In the current context of deep economic crisis and severe cuts in public spending, culture is often considered a luxury that the society can little afford. In reality, it is an asset for sustainable growth and a powerful tool to strengthen social cohesion and democratic stability.
Cultural democratisation, in other words a wide access to cultural assets and participation in cultural activities, triggers the creation of social capital, the strengthening of social bonds and citizen adherence to democratic values. The concept of “cultural democracy” which emphasises a wider and more varied involvement of public, equality and diversity of cultural expression is gaining ground.
Cultural democracy programmes and cultural mediation are ways to deal with cultural and social exclusion of a large part of the population across Europe. Moreover, digital-era tools and platforms can enhance participation in and creation of culture. It is important to highlight the partially unexploited interconnections between culture and democracy, in a fast evolving environment marked by digitalisation.
The Parliamentary Assembly recommends that the Committee of Ministers develops guidelines for the member States on cultural democracy and cultural mediation, as a concrete follow up to the 10th Council of Europe Conference of Ministers of Culture (Moscow, 15-16 April 2013).