The items of the proposed agenda were put together upon consultation with the interested parties. In addition to the questions that have been formulated with regard to the respective items (see below), the present dossiers shall provide additional information for the discussion.
How can culture contribute to the cohesion of European societies? To what extent are the social functions of culture different in the various regions of Europe, e.g. between the 15 of Europe, the new members and those (still) outside of the Union? What concrete results do we expect from the actual conference? Are there lessons for ministers of culture from recent phenomena that point at the imperfections of inclusion in Europe?
The Role of Culture in the European Integration
What role should culture play in overcoming the current stalemate in the integration process? Had there been a chance to prevent or lessen the European crisis if cultural values and cultural co-operation had been given a greater role? What role should culture get in the integration process, and more specifically in the renewed Lisbon strategy, aiming at increasing the competitiveness of our continent?
2008 - European Year of Intercultural Dialogue
How can individual countries contribute to the realisation of the objectives proposed by the European Commission? Where can additional resources be mobilised? How could national cultural policies be adapted to these objectives? How will this initiative affect the non-member states of the European Union, which are their reflections regarding this main European initiative?
UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity
What is the significance of the approval of this Convention for the cultures of European societies? How does this affect the new member states and the accession countries, characterised by an increased vulnerability of their cultural markets? How do we judge the role of the European Union and the Presidencies in the preparation of the Convention?
Widening Access to Cultural Products
How do we assess the proposals aimed to constitute a European response to the American cultural challenge? How should we tackle the financial and technical obstacles to this cultural competition? How should we divide tasks between the States and the international community? Is it not time to reconsider the copyright regimes and discuss the possibility of introducing a multiplicity of legal techniques (such as outlined in the Creative Commons proposals) aiming at easier (or even free) access to cultural products?
European Linguistic Diversity
How do the previous two issues affect the cause of linguistic diversity? What other existing and emerging national and international initiatives would give equal opportunities for the flourishing of less spoken languages? How can we broaden the scope and improve the efficiency of the translation support schemes?
The Role of Ministerial Conferences
What should be the future role of the ministerial conferences? What forms of collaboration can be conceived in addition to bilateral co-operation and the joint actions within the confines of international organisations? What specific aims and new kinds of structures can be established? What should be the general themes of future ministerial conferences?
Note: This dossier was compiled by the Budapest Observatory, the organiser of the 'Inclusive Europe' ministerial conference, Budapest, November 2005.
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