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Key Resources / Informations générales / Hintergrunddokumente

Cultural Diversity / Diversité culturelle / Kulturelle Vielfalt

Council of Europe / Conseil de l'Europe / Europarat

2017 catalogue of the "Cultural Routes" programme / Le 2017 programme des Itinéraires culturels (02/2017)
30 years ago, the Cultural Routes programme of the Council of Europe was launched; today, more than 30 Cultural Routes take part and demonstrate, by means of journey through space and time, how the heritage and cultures of different and distant regions of Europe contribute to a shared cultural heritage. Cultural Routes put into practice the fundamental principles promoted by the Council of Europe: human rights, democracy, participation, cultural diversity and identity.

Le programme des Itinéraires culturels du Conseil de l’Europe a été lancé en 1987 afin de démontrer comment les racines de l’identité européenne peuvent être le fondement d’une citoyenneté partagée. Les Itinéraires culturels démontrent, par le biais d’un voyage à travers l’espace et le temps, comment le patrimoine et les cultures de régions différentes et éloignées d’Europe contribuent à un patrimoine culturel partagé. Ils mettent en œuvre les principes fondamentaux promus par le Conseil de l’Europe : droits de l’homme, démocratie, participation, diversité culturelle et identité.

Competences for Democratic Culture: Living Together as Equals in Culturally Diverse Democratic Societies (03/2016)
This book presents a new conceptual model of the competences which citizens require to participate in democratic culture and live peacefully together with others in culturally diverse societies. The model is the product of intensive work over a two-year period, and has been strongly endorsed in an international consultation with leading educational experts. The book describes the competence model in detail, together with the methods used to develop it. The model provides a robust conceptual foundation for the future development of curricula, pedagogies and assessments in democratic citizenship and human rights education. Its application will enable educational systems to be harnessed effectively for the preparation of students for life as engaged and tolerant democratic citizens.

Action Plan on Building Inclusive Societies 2016-2019(03/2016)
The Action Plan aims to assist member States in managing Europe's diversity through smart policies fostering mutual understanding and respect. It is organised around activities in the fields of education, anti-discrimination and effective integration.

Human rights in culturally diverse societies (06/2016)
According to CoE Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland in his Preface, terrorism, migration flows and economic constraints contributed to the rise of populism and xenophobia in Europe and "our commitment to tolerance and diversity is feeling the strain." However, "diversity is an asset to our countries – economically, socially and politically" - and Europe has "always thrived on its mix of heritage and culture, which enriches our shared way of life whether it flows from communities who have lived here for generations, or from those who have arrived more recently." Therefore, we should not ignore negative trends and rather find ways how to best address them. This publication includes guidelines and texts aimed at helping Council of Europe member States maintain and manage diversity by protecting the human rights which allow different faiths and cultures to live together.

Identities and diversity within intercultural societies (06/2014)
Cultural diversity has grown in European societies due inter alia to globalisation flows and migration. However, if not properly managed, "cultural differences can lead to radicalisation, paralysing forms of conflict and even violence", argues Carlos Costa Neves in his Report to the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media of the CoE Parliamentary Assembly (PACE). Based also on evidence provided by the Compendium, he calls "for a radical change in political discourse and action so that new ways can be found to celebrate cultural diversity as a positive factor for innovation and development." In its Resolution, PACE has confirmed this view and proposed different types of actions.

The Intercultural City Step by Step (02/2013)
It falls primarily upon cities to design and implement policies that foster community cohesion and turn cultural diversity into a factor of development rather than a threat. This practical guide for applying the urban model of intercultural integration is designed for city leaders and practitioners wishing to learn from the "Intercultural Cities" pilot project run by the Council of Europe and the European Commission in developing an intercultural approach to diversity management. The guide recommends steps and measures to help develop an intercultural strategy and monitor its implementation.

