4.2.8 Social cohesion and cultural policies
The vitality of a multilingual, four-language country and the great cultural diversity it gives rise to make social cohesion a key issue in Switzerland. At the federal level, the Language Law has been enacted to make a considerable contribution to attaining social cohesion (see chapter 4.2.5). Intermediary organisations, such as the working consortium "Parlez-vous Suisse?", also create awareness by promoting cultural policy in schools, the media, among political authorities, and within business and industry. Social cohesion is considered to be an irreplaceable instigator as well as the backbone of cultural diversity. It is therefore also an essential element of any economic and societal coexistence. This basic stance is reflected in both the federal constitution and the relevant laws, such as the new Federal Law on the Promotion of Culture and the Federal Law on Languages. Repeatedly referred to in this context is the key role of the media. In the larger centres, public bodies maintain their own departments of socio-culture.
On the level of the cantons and cities, numerous public and private initiatives address integration issues within cultural and socio-cultural approaches. One example is the urban social policy initiative, which at a conference in May 2011 discussed questions concerning hidden poverty, social and cultural exclusion, and integration in the force field between the cantons and cities.