Mission Statement

The Pre-Conference

A Soul for Europe mobilizes citizens and democratic institutions across Europe, fostering a sense of responsibility for the future of Europe and democracy through culture. It is our goal to connect communities in order to build a common European public space and a culture of proactive citizenship. Our annual A Soul for Europe Conference in Berlin is a meeting place for elected, dedicated, experienced, analytic, critical and enthusiastic stakeholders from all over Europe.

Bearing the title Cultural Identities on the Move, this year’s conference — taking place in Berlin on 8 and 9 November 2016 — will discuss new approaches to our fundamental strategy and that way also react to the current European challenges in a creative way. We intend to draft proposals for intensified co-operative and joint efforts of politics and civil society in the cities and regions of Europe. Yet with so much happening on and around the continent right now, why wait another few months to discuss the pressing questions?

For this concrete and urgent reason, we are hereby opening the virtual A Soul for Europe Pre-Conference for all those who cannot attend the main conference event in November but want their voice to be heard, for those who would like to prepare their attendance by reading what others think and for those who — like us — believe that the topic deserves much more attention than two session days can achieve. Impulses from the pre-conference will be presented to the panelists in November.

Faced with the dismissive attitude many Europeans have towards the EU and its institutions, we need to explore new avenues to convince the citizens of the necessity of a European unification process. We need to emphasize that citizens are not mere spectators in Europe, but the ones responsible for its advancement. More than ever, Europe has to become the Europeans’ cause.

A Soul for Europe Mission Statement

by Steve Austen and Volker Hassemer, August 2016

A Soul for Europe advocates:

- The responsibility of European cities, regions , civil society organizations and of active citizens in the European unification process.

- The potential of culture and citizenship education in this process.

A Soul for Europe therefore promotes:

- Political and administrative bodies´ awareness of their role and responsibility for the future and success of the European project.

- The sovereignty and the honest interest of the competent political and administrative bodies to cooperate with informal and formal citizen initiatives in social and cultural sense to support, innovate and promote the (European) common good.

- The creativity , innovation and sense of responsibility of those working in arts and culture to connect with citizens’ actions in order to commit their work for the (European) common good.

A Soul for Europe aims to achieve progress in all three domains.

Read Our Europe. The Task — Building Europe from the Bottom Up by Bernhard Schneider