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 ... (24/11/2015)


Emerald biogeographical Seminar for bird species for Belarus, the Republic of Moldova, the Russian Federation and Ukraine

On 24-25 November, the Bern Convention organises the scientific evaluation of the currently proposed ‪‎Emerald Network sites. This evaluation is the third one taking place for 2015. The countries which will be targeted by this evaluation are Belarus, the Republic of Moldova, the Russian Federation and Ukraine. Independent scientific experts, national authorities and nature conservation NGOs from the four countries will meet in Minsk (Belarus) for two full working days. They will debate on how well the currently proposed Emerald site on these countries’ territories will perform in achieving the Network’s main objective: ensuring the long-term survival of the species and habitats of European importance. Only bird species to be protected through the Emerald Network will be targeted by this Seminar. (more...) [28/10/2015]


35th Meeting of the Standing Committee to the Bern Convention - Convention on the conservation of European wildlife and natural habitats

The Standing Committee to the Bern Convention will meet from 1 to 4 December in Strasbourg to assess progress towards the sustainable use of Europe’s natural heritage. More than 100 participants have already registered to attend the forthcoming meeting, including delegates of the 51 contracting parties, and representatives of observer states and organisations. This year’s meeting will address – among others - issues related to the prevention, control and eradication of invasive alien species, the designation and management of protected areas, the prevention and prosecution of illegal killing of birds, and the role of biodiversity to mitigate climate change. The Committee will also assess ten complaints submitted by citizens and NGOs for presumed breaches of the Convention by contracting parties. (more...) [25/11/2015]


San Marino ratifies the European Convention on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage (revised)

On 12 November 2015, Ambassador Guido BELLATTI CECCOLI, Permanent Representative of San Marino to the Council of Europe, deposited the instrument of ratification for the European Convention on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage (revised). The revised Convention will enter into force for San Marino on 13 May, 2016. The aim of the European Convention on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage (revised) is to protect the archaeological heritage as a source of European collective memory and as an instrument for historical and scientific study. All remains and objects and any other traces of humankind from past times are considered elements of the archaeological heritage. The notion of archaeological heritage includes structures, constructions, groups of buildings, developed sites, moveable objects, monuments of other kinds as well as their context, whether situated on land or under water. [12/11/2015]


14th Assembly of Compendium experts, 12-13 November, Wroclaw, Poland

The 14th Assembly of Compendium experts, including a Public Forum was held from 12 to 13 November in Wroclaw (Poland) in the wider context of the city's role as European Capital of Culture 2016. The event was opened by the Mayor of Wrocław Rafał Dutkiewicz, and the Director of the National Centre for Culture (Poland), Krzysztof Dudek. It brought together specialists in culture from some 40 countries. Debates focused on a human rights approach to cultural policy, including issues such as equal access to the arts and heritage and democratic policy making for Ensuring the participation of all population groups. A comprehensive reference handbook on "Culture and Human Rights - The Wroclaw Commentaries" will be compiled in follow-up to the event. The handbook will gather together the different references to "culture" in human rights literature, legal instruments or in court cases. Its target audience will be Those in decision-making or law-making at the different juridical, administrative and political levels in Europe. [18/11/2015]

Compendium website


The Council of Europe Cultural Routes Annual Advisory Forum, Aranjuez, Spain, 29-30 October 2015

The annual Council of Europe cultural routes advisory forum discusses trends and challenges in relation to Cultural Routes and provides a platform for sharing experiences. The theme of the Forum was "Networking for culture and heritage. The Council of Europe’s Cultural Routes: making transnational connections work". Spain was hosting this year’s Advisory Forum in Aranjuez, the UNESCO cultural landscape site located near Madrid, on 29-30 October. Over the two days of the Forum the following themes were explored: cooperation with and role of international organisations; democracy and cultural routes: cross-cutting participation at local, regional and international levels; experiences in tourism promotion of cultural routes; young people’s role and involvement in cultural heritage preservation. (more...) [04/11/2015]

FOCUS: Cultural Diversity

Refugees – creating conditions for diversity advantage, Neuchâtel, 29-30 October

The Council of Europe/Intercultural cities and the canton of Neuchâtel, COSM, organised a seminar to discuss what receiving countries can do concretely to facilitate the social and economic integration of refugees. From the point of view of successful integration, the first days and weeks after arrival are important not only in terms of providing for refugees’ material needs, but also for their social needs, such as the possibility to communicate with others, kindle new friendships and establish social networks which can help with the search for employment and other occupations. The seminar reviewed examples of how cities across Europe deal with this challenge and draw general policy conclusions. [04/11/2015]



Video of the month
2nd Council of Europe Platform Exchange on Culture and Digitisation, 4-5 September 2015, Linz, Austria

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