Ref. :  000028408
Date :  2008-01-07
Language :  English
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Opening event of the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue: international conference "Intercultural Dialogue as the fundamental value of the EU" (7-8 January 2008, Ljubljana - Slovenia)

The year 2008 has been designated as the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue (Decision No. 1983/2006/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council). Slovenia will, as the first of the presiding states in 2008, prepare the opening event of the Year on the Community level in co-operation with the European Commission. In order to mark this important occasion, various events will be held on 7 and 8 January 2008 at Cankarjev dom, Cultural and Congress Centre in Ljubljana. The programme will include a conference on the intercultural dialogue with several programme events, as well as the evening ceremony with the participation of high representatives from the European Institutions and other international organizations.

The most important event on the level of formal discussion will be the Conference of representatives of European Civil Society from the fields of Culture and Art, Science and Education, Media and Sustainable Economic Development. The conference will be devoted entirely to issues regarding the Intercultural Dialogue within the European Union and along its borders, since these issues are some of the main priorities of the Union in 2008, and thus in the period of Slovene Presidency.
The international conference entitled Intercultural Dialogue as the Fundamental Value of the EU will be organised by the Faculty of Humanities (Koper), University of Primorska, under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia and the European Commission.

Work at the conference will be organised into four sessions, with the opening and the conclusion held as plenary sessions. Within the sessions an intense and focused discussion will be encouraged among the representatives of the civil societies, which will result in the drafting of the report on each individual section, as well as in drawing of the final conclusions of the conference. In order to achieve the expected outcomes, work within the sessions will be organised as follows: the introduction given by the moderator (5 to 10 minutes) will provide a referential framework for the discussion, its main themes, topics, issues and views. The introduction will be followed by talks given by three invited speakers, each holding the floor for 15 minutes and discussing various aspects of the central theme. A moderated and focused discussion will ensue, providing the basis for the session reports and the final conference declaration.

The opening event will conclude with the Evening ceremony, held at the Gallus hall of Cankarjev dom, marking the official launch of the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue (2008) on the level of the Community.

Programme of the Conference: "Intercultural Dialogue as the Fundamental Value of the EU" (Cankarjev dom, Ljubljana, Slovenia) & contents of the working sessions

January 7, 2008

11:00- 13.00 Registration
13:00 Opening of the exhibition on intercultural broadcast projects by Dr. Rado Bohinc, Rector of the University of Primorska and Dr. Vesna Mikolič, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Primorska
13.30-15.30: Introductory plenary session of the conference

1) Opening addresses:
a) Dr. Vasko Simoniti, Minister of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia
b) Jan Figel, European Commissioner
b) Dr. Janez Potočnik, European Commissioner
d) Marko Peljhan, European Ambassador for Intercultural Dialogue, artist

2) Presentation of studies:
a) The study on national approaches and practices to ICD (Odile Quintin, DG Education Youth and Culture, European Commission, and Andreas Wiesand, European Institute for Comparative Cultural Research - ERICarts)
b) Council of Europe' White Paper on ICD (Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni, CoE)
c) Rainbow Paper conclusions (Sabine Frank, Civil Society Platform for ICD)

15.30–16.00: Coffee Break

16.00–18.00: Sections 1 and 2: Culture & Art, Education & Science

I: Culture & Art

Topics: intercultural values, common European heritage, respect for other cultures, dialogue among cultures and civilisations, European co-operation in the field of culture and cultural heritage.

Art and Culture as carriers of Intercultural dialogue: Intercultural dialogue appears to be a necessity precisely because we, despite all, inhabit a modern Tower of Babylon. The dividing yet, at the same time, unifying role is played by culture and art. EU has acquired the “open method,” i.e. the introduction of good practices. Hence, the questions arise as to how, in particular, can culture be purposfully used as a tool for EU internal integration? The idea of culture defines already the concept of “intercultural dialogue.” The essential issue in understanding its role is to conceive of what culture in fact stands for and how it defines us. Thus, questions arise with regard to culture as the carrier of identity, both national and cultural, their juxtaposition and concurrence: What role does culture play in shaping our notion of our own identity limiting it so that we are not at ease while communicating with each other? How does the notion of individual and national identity play against the concept of intercultural dialogue? How is this dialogue possible on basis of sundry cultures? What unites and what divides them?

Chair: Naseem Khan (Great Britain, expert on arts and arts policies)
Reporter: John Sell (Great Britain, Vice-President of Europa Nostra, Netherlands)

1) Dr. Aleš Debeljak (Slovenia, University of Ljubljana, writer and expert on cultural studies and European cultural and identity policies)
2) Odile Chenal (Netherlands, European Cultural Foundation, Deputy Director)
3) Magdalena Vášáryová (Slovakia, MP, member of Committee on Culture and Media)

II: Education & Research

Topics: intercultural values in education and research, intercultural pragmatics, intercultural competences as part of lifelong learning (multilingualism, recognition and respect of other cultures), intercultural communication and cooperation in the field of education and research.