New Nationalism and Identity Politics in Europe (7/2011)
In his CulturewatchEurope (CWE) "Think Piece", Peter Duelund, Director of the Nordic Cultural Institute in Copenhagen, deals with "The Impact of the New Nationalism and Identity Politics on Cultural Policy-making in Europe and Beyond". Referring to examples in a number of European countries, he comes to the conclusion that particularly the revival of "primordial" and "ethno-symbolic" paradigms in the perception of the relationship between identity and nation challenge diversity-related or intercultural concepts that emerged during the past decades. Duelund recognises that evidence found in the Compendium country profiles does not yet provide a "clear-cut" trend towards the new forms of culturalist "identity politics" in Europe. However, the resurgence of populism and of right-wing or nationalist parties in many countries could indeed lead to the conclusion that there exists a difference between legally enshrined definitions of culture (to be found in Chapter 2.2 of the Compendium profiles), which still represent the previous mainstream approach, and the narratives or stereotypes that are now frequently used, mainly as a reflection of migration issues, in general political discourses. According to Duelund, these tendencies "directly contradict the vision of a people's Europe in which the individual is at the centre of a multicultural society which respects not only fundamental rights and freedoms, but also the cultural and social identity of individuals". Therefore, he argues, the Council of Europe and its member states should try to "rectify mistakes" and "minimise the unfortunate effects of the new nationalism on present-day policies in Europe."

Living Together - combining diversity and freedom in 21st-century Europe (4/2011)
Report prepared by a group of nine "eminent persons" from all parts of Europe - see more under Cultural Rights & Ethics

National Film Policies and the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (09/2009)
As a consequence of the above mentioned review, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe issued, on 23 September 2009, the Recommendation CM/Rec(2009)7 to its Member States.

Review of National Film Policies for Diversity(09/2008)
In 2008-2009, the Council of Europe undertook a review of national film policies. Inter alia, the review was seen as a contribution to the implementation of the UNESCO Convention on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. In this context, a multi-stakeholder Film Policy Forum "Shaping Policies for the Cinema of Tomorrow" was held in Krakow/Poland (September 2008).

Declaration on Cultural Diversity(12/2000)
Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 7 December 2000.

European Cultural Convention (11/1954)
Council of Europe Convention adopted in Paris 19 November 1954. It has been signed by 48 countries.

Cultural Policy and Cultural Diversity Project
Overview of key project activities and publications

Council of Europe: National Studies on Cultural Policy and Cultural Diversity. Strasbourg: Council of Europe, 2004.

Bennett, Tony: Differing Diversities: Cultural Policy and Cultural Diversity . Strasbourg: Council of Europe, 2001.

Ellmeier, Andrea; Rà¡sky, Béla: Differing Diversities: Cultural Policy and Cultural Diversity - Eastern European Perspectives. Strasbourg: Council of Europe, 2006.

Robins, Kevin: The Challenge of Transcultural Diversities - Cultural Policy and Cultural Diversity. Strasbourg: Council of Europe, 2006.

Pan-European Biological and Landscape Diversity Strategy
The Strategy was set up following the Rio Earth Summitt and the adoption of the United Nations "Convention on Biological Diversity". The principal aim of the Strategy is to find a consistent response to the decline of biological and landscape diversity in Europe and to ensure the sustainability of the natural environment.

European Heritage Days
The EHD, a joint Council of Europe/European Union initiative, aims to promote the wealth of cultural diversity on the European continent.

European Audiovisual Observatory
Provides data and information on the landscape of audiovisual goods and services in Europe including reports on e.g. the share of domestic film production in comparison to the share of foreign imports.


UNESCO Global Report 2018 - Re | Shaping Cultural Policies (11/2017)
The Global Report series has been designed to monitor the implementation of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (2005). It provides evidence of how this implementation process contributes to attaining the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and targets. The 2018 Global Report analyses progress achieved in implementing the 2005 Convention since the first Global Report was published in 2015. It produces new and valuable evidence to inform cultural policy making and advance creativity for development.

Globalisation of Cultural Trade: A Shift in Consumption (11/2016)
A new Report from the UNESCO Institute of Statistics (UIS) sheds light on the international flows of cultural goods and services during the 2004-2013 period.

