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ExTra! and the Political Context:

Political Strategies on the Inclusion of Migrant Cultures
on Local, National and European Level


The policy session was opened by Katérina Stenou, Director of the UNESCO Division of Cultural Policies and Intercultural Dialogue. Alongside to the explanation of the five crucial points of the UNESCO convention (creativity, production, distribution, access and enjoyment) she brought up the term of “positive discrimination”. Even nice connotations with certain ethnic groups, such as “the Africans are good in dancing” were a form of discrimination. With this aspect she stressed the difficulty of finding the right terminology.
Furthermore, Stenou defined one of the state's central roles as being to create general conditions that promote culture and that are inspiring without exercising a direct influence on cultural and artistic developments.

Erna Hennicot-Schoepges, Member of the European Parliament, referred to the legal basis for cultural variety on which the “European Agenda for Culture” was founded. She called on the cultural sector to think positively and to stand up for its rights. 
Hennicot-Schoepges emphasized that the creative industries were flourishing in spite of the economic crisis. Beyond of that culture might offer a new meaningful sense to European citizens, which used to be embodied by religion in previous times.
Two existing challenges that she mentioned were the difficulty of measuring culture in numbers, which made it hard to stand up for it on a political level, and the frequent reduction of culture to events without recognizing the more profound frame of it.

Christian Höppner,Vice President of the German Cultural Council and Secretary General of the German Music Council, shed light on some of the questions regarding the implementation of political strategies and stressed the necessity of raising more public awareness for cultural variety.  

European Music Council (EMC)