Informal meeting of the European Ministers responsible for Cultural Affairs : «The new role and new responsibilities of Ministers of Culture in initiating intercultural dialogue, with due regard for cultural diversity» - Strasbourg, 17- 18 February 2003

Thirty Council of Europe Culture Ministers to discuss their new role in conflict prevention
Culture ministers from member states, candidates for membership and observer states to the Council of Europe met in Strasbourg on 17 and 18 February. They debated their role and responsibilities in fostering intercultural dialogue whilst respecting cultural diversity. Discussions focused in particular on the role of culture in preventing and overcoming conflicts.


- Culture and conflict
- Diversity and dialogue
- Governance and inter-sectorial cooperation
- Intercultural Dialogue and Conflict Prevention


List of Participants


Curriculum Vitae of Heads of Delegations

Intercultural Dialogue and Conflict prevention website

Action plan 2002-2004

Expert Colloquy – « Dialogue serving intercultural and inter-religious communication » - Strasbourg, 7 to 9 October 2002

Conclusions and debates analysis

Council of Europe interview brings Greek and Turkish Culture Ministers together

In the last years, after centuries of conflict, Greece and Turkey have been shrugging off their mutual prejudices and setting out to forge new ties, political, economic and cultural – an example which many other countries could usefully follow.


Robert Grossmann: ''Strasbourg, the home of European cultures''

“We want to make Strasbourg the home of European cultures, with the Council of Europe and the other cultural institutions which we have in the city,” said Robert Grossmann, President of the Strasbourg Urban Community, when he received the Council of Europe’s Ministers responsible for Cultural Affairs on 17 February at the Palais des Rohan.

Pictures of the reception

Maud de Boer-Buquicchio : “The initiation of intercultural dialogue, a keenly-awaited development”

Addressing the Culture Ministers, the Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, said that conflicts could be neither prevented nor resolved “without a consistent policy capable of guiding people’s choices and helping them deal with the situations that arise”.


Rokas Bernotas says cultural dialogue is a key to avoiding minority communities' sense of exclusion

In his opening address Lithuania's Ambassador, Rokas Bernotas, said that internal cultural dialogue was a key to understanding and managing delicate situations so that no community felt estranged from its country's dominant group.


Introduction to the themes of the Ministerial Colloquy
Professor Johan Galtung - Rethinking Conflict: the Cultural Approach

Professor Jean Petaux - From the Expert Colloquy on “Dialogue serving intercultural and inter-religious communication” to the Draft Declaration on “Intercultural Dialogue and Conflict Prevention”

Working session 1 : culture and conflict

Chair: Mrs Jenny Randerson, AM, Minister for Culture, Sport and the Welsh Langauge of the United Kingdom
Introduction by Dr Antun Vujic, Minister of Culture of Croatia
General debate
Speech by Mrs Katérina Stenou, Director of the Division of Cultural Policies and Intercultural Dialogue (UNESCO cultural sector)
Address by Dr Petros M. Kareklas, permanent Secretary (vice Minister) of the Ministry of Education and Culture of Cyprus

Working session 2 : diversity and dialogue
Chair: Mr Hüseyin Celik, Minister of Culture of Turkey
Introduction by Mr. Evangelos Venizelos, Minister of Culture of Greece
General debate
Intervention of Mrs Marie Bedard, International and International Affairs (Canada)
Speech by Mr Blagoj Stefanovski, Minister of Culture of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
Speech by Mr.Waldemar Dabrowski, Minister of Culture of Poland

Working session 3 : governance and inter-sectorial cooperation
Chair: Dr Pedro Manuel Da Cruz Roseta, Minister of Culture of Portugal
General debate
Address by Mrs Sesili Gogiberidze, Minister of Culture of Georgia
Address by Dr Petra Smolikova, Vice-Minister, Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic
Address by Mr Kalevi Kivistö, Director General, Ministry of Education

Working session 4 : towards a draft declaration on “Intercultural Dialogue and Conflict Prevention
Chair: Mr Razvan Theodorescu, Minister of Culture of Romania
General debate
Address by Mrs Karistas H. Gunnarsdottir, Director of Cultural Office – Ministry of Education, Science and Culture of Iceland
Address by Mr Pietro Ercole Ago, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Italy (Italian version)
Speech by Mr Rudolf Chmel, Minister of Culture of the Slovak Republic (Slovakian version)