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Greece/ 4.2 Specific policy issues and recent debates  

4.2.7 Intercultural dialogue: actors, strategies, programmes

Greece subscribes to international initiatives on intercultural dialogue of UNESCO, the Council of Europe and the European Union. It also supports actively the Euro-Mediterranean intercultural dialogue process, in which it is represented by the Hellenic Cultural Foundation, through a grant of 100 000 EUR to the Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for the Dialogue between Cultures. The need to strengthen dialogue between cultures, and religious denominations, is often evoked in public political enunciations in relevant public fora such as conferences and meetings. A wide-ranging programme of activities, including a major international conference organised by the Hellenic Foundation for Culture, took place in the context of the celebration of 2008 - European Year of Intercultural Dialogue.

Local government is active in establishing low-level international links, and thus promoting grassroots intercultural dialogue, through town twinning of more than 400 Greek municipalities with foreign counterparts. Also, the Orthodox Church of Greece has been active in a process of inter-church dialogue, mainly with Islam and in inter-faith dialogue with other Christian denominations. On the other hand, while Greece remains involved in relevant global fora, there is notable absence of concrete intercultural dialogue action at the national level. Practical action, for instance involving subaltern cultures and ethnic traditions, has been low key and not consolidated in a clear and visible force.

Establishing a Directorate of Popular Culture and Intercultural Affairs under the General Directorate of Contemporary Culture of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, as proposed in the 2012 cultural policy White Paper, is expected to have a positive effect in establishing cohesive and focussed policies of intercultural dialogue. The White Paper suggests, also, a stronger role of the European Cultural Centre of Delphi as a focus of intercultural dialogue actions. 

Additional Resources:

Government's overall approach to intercultural dialogue

Database of Good Practice on Intercultural Dialogue

Key Resources

Chapter published: 14-08-2015

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