Culture and the arts are a source of human growth and intellectual
renewal. They are a powerful tool for preventing radicalisation
and empowering civil society in building democratic citizenship.
The year 2016 represents a window of opportunity in Europe
to assert new political priorities and give a tangible follow-up
to the political declarations made by the Ministers of Culture of
the European Union in Riga and the Ministers of Education of the
Council of Europe in Brussels concerning the promotion of citizenship
and the common values of freedom and non-discrimination through
culture and education.
The Council of Europe has a long-standing experience in the
field of culture and democratisation and has to stay at the forefront
of positioning culture as an integral part of the democratic process.
The report recommends fostering co-operation between different sectors
of the Council of Europe to develop innovative approaches to cultural
policies and diversity management. It points to the need for member
States to better integrate cultural activities into the system of
education, improving access to culture for marginalised and underprivileged children
and youth, and to support projects that aim to integrate cultural
activities into other policy sectors such as health, social services,
prisons and penitentiary rehabilitation schemes. The report also
recommends devoting one of the World Democracy Forums to “culture
and democracy” in order to promote innovative policies and exchange
of good practices with stakeholders in the member States.