EHfC | Brussels Conversations 2012 | A Cultural Coalition for a Citizens Europe

Friday 16 November 2012


Brussels Conversations 2012


A Cultural Coalition for a Citizens’ Europe

A 2-Day Conference - 16 & 17 November

The European House for Culture together with the Marcel Hicter Association, the Access to Culture Platform, “A Soul for Europe,” and the Festival of Philosophy bring A Cultural Coalition for a Citizens’ Europe to Brussels.

Please find the invitation here. Online registration closes 1 November.

The 2-day conference will discuss the future of the European project and the citizen’s role in making it a reality. Developing citizenship in Europe is one of the essential needs that should be addressed during the European Year of Citizens 2013 and the Cultural Coalition for a Citizens’ Europe believes that culture is the key to increasing this spirit of citizenship. The cultural backgrounds of European citizens are an integral part of a cultural process that will mark the change from national to European solutions to the complex issues surrounding contemporary life and their practice will lead to a new balance of power between the citizens and powerful stakeholders.

The lectures and workshops in this encounter will move beyond the theoretical-legal-philosophical discussion and show that citizenship and its cultural component is something we should practice in our daily lives. It also aims to emphasize that arts and culture do not only bring “added value” to citizenship and governance, but are the core, the driving force, which allow and push us to re-evaluate these concepts, thus strengthening democracy and human rights. Together we will examine the applicability of general concepts and specific topics within the scope of the cultural component of citizenship. Questions that will be explored include: How can top-down processes be complimentary and interlinked with grassroots efforts? What position does civil society hold within these efforts? How can the public space for such efforts be expanded? These will be supported by examples, theoretical background, expert opinions, and citizens’ experiences.

The discussions will establish a link between culture and citizenship and the crises that are currently affecting Europe: financial, economic, social, environmental, as well as a “loss of direction.” In the midst of these crises, Patrice Meyer-Bisch will investigate the state of democracy and cultural rights in Europe, revealing how the active involvement of citizens can be the basis for all future development at the local, national, European, and global levels. Alicja Gescinskawill explore the role of fear and resentment in the decline of civic values while many more experts and citizens are invited to share their views and to propose solutions.

The Brussels Conversations 2012 will demonstrate that policies should inspire citizens to act on their own responsibility and convictions for the benefit of a shared Europe, pursuing their own individual activities to further the common European project. The ultimate aim is to endorse the fundamental right to access culture and to advance the search for creative manners in which to develop a European citizenship based on its cultural component.

We would like to invite all to re-think and work on a concrete realization of Europe’s future: the realization of a new, but in a certain sense also an old Europe, a Europe where citizens are at its base and in which culture and cultural diversity function as its cores, its binding components.

The 16 and 17 November will bring A Cultural Coalition for a Citizens’ Europe to Brussels:

A series of thought-provoking discussions on citizenship, cultural democracy and cultural rights produced by the European House for Culture, Marcel Hicter Association, the Access to Culture Platform, “A Soul for Europe and the Philosophy Festival.

In partnership with the European Festivals Association (EFA), ENCATC, European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC) and Felix Meritis.

Festive moments with the 60th anniversary of the European Festivals Association and ENCATC’s 20th anniversary.

Hosted by the Palais des Académies, the BOZAR, and the CINEMATEK.

The Brussels Conversations 2012 is the second in a series of three events dedicated to a Europe from the bottom up under the title of A Cultural Coalition for a Citizens’ Europe. Together they form “A Soul for Europe’s” kick-off to the European Year of Citizens 2013. The series includes the Berlin Conference 2012 by “A Soul for Europe” on 10 November, the Brussels Conversations 2012 event by the partners of the European House for Culture on 16-17 November, and the Amsterdam Conversations by the Felix Meritis Foundation on 30 November.


More on the Cultural Coalition for a Citizens Europe:  Join the Coalition !