Inclusive participation for Roma children in school and society (09/2014)
Inclusion from the Start – Guidelines on inclusive early childhood care and education for Roma children, has been published jointly by UNESCO and the Council of Europe in the context of the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) strategy. These guidelines provide guidance on key themes in ECCE – such as the conceptualisation of services, agenda setting, curricular and pedagogical approaches, staff training and professional development, assessment and transition to primary education – and highlight examples of good practice. It is hoped that they will support the work of policy makers, early childhood educators and their trainers, Roma organisations, NGOs and international organisations and contribute to making a real change in the lives of young Roma children.

Mapping Cultural Diversity - Good Practices from Around the Globe (11/2010)
The German Commission for UNESCO and the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) launched this publicationat the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on 29 November 2010. Mapping Cultural Diversity is a contribution to the debate on the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions around the 2005 UNESCO Convention. The publication includes examples of 39 projects that are contributing to this goal in different parts of the world. Most contributions are by the Fellows of the U40 Network for "Cultural Diversity 2030", a group of over 60 cultural policy experts under 40 years of age. The electronic version of the publication can be downloaded here.

Cultural Diversity Homepage
UNESCO's main access point to information on its programmes and publications on cultural diversity.  

Convention on the Protection and the Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions
Adopted in Paris on 20 October 2005 by the members of the UNESCO General Conference. Text of the Convention is available in English, French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Arabic.

States Parties to the Convention
Provides a list of all countries that have ratified the UNESCO Convention and the date of their ratification.

Draft Operational Guidelines Adopted by the Intergovernmental Committee
Provides links to operational gudelines adopted for specific Articles of the Convention.

Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity  
Adopted in Paris on 2 November 2001 by the UNESCO General Conference. Text of the Declaration is available in English, French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Arabic.

World Report on Cultural Diversity
Provides an overview of the goals, the proposed conceptual framework and the main activities leading to the realisation of the World Report. Members of the advisory committee of experts and board of governors responsible for the report are listed.

UNESCO Reflections on Cultural Diversity
Presents information on meetings, colloquia, research projects and publications on cultural diversity undertaken or supported by UNESCO.

What is UNESCO doing to promote Cultural Diversity?
A review of actions taken by UNESCO in different areas to promote cultural diversity such as the media, education, arts and language.

Global Alliance for Cultural Diversity
Established in 2002, the Global Alliance works to strengthen the cultural industries in developing countries by encouraging knowledge-sharing, capacity-building, good practice and mentoring between its members. It provides support to programmes and activities implemented within the framework of the UNESCO Convention on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.

European Union / Union européenne / Europäische Union

Treaty of the European Union
Preservation and promotion of cultural diversity are among the founding principles of the European Union and are enshrined in a special clause of its Treaty.

European Commission and the UNESCO Convention on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions
Presents information on the EU's role in the ratification and implementation of the UNESCO Convention.

European Agenda for Culture in a Globalising World
Commission's new strategy for culture was published in May 2007. It  identifies cultural diversity among its main priorites; the others being intercultural dialogue, creativity and innovation and culture as a key element of the EU's external relations activities. The strategy  proposes the creation on an EU-ACP Cultural Fund to support the distribution of cultural goods from ACP countries. This site also provides a link to the EC's consultations which fed into the development of its agenda.

EU-ACP Support Programme to the Cultural Industries
In the context of the UNESCO Convention on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, the programme was designed to promote an enabling environment for creativity, cooperation and exchanges, independence and viability of the cultural sector in the 79 ACP States, as well as the safeguarding of cultural diversity and fundamental cultural values. The site provides information on the ACP Cultural Observatory.

Networks on Cultural Diversity / Réseaux sur la diversité culturelle / Netzwerke zur kulturellen Vielfalt

International Network of Lawyers for  Cultural Diversity
Housed at the Faculté de droit, l'Université  Laval (Canada), this  network was founded at a seminar organised in September 2008. Members are lawyers interested in the UNESCO Convention on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.

International Network for Cultural Diversity (INCD)
The INCD is a worldwide network of artists and cultural groups dedicated to countering the homogenizing effects of globalization on culture.

International Federation of Coalitions for  Cultural Diversity (IFCCD)
Established in September 2007, the IFCCD brings together over 40 national coalitions from around the world, representing more than 600 professional cultural organisations.

