European manifesto for multiple cultural affiliation
As a contribution to the Council of Europe White Paper on intercultural dialogue and to the European model of cultural diversity, a team of experts prepared a reference text in 2006 and 2007 on multiple cultural affiliation and citizenship. Going beyond the approach based on fixed cultural identities and the debate on recognition for minorities, the text sets out to show how the feeling, on the part of certain individuals or groups, of belonging simultaneously to several cultural traditions can be reconciled with a European citizenship in the making, based on mutual recognition of different cultures and a shared attachment to common values.
Highlighting the mass of exchanges and intermingling that forged Europe's culture and has now taken on new proportions as a result of present-day communication media, the document throws light on the potential that multiple cultural belonging represents for human development and mutual understanding as a means of fostering peace and stability in Europe.
The text draws on the outcome of the seminar in Bucharest on 4- May 2006 on Identity, citizenship and cohesion and the colloquy in Budapest on 14-15 December 2006 on the theme Central and Eastern European aspects of cultural identities, shared values and citizenship in present-day Europe.
The work leads to the vision of a people's Europe that puts the individual back at the heart of a multicultural society that respects not only fundamental rights and freedoms but individuals' cultural and social identity.
The work is in keeping with the definitions of culture and heritage previously accepted by UNESCO and the Council of Europe:
In its widest sense, culture may now be said to be the whole complex of distinctive spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features that characterize a society or social group. It includes not only the arts and letters, but also modes of life, the fundamental rights of the human being, value systems, traditions and beliefs (UNESCO, World Conference on Cultural Policies, 1982).
Cultural heritage is a group of resources inherited from the past which people identify, independently of ownership, as a reflection and expression of their constantly evolving values, beliefs, knowledge and traditions. It includes all aspects of the environment resulting from the interaction between people and places through time (Council of Europe, Framework Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society, opened for signature in Faro on 27 October 2005).
The draft manifesto was presented at the Forum Cultural values for Europe which took place in Strasbourg on 3 December 2007.
Download the European Manifesto for Multiple Cultural Affiliation (PDF)