EU/CoE support to the promotion of cultural diversity in Kosovo*
The Cultural Heritage and Technical Assistance Division organises technical co-operation activities in the sectors of cultural and natural heritage, and regional planning. The field action promotes intercultural dialogue, cross-border and trans-national cooperation, transfer of skills and processes of sustainable development. It also contributes to standard-setting and monitoring work related to European conventions, focusing on needs expressed by the beneficiaries through specific operational frameworks that offer a platform for multilateral co-operation, dialogue and reconciliation.
The promotion of intercultural dialogue is a priority for the Council of Europe. All of our work emphasizes the need for coexistence between the individual and groups, who should remain free to practise their own cultures and religions, while respecting the views of others. This underpins our approach in Kosovo, for example, by offering assistance to improve legal frameworks and practical mechanisms that protect and promote heritage.
Since 2004, the activities developed in Kosovo have been managed as a Joint Programme with the European Union, first through the Reconstruction Implementation Commission (RIC), followed up by the PCDK project phase I, and currently PCDK phase II.
The Joint Programme “European Union/Council of Europe Support to the Promotion of Cultural Diversity in Kosovo (PCDK)” has been carefully designed to ensure a cross-sectorial and integrated approach between its components and activities. The PCDK focuses on four major components: capacity development, education and public awareness, local economic development and community well-being, where all the elements come together in innovative pilot actions based on common heritage. In these initiatives, all stakeholders, from grassroots to central level, assume crucial roles and responsibilities.
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The PCDK activities pay particular attention to the active engagement of society at all levels: community-based engagement through Civil Society Organisations, municipalities, regional authorities, and central level engagement through ministries. In this way, emphasis is placed on partnerships and on ownership of the process by all stakeholders.
This specific project aims at facilitating the development of viable heritage planning and management in Kosovo in accordance with European norms and standards. Cultural heritage is used as a tool for encouraging inter-community dialogue and fostering sustainable economic development for the well-being of all communities.