Democratic governance

We believe in diversity as a force for democracy and encourage dialogue as a means of building peace.


Our vision reflects the values of a democratic, dynamic, integrated and creative European society.


We strive towards a Europe where the diversity of cultures, the arts, and cultural and natural heritage are essential to the development of a genuine openness of mind and basic rights, and where open and interactive processes and practices of culture encompass different elements that combine to help us deal with the complexities of living with ourselves and one another. (more...)


Headline news ... (27/10/2016)


6th Advisory Forum "Expanding the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe: challenges and opportunities"

The Cultural Routes Advisory Forum is the most important and significant annual event of the Cultural Routes programme of the Council of Europe. The Forum discusses trends and challenges in relation to Cultural Routes and provides a platform for sharing experiences, reviewing progress with the implementation of Cultural Routes. The event debates on new professional practices, the launch of new initiatives and the development of partnerships. The Cultural Routes programme of the Council of Europe encounters growing interest among national and local authorities, cultural management practitioners as well as from tourism operators and the wider public. This year’s Forum will explore the recent expansion of the programme, highlighting both challenges and opportunities. Lithuania hosts this year’s Advisory Forum in Vilnius on 26-27 October. (more...) [20/10/2016]


Tackling Prejudice and Engaging with Religious Minorities

The Intercultural Cities (ICCs) programme, in cooperation with the municipality of San Sebastián (Spain) organises a dedicated seminar to explore local policy responses to tackling prejudice and discrimination against religious minorities through an intercultural approach, as well as by engaging positively with faith communities for building trust and cohesion within the city as a whole. Taking place on 27-28 October 2016, the seminar will recognise and particularly respond to current worries expressed by ICC network members about rising levels of Islamophobia as well as stigmatisation of other religions across the Network, whilst acknowledging the rights of all individuals and groups - whether religious or not - under the European Convention on Human Rights. (more...) [20/10/2016]


Malta: 15th Assembly of the national authors of the Compendium

This year’s Compendium Assembly of national authors was held in the context of the 7th World Summit on Arts and Culture in St Julians, Malta, where Kathrin Merkle, Head of the Culture and Democracy Division for the Council of Europe moderated a work session on the topic of inclusion of migrants/ refugees through the arts and culture. In their discussions, the Compendium authors made substantial progress towards identifying a new business model for the Compendium. They welcomed the invitation from the Hertie School of Governance (Berlin) to strengthen synergies between the Compendium and the recently launched Indicator Framework on Culture and Democracy and the Compendium’s database on good practices in arts and culture for the integration of migrants was further enhanced. [19/10/2016]



How does Culture Impact Democracy? Launch Event for the Council of Europe’s Indicator Framework on Culture and Democracy (IFCD)

The Indicator Framework on Culture and Democracy (IFCD), which is an innovative tool to assess and optimise cultural policies using reliable data and an online application, was presented at a launch event in Brussels on 14 October 2016. The event brought together senior cultural policy makers from member states, parliamentarians, leading European cultural policy researchers, representatives from international bodies and foundations, and is hosted by the European Union. The IFCD tool has been developed by the Council of Europe in collaboration with the Hertie School of Governance (Berlin) and the European Cultural Foundation. Culture and democracy dimensions of European states have been explored with the help of 17 components and 41 indicators, grouping over 170 variables to reveal significant correlations. Robust relationships have been identified, inter alia, between cultural engagement and important aspects of democratic openness - including political engagement, trust in society and well-being. The IFCD tool will enhance evidence-based policy-making and orient investments into culture for best impact. It will also inform thematic reports on culture and democracy – the first of which, on culture and trust in society will be launched at the end of the year 2016. [17/10/2016]


FOCUS: Cultural heritage

European Heritage Days 2016: Celebrating the people behind the places

As custodians of local traditions, histories and values, Heritage Communities are the living transmission of Europe’s cultural richness. Under the pan-European theme of “Heritage and Communities”, this year’s EHD events will bring together 50 European countries in a celebration of citizens’ roles in promoting and sharing common European heritage. Throughout Europe, more than 50000 national and local events, many of them free of charge, will celebrate Europe’s true treasure – its communities and the people behind the places. Museums, galleries, historic archives, libraries and many other places will be brought into the spotlight to encourage active participation in heritage conservation and interpretation. (more...) [15/09/2016]


Video of the month

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