2008 - European Year of Intercultural Dialogue

7 October 2006

EU-Call for ideas for 2008 – Year of Intercultural Dialogue In October 2005, the European Commission proposed to declare 2008 the “Year of intercultural dialogue” EU Proposal. The year aims to promote intercultural dialogue as an instrument to assist European citizens in acquiring the knowledge and attitudes to enable them to deal with a more open and more complex environment and to raise awareness of issues regarding intercultural dialogue. The overall budget for the year 2008 amounts to 10 Million Euro. An official website with detailed background information has been launched recently. In addition, a study will be carried out bringing to light different national approaches and experiences of intercultural dialogue in the European Union. Moreover, on 22 and 23 November, the European Commission will organise a valorization conference on intercultural dialogue. This conference will valorize best practices which demonstrate the relevance of intercultural dialogue in the framework of different EU programmes. All this information is accessible on the EU-Website dedicated to 2008. What is EFA’s role vis-à-vis the European Commission? Festivals are invited to have a key-role throughout the year and in the process of its preparation. Festivals, by their very nature, are heroes of intercultural activities, not only through their programming, but in particular through their educational and social outreach activities. The 2008-initiative will concentrate on intercultural dialogue wherever it could contribute to improved day to day coexistence. It is therefore among the key-priorities to involve the local citizens in this project as to avoid an imposed EU, ‘top-down’-activity nobody takes note of. Schools, universities, hospitals, sports centres, cultural houses, festivals etc., will become the most important EU-partners! How can festivals contribute? The European Commission is eager to understand the ideas, experience and imagination of the citizens regarding intercultural dialogue. This is the reason why the European Commission has decided to launch a call for ideas addressed to civil society and all other interested parties. This process will enable the Commission to define guidelines for future calls for proposals, which will be published in 2007, in the framework of the Year of Intercultural Dialogue: Call for Ideas. Share your experience: 1. React on the Call for Ideas. Provide the European Commission with projects you have implemented in your festival to help the Commission identifying, evaluating, developing and exchanging projects, experience and good practice in intercultural dialogue on a European scale. You can fill out the Call on the EU site before 30 October. Alternatively you can send your ideas to the EFA Secretariat: 2. Inform the European Commission about information and communication initiatives you as a festival have at your disposal to contribute in the promotion of intercultural dialogue in day to day life 3. Express your opinion on what specific European scale initiatives you would consider likely to reach, directly or indirectly, as many people in the European Union as possible – and particularly young people. What initiatives are going to be set up? For 2008, the Commission is planning: • information and promotion campaigns, which are vital for any action aimed at raising public awareness. These campaigns will be coordinated at Community level and should be based in particular on experience and good practice in the field, and tailored to the situations in the different Member States; • a small number of European scale keynote activities illustrating the various facettes of and approaches to intercultural dialogue; • initiatives at national level proposed by the bodies responsible for coordination in the Member States. A call for projects supported by EU-funding (exclusively applicable for EU-members) in the framework of this thematic year will be launched in 2007.