Ποιειν Και Πραττειν - create and do

Introduction by Hatto Fischer

Ideas about European integration had been discussed at the Fourth Seminar in Bruge last November, 1993. Given the scope of European societies compelled to 'converge', the need to fulfil conditions of integration means among other things harmonisation and cultural adaptation while working towards a single market. The prime concern for culture emerged as the dominant theme. Restated loosely, the Brugge seminar suggested that the impact of this convergence attempt ought to examine economy, institution and identity in terms of culture. Without specifying the concept of culture, nevertheless the Fourth Seminar felt that integration and convergence should maintain the 'cultural diversity' of Europe. It should have an extra value, aside from other European achievements in the fields of economic and institutional integration. What was not desirable would be the 'melting pot' as in the United States of America.

'Cultural identity' dominated as key concept in the discussion. In one sense it took on the positive meaning of a possible mediation between the wish to leave behind national identification necessities and yet retain freedom from specific forms of identification with European institutions. Through the initiative of the Flemish government, the thought was added that the concept must retain an equality within Europe. At an immediate level of having access to decision making processes affecting culture, this initiative is based upon the political demand to have European institutions recognize culturally defined regions such as Wales, Catalonia, Bavaria, Scotland, etc., in order to ensure all European voices are heard at all levels (see the Bruge declaration of van de Brande). The institutional recognition of this demand has found its expression in the Maastricht Treaty, making way for the creation of a 'Committee of Regions'. One purpose of this advisory committee is to work towards institutional possibilities that cultural regions need no longer to go through their national ministry for Culture in order to apply for funds at the European Union level. What other impact this will have upon the formation of 'cultural identities' at local-regional levels remains to be seen. There are signs that these identities become instrumentalized by regional politics without any clear contribution to an European identity able to accommodate other cultures than the particular regional one. The Fifth Seminar and its outcome started to confront some of the controversial aspects of this type of identity building process, insofar poets like Bruno Kartheuser stated a definite 'no' to possible attempts of being used for image making purposes, while the representative of the Flemish government, Kris Rogiers reacted with a 'totalization' of fear that Flemish interests would no longer be recognized within a broadening of the European Cultural Movement (see evaluation report).

At the same time, other discussions around the concept of 'cultural identity' recognized a new reality of Europe had to be faced. For many years the European Commission has initiated an enormous amount of programmes like DELTA, SMILE etc. Aside from having to interact with Brussels, all involve professionals working together within networks which give rise to transnational or cross-cultural identities. It seems that with time the professionals are supported by a special language which they helped to create when working within cross-cultural fields. The draw-back is that they have become specialized ghettos having little to do with locally bounded semantic fields of daily spoken languages. Contrary to the aims of such programmes to further European integration processes, it has become an increasing concern that such languages are used to translate European requirements into local or specific national contexts without any comparative sense. Everyone continues to do their own things without specific accommodation of others. The European Union faces, therefore, the need to revise its programmes, in order to off-set these specialized ghettos having little to do with either Europe or the participation of all European citizens in the process of integration. The need to examine the 'interface' between cultural identity and cross-cultural identities became thus a guideline for the Fifth Seminar, in particular the reason for having workshop 1.

The workshop on 'Cross-cultural identities, language and values' is thus an extension of these broader themes discussed in Bruge, while giving insights into particular techniques of 'networking' (the practical application of integration). They have brought about practical experiences which are by now directly connected with evaluation theories. For all European programmes face a need to be revised, especially in the light of what has been achieved sofar. At the same time, a new factor needs to be taken into account, namely an increasing sign that something is amiss with European integration. The term 'culture' becomes thus an overall criteria for evaluation; more specific is 'cultural diversity': the maintainance of linkages between local and European level. Certainly, there has been accumulated an expertise of working within given European programmes, but they remain irrelevant as long as they are cryptically hidden in specialized languages not accessible to all. It is felt that in order to break out of these transnational, specialized ghettos, even a redefinition of the aims of European integration is needed. Especially in the fields of culture that would mean to re-examine critically the role the Commission can play in terms of supporting cultural development within Europe.

At a practical level, it became increasingly conscious that concrete proposals for 'cultural actions' required as a prerequisite a critique of the scientific premise developed in Brugge. The theoretical framework was not practical enough to give an indication on how cultural identities are formed and in turn, what kind of problems continue to beset the creation of a common belief in European identity. Culturally speaking, belief may not even be a solution, while some participants of the Fifth Seminar suggested already in the forefield that nothing will come about, if people do not belief in something. Such a vague notion, yet equally important prerequisite has therefore its own need of clarification.