The section on intercultural dialogue within the field of science and education aims at opening a discussion on two main complex and interrelated topics:
1. The role of intercultural collaboration for science and educational institutions: The goal of internationalisation of education as a fundamental criterion ensuring quality: ensuring competitive knowledge, needed within the common European and global job market; international promotion of educational achievements; exchange of knowledge and experience; quality, innovation and creativeness certification along with verification of achievements; introduction of a European dimension of education and employment; promotion of national knowledge, creative potential and culture etc.
2. A scientific definition of interculturalism and its establishing as a core European value in educational institutions: Models of intercultural communicative competence and methods of achieving the same: in order to enhance efficient intercultural communication, a focus on culturally conditioned use of language seems appropriate.

Chair: Dr. Michael Wimmer (Austria, expert on ICD in arts education)
Reporter: Dr. Zvonko Kovač (Croatia, University of Zagreb, expert on intercultural literature and cultures in contact)

1) Dr. Lucija Čok (Slovenia, University of Primorska, expert on ICD in education and communication)
2) Dr. Evelyn Deutsch-Schreiner (Austria, Kunstuniversität Graz, expert on intercultural arts education)
3) Patrick Siegele (Nemčija, Anne Frank Zentrum, expert on ICD in primary/secondary education)

18.00–18.30: Coffee Break
18.30–19.30: Film screening and interview with the film makers

The presentation of films on the topic of intercultural dialogue and discussion with the authors led by: Dr. Ernest Ženko, University of Primorska, Slovenia, expert on contemporary European thought and aesthetics.

20.00–22.30: Cankarjev dom Club: Dinner and music

January 8, 2008

09.30–11.30: Sections 3 and 4: Mass-Media, Sustainable Economic Development

III: Mass-media

Topics: intercultural values and modern communication technologies, intercultural communication and intercultural cooperation in the field of media.

Media play an extremely important role as regards respect for differences and the different. We, the citizens of Europe, communicate with one another, get to know one another and learn about the others mainly through the texts communicated by the media. Slovene culture and language spoken by two million people is a language of the minority inside the European space. Even this minor European language represents the language of the majority for other languages and cultures inside Slovenia. Therefore, every country has to take care that the relation of the majority to the minority is respected. The majority is always under the obligation to respect and protect the rights of the minority. After all, in the globalized world even Europe itself is a minority.

Chair: Dr. Gero Schliess (Deutsche Welle, Director of Program Projects)
Reporter: Boris Bergant (EBU, Slovenia)

1) Ruth Hieronymi (Germany, member of the European Parliament)
2) Franco Del Campo (Italy, Director of Corecom, company for mass-media policy)
3) Helena Luczywa (Poland, Gazeta wyborcza, Editor in Chief)

IV: Sustainable economic development

Topics: intercultural values in economy, enculturation of workforce from third countries, intercultural communication and intercultural cooperation of companies; cultural industries as generators of intercultural dialogue.

The reality of the (global) economy of today - no physical hindrance of borders (actually the non-existence of the border) and as globalization is impacting every day’s life and economies – including English language, the Bill Gates worlds, the struggle for Russian energy and tendency to establish, at least in parts, worldwide grounds for cheap labor (Chinese style), multicultural worlds being already realized within national economies. The five rules of globalization must be named here: 1. investments and capital have no roots; 2. the market economy is loose, administrative and political regulations are limited; 3. the generators of the national economy are often transnational enterprises; 4. the national economic giants are loosing its position; 5. the once diversified homogenous spatial structures are becoming unified, local identities are in opposition to trend and tend to protect its position. What should be the main priorities within the established laws of the world economy? Do we want (and can we) change something? What ways can we go to maintain own (cultural, economic) identity? What are the grounds to establish and support sustainable development in an economy where sustainability would be guaranteed and therewith natural and cultural phenomena enriched?

Chair: Dr. Anton Gosar (Slovenia, University of Primorska, expert on geography of economic development and tourism)
Reporter: Jordi Pascual i Ruiz (Spain, researcher and practitioner in the field of urban development and culture)

1) General managers of the ports in the Northern Adriatic:
 Robert Časar (Slovenia, Port of Koper, President of the Board)
 Claudio Boniciolli (Italy, Port of Trieste, General Manager)
 Denis Vukorepa (Croatia, Port of Rijeka, General Manager) (tbc)
2) Michel Bouton (France, former President of the Board of Renault Revoz)
3) Simon Evans (Great Britain, Creativeclusters)

11.30–12.00: Coffee Break
12.00–12.30: Signing of the Co-operation Protocol
(Directors General of National Radio and Television from Slovenia, Austria, Hungary, Italy, Croatia)

12.30–14.00: Final plenary session – Final reports

Reporters from various sections, dr. Edvard Kovač, philosopher and ethics expert and dr. Jelka Pirkovič, State Secretary, Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia.
Closing remarks: Odile Quintin, DG Education Youth and Culture, European Commission.

14:30-16:30 Signing of the Arts Festivals’ Declaration on Intercultural Dialogue’, Ljubljana Castle (with reception)

17.30-19.00: Evening ceremony, Gallus Hall, Cankarjev dom

Opening addresses:
a) Janez Janša, The Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia
b) José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission
c) Dr. Hans-Gert Pöttering, President of the European Parliament
d) Dr. Edvard Kovač, philosopher and ethics expert, representative of the civil society, Slovenia

19.00-21.00: Reception

Organisers of the event:
- University of Primorska, Faculty of Humanities, Koper
- Cankarjev dom, cultural and congress centre, Ljubljana

More info:

- Registration Form
- Practical Information

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