Ποιειν Και Πραττειν - create and do

Application of CIED: Cultural Cooperation II

Part 2 of 3

3. EU developments in relation to culture

Culture and, therefore, projects related to culture are by their very nature complex. Cultural projects are in fact multi facet. They need usually many kinds of support, if they are to succeed, and they must use a sophisticated methodology, in order to be able to bring together all factors involved. Yet in all practical cases of funding by the European Union, but also at the various levels (state, regional, city), cultural projects due to their complexities fail to convince policy and decision makers that they can be realized. Hence they are not funded enough or rather if they receive at all any financial support, then usually only through one source. If the department of culture funds it, then that excludes all other possible sources, including the department for urban renewal, housing, city planning etc

Also European funds for culture are very meek compared to what, for example, projects receive in the Structural Fund. Here then lies the fallacy of ‘visibility’: extensive road systems seem to be needed as the number of cars per capita increase, while cultural infrastructures are still not considered to be worth the money spend on other things, but still everyone continues using them, even though very inefficiently and at high costs to everyone

Alone the alternative between a trusting neighbourhood in which people know one another compared to an abstract urban space controlled by video cameras, police, security checks etc. should say something about ‘wrong investments’ due to false ‘priorities’, or what are the real costs once culture fails to ensure cohesion based on trust and open human relationships. While training a police force may be one spending priority, quite another is the education of children so that they grow up by learning to work in different cultural contexts while becoming able to resolve disagreements, disputes and even conflicts by non violent means. There is a difference to what it takes to be a human being fully conscious of the freedom that this means to become responsible as a citizen compared to a system exploiting but also expounding upon distrust while not wishing to question the power but also resources it takes to establish such a seeming order of compliance. Right now the alternative between cultural work based on trust to ever greater security measures is not being seen nor discussed within the larger context of society

In particular the ‘war against terrorism’ has caused such a tremendous shift in resources, that it seems hardly feasible to argue against that trend, even though it means huge deficits in state budgets and even less certainty as to what kind of society that shall mean in future, if not an overriding police state with little or not significant impulse for culture. Still, culture and artistic expressions cannot be produced like weapons and jails. Rather there is a need for a careful deliberation about human values playing a role in considering what should be the basis of all communication and actions. To uphold life on the principle of non-violence necessitates all European Institutions to seek even more so forms of cultural co-operation by which that kind of life can be guaranteed

This is important to take note of especially in view of what the Greek philosopher Cornelius Castoriadis once said, namely that ‘values cannot be discussed; they are set and anyone trying to alter them, then this leads to permanent conflict and even war’. Therefore, cultural cooperation is about seeking a possibility to link the search for human values with the ability to discuss the future of Europe on the basis of shared experiences made possible by cultural cooperation agreements

Only when someone as Bob Palmer directed projects within the scope of Brussels 2000 towards urban regeneration, then it can be shown that culture is not merely needed, but if there is to be a healthy economy and a multi-lingual community without conflict due to a willingness by everyone to co-operate, then it shows why the cultural dialogue has to be realized as precondition to work together while resolving political issues in the cultural context of dialogue, including the ability to agree to disagree

The criterion ‘what can be managed’ is the wrong approach. Culture is not there to be managed, let alone to be subject to administrative measures. Unfortunately in the selection of projects there is the tendency within the Commission to replicate this criterion of what is a managerial form. There is reference to a critical mass, reinforcing the tendency towards mega projects. Only in the CONNECT program the European Parliament insisted on funding small projects, so as to give many actors an opportunity to enter forms of co-operation and thereby learn together to be accountable according to a methodology of continuous monitoring and evaluation. But many end up being managed not by the people themselves, but by managing and consulting firms whose experts depend in turn upon contracts with local / regional authorities who do not provide the necessary funds for co-financing, if they do not obtain themselves money through the project. The non-profit orientation is transformed as a result of these managerial dependencies upon local / regional and national political authorities into various forms of corruption. The loss of quality in work, not perceived in absence of true impact assessments, is not perceived as long as the sole exercise is to get more money, but not to do anything for Europe

