Towards 2014, a Decisive Deal
Dear Friends and Colleagues
Following the launch of the Cultural Coalition for a Citizens’ Europe, “A Soul for Europe” is now moving forward looking towards 2014 - the next Berlin Conference, the next Brussels and Amsterdam Conversations and many other activities across Europe. This process will introduce a strengthened working model with 3 nodes of activity: civil society, intellectuals and artists, politicians.
In 2014, the Cultural Coalition will focus on the outcomes that emerged through our discussions with citizens across Europe: providing ideas and visions which will help to re-imagine and recreate Europe; redefining democracy and citizenship in Europe and raising awareness on their development; developing a new model for collaboration and action; translating the narrative of a cultural Europe into policy proposals to present to European leaders in preparation for the 2014 election cycle, including a joint mechanism for assessing the achievements of ‘culture and Europe’.
As supporters of “A Soul for Europe,” partners, and participants in A Cultural Coalition for a Citizen’s Europe’s discussions, we would like to keep you posted and update you on our activities on our way towards the Decisive Deal 2014.
Cultural Coalition: Our Next Steps
Projects and Publications
Conversations on Europe
Conversations on Europe will be a multimedia project that gathers personal stories, responses to three simple questions, from citizens across Europe. The responses will be gathered in a Conversations on Europe resource center, to be released in various media formats by all partners involved. The project is led by our partner the Access to Culture Platform’s and it will be the platform’s contribution to the Cultural Coalition for a Citizens’ Europe: The Decisive Deal- and other projects where it fits. The experience and voices of the artists and audience, intellectuals, politicians as European citizens, and citizens in general need to be felt more strongly in the conversations on the future of Europe. The project offers a docking station for the content and then will engage policy makers for a real commitment and a process of implementation from the local to EU level. Please find the project briefing here and consider including it in your many events organized across Europe.
In addition to the video responses, an open call for written responses will be launched and organized into a publication by the Access to Culture Platform, Book II of its series. An editorial committee will provide briefings and finalize the publication concluding in a launch event will be held in Brussels in 2013.
“A Soul for Europe” Position Paper on the European Union legislative proposal 2012/0199(COD) – 20/07/2012 to establish a new Union action for the European Capitals of Culture for the years 2020 to 2033
This Position Paper is the result of a long-term reflection process developed together with institutions and individuals involved in the European Capitals of Culture (ECoC) programme since its beginning. In this context “A Soul for Europe” has also actively participated in the European Commission 2010 – 2011 consultation and related meeting on the 2nd of March 2011. As a result of the aforementioned reflection process, “A Soul for Europe” presented its visions on the future of the ECoC programme at the ‘Sofia Conference on European Capitals of Culture’ on the 27th of May. “A Soul for Europe” is closely following the ongoing work of the European Parliament (EP) and the Council of the European Union which are formulating corrections, amendments, and adaptations to the legislative proposal. With this position paper, “A Soul for Europe” wishes to inform the ASfE and its partners' proposals for improvement of the legislation currently in development. ASfE is continuously exchanging knowledge and experience with civil society, cities and other actors involved in the ECoC project and giving voice to the positions, visions and concerns of the civil society partners involved in the ECoC programme.
13 September 2013, Sofia: THE SOFIA CONVERSATION ON EUROPE
This one day forum taking place at the National Palace of Culture in Sofia will happen in a very important moment for the Bulgarian society. In a situation of political instability the dialogue between civil society and politicians is of fundamental importance. More and more Bulgarian citizens are actively engaged in discussions about the future of their country and Europe. A serious discussion about our common future is therefore needed more than ever. The Sofia Conversation will address this fundamental issue by focusing on four main topics: 1) Europe as a cultural and civic project. The debate on the future of Europe; 2) Citizens’ active participation in the policy processes. The role of artists and intellectuals; 3) The “European capital of culture” as a citizens' project; 4) EU structural funds as an instrument for development through culture. Lessons learned and new challenges.
The Minister of Culture of Bulgaria, the Mayor of Sofia and other decision makers from Bulgaria will actively engage in debate with representatives of the EU institutions (including Mrs. Doris Pack, MEP), civil society actors as well as artists and intellectuals from Bulgaria and other parts of Europe in order to develop visions for our common future.
