Over 600 participants from across Europe and beyond participated in the closing conference of the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008 entitled "New Perspectives for Intercultural Dialogue in Europe".
The conference was organised on 17-19 November by the French Presidency of the European Union and the European Commission and took place in the Centre Pompidou, Paris. Keynote speakers included Jean Pierre Jouyet, French Secretary of State for European Affairs, Ján Figeľ, European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Youth, Christine Albanel, French Minister of Culture and Communication and Odile Quintin, General Director of the DG Education and Culture of the European Commission.
The conference "New Perspectives for Intercultural Dialogue in Europe" was one of the high points of the Year. It provided an overview of the projects undertaken and an opportunity to learn from them. It was also an opportunity to discuss how to put into practice the lessons learned during the Year through both policy and projects in order to promote intercultural dialogue in the long term.
"The end of this Year's campaign is by no means the end of our commitment to intercultural dialogue. Ever since the idea of a dedicated European Year was born, it has been clear that this is a long-term priority for the European Union. We must mainstream dialogue across our policies and programmes.
We must make intercultural dialogue a living artery infusing all our initiatives for an inclusive, prosperous, open Europe I can assure you that the European Commission's commitment to promoting intercultural dialogue will remain.
The 2009 year of innovation and creativity will give us plenty of opportunities to build on this year's successes" said Commissioner Figel' , opening the conference. Abd Al Malik, Ambassador for the European Year, stressed the importance of the role of artists in promoting the message of intercultural dialogue in the world.
A very wide range of issues was covered in the round table discussions: the role of the media; the strategic orientations of public action; the aims and the teaching methods of education for intercultural dialogue; the promotion of intercultural dialogue in relations between Europe and non-EU member countries. The conference was marked by meetings between theory and practice, by the use of various forms of oral, visual and artistic expressions, and by debates with conference participants.
For more information: www.dialogue2008.eu
2009 has been designated as the European Year of Creativity and Innovation.