Right now European projects mean that opportunities are given to those who wish to manage merely cultural projects. They do so in a way that does not give recognition to the complexities of interacting factors. As a matter of fact even mayors wish merely those things that can be made ‘visible’, like immediate construction, in order to convince their voters that something is being done. Other efforts are effectively discouraged by such funding regulation offering little flexibility and advance financial steering. Subsequently the level of interaction is reduced to reproducing the similarities rather than allowing for recognition of differences existing throughout Europe. They end up not coming to terms with cultural reflections, never mind with the fact that culture itself is theory: a way to perceive things in need of being articulated and therefore reflected upon prior to being put into practice. In the Renaissance, a building was constructed only after the architect had convinced the jury made up by all people observing the models and designs of other architects involved in the construction for other guilds. Since then their voices have become muted and decisions are made by experts. The latter act in coalition with all kinds of constraints and regulations that leave really hardly a chance that public tenders are made and the one with the best idea or design wins

Indeed culture should be perceived as a process by which people come to terms with complexity through not managerial methods, but means of open-ended forms of co-operation. Such a cultural approach would then materialise as people open up to working relationships on the basis of acknowledging their differences

Cultural co-operation is realised by entering structures of true diversity out of which the various domains of cultural actions, i.e. research, know-how, exchange of experiences can emerge. This they do not out of the convergence of production and dissemination, but like the seagull taking off lightly into the winds by shaping flows of information according to cultural forms of reflections. For every Community Action based on culture is really an imaginative leap towards the others, so that the equivalent to the European dimension is the social dialogue reflected in thematic perspectives becoming evident as cultures begin to unfold. It shows itself in the creativity people develop once they become truly involved in the process.

3.1 Loss of Cultural Initiatives leads to a loss of Reality in the Absence of Dialogue

But due to preferring easily manageable European projects, the Commission is losing touch with reality and with it there comes an absence of dialogue with many actors. They are more and more replaced by so called experts who know how European projects are run. Consequently the Commission does not know in which direction European citizens wish Europe to develop in

With this loss the Commission is becoming less and less willing to confront and to deal with the reality European projects have to face while initiatives from below are not supported. That makes the Commission increasingly static and immobile, that is non responsive to ongoing developments. A reform process was hoped for when Prodi took over as President of the Commission, but instead the overall position of the Commission has weakened while reforms initiated by Kinnock have terminated in a situation in which people working for the Commission can be quoted as saying they no longer know who is making decisions

Right now reform is entrusted to the European Convention the outcome of which may be termed as a ‘change in order not to change’. The interest is mainly to uphold the status quo while giving the overall image of the European Union some cosmetic touches so as to appear as being transparent and accountable

The White Paper on Governance outlines crucial principles of governance in need to be observed when implementing any European program, but the contradiction has it, that it does not incorporate the need for cultural governance: the substantial understanding of how governance translates into cultural actions

At the outset of this tender for cultural co-operation there is stressed the requirement for the creation of a base for discussion to make an impact assessment of a future triennial programme on cultural co-operation possible. This can be taken as an opportunity to advance the notion of cultural governance as a further going principle than acknowledged up to now.

3.2 Political misconceptions about culture

Certainly integration and expansion together can no longer be continued as was the case of the past, namely by exploiting the sheer economic potentialities of ‘steel and coal’ while leaving culture aside. It took until the Maastricht Treaty to have culture included under Article 151 but still culture is misconceived in the name of local, regional or national sovereignty to mean identity (some would say ‘masks’ of humanity and civility) of official institutions, as if the relationship of the arts to politics is that self-understood

In the European Parliament, the difference in importance of the Industrial Committee compared to the Cultural Committee just underlines this fact. This leaves culture and cultural actions at a level without any significant impact although their potentiality is of quite a different nature.

3.3 CIED experiences: cultural consensus seeking measures for cultural innovation

CIED managed in Galway to promote such a method seeking cultural consensus, that this one language cultural concept was dropped in favour of a multi-lingual one so as to include the English speaking population. For it would be a major mistake if cultural cooperation agreements would not be based on cultural consensus seeking measures that allow culture to be understood as opening up to others and to new ideas

