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IP/08/1718

Brussels, 17 November 2008

Closing Conference of the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008: New Perspectives for Intercultural Dialogue in Europe

Over 600 participants from across Europe and beyond gather today in Paris to evaluate the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008 in a closing conference entitled "New Perspectives for Intercultural Dialogue in Europe". With hundreds of activities and projects highlighted, promoted and disseminated during this Year, the communication campaign has raised awareness throughout Europe of the importance and benefits of intercultural dialogue. Building on this experience, the aim of the conference is to look to the future of Europe from the point of view of cultural diversity.

The European Year of Intercultural Dialogue has mobilised stakeholders, policy makers and grass-roots civil society organisations throughout Europe. So far this Year, there have been 524 national events and 406 projects, while 91 national 'ambassadors of intercultural dialogue' have been nominated by the Member States.

To mark the closing of the Year, the French Presidency of the European Union and the European Commission are organising a closing conference on 17-19 November in the Centre Pompidou in Paris. Keynote speakers will include Christine Albanel, French Minister of Culture and Communication, Ján Figeľ, European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Youth, Jean Pierre Jouyet, French Secretary of State for European Affairs, and Members of the European Parliament. Themes such as intercultural education, the role and responsibilities of the media in intercultural dialogue, social cohesion and integration, Europe in the wider world, and intercultural dialogue in the arts will be discussed.

This event will be preceded by a press conference on 17 November at 12.00 at the Representation of the European Commission in Paris with Ján Figel' and Jean-Pierre Jouyet to highlight the achievements of the Year and to present the initiatives organised in France.

The conference "New Perspectives for Intercultural Dialogue in Europe" is an opportunity for discussion and practical implementation of the experiences of 2008, in order to further promote intercultural dialogue in the policies of the European Union, the governments of its Member States, and local and regional communities in the long term. The contributions to the conference were selected by a jury of experts following a call for proposals earlier this year. The debate is conceived as an encounter between theory and practice and will be accompanied by the use of various forms of oral, visual and artistic expression as well as by an exhibition presenting the results of the seven flagship projects of the European Year.

The programme of the closing event is available at the following link:

http://www.ue2008.fr/webdav/site/PFUE/shared/import/1117_colloque_nouvelles_perspectives_dialogue_interculturel/Programme_EN.pdf

Background

The year 2008 has been designated as the ‘European Year of Intercultural Dialogue’ to promote intercultural dialogue as a process in which all those living in the EU can improve their ability to deal with a more open cultural environment.

Further information:

www.dialogue2008.eu

2009 has been designated as the European Year of Creativity and Innovation.


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