Trans Internet-Zeitschrift für Kulturwissenschaften 14. Nr. Dezember 2002

Message of Mr. Walter Schwimmer

Secretary General of the Council of Europe


Reading about your conference theme, die Gleichzeitigkeit des Ungleichzeitigen, brings to mind the contradictions of this world. Some of them we have to face every day. Fundamentalism and modernity is one such contradiction.

The Council of Europe devotes much effort, political will and thought to counter such threats as those posed on September 11 last year. It is actually a priority concern of my organisation to enhance multicultural and interreligious dialogue on all levels of society in Europe. In this endeavour, we are joining efforts at all ranks and in all fields of competence of the house. Let me just mention:

Specific projects on intercultural dialogue and conflict prevention, on replying to violence in everyday life in a democratic society and on optimising democratic institutions, were set up recently too. Within the cultural field, we are carrying out in depth comparative studies with a view to providing Member States with recommendations and sharing best practices. Some of these Cultural Policy Reviews as well as shorter, comparative and factual country profiles are available online. All of this work, however, takes into account the complexity of cultural issues and avoids simplistic answers! In this, the Council of Europe involves Europe at large and collaborates with the governments, with local and regional public authorities, with schools and universities and with NGOs in more than forty member States.

I am convinced that we must further develop our understanding and respect of otherness, difference and diversity to establish true intercultural dialogue. Equally important is the awareness of similarity, of common ground and shared identity that evolves from sound understanding and analysis.

In my view, your conference next year on the 93unifying aspects of culture94 and the preparatory work you are carrying out at present on cultural processes and their representations are most topical. Regrettably, I will not be able to be with you and follow your discussions closely. However, I would like to invite you to share the insights from these two events with the Council of Europe and would be very pleased to receive your reports and papers.

I wish you every success.


For more information, visit our website: ( ).

© Walter Schwimmer

TRANSINST       Inhalt / Table of Contents / Contenu: No.14

For quotation purposes - Zitierempfehlung:
Message of Mr. Walter Schwimmer. In: TRANS. Internet-Zeitschrift für Kulturwissenschaften. No. 14/2002.

TRANS     Webmeister: Peter R. Horn     last change: 23.12.2002     INST