In fact, after the collapse of the Industrial Society and before the Information Society could tap in on resources of the cultural sector to further media and film industry, while industrial heritage became a new pivot point in reflections of the recent compared to the ancient past, the transition until new investments came, were made possible by international enclaves in poverty stricken areas. This was the case whether now the port of Cardiff after the collapse of the coal industry with a small international community upholding life there or the historical centre of Palermo prior to mayor Orlando initiating cultural strategies to revive the old city as based on people giving value again to cultural heritage since immigrants countered the dominance of the Mafia and its stranglehold of the historical centre. Consequently any cultural cooperation agreement would be wise to include every time specific recognition of the need for international windows or gate ways by which not merely openness and tolerance is propagated, but also a different identity process furthering cultural adaptations to all kinds of needs and constraints without giving up consistency at that location

Since CIED has been involved in these processes, more could be said about the use of culture to revive and to sustain urban and regional development. For the moment it suffices to just add the caution that with increasing ‘use of culture’ for other purposes than culture itself, there has to be learned how ‘not to abuse culture’. Otherwise the very medium meant to give people a critical self-understanding can be transformed into forces that alienate people even further and therefore leave them without access to a life in the realms of Civil Society.

3.4 Misuse of culture

By 2002, culture has become a widely misused and misguided tool used for promoting not so much economic development as a kind of consumerism at the level of the service industry. Already Guenter Grass criticized in the 80’s the use of culture to fill merely hotel beds by staging events that attract masses of people e.g. Christo’s wrapping up of the ‘Reichstagsgebaeude’ in Berlin

Since then culture has come further into misuse by certain political forces who see in culture a better lobbying tool for obtaining European funds and then there are the commercial and business interests who view culture as a means to create and to promote certain images, that is as an integral part of marketing and communication strategies to promote a product whether now a single item or the city hosting the Olympic games

Practically in all of these events endless negotiations precede such cultural events, but the cultural co-operation agreements entered exclude the participation of people themselves. Like in planning, once the political decision has been made, everything else is left in the hands of experts and administrators assigned to the task. Very often these negotiation teams are composed by individuals having little or no knowledge about the arts and thus tend to reduce the profile of these agreements to below the subsistence level of culture.

3.5 Culture in relation to Freedom of Artistic Expression

Subsequently culture is not perceived as reflection of the articulation possibilities of people under given circumstances. This means that cultural cooperation agreements and the cultural policies they are a derivative of, have little, if anything to do with ensuring the freedom of artistic expression

By not having learned on how not to interfere into the artistic search for expression requiring a knowledge of constraints before becoming creative, member states enter either the wrong agreements leading to bad practices with long term damages to culture or else their officially assigned institutions to culture abstain from supporting any other measure than what they have been given specifically the task to do. In either cases culture and the activities needed to sustain it remain largely unrecognised by these administrative approaches that reduce all cultural issues to just matters of funding and to structural competencies.

3.6 The four action fields of culture

The situation created as a result leaves four different actions fields: the official domain of state policy, the administrated practical fields as defined by the set-up of official cultural institutions, the artists and cultural actors left very often to their own if not supported by private sponsors and/or cultural networks, and finally the cultural aspects that the European Union attempts to strengthen as complementary measures to what Member States and their respective institutions cannot do or have delegated to the European level for the sake of some cultural appeasement

Out of such conglomeration with practices being defined by concessions or tokenism – the European integration process conceded above all in cultural matters full Rights to the Member States. This they underline by their continuous claim of state sovereignty as expressed in the form of education and by upholding a certain cultural identity, but at a certain risk. For there is much confusion between being, for example, Greek in cultural terms and Greek as not merely citizen, but in being identical with both the state and all other Greeks who are thereby identified as sharing the same values and showing the same behaviour when reaching and claiming one common understanding. The latter complexity cannot be called really a cultural identity; it is a nationalistic projection upon the others to create a collective identity at state level while subjugating everyone to accepting this option of choice to be Greek. It negates the freedom of anyone growing up in Greece to be anything else but Greek.

