A success story: EFA’s engagement for intercultural dialogue

25 February 2009

Since several years now, the European Festivals Association (EFA) is prominently advocating the important role of festivals in society. In 2008, EFA focused major efforts on its project Arts Festivals' Declaration on Intercultural Dialogue. Following a successful closing ceremony on 17 November 2008 in Paris in the framework of the conference "New Perspectives of Intercultural Dialogue in Europe" – the official closing event for the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue organised by the French EU Presidency and the European Commission – EFA now publishes the final documents which once again underline the enormous achievements of the initiative. The Declaration received the support of almost 1500 signatories (festivals, politicians, cultural actors etc.) – all published in the final Signing Book. The first EFA film clip is dedicated to the Arts Festivals’ Declaration project: It demonstrates the energetic and inspiring nature of festivals celebrating intercultural dialogue. As announced in Paris – through the inclusion of an Epilogue to the Declaration – EFA and festivals all over Europe and beyond are eager to continue efforts, to keep up the spirit and stay committed to the support of intercultural dialogue. Against this background, EFA is going to publish the fourth volume of its successful BOOKS series. With concrete testimonies of exceptional ‘intercultural experiences’, EFA documents in EFA BOOKS 4 what festivals did, do and will do to foster the exchange between cultures. Several major festivals from different parts of Europe and beyond, with various backgrounds and competences and strong experiences in the work with different cultures feature in this volume, among them: Festival Internacional de Musica y Danza de Granada, Festival d’Avignon, Bergen International Festival, Berliner Festspiele, International Sarajevo Festival “Sarajevo Winter” and Israel Festival. The edition exploring the important role of festivals in enhancing intercultural dialogue is due to be published by April 2009. In 2009, EFA initiates the FestLab for Creativity and Innovation – to enhance collaboration, creation and exchange. It aims to demonstrate the important role culture, arts and festivals play in fostering innovative and creative competences – to be officially launched on 27 March. Follow the EFA website at for latest news.