European Coalitions for Cultural Diversity

European Coalitions for Cultural Diversity: Final Declaration.
Adopted by representatives of the national coalitions in Brussels, January 2006.

Österreiches Koalition für die kulturelle Vielfalt (Austria)

Canadian Coalition for Cultural Diversity

Coalition française pour la diversité culturelle (France)

Bundesweite Koalition für Kulturelle Vielfalt (Germany)

Coaliciàon Espanola para la Diversidad Cultural (Spain)

Schweizer Koalition für die kulturelle Vielfalt (Switzeland)

Cultural Diversity Network of Broadcasters
A network of the UK's leading broadcasting companies working together to promote diversity in programme making and decision-making.

Research, Debates / Recherches, Débats / Forschung, Debatten

Pursuing Diversity: New Voices, New Sounds (03/2016) (Word document)
In his essay for, Brian Chin concludes that, for a number of reasons, "pursuing diversity in music is a winning proposition, ...important in growing new and good music."

For a Diversified Networked Culture (03/2015)
This study, prepared by te Centre d’études sur l’intégration et la mondialisation (CEIM), affiliated to the Université du Québec in Montréal, investigates concrete challenges to the diversity of cultural expressions in the digital era, studies measures or policies aiming to implement the 2005 Convention principles in the digital environment and proposes new specific operational guidelines in order to transform the 2005 UNESCO Convention into "an important instrument of the global cultural governance in the digital era."

"The Age of Culture" (10/2014) (Word document)
Based on his lifetime research and reflection on cultural issues, D. Paul Schafer argues that, in less than fifty years, culture has moved from being seen as a peripheral activity to being indispensable to the achievement of vital social and developmental goals. He is convinced that culture (in the broadest sense, as the sum of human experience and achievement) is connected to all the world’s most pressing problems, such as climate change, inequalities in the distribution of wealth and income, resource depletion, and conflicts between different nations, ethnic groups, and individuals. According to his book, none of these problems can be addressed effectively, much less resolved, without recourse to the holistic, all-encompassing perspective that culture provides. However, this would require "a paradigm shift from economics, economies, and economic growth to culture, cultures, and cultural development".

"Funding for Inclusion - Women and Girls in the Equation" (06/2012)
Research commissioned by GrantCraft and the international women's fund Mama Cash on the funding patterns of several foundations revealed that the European foundation community can play a much more central role in improving the position of women and girls worldwide. With the aim of inspiring and helping to tap this diversity potential by European foundations and to provide practical strategies, a guide has now been produced by Helen O'Connell, Andrea Lynch, Andrea Cornwall and Zsofia Lang. According to this guide, gender research as well as proper communication and media policies can be crucial points of departure for such strategies. GrantCraft is a joint project of the Foundation Center in New York and the European Foundation Centre (Brussels).

"Culture and Democracy" (04/2012)
In his comprehensive, new study (in German), Michael Wimmer claims that Austrian culture still "has its roots in the representation needs of the declining Habsburg Empire. The feudal investments in culture were not aimed at enabling the citizens to participate in public affairs; on the contrary: they were meant to keep them away from the political sphere by all cultural means, by offering them a splendid, but politically irrelevant alternative terrain." In order to counterbalance this "gradual musealisation" and to open up to a more diverse, citizen-oriented understanding of cultural policy, the book proposes a number of reform steps with a focus on policies and administration, arts and educational institutions as well as the qualification of artists.  Detailed summary in German.

Addressing tolerance and diversity discourses in Europe
A Comparative Overview of 16 European Countries
This book of Ricard Zapata-Barrero and Anna Triandafyllidou seeks to offer a European view of diversity challenges and the ways in which they are dealt with. It highlights important similarities and differences and identifies the groups that are worse off in the countries studied. While it may be difficult to devise policy approaches that are responsive to the needs of all the 16 European countries studied here (let alone the 27 EU member states), it is however possible to develop policies that address a number of European countries that share common or parallel migration and ethnic minority experiences.