3.7 Political-philosophical principles of state citizenship in negation of cultural freedom

Philosophically speaking, Hegel based the identity building process required by the nation state on many forms of negation. If a citizen there had to become a German, then it meant the negation of differences and otherness when growing up. Friends from both these fields had to be excluded to ensure but one identity, that of the nation state. More precisely the personal identity was destroyed in the process of becoming a German, while identity was really granted by the state (in the form of legal papers: Brecht saying here no one exists but only the passport), provided that person gave first recognition to the existence of the state. Basically the citizen had to enter such a strong agreement with the state that this deprives him or her of any cultural freedom that is set apart from the state. Already then Hegel denounced Jews as ‘cosmopolitans’ since they did not swear any allegiance to the state, but were open to the world

4. Conclusion

When it comes to focusing upon the cultural sector and cultural policy, there is an immediate problem in need of being resolved. There is the relative weakness of cultural policy compared to other policy fields and, therefore, of cultural institutions. Yet in terms of not merely accompanying EU developments, but giving shape to it, culture is most crucially needed for identity building processes based on creativity and innovation. This is becoming most apparent at the moment of the Enlargement process challenging all institutional arrangements. Indeed the future of Europe will depend more than on mere economic factors upon its institutional capacity to uphold cultural diversity through co-operation.

4. Communication strategy for EU Policy

In order to have a triennial program for cultural cooperation be passed through the various assessment / opinion groups and bodies, a definite communication strategy shall be required if the European Commission is to manage retaining the initiative while taking into consideration all opinions being expressed prior to final decision on implementation procedures, character and financial scope of the triennial program.

4.1 European Policy areas

For a start following misconceptions about culture need to be corrected if possible by advancing new notions of cultural co-operations by moving away from wrongly placed policy issues to the cultural realm of innovation and cultural consensus:

- Production and distribution: the industrial concept of culture

As discussions about film (Hollywood versus not only European production but distribution systems) show, there prevail in Western Europe too many pre-notions of culture that are confusing industrial with cultural policy. That strand of discussion usually ends with forms of protectionism manifested in single cultural interests although some systems work better in protecting the national or European film industry than what critics lead one to believe

Since leading projects in that area emphasize upon networking of productive capabilities while knowing the risks of violating laws of competition, this has become an interventionist type of policy and is discussed in the European Parliament more in the Industrial and not in the Cultural Committee

By remaining within the industrial, basically a pre Information Society concept of culture, co-operation sought and supported by the European Commission will not attain that level of communication that could and should be attained, if all people in Europe were to be treated as equal active citizens right from the beginning of Integration and Enlargement.

- Information Society and Cultural Diversity

There is still a further policy area in the making but which remains unfortunately outside the scope of the current approach by the European Union to culture and therefore to cultural co-operation agreements. While the DG dealing with the Information Society ventures into areas like the digitalisation of ‘cultural heritage’, ‘e-content’, ‘e-democracy’ and ‘e-governance’, none of that appears to be of interest to this tender remaining as it were within very traditional boundaries. The tender does not even touch upon matters of exclusion when it comes to organizing ‘collective memories’ – archives based on data banks as if storing of information has become a very different library system. While some things have become over time mandatory within European programs, such as ‘dissemination of information’, there is still missing the linkage between modern developments and conventional ways of setting terms (as if that is already a way of coming to terms with changing reality)

Clearly further policy advise is needed even as a cross-check to these other policy fields. Here Jesse Marsh gives some reasons why when proposing an innovative approach the methodology needed will also alter the fields in which cultural co-operations apply nowadays:

First, the methodology

We could underline our goal to develop and test an innovative framework that could define the structure of the survey on the one hand, and also the axes for policy intervention on the other

The current definition according to five fields is horrible - cultural policy

as industrial policy defined by "product lines" as though we were dealing

with Procter & Gamble - only made worse by the further definitions in the

call: forms of cooperation, structures, levels of cooperation, spheres of


We should also be looking at things like: normative frameworks at different levels, new media, conditions of transfer, cultural adaptation, self-organising groups, Internet communities, use of spaces, cultural tourism, copyright and copyleft, etc

Of course we can't throw away things like the performing arts, but we have to try to look at them in a new light

During the study we should develop a framework that can capture these new and real dynamics of social creativity, and test the framework as a useful and innovative means of understanding what's happening throughout Europe in different cultural contexts and how best to make a creative and expressive Europe.

Second, the approach

We could perhaps achieve some of the aims I list above if we balance an analytical approach (e.g. painting, sculpture, theatre etc.) with a territorially-defined integrated approach

Namely, part of the survey would investigate what's happening at the regional

level for a selected set of case studies. Here, we would look at all branches of artistic activity including, say, basket-weaving, within the specific and historical context of the culture of place. This would provide a bottom-up perspective and a second, complementary axes for testing the robustness of the framework.

