Culture and democracy: indicators framework and platform on
The nature of cultural policy is changing,
with a greater focus on citizen involvement and
bottom-up approaches, backed by the profound premise of
culture’s role in democracy. There is, however, a
scarcity of sound empirical evidence, proven measurement
tools and applied policy analysis in this field, despite
the increased demand for evidence-based policy-making.
Furthermore, digitisation is profoundly changing our
cultural experience, not only in terms of new
technology-based access, production and dissemination,
but also in terms of participation and creation, and
learning and partaking in a knowledge society. Following
decisions of European Ministers of Culture at their Conference in Moscow in April 2013,
the Council of Europe is carrying out two innovative
activities to provide European Governments with
effective tools for policy making.
Action 1 - Building an Indicator Framework on Culture and Democracy
The Council of Europe, in partnership with its member States and leading research institutes is currently developing
a set of indicators for assessing culture’s contribution to democracy. The indicator framework will demonstrate the links between culture and democracy, using conventional and cutting-edge statistical methods. It will help map European trends in access to and participation in culture and generate comparable national and European survey data. It will enhance existing information systems on culture and will benefit related statistical projects. A software application will support compilation and follow-up of the indicators and will be made available to member States and interested partners. The indicator framework shall also enable a more targeted allocation of resources to the cultural sector and a resulting effective reshaping of cultural policy. Finally, the indicator framework will enable a strong statement on culture's value for democracy – to be disseminated in the form of a guidebook proposing a set of principles for cultural policy-making to promote democracy and active citizenship.
A first draft indicator framework is available and initial test runs yield promising results.
Action 2 - Understanding the Impact of Digitisation on Culture
Digitisation must be accompanied by enlightened cultural policies, if opportunities for access and participation, individual and collective creativity are to be fully used. The 2013 Ministerial Conference highlighted the importance of users’ individual and collective needs vis-à-vis digital media. It hinted at risks for European cultural diversity and the need for adequate conditions for cultural content production and creativity in the digital age. The Council of Europe, in partnership with its member States and leading researchers is dedicating itself to developing such policies by offering
a platform for the exchange of experience and good practice to policy makers, practitioners and civil society. The platform will produce policy orientation papers and Council of Europe guidelines as well as a toolkit for creating an enabling environment for digital culture and for empowering citizens. Future transversal Council of Europe activities including on media literacy may follow.
Baku Conference – First Platform Exchange on Culture and Digitisation "Creating an enabling environment for digital culture and for empowering citizens"
4-5 July 2014, Baku, Azerbaijan
Linz Conference – 2nd Council of Europe Platform Exchange on Culture and Digitisation "Smart Creativity, Smart Democracy"
4-5 September 2015, Linz, Austria