The conference seeks to identify the role of culture
in the success of the Europe 2020 Strategy. In a transversal sense, a more general conduct is
meant by culture besides a dynamic, innovative segment of economy and society. In this sense
the conference will discuss ways and conditions of how culture can contribute to the perfection of
human development, and to the improvement of social capital that are required for smart, inclusive and sustainable growth in Europe.
The conference aims to explore the specific areas and means of action through which this goal
can be achieved, and furthermore, to propose operative measures to the Member States and the
Commission. The discussions will aim at identifying more focused exploitation of
culture in the economy, in education and in other fields of social action.
The conference wishes to highlight where cultural operators and operations most efficiently complement
other forms of intervention. Equal attention will be spent to the development of creative and
cultural industries, to the relation between culture and innovation, to the enhancement of the potentials of culture in other areas of development, as well as on the role of specialised socio-cultural professionals and institutions in the achievement of the goals related to Europe 2020.
We wish to discuss the above-mentioned questions in four thematic sections, which would also include the presentation of related good practices. Our other objective is that the findings of the conference contribute to the elaboration of a Council Conclusions document to be presented by the Presidency in the same topic.
Detailed Description of the Sections
1st Section Meeting: Inclusive Growth
The main question of the section is how to strengthen the role of culture in social cohesion and
in combating poverty and exclusion, with special attention to the collaboration of culture and education
for social inclusion. The scope will cover the cultural component of formal education, as well as the
formal and informal educational functions of cultural institutions and programmes. The section will
also examine how future conflicts and tensions can be avoided by promoting cultural diversity and
encouraging the co-existence of different cultures, and how can Europe's diversity be exploited for
the sake of growth and competitiveness. How economic development endangers cultural diversity
is also an important question. Further topics of discussion include
talent nurturing, the measurability of culture's contribution to social development
and cohesion and promotion of volunteering in the cultural sector, strengthening active citizenship with the help of cultural means.
2nd Section Meeting: Smart Growth
The section mainly examines the cultural and creative industries and the required framework
for the flourishing of these sectors, in line with the outcomes of the Commission Green Paper
on cultural and creative industries.
We will be focusing on two main areas of the direct and indirect contribution of culture to the development of CCI-s.
creation of networks and partnerships on local, regional and European level can contribute to the
sustainable development of cultural and creative enterprises. This can result in a new type of
cultural product development, which improves the quality of cultural services and could generate
additional related services. Culture-based innovation can contribute to the development of a European
brand as well, which represents excellence and quality.
- To create a basis for creativity (talent nurturing, development of creative skills and competences). These activities are equally important to the development of
- The other area is the creation and sustainable functioning of the
financial, technical and infrastructural environment that is necessary for the
start-up and successful operation of cultural enterprises, especially SME's is also crucial.
3rd Section Meeting: Sustainable Growth
The section's two major approaches will be how to promote sustainable cultural development,
and how culture can facilitate sustainable growth. Discussions will be based around topics like
the interrelation between environmental consciousness and culture, and the role of cultural
institutions in this process. Another main point of intersect in the section is the relation
of green and magenta culture. This refers to the notion that the profit gained from magenta culture
(low quality culture) should be spent on the possibly widest dissemination of elite or high culture.
A third topic is the role of aesthetic education in promoting inclusive education. Aesthetic education
provides motivation, meaning and models for cultural activities. Regular encounter with aesthetics and
inclusive activity as well as activities of creative aesthetic value is crucial for the evolution
and development of the individuum, the personality. Aesthetics, especially aesthetics condensed
into arts has a positive impact on the level of exigency of people towards their environment.
As a result aesthetic education may contribute to the advancement of green culture, and in turn
to sustainable cultural development.
4th Section Meeting: Measurable Growth
A general argument for the necessity to invest in culture (financial and human resources) is that these investments do yield returns for culture, through their direct and indirect effects, contributing to a great degree to not only economic development, but also to the strengthening of social cohesion and the general and significant improvement of the quality of life.
Measuring these effects, however, and their quantification in particular, pose great difficulties even within the Member States, let alone at the EU level. Certain indicators of culture (or its domains) are difficult to measure or estimate, and the comparison of relevant data is not resolved. At the same time, decision makers appear to have a continuous demand for factual data to substantiate the efficiency of cultural investments and subsidies, and the effectiveness of interventions. This is also true for the use of own resources as well as for the definition of indicators for programmes financed from EU funds.
With regard to this demand (without contesting the legitimacy of demands by decision makers) the question that arises more and more frequently is to what extent cultural investments should be reflected (primarily) in economic indicators, and whether it is necessary or feasible to reduce culture at all levels to a set of statistical data and indicators. Or, looking at it from the other angle: is it possible to ensure support for culture without such 'hard' data?
The session would review the major areas regarding the measurability of culture.
On the one hand, the session would attempt to provide an overall picture on the possibilities of measuring the effects culture has on the social and economic environment, on the related problems and obstacles - and on what level this kind of measurement is viable and necessary. On the other hand, it would present a few solutions and good practices used when reviewing the impacts and certain areas of culture, both on EU and Member State level.
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