Third Berlin Conference – Documentation now available online

10 March 2009

The documentation of the third Berlin Conference (14/15 November 2008) including film clips and text documents is now available online at the “A Soul for Europe” website. In November 2008, the third Berlin Conference of the civil society initiative “A Soul for Europe” brought together high-ranking European politicians and business people with representatives of the world of culture, among them the President of the European Parliament, Hans-Gert Pöttering, and the President of the German Bundestag, Norbert Lammert, the EU Commissioners Ján Figel' and Meglena Kuneva, the former US Ambassador, John C. Kornblum, Renault Chairman and CEO Louis Schweitzer, corporate and strategy consultant Roland Berger, Manfred Gentz (Zurich Financial Services) and Catherine Mühlemann (Andmann Media Holding). As it was the case during the previous conferences in 2004 and 2006, the participants debated the idea of giving Europe’s social, economic and political development a cultural core. If this objective is to be achieved, people in Europe must not remain passive observers but increasingly become active players in the European project. In addition to the role played by culture itself, many sectors of politics and society need to devise a cultural component of their own. In advocating this approach, the initiative “A Soul for Europe” and the Berlin Conference are responding inter alia to the “European Agenda for Culture” adopted by the EU institutions in 2007. This has ushered in a paradigm shift by moving culture to the heart of all areas of politics. The conference addressed the requirements and practical consequences of such a strategy by taking the European economy in its globalised context as an example. The initiative “A Soul for Europe” and the Berlin Conference attach paramount importance to a process of rejuvenation. From 2009 onwards “A Soul for Europe” will be run by an international network of about forty young decision-makers from a variety of professions. One of their tasks will be to further address the implications of the conference.