In 2007 representatives of public bodies and cultural sector met in Lisbon during the Portuguese EU-Presidency, on a first Culture Forum, to discuss new ways of cooperation in the field of European cultural policy, which is ruled by the principle of subsidiarity. The outcome of this first Forum was the adoption of the European Agenda for Culture which identified 3 issues EU countries pledged to discuss in common:

• promotion of cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue;
• promotion of culture as a catalyst for creativity in the framework of the Lisbon Strategy for growth and jobs;
• promotion of culture as a vital element in the Union's international relations.

To achieve this collaboration between MS and EU a new tool was created, the Open Method of Coordination (OMC). To include the culture sector itself, the field experts / citizens in this discussion the “structured dialogue” mechanism was put into action.

The 3 civil society Platforms
In this frame the Platforms were created: Intercultural Europe; Potential of Creative Industries; and Access to Culture, the later hosted by the European House for Culture which acts as its secretariat.

At the adoption of the European Agenda for Culture a Working Plan 2008-2010 was launched. This included very detailed objectives for the participating MS and for the EU, one of which was to bring in the know-how of the many actors of the cultural sector improving the dialogue with the civil society.

This second European Culture Forum took place half way through the Working Plan span, on the 28, 29 & 30 September 2009, to take stock of the implementations of the European Agenda for Culture, discuss the progress of the dialogue so far and to agree upon the next steps.

Read more on the Surroundings and frame of the creation of the Civil Society Platforms.