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White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue - Living Together As Equals in Dignity

Council of Europe, Strasbourg, 2008

Under the title Living Together As Equals in Dignity, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the 47 member states of the Council of Europe adopted in May 2008 the White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue as a conceptual framework to guide reflections and decisions of policy-makers and practitioners.

The White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue defines intercultural dialogue as an "…open and respectful exchange of views between individuals, groups with different ethnic, cultural, religious and linguistic backgrounds and heritage on the basis of mutual understanding and respect."

The key preconditions for dialogue, the White Paper argues, are the putting in place of adequate structures of governance, the intercultural literacy of public institutions and social service organizations, the creation of spaces for intercultural dialogue, particularly at the grassroots of society.

The White Paper is a conceptual framework to guide reflections and decisions of policy-makers and practitioners. It is based on the organizations' key standards and legal instruments, and draws on the case law of the European Court of Human Rights, the expert work and field projects carried out over decades, and a massive consultation with a range of stakeholders at national and European levels.

The White Paper can be downloaded from www.coe.int/t/dg4/intercultural/Source/White%20Paper_final_revised_EN.pdf