Jesse Marsh and other researchers have already prepared for STOA, the research unit of the European Parliament, a policy advisory paper to allow discussions on how will it be possible to retain cultural diversity in the age of the Information Society. Insofar he then makes for research on cultural co-operations in Europe following remarks:

Culture and New Media

“It is evident that Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) are having an increasing impact on all areas of life, so much so that the term “information society” has been adopted to describe whatever it is that will emerge over the medium-long term time frame to replace the “industrial society”. Culture is no exception, and indeed there are specific impacts that will need to be taken into account in all aspects of the study: from a) new media as a form of artistic expression, to b) the new means of distribution and diffusion of cultural artefacts and knowledge, and finally c) the use of the Internet as a platform for trans-European cooperation

The use of ICT as a new media for expression is perhaps the most evident impact, starting with the first experiences in the ‘50s and ‘60s with electronic synthesizers and video art. Here we can say that artists have in general been quick to experiment with new technologies as soon as they have become accessible. With the spread of multimedia platforms – i.e. accessibly priced multimedia computers, software and accessories such as scanners and digital cameras – there has recently been a “democratisation” of art production, effectively lowering the cost and the technical skills required and thus spreading the production of culture. (Fortunately there are still real artists around that challenge the homogenisation of taste built on pre-set templates.)

With the explosion of the Internet (which, remember, only began 5 years ago), an entirely new dimension has been introduced, e.g. collective art production. This began with groups such as the Ponton European Media Art Lab’s work in the early ‘90s and have developed even to include Steven King’s latest novels, written collectively on the Internet together with the general public

The study will have to pick up such phenomena from within all five lots, since all forms of artistic expression and cultural production are affected, at the level of the cross-sector analysis providing the main rationale for this proposal

Regarding the second aspect, the significant impact of ICT on the diffusion of culture, and how this is indirectly affecting the production of culture itself, has been a more recent phenomenon. Initially the ICT industry pushed the use of new media to conserve and diffuse cultural heritage: they were only too happy to provide the expensive hardware and networks required at the time to digitise the collections of entire museums. In parallel, however, the “democratisation” of the Internet began to have a similar effect as with multimedia: not only could anybody be an author, a musician, an artist, a film director… they could also show it to the world for practically nothing

The explosive impact this was to have on the distribution industry became however evident only with the introduction of peer-to-peer computing and its first famous example, the Napster free music exchange service (claimed to be an illegal violation of copyright laws). As high-bandwidth connections (i.e. ADSL) become ever more accessible, the same thing will happen with video. The broad discussions currently taking place on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), e.g. through the OpenSource or CopyLeft movements, are leading to a significant re-thinking of the relationship between cultural production and distribution. It will be important through the study to understand how co-operation networks relate to these issues

Finally, there is the question of using ICT as a tool for cultural co-operation itself. Here, we must admit that artists have been much more creative than cultural institutions and associations in exploring the potential of new communication media, but that is to be expected and indeed welcome. Nearly all co-operation networks have some web site and use email, but it will be an interesting aspect of the study to identify cases of effective use of more sophisticated “groupware” environments and portal services (perhaps starting from collective portals or “virtual galleries” set up by artists themselves). As a start, Atelier will offer its computer conferencing and web development services to the networks forming the Group 31 consortium, in order to experiment within the project some possible future scenarios

More broadly, there is the general issue of the role of cultural diversity in the information society. Is globalisation stifling cultural diversity or are new technologies offering improved channels for reinforcing different cultural identities? Will being culturally different from the average Internet user constitute an obstacle to capturing its opportunities, or instead an asset? Although such questions raise issues that are of extreme importance for identifying future trends, they are effectively beyond the scope of the work requested. Recent work, notably two Atelier policy studies for the STOA Unit of the European Parliament on “Cultural Diversity and the Information Society”, can nonetheless constitute a sufficient background framework for understanding the broader impact of new media on the prospects for cultural co-operation in Europe on the basis of the valuable information thrown up by the data-gathering activities of Group 31.”

