|European Agenda for Culture - A ‘structured dialogue’ with civil society|
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A ‘structured dialogue’ with civil society
To implement their ‘European agenda on Culture’, EU Member States and the European Commission have recognised the importance of a continuous and structured dialogue with civil society. They have also acknowledged the role of a number of representative networks and platforms at European level, such as Culture Action Europe, and of their capacity to bridge to the wider sector by ways of information and mobilisation.
To allow for a broader representation and for more qualitative civil society inputs, civil society actors should be involved in the design and organisation of the structured dialogue. The structured dialogue should also be a regular and inclusive consultation process. The free access to OMC working documents and reports will also be crucial so as to guarantee transparency and allow for a constructive structured dialogue with all stakeholders.
On 19th February 2008 the European Commission organised an information day in Brussels to explain to cultural organisations how it intends to involve civil society in the European Agenda for Culture. In parallel to the Member States nominating experts for a range of thematic intergovernmental working groups, cultural organisations were to group together in three Platforms. Drawing on the experience of the Culture Action Europe/EFAH-ECF initiated Civil Society Platform for Intercultural Dialogue (the Rainbow Platform), a second platform around the topic ‘access to culture’ and a third on cultural industries will be set up with basic Commission sponsorship. This is a big opportunity for the cultural sector to improve its standing in the EU, but the proposal took many by surprise and raised questions of sustainability, accessibility and transparency.
A call for expression of interest to participate in the two new platforms (access to culture and creative industries) was launched, the Commission received over 200 contributions and hold meetings in Brussels on the 4th, 5th and 6th of June 2008. To read our summary of these meetings click here.
Read an Culture Action Europe/EFAH statement on the development of a structured dialogue at EU level.