New Narrative for Europe General Assembly in Warsaw
On 11 July and 23 April 2013 members of the “A Soul for Europe” Strategy Group participated in the both the Launch of the New Narrative for Europe project in Brussels, Belgium and its first General Assembly on Forms of Imagination and Thinking for Europe in Warsaw, Poland. The Cultural Coalition, initiated by “A Soul for Europe,” supports the project which looks to find new visions for Europe’s future through its vast network of partner organisations. The Cultural Coalition for a Citizens’ Europe will offer the New Narratives for Europe project the ideas and visions that are gathered through partners’ interactions, discussions, and debates with citizens across Europe.
In the first General Assembly in Warsaw 11 July, Strategy Group member Kathrin Deventer participated in a panel discussion on the Image and Role of Europe in a Global and Interdependent World. She was able to draw on the vast expertise of “A Soul for Europe” in this topic area for her intervention. See the video for full coverage.
Find more information here on how you can offer your vision to the New Narrative.
Advisory Board Parliamentarian Working Group Meeting: 26 March 2013 Brussels
The “A Soul for Europe” Advisory Board and Advisory Board Parliamentarian Working Group meeting took place in Brussels on 26 Mach 2013. The Board is composed of 15 European Parliamentarians from different parties and with different nationalities. The working session is taking place twice a year. The meeting set the next strategic steps in advancing a sustainable discourse between civil society and European politics as two out of three action nodes in the build-up of the “Cultural Coalition” “A Soul for Europe” is working on. ASfE and the Parliamentarians agreed on embarking on a partnership between the European Parliament, through the office of the President, and “A Soul for Europe’s” Berlin Conference 2014. With the Berlin Conference 2014 and the Brussels/Amsterdam Conversations in February/March 2014, we will enter into a high-level discussion with the democratic parties of Europe and civil society to discuss essential matters such as values, citizenship, a cultural Europe, all before the heavy campaigning in 2014 starts. A group of MEPs will be part of the steering group for the Berlin Conference 2014 and thus prepare this event as well as the following together with “A Soul for Europe” and the Cultural Coalition.
Guimarães Conversations, 17 May 2013
The Guimarães Conversations on 17 May brought together civil society actors, cultural operators, artists from the city of Guimarães as well as administration, representatives from Riga 2014, Cluj 2021, San Sebastian 2016 and members of “A Soul for Europe” in order to evaluate the success of the process of Guimaraes 2012: With its promising slogan “You are part of it” the bias of Guimarães 2012 was set towards more citizens’ participation and with a focus on European citizenship.“A Soul for Europe” has accompanied Guimarães 2012 since October 2009. Guimarães 2012 impressively showed that an ECoC can stand for the recognition of the responsibility of citizens, cities and regions for the development of Europe.
Forum Lyon, 25 May 2013
The Forum Lyon 2013 -Une âme pour l’Europe Culture, Citoyenneté, Intégration, Politiques étrangères addressed the question of how immigration, and more broadly EU international relations, are linked with the core issues of A Soul for Europe: European identity, culture, and citizenship. How can culture and the arts foster the integration of immigrants and a wider community-building process? How do we define “citizenship” when faced with individuals who do not have legal citizenship?
Europe’s cultural diversity can be both constructive and destructive, but we can invest our huge cultural resources and our cultural diversity into this citizen’s Europe, built from the bottom up – the core aim of the Decisive Deal 2014.
Cities for Europe “Living Europe – we are part of it!” Berlin, 6 June 2013
In the context of the 4th “Berliner Stiftungswoche” Stiftung Zukunft Berlin / „A Soul for Europe“ organized a panel session on how Europe can be enforced on the local leve. Initiatives and projects from Berlin presented themselves and showed how colourful Europe is on a local level as well as what dedicated individual citizens are already accomplishing for Europe. The project presentations were followed by a panel discussion with Secretary of State Hella Dunger-Löper, authorised agent for Europe and Civic Action of the State of Berlin and ASfE Strategy Group member Gabriella Gönzcy among others. Questions discussed were: What can each individual do to strengthen Europe? What conditions are needed in Berlin to make more people actively engage with Europe’s development?
More information on the Cites for Europe network as well as photos of the event are on the website.
The Strategy Group was set up and its work is made possible with ongoing financial support from the Robert Bosch Stiftung.
With the support of the "Europe for Citizens Programme" of the European Union
The “Cultural coalition for a Citizens’ Europe” is initiated by “A Soul for Europe”’s Strategy Group and its partner organisations:
European House for Culture, Genootschap Felix Meritis/Felix Meritis Foundation, Setepés, Stiftung Zukunft Berlin, AltArt Foundation, Foundation for Urban Projects and Research, Image Aiguë, and N-ost.
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