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       cultural values of european citizenship
 
  seminar in santiago de compostela  
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Within the framework of the campaign "Europe, a common Heritage", the European Institute of Cultural Routes and the European Centre for Culture organised an international seminar on the topic of the "Cultural values of European citizenship".

This conference was held in October 2000 in Santiago de Compostella, a symbolic place for the cultural routes, since the first route, elected in 1987, was launched there, giving birth to the programme.

a continuous enterprise

This seminar was based on the experience of the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe, on the actions developed within the framework of the campaign "Europe, a common heritage" and on the tri-national sessions organised by the European Centres for Culture. It had to be regarded as a stage in the common enterprise undertaken for several years by the Institute and the Centre in St Jean d' Angély. The two partners indeed decided to continue this enterprise, which aims at sharing their experience concerning the educational and cultural meetings of young Europeans based on awakening the cultural dimensions of citizenship. It is a question of facilitating an active and plural reading of the common heritage of Europe.


Participants of the seminar. Photo MTP

The Cultural Routes programme, since its origin, has accumulated an active practice of citizenship,

  • through discovery and through its European course, individual and collective, starting from large axes of communication, historical routes and broad structuring topics;
  • through establishing an active and plural reading of the history - and memory - of Europe;
  • through search for a European interpretation of the common heritage;
  • through multicultural artistic practice.

The European Institute of Cultural Routes has had the initiative for many projects of cultural co-operation proposing the cultural values of European citizenship and it keeps contributing to the birth of new co-operations. These actions, too little known, must be continued and renewed, but it is also necessary to keep reconsidering and reinventing them. The existing networks must be reinforced and intensified because they are the future for research and practice of European citizenship.

It is necessary to give European the key and the means to create their European citizenship and to this end it is necessary to help them discover or rediscover these value, to make these cultural values alive and comprehensible, in order to build a citizenship in the absence of collective representation. "It is man's perception of the territory in which he lives and works that fully nourishes the will to share the values of citizenship to build Europe, to exchange a common heritage beyond limits imposed by national, even regional or ethnic spirit" Marie-Louise Gräffin Von Plessen.

Reflection on the approaches and practices

The seminar of Santiago de Compostella brought together intellectuals, science experts, pedagogues, directors of museums, historical sites or memorials, and artists from all Europe, so that they present their mutual experience and try to answer together the definition of approaches and practices and of the most relevant sets of themes likely to propose a reading of European values from the perspective of citizenship.


Participants of the seminar. Photo MTP

Four broad topics were selected for this meeting, with an aim to carry out an examination of the places and tools of mediation and transmission of the cultural values of European citizenship. They are: "symbols and symbolic actions", "creation as practice of citizenship", "active transmission of European citizenship", and "information/formation". Each topic has its specificity, but each is also crossed by an ensemble of problems that touch on the fundamental concepts.

This seminar was a success, in that it joined together elements of theoretical reflection, resituated the enterprise of the routes based on the analysis of concepts and on research of the approaches that aim at the transmission of the cultural values of European citizenship. It was a double success, since it thus brought closer to the Institute a range of experts who appreciated this search for an active pedagogy and who since then have been working with the Institute, and because it was a laboratory of theoretical and practical ideas.

 
 
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