- Enlargement – Culture 2000 and its promotion of cultural co-operation agreements

It goes without saying that the European Commission is still learning, while adopting overall to the changeover to the Information Society, yet the discrepancy to future requirements is there. For the Culture 2000 is so poorly funded, that the overall learning impact for the Commission with the now vital need to further cultural co-operation is minimal. This makes itself felt in the insecurity people feel when it comes to being prepared for the full impact of the Enlargement process

The under-funding of culture makes itself felt primarily in the weakness or lack thereof in experiences on how cultural co-operations can work with the Accession Countries and within Europe as a whole

Still, entry to further information about developments there in the context of not only Europe, but Eastern Europe as countries in transition with new relationships developing to the entire world, here Peter Inkei from the Budapest Observatory provides some insights as exemplified in the Newsletter of Sept. 2002:

101 puppies + 1

The analysis of the winning projects at “Culture 2000” has met with considerable interest. Congratulations came; Eike and Ieva were, however, quick to point at inaccuracies. Indeed, there were errors in the figures of each Baltic state; we even had to add one more item to the original 101. In an acknowledgement of my apparent bias towards that region, I let Marci do a re-counting. The main findings remained the same though. For the final (?) figures go to http://www.budobs.org/euC2000-in2002.htm

Rate of return

We were tempted to compute or guess whether the money that flows to the ten countries through the 102 winning projects has attained the amount of the “entry ticket”, the financial contribution of each government to the programme. (This year the net payment of the ten states was altogether 1,7 million euros.) It was concluded though that Culture 2000 is not just about money, furthering cultural interaction between European artists and heritage people being the main objective. So we refrained from calculating rate of return

Spending on books

We got mild reproaches because of the superhuman size of the synthetic table on the Open Society Institue survey on the book sectors in the post-Communist states (900 kb at http://www.budobs.org/osi.htm). We are therefore putting it on our site in smaller chunks soon. Till then, figures like the following are a bit too hard to access

Our data reveal that Russia has a book market whose turnover – reported as USD 625 million in 2000 - is bigger than the total of the 19 other countries in the survey, including Poland, Ukraine, Czech Republic etc

In per capita spending, however, Latvia is on top, with more than 30 dollars, which is about 8 times more than the arithmetic mean of the 20 countries covered. At the low end, the pessimistic estimate for Armenia was 5 cents per year

Culture and international organisations

BO team has completed a brief overview of the role of culture in the activities of international organisations from the UN family through the World Bank to the myriad of networks. BO was commissioned to do so in the frames of a larger Hungarian project. It is too early to judge if it is worth the effort to make an English version of it

Grants for cultural projects

The next undertaking is to update and extend the information base on arm’s length agencies for culture in the region. Where we get stuck with other sources, Zsófi may turn for help to some of you, dear friends and acquaintances of BO

Parallel to this, we shall examine conventional granting, i.e. the distribution of project funds directly by the government administration. We are trying to detect its dimension and raison d'être

15 cultural policies

BO is fond of comparative surveys. No wonder that we read the paper on Cultural Policies in the EU Member States with great interest. Its authors refrain from analysis proper, i.e. no value statements are there; nonetheless the abridged version at http://www4.europarl.eu.int/estudies/internet/workingpapers/educ/doc/107a_en.doc offers an easy-to-handle checklist of the main aspects of the subject. (Similar undertakings are duly acknowledged by the authors.)

In brief, cultural policy in the making with special focus on cultural co-operation agreements will have to take into account that by now the Information Society has made accessible a number of interesting observatories and networks forming the basis for ongoing evaluation. They can be equally considered as valid sources of information with regards to all EU policy not only with regards to culture, but other fields as well. Important is then not to so much the distinction between culture and other fields since primarily there is a need for co-operation everywhere. It may be suggested the European added value is then realized, when such co-operations are entered on the basis of cultural premises or in the attempt to realize by inclusion of culture the European dimension.

