Culture, Heritage and Diversity

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

The conference will take place under the Chairmanship of Azerbaijan Council of Europe June 2014 - November 2014


The First Platform Exchange on Culture and Digitisation is being kindly hosted by the Azerbaijani authorities in Baku, 4-5 July 2014, within the framework of their Chairmanship of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers. It is organised in follow-up to a request by European Ministers of Culture at their 10th Conference in 2013 (Moscow) to set up a platform for exchange on the impact of digitisation on culture and to prepare policy orientation papers on promoting the democratic governance of culture in the digital context.


The platform will bring together representatives of Parties to the European Cultural Convention - i.e. Ministries of Culture of all signatory states, cultural and media practitioners, artists and cultural producers, civil society representatives and researchers whose work is focused on the cultural aspects of digitisation as well as representatives of International bodies and Organisations active in this field.



Digitisation is shaping the 21st century: not only in terms of new technology, but also in terms of our information environment’s culture, and is having a significant impact on our societies. In this context, the Council of Europe has highlighted the importance of users’ individual and collective needs, the risks for European cultural diversity and the need for adequate conditions for cultural content production and creativity. Future cultural policy will need to tune into the digital world if it is to continue ensuring the widest possible access to and participation in culture and full usage of the opportunities for individual and collective creativity.


Work focus

Discussions will focus on the digital and pre-digital spheres from two angles:


(1) How to bridge gaps between digital and pre-digital cultural institutions?

Subjects covered would include their respective missions, mind-sets, legislation, the professional roles of those working in these institutions, the resources necessary for conversion from the pre-digital to the digital era, the governance of institutions and sector specifics as related to open data and content.


(2) How to reconcile digital and pre-digital forms of cultural expression, creation and production?

This would explore the question of new practices and the need for a right for remix, the role of creative commons, roles of creative actors, the convergence of art forms and the role of cities / regions / terroirs in view of the socio-economic impact of their digitized cultural activity. The issues of media literacy and existing divides in the take-up and use of digital technology for cultural purposes –related to questions of societal inclusion and cohesion- will be treated as transversal topics.


Input papers

Findings of the Questionnaire in preparation of the Baku Conference

"European cultures in the cloud": Mapping the impact of digitisation on the cultural sector by Dr. Divina Frau-Meigs, Sorbonne Nouvelle University

Possible recommendations for creating an enabling environment for digital culture and for empowering citizens by Dr. Divina Frau-Meigs, Sorbonne Nouvelle University

Digital shift and a pressure to survive – new audiences, new demands, new business models by Dr. Aleksandra Uzelac, IRMO

Need for new regulation to enhance creativity in the digital age: the cases of user-generated content and cultural heritage institutions by Leonhard Dobusch, Freie Universität Berlin

Empowering citizens through media literacy education by Manuel Pinto, University of Minho


Other documents for information

Council of Europe

Internet Governance Strategy

2013 World Forum for Democracy Final Report: Connecting institutions and citizens in the digital age


10th Council of Europe Conference of Ministers of Culture

Final Statement

Incentives for Discussion

Summaries of background papers

"Assessing the impact of digitisation on access to culture and creation, aggregation and curation of content", Background Paper by Divina Frau-Meigs , Professor, Sorbonne Nouvelle University

"Governance of Culture – Promoting Access to Culture", Background Paper by Elena Di Federico, researcher; Zsuzsa Hunyadi, sociologist; and Péter Inkei, director of the Budapest Observatory

Findings of the survey in preparation for the Moscow Conference of Ministers of Culture


External documents

ICOM’s Lisbon Declaration: Support Culture and Museums to Face the Global Crisis and Build the Future

 UNESCO’s Hangzhou Declaration: Placing Culture at the Heart of Sustainable Development Policies

  IFLA 2013 Trend Report: Riding the waves or caught in the tide? Navigating the Evolving Information Environment

  European Commission’s Reflection Group on Bringing Europe’s Cultural Heritage Online: The New Renaissance

 UNESCO’s WSIS+10 Report: Renewing the Knowledge Societies Vision for Peace and Sustainable Development

 United Nations Creative Economy Report 2013 [United Nations Creative Economy Report 2013 Special Edition]

 WAN-IFRA’s 2010 Strategy Report: New revenue models for newspaper companies. The Paid vs. Free Content Debate

 WIPO’s Study on Copyright Limitations and Exceptions for Libraries and Archives



Registration is closed!

Visa request




Concept note

Questionnaire in preparation of the conference

Practical information



Kathrin Merkle
+33 388 41 28 84

Siobhan Montgomery
+33 388 41 24 14

Pascale Doré
+33 390 21 46 83
Adrian Rodríguez-Pérez
+33 388 41 37 16