NEWSLETTER 1/2015

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 Dear Friends and Colleagues,

 

We are glad to announce the 2015 Berlin Conference which will take place on 9 November 2015. It will again be attended by artists, intellectuals, European citizens and renowned representatives of Europe’s scientific, political and media landscapes. Discussions will focus on topics such as the active involvement of European citizens to deepen European integration as well as on the challenges of our shared European values and their encounters with authoritarian policies and tendencies of renationalisation. The annual “State of Europe” speech, this year held by Donald Tusk, President of the EU Council, will round off the day.
Taking up a format first introduced in 2012, a pre-conference on 8 November will give participants the opportunity to discuss in more detail the increase of right-wing extremism in European cities and strategies to counter this development.

 

The conferences on 8 and 9 November are organised in partnership with the European Parliament, Allianz SE, Allianz Kulturstiftung, S. Fischer Stiftung, Goethe Institute, the German government, Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung and many other partners.

 

 

Upcoming Events/Activities

 

Pilsen: 16-17 April 2015, FORUM PILSEN “Can we take it? Can we shape it? Can we make it? – Cultural Vision, Cities’ Assets: Citizens’ Mandate in Cities’ Lives”

 

Our next Forum X will take place in Pilsen, Czech Republic, on 16 and 17 April 2015. Pilsen is this year’s European Capital of Culture (ECoC).

Discussions will centre on the challenges and the potential of cities and its citizens. On the one hand, right wing activism, nationalism or totalitarian thinking as (un-)conscious responses to current local, national and transnational developments are pressing issues. On the other hand, including citizens in decision-making processes has the potential to create a ‘Europe of the people’ instead of a ‘Europe of political elites’.

Addressing this contrast in attitudes towards increased European integration and its perceived social consequences, key questions at Forum Pilsen will be:

  • How can citizens shape initiatives and actions in order to achieve tangible results?
  • How do we keep European humanistic values in focus against nationalism, populism, totalitarian thinking creeping back in?
  • How can tensions between being an active local citizen and being a European citizen be balanced?
  • What goals do we have to achieve for 2018 to be a strong democratic European society?

Speakers include: Daniel Herman (Czech Minister of Culture), Kathrin Deventer (European Festivals Association), Hannes Swoboda (former MEP) and Hugo de Greef (Bruges 2002).

 

The regular Forum Pilsen programme will be complemented by the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the ECoC initiative.

 

Past Events/Activities

 

Porto: RenEU – New Renaissance in Europe, International Conference

 

On 24 March 2015, A Soul for Europe’s partner office in Porto hosted an international conference under the title “RenEU – New Renaissance in Europe”. It was organised by partners from France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Poland, and it is part of a series of local conferences.

The aim of this conference was to encourage a re-evaluation and re-thinking of the Renaissance period and its impact on European cultural heritage. Discussions focused on the question: do we, as EU citizens, know enough about the European value of the Renaissance period both in historical terms and as a foundation of our present day union?

 

For some impressions of the conference, check the media section on our website.

 

Riga: FORUM RIGA – Report now online

 

The report on Forum Riga “Cities for Europe – Freedom. Responsibility. Action” hosted by Riga as the 2014 European Capital of Culture is now online on our website.

The report summarises the most important aspects of the conference panels and provides a good overview of the participants’ different voices on the role and responsibility of culture and on appropriate ways to activate civil society as essential elements in shaping Europe’s future.

 

Check our website for more information about Forum Riga or the series Forum X in general.

 

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The Strategy Group was set up and its work is made possible with ongoing financial support from the Robert Bosch Stiftung.

 

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