Amsterdam Conversation 2012

Amsterdam Conversation 2012
The Cultural Dimension of Citizenship
In the context of the initiative A Cultural Coalition for a Citizens' Europe, “A Soul for Europe”, Genootschap Felix Meritis/Felix Meritis Foundation and partners presented an international conference with workshops, lectures and public discussions. Speakers from Berlin, Brussels and many other European cities examined from different angles the cultural dimension of citizenship with Dutch experts and citizens.


The conference has been opened by Professor Ferenc Miszlivetz (Director of the Institute for Social and European Studies, University of Western Hungary) with a lecture: Illusions and Realities, the metamorphosis of civil society in a new European space. Jacques Monasch, Member of the Dutch Parliament (Tweede Kamer) provided his commentary on the basis of him experience in the Netherlands and around the world.
Guests form all over Europe and the audience reacted and commented to it in heated debate.


Afterwards four workshops followed:


  • The Citizenship Chart, workshop leader Teun Gautier, Director and Publisher De Groene Amsterdammer;
  • The Europe of Citizens: How to play the game? workshop leader Jaap Hoeksma, Philosopher of Law and Director EuroKnow;
  • Sustainability of citizens initiatives and actions in times of short term aims in the staccato society, workshop leader Steve Austen, Permanent Fellow Felix Meritis and “A Soul for Europe” Strategy Group Member;
  • Practicing Citizenship: Bottom Up Cultural Movements, workshop leader Kathrin Deventer, Secretary General, the European Festival Association, “A Soul for Europe” Strategy Group Member.


A plenary session moderated by Simon Mundy (Chairman, Association of Creative Professionals UK and Permanent Fellow, Genootschap Felix Meritis/Felix Meritis Foundation) brought the results of the workshops to all participants and stimulated further discussion on the topics at stake.

The event has been closed by the evening lecture: Ethics, Banking and Citizenship by George Möller (Chairman of the Board of Trustees of The Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets).


Europe as a community of values was the focus of Möllers lecture. He examined pressing questions such as: Which role can the financial sector play in creating an ethical market moral? How should ideally the responsibility be shared among the nation states, the financial sector, the European Union, global organisations? And what is the role of our citizen in this process?


Under the moderation of Kees Vendrik (Vice President of the Netherlands Court of Audit), a group of young Europeans have provided their commentary and asked burning questions on how to solve the current crisis to Mr. Möller. Professor Paul Scheffer concluded the evening with his comments and by bringing the results of the A Soul for Europe Berlin Conference and the Brussels Conversations on Europe 2012 to Amsterdam.


More information can be found here. The textual report will be provided soon. Video extracts are available here.  


The Amsterdam Conversation 2012 has been financially supported by the Europe for Citizens Programme and the vfonds.  
Mediapartners: De Groene AmsterdammerEuroTopics and MM-Nieuws.