Ministers' Deputies
    Notes on the Agenda

    CM/Notes/873/7.1 5 February 2004
    ———————————————

    873 Meeting, 18 February 2004
    7 Education and culture


    7.1 Conference of European Ministers responsible for cultural affairs on “The new role and new responsibilities of ministers of culture in initiating intercultural dialogue, with due regard for cultural diversity” (Opatija/Croatia, 20-22 October 2003)

    Report by the Secretary General

    Reference documents
    CM(2004)18

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    Action

    To take note of the texts adopted at the Conference and to decide on the follow-up and to take note of the preparations in hand for the organisation of the next Conference.

    The Conference of European Ministers responsible for cultural affairs on “The new role and new responsibilities of ministers of culture in initiating intercultural dialogue, with due regard for cultural diversity” was held, at the invitation of the Minister of Culture of Croatia, in Opatija/Croatia, on 20 to 22 October 2003. The Secretary General's report is presented in document CM(2004)18.

    The main objective of this ministerial meeting was to examine and adopt the Draft Declaration on Intercultural Dialogue and Conflict Prevention as well as Draft Recommendations addressed to the Committee of Ministers. The European Ministers of Cultural Affairs undertook the following:

    - analysis of the means of promoting intercultural dialogue by the implementation of cultural policies aimed at reconciliation between different communities, on the basis of examples of good practice ;
    - discussion of the possibilities of establishing intercultural and inter-religious dialogue by tackling the question of stereotypes and core values, and by making a place for the cultures of minorities ;
    - reflection on the actions to undertake in order to ensure, on the one hand, cultural governance by creating interactions between the public sector, the private sector and civil society, and on the other hand, to promote effective inter-sectoral cooperation within their governments.

    The Draft Declaration on Intercultural Dialogue and Conflict Prevention was adopted unanimously by the Ministers of cultural affairs meeting in Opatija.

    In order to take into consideration the comments made by different delegations during the 859th meeting of the Ministers' Deputies (29 October 2003), the Secretariat requested that the text be revised by the Translation services of the Council of Europe, in order to render it easier to read without, however, changing its wording. This version of the Declaration on Intercultural Dialogue and Conflict Prevention is found in appendix 1 of document CM(2004)18. Furthermore, as suggested by the Netherlands delegation, a "popular" version of the Declaration on Intercultural Dialogue and Conflict Prevention will be prepared as soon as possible.

    The Ministers responsible for Cultural Affairs meeting in Opatija examined and adopted the draft Recommendations addressed to the Committee of Ministers. These Recommendations can be found in Appendix 2 of document CM(2004)18.

    The Minister of Culture of Turkey invited the European Ministers responsible for Cultural Affairs to hold a ministerial meeting in Istanbul, in autumn 2004.

    The Minister of Culture of Armenia invited the Ministers of Culture of the Council of Europe to meet in Armenia in autumn 2005, at the close of the meeting of the Working Group on Cultural Diversity and Globalisation of the International Network on Cultural Policy (INCP) in order to debate cooperation within the South Caucasus and the Black Sea.

    Financing assured: YES for 2004

    DRAFT DECISIONS

    873rd meeting – 18 February 2004

    Item 7.1

    Conference of European Ministers responsible for cultural affairs on “The new role and new responsibilities of ministers of culture in initiating intercultural dialogue, with due regard for cultural diversity” (Opatija/Croatia, 20-22 October 2003)
    Report by the Secretary General

    (CM(2004)18)

    Decisions

    The Deputies

    1. thanked the Croatian authorities for the organisation of this Conference;

    2. took note of the Declaration on Intercultural Dialogue and Conflict Prevention, expressing their satisfaction with regard to the spirit of the Declaration and subscribing to the principles enshrined therein;

    3. took note of the Recommendations of the Ministers of Cultural affairs, as presented in Appendix 2 of document CM(2004)18 and agreed to include, to the greatest extent possible, these proposals in the annual Programme of Activities of the Council of Europe;

    4. instructed the Steering Committee for Culture (CDCULT) that these activities be implemented in coordination with those that may be proposed by the Steering Committees responsible for the sectors working in conflict prevention, and by the “Working Party with the task of examining proposals of the Secretary General on multicultural and inter-religious dialogue" (GT-Dialogue);

    5. and, in order to do this, agreed to:

    a. instruct the Steering Committee for Culture (CDCULT) to give responsibility for the follow-up and application of the Declaration on Intercultural Dialogue and Conflict Prevention to a project group, in co-operation, as far as is possible, with other Steering Committees and with the GT-Dialogue, as well as with the Parliamentary Assembly and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, and in harmony with the follow-up to the relevant decisions on 'intercultural education' to be adopted by the 21st Session of the Standing Conference of European Ministers of Education (Athens, 10 to 12 November 2003);

    b. encourage the CDCULT to:

    - pursue, and even to prolong or develop, the implementation of the Intercultural Dialogue and Conflict Prevention Project Action Plan 2002-2004,

    - and to organise, in a city symbolic of cultural diversity and democracy, an annual Intercultural Forum bringing together researchers, experts, representatives of different forms of cultural diversity, representatives of civil society, cultural players and Culture Ministry officials, in order to follow closely and to encourage the various developments in intercultural dialogue 1;

    c. instruct the CDCULT to:

    - examine the scope for implementing a flexible system of inventorying and evaluating good practices in each member state, intended to encourage and facilitate intercultural dialogue, whether this is implemented at the political-administrative level or by civil society, in Europe or in co-operation with other regions, more specifically those to the south of the Mediterranean;

    - study the means of disseminating these practices by such means as forums, organised within the framework of the Action Plan, and the “Compendium” («Cultural policies in Europe: a compendium of basic facts and trends», an on-line information service available at: http://www.culturalpolicies.net/.);

    6. took note of the invitation of the Minister of Culture of Turkey to host a ministerial meeting in Turkey in autumn 2004;

    7. took note of the invitation of the Minister of Culture of Armenia to organise a conference of Ministers of Cultural Affairs of the Council of Europe in Armenia in autumn 2005, at the close of the meeting of the Working Group on Cultural Diversity and Globalisation of the International Network on Cultural Policy (INCP) in order to debate cooperation within the South Caucasus and the Black Sea;

    8. having regard to decisions 1 to 7 above, took note of the report of the Secretary General on the Conference of European Ministers responsible for cultural affairs on “The new role and new responsibilities of ministers of culture in initiating intercultural dialogue, with due regard for cultural diversity” (Opatija/Croatia, 20-22 October 2003), as it appears in document CM(2004)18, as a whole.

Note 1 As noted by the Committee of Ministers on the 19 November 2003 at its 861st meeting (CM/Del/Dec(2003)861/7.1 – CM(2003)156), the 1st Intercultural Forum was organised, at the invitation of the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in Sarajevo from 10 to 12 December 2003, on the theme “(Re)thinking stereotypes: constructing intercultural and interreligious dialogue”.


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