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Council of Europe

Culturelink review, no.42/April 2004 - contents - imprint - archive

Third Annual Authors' Meeting on Cultural Policies in Europe: A Compendium of Basic Facts and Trends

The Council of Europe and the European Institute for Comparative Cultural Research (ERICarts)

The Council of Europe and the European Institute for Comparative Cultural Research (ERICarts) organized the Third Annual Authors' Meeting on Cultural Policies in Europe: A Compendium of Basic Facts and Trends, a web-based public service information and monitoring system. The meeting was held in Berlin, 11-14 March 2004, and was hosted by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Compendium project originates from the Council of Europe's Programme of National Cultural Policy Reviews. It was initiated by the Council of Europe Culture Committee and Secretariat and has been carried out in partnership with the ERICarts Institute since 1998. The Compendium addresses a broad audience of policy makers and administrators, arts institutions and networks, researchers and documentation professionals, journalists and students. A team of researchers from the Council of Europe member states is continuously updating the Compendium.

The focus of this year's meeting was the discussion of possible improvements and expansion of the Compendium grid as well as its use as a training tool for lectures and seminars at universities across Europe. Another important issue discussed in Berlin was 'monitoring' and the significant advancements that the Compendium project has made in the systematic collection of information about cultural policies and trends in the 48 countries party to the European Cultural Convention. For the Council of Europe, an all-European perspective and systematic monitoring of legal standards and instruments is a common activity within its multiple areas of responsibility from human rights to education. In the cultural field, the systematic observation of policy developments, policy landscape and its constituent factors is only beginning to emerge through project such as the Compendium. This activity is vital for the future development of legal instruments, such as Conventions, or for specific or integrated programmes which can advance cultural co-operation across Europe and improve relations with other parts of the world.

Within the Compendium project, monitoring represents an integrated and dynamic activity, reflected in the annual reports on developments in cultural policies and trends in Europe, including: collecting reliable information and data, systematically monitoring pre-selected issues and trends over a period of time, introducing new indicators to begin collecting information and data on emerging issues of political priority (e.g., cultural diversity, intercultural dialogue and social cohesion), as well as identifying models of examples of good practice through the systematic collection of examples/illustrations existing at the national, regional and local levels.

Regardless of the efforts to improve the monitoring capacities of the Compendium, it should not change its character as an information tool: the integrity of the well-established information system will be maintained while the monitoring function will be an additional asset to be included into the overall system.

For more information about the Compendium project, please visit the web site: http://www.culturalpolicies.net