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Identities and diversity within intercultural societies

Reply to Recommendation | Doc. 13704 | 29 January 2015

Committee of Ministers
Adopted at the 1217th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies (21 January 2015). 2015 - First part-session
Reply to Recommendation
: Recommendation 2049 (2014)
1. The Committee of Ministers has carefully examined Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 2049 (2014) on “Identities and diversity within intercultural societies” and has forwarded it to the relevant committees and bodies for information and comments.
2. In the current context of cultural diversity in Europe, the development of democratic stability is vital for building inclusive societies based on respect and mutual understanding. The Committee of Ministers therefore welcomes the support which the Parliamentary Assembly provides for the Council of Europe’s intergovernmental work to deal with the challenges of diversity in Europe and beyond.
3. The Committee of Ministers would inform the Assembly that the Programme of Activities for the 2014-2015 biennium provides for the preparation of an overview of the activities that exist in the Organisation in the area of diversity. This exercise ties in with the proposal made by the Assembly in paragraph 3.1.1 of its recommendation. Moreover, a range of innovative and cross-cutting activities and tools have been developed, in particular in the field of the digitisation of culture, the development of competences for democratic culture and intercultural dialogue, as well as tools for linguistic integration and policies and practices for teaching about religions and non-religious beliefs in intercultural education.
4. With regard to co-ordination between current monitoring and information database systems (paragraph 3.1.2 of the recommendation), it should be underlined that links do exist between some of these systems (in particular, between the Compendium and HEREIN) and that other databases, for instance that of the North-South Centre in the field of global education, have been established. The Assembly also recommends the setting-up of an “early warning system” designed to avoid conflicts related to culture and to deal with current issues. In this respect, the Committee of Ministers considers that the Organisation’s standard-setting acquis and relevant monitoring mechanisms already cover these issues to a large extent.
5. Lastly, the Committee of Ministers is pleased to inform the Assembly that co-operation with the European Union in the areas mentioned by the Assembly is well developed and that several Council of Europe programmes in the field of diversity, education for democratic citizenship and human rights education, including those conducted by the North-South Centre for global education, are joint actions with the European Union. The Committee of Ministers is committed to deepening and broadening this co-operation.