Intercultural Dialogue

On 7th January in Ljubljana Vasko Simoniti, Slovenian Culture Minister and Jan Figel, European Commissioner for Culture and Multilinguism launched the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue. The Slovenian presidency announced that this theme would be paid particular attention during its term in office. Commissioner Jan Figel pointed out that we want to go beyond multicultural societies where different cultures simply exist side by side, to surpass mere tolerance and to achieve instead a real intercultural environment. He further pointed out that the year will not only include individual projects, but that he will make intercultural dialogue a priority of all policies within his competence. He particularly stressed the key role of civil society in the endeavours to reach a large number of people with the activities this year. In the long-term perspective, intercultural dialogue is essential for every individual and state, as well as for the European Union as a whole. Commissioner Figel’ further appealed that we set the elimination of divisions between people as our common goal in 2008, and that we not only exist but also live together.
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