4.2 Assessment: cultural reflections of the complexity of things, or how to read reality

Local levels are themselves reflections of governance with specific services in need to be performed: gas, electricity and modernization of communication linkages amongst the most vital elements for connecting housing developments to the global setting of communication. Out of this pattern with super markets and specific retail businesses there emerge subsidiary chains all linked to the overall demand by consumers for specific goods and services. They go with a specific standard of living and have at the same time inherent ingredients of current political trends, e.g. taking care of the environment as expressed in keeping parks and streets alive with trees and flowers. Thus the entire local aspect has an aesthetical component that can reflect upon the policies pursued by local decision-making councils. This includes waste and water management, transportation, maintenance of schools, education of children and taking care of old aged people with specific needs, while running the postal services etc. and which altogether give to the local level a cultural expression to being a viable community or not. By standards of poverty and levels of unemployment affecting the human relationships existing in that community, it becomes crucial as to what kind of indicators are being applied to appraise whether or not such communities are viable in terms of both governance and sustainable development. The latter needs constant new investments or rather public expenditures. It is sometimes not clear where the expanding suburban developments shall take their tax base as is the case of difference between apartment dwellers and house owners. Naturally, a local community would not be without market place and other main arteries of shops and specific service centres in order to create opportunities but also to set the tone as to level and standard of life. Naturally, it all depends whether or not the community manages to attract and to retain people with stable incomes. This is besides the question of inward investments a crucial criterion for how local commitments for employment can be understood. Yet it appears above all that the living standard of that or any other community depends upon the levels of sophistication it can attain by itself when it comes to formulating and implementing by themselves cultural co-operation.

4.3 Cultural policy outside of Europe

The present political situation leaves Europe without a clearly recognized ‘voice’ in the world. It cannot be that someone like Solena undertakes foreign matters by himself as if representing a sovereign government legitimised through free elections, when in fact the European Commission is at most a highly motivated executive administration undertaking political and not merely political tasks. The recent challenges to Monti’s own acts by the European court are indications of a weak legal base. All that creates to the disadvantage of Europe many more substantial, including image problems.

4.4 The image problems of Europe – the European Convention and the ‘constitutional treaty’ in the making

At the image level European institutions are perceived, among other things as a formalised organised administrative approach to political questions, but without any or real political substance. Repeatedly the legitimacy of the European Council, Commission and Parliament are called into question when it comes to shaping future development in Europe. Critics call for more transparency and a better dialogue with the citizens of Europe, but this usual rhetoric is not enough sand to stop the mechanism from grinding away at any subtle differences between true sovereignty and Europe being ruled by the delegates of the official representatives of the Member States, while the European Parliament remains at best a vital experiment at voicing opinions in view of these and other developments

There is something basically lacking even though the concept of active European Citizenship could mean something, provided transparency and accessibilities could be achieved through the work of the European Convention. Yet it does not envision so much a new European constitution giving full sovereignty to the European Parliament, but rather the Charta of Basic Rights and the Maastricht Treaty will be brought together to form a ‘constitutional treaty’. It shall remain in this legal free space in which the European Commission has moved so far, that is independent of any legal system of the Member States and therefore in the end for any citizen of no relevance. It may uphold Article 151, as some NGOs of the Cultural Sector have argued for, but that is still a long way away from a Declaration of Rights by the European Union to pursue among others an independent cultural policy from the Member States

As is the case in Germany with its federal system, it is not at all self-understood how the parts and the whole should be brought together. Crucial is, however, that claims of sovereignty at European level corresponds factually with what is not confirmation of mere official processes e.g. the future president elected by the elected leaders of the Member States. Rather the sovereignty of the people has to be expressed in a way that the political will to governance is made possible by the co-operation by all

Right now Europe is not a state as such, while the aggregation of Member States is defined more by their unwillingness to give up any substantial policy matters when it comes not only to culture, but to all major policy matters e.g. foreign policy. Practically to any ordinary citizen it is more than just unclear where exactly competencies and therefore accountable responsibility lies in all policy fields from foreign affairs to labour market implementation rules. The legal situation of Europe has never been explained well enough because the advantages of retaining a sort of grey and undefined situation is greater than any binding system, legally speaking. Experimentation leading on to innovation is preferable to any immediate adaptation of case law or equally national legislative law designed solely for the purpose of making business work (Kant). Thus, it is the freedom that matters prior to putting anything into an absolute form

If that is the case, the European Union must avoid the kind of autarkic rule of the past with either absolute popes or kings ruling over the people. The progress towards modern democracy has not been easy in Germany after 1945, but then there was the civil war 1945 – 48 and the dictatorship 1967 – 73 in Greece, as the regime of Franco lasted for a long time in Spain while Portugal had to overcome its form of dictatorship. Other problems the Eastern European countries experienced until 1989. They had to go through many layers of historical experiences before they could shake off totalitarian rule, while recovering the freedom of thought, travel and work

