“A Soul for Europe” Istanbul Forum: Global Challenges, Cultural Visions aims at reaching a common vision among all actors in society. The business sector, the non governmental organisation as well as the individual citizens have to take active responsibility, together with the political decision makers, in the process of the European development facing global challenges such as the economical and financial crisis, socio-cultural tensions, worldwide threat of climate change and danger of losing cultural diversity. “A Soul for Europe” - Forum Istanbul will initiate a laboratory to define and implement new forms of collaboration between political decision makers and civil society - including the business sector and the individual citizen - to develop Europe as a cultural project. Istanbul Forum will be a step forward to constitute a commonworking platform of Culture and Economy, in line with the European Commission’s Agenda for culture in a globalizing world (COM -2007. 242 final of May 2007).
“A Soul for Europe” Istanbul Forum will bring together highly-ranking personalities from the fields of politics, business and non governmental organisations as well as a large group of engaged young Europeans from many different countries including the members of the “Strategy Group” the new strategic heart of the initiative “A Soul for Europe”.
The results and consequences of the Istanbul Forum will be taken into the 4th Berlin Conference – “A Soul for Europe” scheduled on the 20th of November 2010. This will offer the chance of continuing the analysis and a deeper analysis for Global Challenges, Cultural Visions.
“A Soul for Europe” Istanbul Forum: Global Challenges, Cultural Visions is developed in close cooperation with the initiative “A Soul for Europe”, active since the Berlin Conference 2004. From that highly successful and Europe wide visible event that brought together European Union politicians, including the president of the EU-Commission José Manuel Barroso, as well as national politicians from different European countries and a large number of individuals, representing the (young) European civil society, different projects have been developed over the years, dealing with urgent issues concerning the development of Europe.
Several Fora – “A Soul for Europe” have been organized in different European countries (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Serbia) with the aim of improving the dialogue between political decision-makers and the civil society through the discussion on topics that have been chosen according to the special national, regional or local situations. Starting with the third Berlin Conference 2008, the debate has progressively been joined by important representatives of the business sector.
The core “A Soul for Europe” aims are even more urgent today than in the past. Culture has to be integrated into all levels and sectors of political decision-making and civil society, especially the younger generations, have participate in the process. Europeans have to take responsibility themselves as citizens and play an active role in shaping Europe’s future. “A Soul for Europe” Istanbul Forum: Global Challenges, Cultural Visions contributes to the achievements of these goals.
Creative forces of culture are more and more included in the political and scientific search for answers to global challenges and “cultural visions” are integrated into new forms and ideas for political, economical and social action. The dialogue and continuous cooperation between politics, civil society and the business sector are needed more than ever.