Civil society and policy-makers finding new ways to work together sustainably
Thanks to the efforts of a local civil society initiative and with the support of the Pécs 2010 - The European Capital of Culture, a large number of actors from cultural and civil society initiatives in several South-Eastern European countries and Turkey met on 10 November 2007 with representatives of the city of Pécs, the European and the Hungarian Parliament, the "A Soul for Europe" Initiative and Genootschap Felix Meritis/Felix Meritis Foundation (Amsterdam) at Forum Pécs. Among those represented at the meeting were Slovenia's Foreign Ministry, which took over the EU Presidency in the first six months of 2008, the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe, Transparency International and the German Embassy.
Forum Pécs - "A Soul for Europe" is an initiative of the local civil society initiatives LABOR, Mediátor and Retextil in co-operation with the "A Soul for Europe" Initiative, Genootschap Felix Meritis/Felix Meritis Foundation, Stiftung Zukunft Berlin and Auropolis Belgrade.
The Forum Pécs project 2008/2009 was supported in the “Europe for Citizens Program”
by the Education, Audiovisial and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA).
Since the Forum Pécs, local civil society actors started to organise ECC OFF, the civil society based part of Pécs 2010 - The European Capital of Culture. "A Soul for Europe" is one of the main partner organisations of the ECC OFF project, especially regarding the political debates surrounding the ECC OFF project. In 2009-2010 the Pécs Working Group and "A Soul for Europe" will co-organize a series of seminars and workshops with international top-ranking representatives from politics and culture as training facilitators. The goal of the workshops is to prepare the local independent cultural actors for 2010 and life thereafter.
Together with the "A Soul for Europe" Initiative the Pécs Working Group is also developing the process "Creating Forum Pécs". This does not necessarily mean organising a second Forum Pécs, but rather in establishing a place, a Forum, where politicians, members of the business sector and the local civil society can meet and talk.