It should be kept in mind that shaking off any kind of absolute regime is not merely a symbolic matter. Democracy depends upon Enlightenment that so far has been described as a failure by most philosophers and people close to history

Clearly if the people of Europe are unable to articulate what is needed, then next to image problems all states, their governments and Europe with Council, Parliament and Commission as a whole may have, the most crucial issue to people is their cultural sovereignty. This needs to be resolved before anything although it is constantly put last. Yet values to life touches upon not merely their ability to sustain an economical and socially adjusted life to the constraints of modernity, but reflects itself in the wish to retain and to develop further their cultural identities

With it goes the wish to step out of negative forms of determinism such as all kinds of Nationalisms that have not merely impeded developments in Europe, but caused countless, equally senseless wars. In the process it has nearly destroyed all faith in democracy and with it increased the threat of loss in human values. With it goes not merely distrust in politics, but all kinds of corruption until the ‘morality of payment’ breaks down. It leaves no alternative since such loss prevents both the economy and the political institutions from responding to the need to reform. At the latest then the direction things are not so much developing, but rather moving in, makes no longer sense

A counterbalance is needed and this may be the possible case by bringing back to at all conscious levels of negotiations and decision making not only just any, but such cultural co-operation that can give to European development an overall sense of direction. For as people do not necessarily participate in cultural development, even less they do in the political process if their deepest philosophical thoughts and perspectives as to the future of mankind are not articulated, in order to have a framework of values and ideas as to what needs to be done in practice.

4.5 Gap Analysis – between observations and missing linkages between past, present and the future

The methodological linkage between analysis and predictability in the cultural sector is really intuitive anticipation of things to come and to develop. Culture is about drawing out people to get them be creative and innovative. Thus the open receptivity for things to come out is really the art of asking the right questions. That is why in innovative dialogues using highly sophisticated platforms, the new ideas start to formulate new themes around which trends shall become indicative not only for things to come, but also what tasks lie ahead. To the latter a modern approach to cultural co-operation agreements must be applied: the identification of these tasks in order to facilitate an overall ‘cultural adaptation’ to new challenges while striving towards ‘cultural sustainability’ of such a development

When it comes to identify the missing linkages, the first thing that comes usually to mind if one sees a decaying church or living artists not really followed well enough in their path of creativity by some archive specialist, is the question: but where are the authorities? However, equally true must be the other side of the coin: where are the people to do just that kind of cultural work needed to make agreements sustain themselves over time. Here then commitments to culture express themselves accordingly to various factors e.g. enlightened mayor, good advisors, acceptance of an EU project, flow of funds and successful project management and implementation, but then comes the next municipal election and a part of the community is angry because of not having received any share of the money used to restore the community. The new mayor and his council breaks the contract and along with it the cooperation between all parties / individuals so that the original agreement stands in contraction to the lack of upholding previously made commitments. This leads to a ‘continuity of discontinuity’ or to a lack of consistency when it comes to working out plans and adopting a certain methodology for implementation. For example, although the leading architectural team has done already all necessary studies and had begun with first measures of restoration, and despite this meaning the community will have to honour the contract in terms of payment, the commitment is broken

The problem here becomes twofold: lack of continuity and break with the commitment i.e. no morality of payment is upheld. That problem of payment and lack of continuity in work is since 1989 more general than assumed and brings with it a certain set of consultants, advisors and attitude to work within European projects that go against any cultural cooperation agreement at a wider and more substantial, that is significant scale, that is where the real impact could be felt. The uncertainty in the conditions of payments and therefore of accountability leave things outside the scope and frame of any such cultural cooperation agreement. For precisely the lack of funds, or lack of regular cash flows, leave many stranded while the more successful ones improvise and enter many different kinds of partnerships with no longer one single cultural objective being so clear as the need to sustain the process by which the task of obtaining sufficient funds would mean also efforts to uphold the negotiation process in a cultural atmosphere of trust and consistency.

Read the last Part (Conclusion) of this article: Application of CIED: Cultural Cooperation III

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