among others, Catherine Lalumière (Relais Culture Europe), Patrick Bernard-Brunet (European Commission, DG REGIO), Odile Quintin (European Commission, DG Culture) and Patrizio Bianchi (CRUI Foundation/ University of Ferrara).
Forum Lyon took place during the French EU Presidency and after the rejection of Lyon’s candidature as the European Capital of Culture 2013.
The "A Soul for Europe" Initiative and Genootschap Felix Meritis/Felix Meritis Foundation were our mentors, facilitating a global and local experience, organising the European task force, and encouraging us to consider our political role as cultural actors.
The Federal Foreign Office (Germany)