One of the four new thematic areas of the "Culture & Democracy" section of the Compendium can particularly highlight how "culture stands at the soul of democracy": the thematic field of "Digitisation and Culture".
Last year, the Council of Europe underlined the importance of this field with the Conference "Exchange on Culture and Digitisation", held in Baku/Azerbaijan.
At this conference, Divina Frau-Meigs, specialist in media and information technologies and Professor of Media Sociology at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle/Paris, presented two papers on "European cultures in the cloud": Mapping the impact of digitisation on the cultural sector" and "Possible recommendations for creating an enabling environment for digital culture and for empowering citizens".
Input papers were also presented by Leonhard Dobusch, Freie Universität Berlin, on the "Need for new regulations to enhance creativity in the digital age: the cases of user-generated content and cultural heritage institutions" and Aleksandra Uzelac, IRMO/Zagreb, on "Digital shift and a pressure to survive – new audiences, new demands, new business models".
A second multi-stakeholder Platform on Culture and Digitisation “Smart Creativity, Smart Democracy” will be held in Linz, 4-5 September 2015. This event is being organised in co-operation with the 2015 Ars Electronica Festival.
Complementing conference presentations, there exist several other interesting key resources on Digitisation and Culture in the Compendium. Users are invited to suggest short abstracts with links to additional resources.
The Assembly has been held on 4-5 December at the Académie Royale de Belgique in Brussels in the framework of the Belgian Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.
As was the case during the last Assembly (Vienna 2013), the Brussels event (see Agenda) aimed at contributing to the follow-up to the Ministerial Conference on Culture (Moscow, April 2013) and also examined latest project developments and possible improvements of the information and monitoring system. The Assembly and Public Forum attracted ca. 90 cultural specialists from all parts of Europe and Asia.
The subjects for discussion included the Compendium’s role as a key tool for follow-up activities on culture and democracy, including presentations of new thematic spaces, a case study on digitisation in libraries (Vincent Bonnet/EBLIDA) as well as a look at the Compendium as an international source of policy concepts (Yashar Huseynli). Participants, including from the CoE Culture Committee (CDCPP), were introduced to new empirical tools, including the work carried out in 2014 on the Council of Europe draft indicator framework on culture and democracy (Michael Hoelscher) as well as to recent indicator works by the Boekman Foundation (Lisa van Woersem), the European Cultural Foundation (Tsveta Andreeva) and Compendium expert Michael Söndermann.
In the framework of the Council of Europe 's CultureWatchEurope initiative a Public Forum on "Culture and Democracy" has been held for cultural policy-makers, researchers and practitioners on 5 December, with case studies from Asia (Preeti Goankar), research reports from Belgium (Laurie Hanquinet / Alexander Van Der Stichele) and experts' position from Finland (Kimmo Aulake), the Council of Europe (Ulrich Bunjes) and the European Union (Alain Ruche, EEAS).
For additional information and pictures see the Facebook / LinkedIn extensions of the Compendium.
Introducing new elements in the THEMES section
Since the start of the Compendium project over 15 years ago, topics like cultural access and participation for different groups of the population or multi-stakeholder governance issues were seen as important themes to be dealt with on this information and monitoring platform. Until a few years, related information and data could be found mainly in various sub-sections of individual Compendium country profiles as well as in a number of comparative / statistical tables.
However, since issues such as socio-economic impacts, democratic participation, decentralisation or digitisation in the domain of culture recently gained momentum in the European political discourse where e.g. civil society access is now seen as an essential factor of democratic governance, including in social inclusion policies and as a means to foster intercultural dialogue, the Editors decided to further underline the transversal character of the Compendium in an enhanced THEMES section. At the same time, the now 10 different transversal THEMES are to contribute to the follow-up activities of the last Ministerial Conference on Culture (Moscow, April 2013).
Together with important background and research documents and links to the country profiles, the extended information provided in this section can assist governments, NGOs and other Compendium users in their efforts to start monitoring and comparing cultural policies and related measures, including those aiming at improving access to arts, media and heritage activities or enhancing democratic governance processes.
The ICC Index - with a focus on the intercultural integration of migrants and minorities - attempts to assess and compare the current status and performance of now 58 cities (with more to come in the near future).
Cities of Bilbao, Limassol, Mexico City and Zurich were reindexed in 2013 and the cities of Coimbra and Hamburg were recently added to the ICC Index!
The ICC Index aims to start needed debates by highlighting a few facts and processes which suggest the level of interculturality of a city.
Compare different cities and indicators at ICC Charts
The cultural policy profiles of Austria, Germany and Liechtenstein are now also accessible in German language, those of France and Monaco in French language!
Cyprus as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina plan to deliver their first national cultural policy profiles soon. As well, preparations for new profiles are to start in Belarus and Luxembourg.
The number of country profiles will then grow to 46!
Presents integrated information on cross-cutting, transversal issues of priority to cultural policy makers and analysts (with more to follow in 2014):
Updated comparative tables and graphs on population, participation, markets, employment, public funding
Updated comparative tables on cultural policy governance and other issues.
Compilation of articles on comparative methodologies and the links between research and policy development
Publish your work in this space by submitting your articles for review!
The Compendium Community is engaged in a number of exercises to monitor the implementation of:
The Compendium is recognised as a key instrument of the Council of Europe's CultureWatchEurope governance initiative.