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Culture and democracy

Doc. 14070: compendium of written amendments | Doc. 14070 | 22/06/2016 | Revised version

Caption: AdoptedRejectedWithdrawnNo electronic votes

ADraft Resolution

1Economic and social difficulties, exacerbated by terrorist attacks and the consequences of political instability in neighbouring regions, are deeply affecting the life of people in Europe. People’s fears and lack of confidence correlate with the erosion of civic bonds and the wearing away of established values and become fertile ground for anti-democratic and xenophobic movements to further radicalise and divide society.
2In this context, the Parliamentary Assembly urges for much stronger recognition of the role that culture can play in upholding democratic principles and values, and building inclusive societies. It stresses that democratic institutions and democratic laws will not work effectively unless they build on a democratic culture.
3Culture is a source of intellectual renewal and human growth. Active participation in cultural activities help people to acquire a critical mind, to develop a broader understanding of different world views, to interact with others, to have a voice and to define their role in society.
4Education policies generally focus on providing professional skills and knowledge targeted at economic needs, while personal development, though a key element for personal and societal well-being has been to a large degree neglected over the last decades. The Assembly considers that education policies should be reviewed and used as a driving force in today’s world of rapid change and increasing complexity. Cultural education should play an important part in this process, in particular to promote dialogue and mutual understanding and to strengthen solidarity and respect for human rights.
5The Assembly insists that sustained investment in cultural activity and education must be given equal priority with investment in the economy, infrastructure, security and all other areas seen as crucial to Europe’s global economic competitiveness and stability.
6The Assembly therefore recommends that the parliaments and governments of the member States of the Council of Europe:
6.1uphold the right of everyone to participate in cultural life as a core human right, seeking to offset barriers which hamper the access to culture of women, youth, minorities, migrants, refugees, asylum seekers and other vulnerable groups;
6.2promote the diversity of cultural expressions and cultural pluralism as positive factors for innovation and development;
6.3secure sustainable funding for cultural policies and develop strategic thinking at inter-ministerial level to mainstream culture in other policy areas such as employment, research and innovation, social services and welfare, health, prisons and penitentiary rehabilitation schemes;
6.4foster partnerships between the cultural sectors (cultural institutions and individual artists) and the education system, including formal education and lifelong learning, to promote the understanding of freedom of expression, respect for diversity and the development of intercultural competences from a very early age;
6.5strengthen the role of local authorities in promoting and implementing cultural policy and pilot initiatives, by reviewing the existing mechanisms (allocation of powers, legal structure, co-financing, etc.) to bring decision-making processes regarding culture as close as possible to the citizen, and ensure co-ordination between different levels of government in cultural policy implementation;
6.6support innovative urban policies by investing in the cultural infrastructure of cities, especially in disadvantaged urban areas;
6.7increase public participation in the definition of cultural policies and involve interested citizens and non-governmental organisations in the management of cultural institutions;

22 June 2016

Tabled by Ms Lotta JOHNSSON FORNARVE, Ms Boriana ÅBERG, Mr Hişyar ÖZSOY, Ms Annette GROTH, Mr Tobias BILLSTRÖM

Votes: 86 in favor 0 against 2 abstentions

In the draft resolution, paragraph 6.7, after the words "non-governmental organisations" insert the following words: "that work in a democratic and equality oriented manner,".

In amendment 1, replace the words "that work in a democratic and equality oriented manner," with the following words: "committed to promoting inclusion, non-discrimination and democratic values".

6.8measure cultural vitality and evaluate its impact on the democratisation of society and the appreciation of human rights, as a way to evaluate policies, making use in this respect of the Council of Europe’s Indicator Framework on Culture and Democracy (IFCD);
6.9in co-operation with the Council of Europe and the European Union, seek partnerships to develop shared cultural and diversity strategies and pilot projects which stimulate cultural exchange;
6.10actively support and financially contribute to the implementation of the Council of Europe Action Plan on Building Inclusive Societies (2016-2019).
7The Assembly recommends that the Steering Committee of the World Forum for Democracy devote one of the next Forums to “culture and democracy” in order to promote innovative policies and the exchange of good practices in this field.

BDraft Recommendation

1The Parliamentary Assembly, referring to its Resolution … (2016) on culture and democracy, stresses that culture is a powerful tool for preventing radicalisation and empowering civil society in building democratic citizenship. The Council of Europe has a long-standing experience in the field of culture and democratisation and has to stay at the forefront of positioning culture as an integral part of the democratic process.
2In this respect, the Assembly fully supports the intergovernmental work on developing a “soft power” policy and information tools to assist member States in shaping new cultural and intercultural processes and welcomes the effort to integrate the activities from different sectors into the Action Plan on Building Inclusive Societies (2016-2019).
3Accordingly, the Assembly recommends that the Committee of Ministers:
3.1encourage co-operation between different sectors of the Council of Europe to develop innovative approaches to cultural policies and diversity management, seeking to deliver policy guidance on how member States could better integrate cultural activities into the education system, and improving access to culture for marginalised and underprivileged children and youth;
3.2provide support for projects that aim to integrate cultural activities into other policy sectors such as health and social services (in particular for the elderly and people with disabilities), prisons and penitentiary rehabilitation schemes;
3.3launch the Indicator Framework on Culture and Democracy (IFCD) as an important tool to promote political commitment and investments in the cultural sphere at all levels (local, regional, national and European).

22 June 2016

Tabled by Ms Adele GAMBARO, Mr Stefan SCHENNACH, Mr Jonas GUNNARSSON, Mr Volodymyr ARIEV, Ms Nataša VUČKOVIĆ

Votes: 84 in favor 0 against 1 abstention

In the draft recommendation, after paragraph 3, insert the following paragraph: "The Assembly considers the EU Strategy for international cultural relations to be an important step forward and in line with a message that culture has to be mainstreamed in political decision making and therefore invites the Committee of Ministers and the European Union to intensify their exchanges on and increase their projects in promoting European cultural values."

Explanatory note

In June 2016, the European Commission adopted a new strategy to put culture at the heart of EU international relations, considering that culture can play a crucial role in strengthening international partnerships. The Commission has also announced a European Year of Cultural Heritage in 2018.

In amendment 2, before the words "EU Strategy", insert the word "recent".