Culture and diversity in knowledge creation (02/2012)
Is the paradise of effortless communication the ideal environment for knowledge creation? Or, can the development of local culture in regions raise knowledge productivity compared to a single region with a unitary culture? In other words, can a real technological increase in the cost of collaboration and the cost of public knowledge flow between regions, resulting in cultural differentiation between regions, increase welfare? In this framework, a culture is a set of ideas held exclusively by residents of a location. In general in this model, the equilibrium path generates separate cultures in different regions. When we compare this to the situation where all workers are resident in one region, R & D workers become too homogeneous and there is only one culture. As a result, equilibrium productivity in the creation of new knowledge is lower relative to the situation when there are multiple cultures and workers are more diverse.

Split opinions about the causes for the Breivik attack in Norway (7/2011) (Word document)
According to the press review EUROTOPICS, first reactions of major European newspapers show a divide in the assessment of the causes of the attack on 22 July 2011: "The conservative media reject right-wing populism or Christian fundamentalism as motives for the attacks, which the liberal media regard as a hypocritical and dangerous stance."

Breivik attack in Norway - saving "Western Culture" against Islam and "Cultural Marxists"? (7/2011) (Word document)
In the US "Talk to Action Blog" published on 24 July 2011,  Chip Berlet investigates some of the crude ideas in Anders Behring Breivik's "Manifesto": According to him, the manifesto states that "Political Correctness" should be called "Cultural Marxism" and is the reason for political leaders allowing mass Muslim migration into Europe. "Breivik thought Cultural Marxists = multiculturalists = Islamization of Europe. This racist right-wing conspiracy theory is tied to the Islamophobic 'Demographic Winter' thesis. In his online posts, Breivik considered himself a cultural conservative and condemned 'Cultural Marxism'. The idea of 'Cultural Marxism' on the political right is an antisemitic conspiracy theory claiming that a small group of Marxist Jews formed the Frankfurt School and set out to destroy Western Culture through a conspiracy to promote multiculturalism and collectivist economic theories."

U-40 World Forum(2009)
Initiated by the German Commission for UNESCO, the U40-Capacity Building Programme 'Cultural Diversity 2030' (2008- 2010) is going global. A meeting of selected U-40 young professionals took place prior to the Conference of States Parties to the UNESCO Convention on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (Paris, June 2009).

Fair Culture (2007)
Report  published by the Finnish Ministry of Education on the ethical dimension of cultural policy and cultural rights. Download Report.

Culturelink Special Issue on the UNESCO Convention
Obuljen, Nina; Smiers Joost (eds.): UNESCO's Convention on the Protection and the Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions: Making it Work. Zagreb: Culturelink, December 2006.

Cultural Diversity - Europe's Wealth: Bringing the UNESCO Convention to Life
International Conference organised by the German Commission for UNESCO within the framework of Germany's EU Presidency, 26.-28. April 2007. Information on the results of the conference is available in English, French and German.

Policies and Best Practices for Cultural Diversity and Capacity Building
Seminar organised by the German Commission for UNESCO at UNESCO HQ in Paris, 26 November 2007.

Measuring the Elusive Diversity of Cultural Expressions: UNESCO's experiences with cross-border trade data (Powerpoint document)
Presentation by Guiomar Alonso Cano (UNESCO) to the OECD workshop "International Measurement of Culture", Paris, 4-5 December 2006.

UNESCO Institute for Statistics:   International Flows of Selected Cultural Goods and Services, 1998-2003.   Montreal, 2005.

The Convention on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions: Implementation and Followup-The Challenge of Concerted Civil Society Action
Study prepared by Véronique Guèvremont as a background paper for the 1st session of the Intergovernmental Committee, December 2007.

Diversity of Cultural Expressions Newsletter
Monitors the ratification of the UNESCO Convention and reports on cultural policy measures and best practice around the world

Interarts Seminar Series on Cultural Diversity
In 2006, Interarts organised 5 seminars on cultural diversity focussing on the legal environments, media images of minorities and immigrants, life experiences, labour markets and business environments, cultural rights, conflicts resulting from cultural coexistene.

Cultural Diversity in Europe: report of the joint French-German parliamentary working  group
Published in February 2007, this report addresses a range of issues such as: linguistic diveristy, information society, film  funding, cultural cooperation in Europe. Download report in German .