EC Structured Dialogue with Civil Society on Culture
Voices of Culture ‒ the current Structured Dialogue between the European Commission and the cultural sector - provides a framework for discussions between EU civil society stakeholders and the European Commission with regard to culture. It aims to strengthen the advocacy capacity of the cultural sector in policy debates on culture at European level, while encouraging it to work in a more collaborative way.
In 2007, the European Agenda for Culture introduced two new tools for further cooperation in the field of culture at EU level: an Open Method of Coordination policy process with EU Member States and a Structured Dialogue with civil society.
From 2008 to 2013, the Structured Dialogue with civil society in the field of culture was developed through two complementary tools, the Civil Society Culture Platforms and the European Culture Forums.
After an external evaluation in 2013, the European Commission adapted the Structured Dialogue format. The organisation of the Forums was kept as such but the Platforms were replaced by a more flexible and diverse approach, called Voices of Culture, as from 2015.
The themes of the Voices of Culture dialogues are aligned with the priorities of the EU Council Work Plan for Culture, and therefore with policy discussions among Member States experts.
Five topics have been addressed by approximately 150 cultural organizations in 2015-2016:
· The role of culture in promoting the inclusion of refugees and migrants;
· Promoting intercultural dialogue and bringing communities together through culture in shared public spaces;
· Developing the entrepreneurial and innovation potential of the cultural and creative sectors;
· Participatory governance in cultural heritage;
· Audience development via digital means.
Stakeholders contribute to debates at European level. Thanks to the discussions with the European Commission, a direct link between EU policies and civil society is established, helping the flow of messages and information from both sides. The voice of stakeholders is heard. Moreover, with this process the links between stakeholders is strengthened, as well as their advocacy capacities.
With the new format, a closer synergy with work done by Member States in their Open Method of Coordination (OMC) working groups, is also insured. These bridges and new cooperation means enrich both processes, with the coordination of the EC.
392.000 euros for two years 2015-16.
This covers Calls for interest, Selection, Brainstorming meetings of stakeholders, Dialogue meetings with the EC, etc.
An evaluation was held in 2013. Implementation was then adapted in light of the recommendations.