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Our cultural environment is becoming
increasingly diversified which brings about new social and
political challenges. It often triggers intolerance,
stereotyping, racism, xenophobia, discrimination and
Intercultural dialogue has an important role in preventing ethnic, religious, linguistic and cultural divides and in enabling us to deal with our different identities constructively and democratically. It serves as a tool to combat intolerance and foster mutual understanding of our values and ways of thinking.
The Council of Europe has made it a priority to promote intercultural and inter-religious dialogue in order to ensure a better understanding between cultures, social cohesion and stability. In May 2008 they launched the White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue which provides policy-makers and civil society with a conceptual framework and guidelines for the promotion of intercultural dialogue.
The Group of Eminent Persons, chaired by Joschka Fischer and composed of 9 high-ranking individuals with a specific expertise and a particular interest in the subject, was set up in 2010 to prepare a report within the context of the Pan-European project ''Living together in 21st century Europe'' to be issued in May 2011.