Quote of the Week
“A festival is a unique occasion for meeting different people and different cultures. Together with artists who are real masters of communication through art, a festival is a strong builder of bridges between different cultures - and even between civilizations."
Ján Figel’, former European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture, and Youth
EFA Group Meeting with collective and affiliate members
Gent, Friday, 05-01-2007
The 2007 edition of the EFA group meeting of national festivals associations and networks was held 1, 2 and 3 February 2007 in Ljubljana at the invitation of the Ljubljana Festival www.ljubljanafestival.si.
Following the successful meeting in Rome in January 2006 and thanks to its positive proceedings, results and encouraging feedback, we had another working session centred on the theme of intercultural dialogue and the question how festivals and festivals associations could contribute to the year 2008 – European Year of Intercultural Dialogue.
'Intercultural dialogue' will be a recurring item in the next two years and among the key-priorities at a European level. EU programmes in the field of culture will include new selection criteria to enhance and develop intercultural competences at a cross-sectoral level. Reason enough to have our voice heard in this developing process.
The meeting, aside from offering a platform for dialogue, discussion, the exchange of good practice and know-how in various fields, in particular threw light on the role of national festivals associations in communicating this essential socio-political concept of intercultural dialogue, in engaging their members to participate, in gathering case-studies and best practices of intercultural dialogue and possibly in developing tools to involve the local citizens in this thematic year.
On top of this central working theme, the meeting provided an opportunity to talk through the updates and next steps with regard to the European Festival Research Project.