(1) Intro

(2) Upcoming "A Soul for Europe" Events/Activities 

(3) Recent Events 

(4) Messenger Activities




(1) Intro  


Dear friends and colleagues, 


Over the last year, a couple of new projects and topics emerged from our activities. The "A Soul for Europe" Strategy Group will be additionally focussing on: 


  • European Capitals of Culture - The position of "A Soul for Europe" towards this remarkable programme of the EU Commission is the inclusion of civil society as imperative in the development process of a European Capital of Culture in order to ensure its cultural, regional and social sustainability.
  • The European Culture and Economy Platform (ECEP) functions as a think tank to develop common strategies, actions and policy proposals and concrete recommendations to ensure the sustainable development of Europe.

Moreover, we are pleased to announce our media cooperation with "The European", an online magazine for debates. From May onwards, members of the "A Soul for Europe" Strategy Group will publish articles on topics relevant to our work and the daily European debate – follow us on Facebook to keep up-to-date.


(2) Upcoming "A Soul for Europe" Events/Activities 


  • Conference and Workshop: European Capitals of Culture in Sofia - 26-27 May 2011

A conference and a workshop on the topic of the European Capitals of Culture (ECoC) will be held from 26 to 27 May in Sofia in cooperation with "A Soul for Europe". The internal workshop on 26 May will be attended by about 20 participants who will work on three essential aims: to develop a deeper and more exact idea and understanding about the label "European Capital of Culture", to discuss and develop the initial ideas and visions about the Sofia candidature and to strengthen the position of the civic sector. The conference on 27 May aims at continuing the process of consultation about the future of European Capitals of Culture, to give voice to the aspirations and ideas of the cities in the regions who would like to apply for ECoC after 2019, the development of international contacts and networks on the topic of the ECoC and the confirmation of the role of Sofia as an active regional player. There will be about 15-20 active participants and about 40-50 guests in the audience, who can take part in the discussions.


Partners: Genootschap Felix Meritis/Felix Meritis Foundation, Foundation for Urban Projects and Research, Robert Bosch Stiftung, Sofia Municipality, Sofia Development Association, Stiftung Zukunft Berlin.


Media Partner:


It is not necessary to register for the conference (27 May). Thank you for understanding that the workshop (26 May) is a closed event.



  • Conference: "Culture.Cluj2020" in Cluj – 2 June 2011

The conference deals with the perspectives of the city of Cluj, Romania, to become a European Capital of Culture in or after 2020. At the same time, it continues the work of "A Soul for Europe" regarding the ECoC process, namely the inclusion of civil society as imperative in the development process of an ECoC in order to ensure its cultural, regional and social sustainability.Moreover, the conference aims at strengthening international contacts and networks on the topic of the ECoC.


Organised by:

Cluj 2020 Initiative

AltArt Foundation

PONT Group



A Soul for Europe

Municipality of Cluj Napoca

Cluj Napoca 2020 European Capital of Culture Association


With support from:

Department for Interethnic Relations


If you would like to attend the conference, please contact Rarita Zbranca (rarita(at)



This meeting will be the next step to strengthen the dialogue among the actors involved in the European Culture and Economy Platform, to involve new partners and to proceed with its implementation. Organised by "A Soul for Europe" in cooperation with ZONA, Thetis, Venice Industrialists' Association - Confindustria Venezia, European Cultural Association (Istanbul), Felix Meritis Foundation (Amsterdam) and Stiftung Zukunft Berlin.


Online registration will be possible from 19 May onwards.



  • Discussion: Europe Needs Active Citizens in Berlin – 24 June 2011

Panel discussion (within the context of the second Berlin Foundations Week) with Andreas Apelt (authorised Representative Chairman of Deutsche Gesellschaft e.V.), Norbert Glante (MEP) and Joachim Zeller (MEP). Moderator: Volker Hassemer (Chairman of the Board of Stiftung Zukunft Berlin).
Europe has to be a concern of its citizens and not only of its institutions. The European Union needs active Europeans for more successful development in the future: a Europe of the Europeans, rather than just a Europe of institutions and regulations. There is the need for a new understanding of cultural citizenship to start building Europe at the grassroots level. Cities and regions must also take responsibility for a Europe from the bottom up.

The discussion will be held in German and will take place at dbb Club, Friedrichstrasse 169/170 Berlin. Admission is free; it is not necessary to register.



  • European Cultural Congress in Wroclaw – 9 September 2011

"A Soul for Europe" will organise a one-day conference, embedded in the European Cultural Congress (ECC) in Wroclaw, Poland. The congress is hosted by the National Audiovisual Institute (NInA). In the context of the Polish EU Council Presidency in 2011, the conference will focus on the relationship between culture and the economy, the role of culture for the structural development of Europe as well as the EU media programme. More info to follow!



(3) Recent Events 


  •  Meeting of the Advisory Board and AB Working Group in Brussels – 13 April 2011

The "A Soul for Europe" Advisory Board meeting – chaired by Hans-Gert Pöttering & Doris Pack – took place in the EP in Brussels on 13 April 2011. The parliamentarians discussed the Strategy Group's Agenda and committed themselves to support and follow up our proposals. The Advisory Board Parliamentarian Working Group, which will meet four times a year in Brussels, is our link to political decision makers.


Members of the Strategy Group of "A Soul for Europe" participated in this public hearing of the European Commission's Directorate General Education and Culture. They brought forth the conviction of "A Soul for Europe" that the inclusion of civil society is imperative in the development process of a European Capital of Culture in order to ensure its cultural, regional and social sustainability. You can find the position paper that "A Soul for Europe" submitted in the consultation process here.



(4) Messenger Activities 


Brigitte Russ-Scherer, member of the ASfE network, presented the "A Soul for Europe" initiative at the 6th "Forum Civil Society" dealing with the topic of "Civil Society in Europe". In addition to this aspect, there were discussions about learning from our European neighbours, citizens' political participation in Europe, civil society in the European Union and finally a summary about Europe within German civil society.


At the congress "Europe needs freedom, diversity and curiosity. Living together in the city of the future", which is also the topic of the 2010 / 2011 school year, the Hessian European Schools presented their projects. Jörg-Ingo Weber of the ASfE network was invited to contribute to the discussions as an expert. 



  • "European Values in Heritage", 1 April 2011, Gjirokastra, Albania

The Gjirokastra Conservation and Development Organization invited Bernhard Schneider, member of the Strategy Group, to join the EU project "European Values in Heritage" and to talk about "Historic Cities and their Cultural Responsibilities". In his keynote speech he put a special focus on the perspective of regarding the EU "Heritage as Opportunity".



Strategy Group members Nele Hertling and Kathrin Deventer as well as Hugo De Greef are participating in the Atelier, which is organised by the European Festivals Association together with LASALLE College of the Arts, the Asia Europe Foundation, the Singapore Arts Festival, the Association of Asian Performing Arts Festivals and CultureLink Singapore, for a one-week intensive training course for Young Festival Managers.  



The Strategy Group was set up and its work made possible with the ongoing financial support from the Robert Bosch Stiftung.



E.E.I.G. "A Soul for Europe"

c/o European House of Culture

Place Eugène Flagey 18




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