ISBN: 978-92-79-67387-0

International Document

How culture and the arts can promote intercultural dialogue in the context of the migratory and refugee crisis

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European Union

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Under the European Union’s 2015-2018 Work Plan for Culture, a working group of Member State experts was created. Their agreed remit was to take stock of the policies and existing good practices on intercultural dialogue with a special focus on the integration of migrants and refugees in societies through the arts and culture.
The group, made up from representatives of 26 EU Member States, collated and analysed over 200 relevant existing policies and practices. Forty-six are presented as case studies in the handbook. A number of these have also been uploaded to the European Website on Integration. The majority of initiatives identified were multidisciplinary (covering a range of cultural genres). Drama, visual art, music and media were also well represented.
Two key prerequisites were identified for intercultural dialogue to be effective in the context of the migratory and refugee crisis. These are: a positive attitude towards integration and a willingness to engage in dialogue, among both migrant and host communities; acceptance of and respect for the rule of law, among both migrant and host communities, including support for fundamental human rights, and condemnation of violence and terror.
The group identified three key themes: empowerment; Intersectoral connections and partnerships; and evaluation.
General conclusions are:
1) Migration and the right to shelter are fundamental human conditions and rights, but neglected dimensions of empowerment. Policies and activities that affirm human rights are critically important in empowering migrants and refugees.
2) Participatory arts practices are particularly conducive to integrating refugees and migrants. The arts and culture provide unique opportunities to bring together refugees, migrants and host populations.
3) Poorly managed migration, in both host and transit countries, can create challenges requiring rapid responses. To address these challenges and the root causes of migration, the EU and its Member States should adopt a more coordinated, systematic and structured approach, strengthening inter- linkages and consistency between different European policies.
Following its three identified themes (empowerment, intersectoral connections and partnerships; evaluation), the report makes recommendations both for policy-makers (at EU, national and local level) and also for stakeholders/cultural institutions.

Evidence Type: Policy Document

Main Focus: Wellbeing / Quality of life

Research Purpose: Discussion / Debate

Art Forms: Multi-Arts

Access Type: Access upon request