The Brexit vote has made it clearer that politics has not succeeded in overcoming the dismissive attitude many citizens have towards the European Union and its institutions. New avenues should be explored to convince the citizens of the necessity of a European unification process. More than ever, Europe has to become the Europeans’ cause.
Bearing the title Cultural Identities on the Move, the Soul for Europe Conference 2016 will react to these current European challenges in a creative way and draft proposals for intensified cooperation between politics and civil society in the cities and regions of Europe. Since its first edition in 2004, the Conference has aimed at integrating culture more strongly into the complex process of European integration, revealing the centrality of culture as its creative motor. The Conference thus this year shall again invite committed European citizens, intellectuals, artists, politicians, economists, representatives from NGOs and the media to join in the debate.
The Conference will be held on the 8th and the 9th November 2016 at the Allianz Forum, Berlin, Germany. The central conference event on 9 November will avoid formats which merely involve sequences of statements and opinions, and instead will provide opportunities for a direct, open and simultaneously constructive discussion between personalities from the fields of politics and culture. The session will also enable constructive participation from the audience.
On 8 November, the main focus will be European cities and regions and their new responsibilities facing refugees’ movements and newly erected border fences. Workshops and debates will discuss strategical attempts, while a marketplace will give a practical insight into ongoing projects.
The A Soul for Europe Conference will be followed by the annual The State of Europe speech on the evening of 9 November, held this year by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
The Conference will be jointly organized, prepared, and funded with the Allianz Cultural Foundation as well as the Evens Foundation, Goethe-Institut, traduki / S. Fischer Foundation and the initiative Cities for Europe at Stiftung Zukunft Berlin. European Parliament has been involved with from the beginning and since 2014 has taken on the patronage of the conference.
For those unable to attend, a virtual pre-Conference is also now open.