Democratic governance

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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 ... (31/08/2015)


Council of Europe Platform Exchange: Smart Creativity, Smart Democracy

4-5 September 2015, Linz (Austria) – The Second Council of Europe Platform Exchange on Culture and Digitisation entitled “Smart Creativity, Smart Democracy” will explore insights on innovative digital technology in the cultural field and its positive contribution to citizen participation and empowerment. This multi-stakeholder event is designed to stimulate dialogue between cultural practitioners, public administrators and researchers and identify good practices for promotion in the Council of Europe member States. It is being organised in cooperation with the Ars Electronica Center with additional support from the Government of Austria, in tandem with the annual Ars Electronica Festival (3-7 September 2015) on the theme of “Post City – Habitats for the 21st Century”.

Event webpage; Festival webpage [31/08/2015]


C4i – Communication for integration

The C4i-Communication for Integration project, co-funded by the Council of Europe and the European Commission, launches a database on good practices on its official website. The database consists of documents, reports, case studies and methodology gathered throughout the duration of the project. The C4i aims to create social networks in order to address negative but widespread, misconceptions (rumours, prejudices and stereotypes) about persons from diverse backgrounds and to provide evidence-based information to counteract such misconceptions. Active participation from citizens as “anti-rumor agents” is a key feature of C4i. The C4i project is implemented in 11 European cities: Amadora/Portugal, Barcelona/Spain, Bilbao/Spain, Botkyrka/Sweden, Erlangen /Germany, Limerick/Ireland, Loures/Portugal, Lublin/Poland, Nuremberg/Germany, Patras/Greece and Sabadell/Spain. The cities work in cooperation with local authorities, NGOs, foreign communities, academia, media and citizens, with a view to identifying and addressing common misconceptions about immigration and promoting living together in diversity and social cohesion.

More information on the website [26/08/2015]


Bern ConventionMonitoring visit to Patara and Fethiye (Turkey) to check enforcement of conservation measures for the oldest living species on Earth, 28-30 July 2015

 An on-the-spot monitoring appraisal will take place on 28-30 July 2015 to Patara and Fethiye Specially Protected Areas, following a complaint submitted by MEDASSET to the Standing Committee to the Bern Convention.
Sea turtles are among the oldest living species on Earth, and at the same time one of the most endangered reptiles. Two of them, the loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) and the green turtle (Chelonia mydas) nest regularly in the Mediterranean, namely in Turkey, Greece and Cyprus. Unfortunately, they are both endangered species.
In order to check enforcement of conservation measures for the loggerhead turtle in Patara and Fethiye Specially Protected Areas (Turkey), the Bern Convention is going to conduct an on-the-spot monitoring visit on 28-30 July 2015. The visit was decided by the Standing Committee following a complaint submitted by MEDASSET to denounce the lack of adequate management of the nesting beaches. At core of the complaint a summer house development project next to Patara beach, the presumed inadequate management of Fethiye SPA, and the plans to build a shipyard dock in Akgöl.
Representatives of the IUCN and WWF-Turkey will also join the visit.

Press release [21/07/2015]


Council of Europe Cultural Routes blogging trip along the Huguenot and Waldensian trail, 13 – 17 July

Crossing Routes – Blogging Europe is an initiative of the Council of Europe Cultural Routes Programme and the European Institute of Cultural Routes. The initiative is carried out in co-operation with the European Travel Commission and Cultural Route of the Huguenot and Waldensian trail and local and regional partners. The group of bloggers and photographers will explore the Huguenot and Waldensian trail in Germany and Switzerland from 13 to 17 July 2015, hiking through magnificent landscape following the steps of the religious refugees, exploring cultural heritage of their villages and sharing their experience on the social medial channels and the blogging platform.

Press release [08/07/2015]


C4i-DELI conference, Brussels, Committee of the Regions, 23-24 June 2015

The conference built upon the collaborative experience of two transnational projects, “Communication for Integration” (C4I) “Diversity in the Economy and Local Integration” (DELI), co-financed by the European Integration Fund and involving 21 European cities. The overall goal of the two projects (2014-2015) is to promote intercultural integration, through economy (DELI) and communication (C4i), and to enhance democratic governance and security. The conference discussed innovative and effective approaches to the economic integration and contribution of migrants (more...) [07/07/2015]


On-the-spot appraisal to Mavrovo National Park, “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, 24-25 June 2015

At its last annual meeting in December 2014, the Standing Committee to the Bern Convention expressed a strong concern over the possible negative impact that two hydro-power plant projects could have on biodiversity in Mavrovo National Park. The Committee further agreed to open a case file against “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” in this respect, taking into account that the area is recognised as one of the key biodiversity hotspots in Europe. As per the decision of the Standing Committee, an on-the-spot appraisal to the area is organised on 24 and 25 June 2015. An independent expert is in charge of the appraisal visit and will be accompanied by a member of the Secretariat to the Bern Convention. Representatives from the European Commission and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) are joining the mission as Observers. A report on the mission findings will be presented at the annual meeting of the Standing Committee to the Bern Convention in December 2015, together with a draft Recommendation addressed to the national authorities of “The former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia”. [22/06/2015]


2nd Council of Europe Platform Exchange on Culture and Digitisation

The 2nd Council of Europe Platform Exchange on Culture and Digitisation “Smart Creativity, Smart Democracy” is being prepared at a work session on 25 June in Linz, Austria. The multi-stakeholder exchange will take place on 4-5 September in Linz in the framework of the 2015 Ars Electronica Festival (3-7 September, “Post City - Habitats for the 21st Century”. [22/06/2015]

FOCUS: Cultural Heritage

4th meeting of CDCPP

The CDCPP held its 4th meeting from 1 to 3 June 2015 at the Council of Europe headquarters in Strasbourg. The Committee examined the Council of Europe’s intergovernmental work in the field of culture, heritage and landscape, and advise the Committee of Ministers on questions within its area of competence. [05/06/2015]


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