posted by Jürgen Kurtz, Karlsruhe University of Education, Germany
In May 2008, Council of Europe Ministers of Foreign Affairs launched a White Paper on intercultural dialogue, titled “Living Together as Equals in Dignity”.
The White Paper provides various orientations for the promotion of intercultural dialogue, mutual respect and understanding, based on the core values of the European Union. This is the central message:
“Intercultural dialogue […] allows us to prevent ethnic, religious, linguistic and cultural divides. It enables us to move forward together, to deal with our different identities constructively and democratically on the basis of shared universal values. Intercultural dialogue can only thrive if certain preconditions are met. To advance intercultural dialogue, […] the democratic governance of cultural diversity should be adapted in many aspects; democratic citizenship and participation should be strengthened; intercultural competences should be taught and learned; spaces for intercultural dialogue should be created and widened; and intercultural dialogue should be taken to
the international level.”