In his opening remarks, Prof. L. Bekemans from the College of Europe had stated that the attempt to operationalize some theoretical insights into concrete proposals would mean having to confront new cultural paradigms prevailing in Europe after Maastricht. Out of positive confrontations, so his expectations, would follow value premises making possible the connection between theory and practice. However, the Fifth Seminar showed that the practical work ahead can be stalled by lack of communication, unclarity of the practical questions involved and indecision about different political options, especially when it comes to dealing with the question of identity at local, regional, national and European levels. More than just a matter of attitudes brought to bear upon such a difficult subject matter, identity becomes for many a too difficult debate and hence they are unwilling to enter that debate in the first place. This is even more crucial when related to a new type of economy using special languages over and beyond the culturally developed one. Here comes the crucial matter of understanding options for 'cultural actions' and 'cultural action programmes' designed by various institutions in order to bring about an 'imaginative' Europe ready to accept and to develop its energy flows, even spontaneous ones at local levels, while aware that there is a troublesome international context after the end of the Cold War.

Specifically for this workshop, the following questions prevailed at the outset:

Given the understanding of 'cultural action': a complex, structured undertaking within the European Union as based on the principle of consensus, the question prevailed what contribution can this workshop make in terms of providing the know-how about networking and structures to support the idea of an European identity. As an extension of that, how could the other workshops of the Fifth Seminar make use of this knowledge, in order to structure their proposals accordingly.

The issue of 'values' was presented in Bruge by Prof. Kerkhof. He referred at that time to an empirical study involving comparison of values in different European countries. One outcome of that study appears to be that there no longer holds the usual EAST-WEST, NORTH-SOUTH polarisation or schematic division of the rich North, the poor South; values placed upon friendships, work, marriage, children etc. were found in different constellations which did not support this old schematic correlation. Nevertheless, the Italian election victory of Berlusconi was brought about with the help of 'Northern League' favouring a separation from the South. The same problem emerged 1992 in Yugoslavia. Hence all such studies require comparative terms applicable in different social and cultural contexts. On what 'values' or 'value issues' the future of Europe will be based upon, that is still unresolved. Values are very difficult at times to make out given their personal and intimate character. Furthermore, there is an attempt to link the value issue with what languages are spoken and used within European institutions. There is a political confusion about this issue. For instance, a discussion about values is still not in sight nor will traditional or folklorist carriers of 'cultural identities' be able to transmit to future generations the real value of a specific cultural identity. Language and values are too complex factors as to be possibly reduced to one 'image'. Human self-understanding and human values relate much more to such themes as 'distance' from false attempts to involve people in wrong projects or even war efforts no longer respecting the other. Modern problems add to this confusion. For instance, the young people of Ireland refuse to learn to speak Gaelic, for they prefer to relate only to the English language which is linked through the media and computerised systems. It would be wrong to identify the problems of one or two working languages (English and French) within the European Commission only to the French dominance of European institutions. The amazing reproductive quality of the Euro-English needs to be comprehended. It played a role in the discussion of workshop 1, but was expressed also by others i.e. the French poet Jean Baptiste-Marray as to why only English prevailed at the Fifth Seminar and not other languages (even though simultaneous translation Greek-English was provided in the plenary and in particular workshops students helped to translate other languages where needed).

The people involved in workshop 1have very specific backgrounds. For instance, Paul Verluyten has been examining the development of special business languages within Europe, especially that of French. What this means for daily business transactions needs to be understood. For aside from cultural and institutional priorities, it may mean also a commitment to a special kind of 'survival' having a specific reputation connected with the 'morality of payment'. One crucial, not necessarily positive outcome of this would mean that Europeans abroad would still be identified primarily as the 'French' or the 'Germans', and not so much as representatives of the European Commission or as European citizens.

Thanos Contargyris, manager of DIALOGOS / Nea Media is an expert of projects financed by the European Commission and involving the principle of networking throughout Europe. Usually funds are not allocated unless a project has at least three member countries involved. In his specifications of what the Commission wants to achieve with a particular programme, Thanos formulates the accountability under such a system of allocating funds and resources at an overall European level.

Rudolf Kern is vice president of the Association of the Lesser Spoken Languages in Europe. Its main seat is in Dublin, Ireland. The association has set as its purpose to off-set the dominance of languages like English, French and German, in order to ensure that translations and usages of other European languages remain an active input in decision making processes at European level. The profile by which Europe shows itself to the world must reflect this linguistic diversity.

Angela Kiossoglou-Adams, nuclear biologist and lecturer on 'science and ethics', comes from New Zealand and is married to a Greek architect with two children about to find jobs after university graduation. She is involved in many social projects and has many interesting linkages to various organizations ranging from abused women to migrant workers while working for Athens College.

Bruno Kartheuser wrote for the Poetry Festival on 'Myth and Poetry' held in Crete prior to the Fifth Seminar a most important paper called 'an undefeatable summer'. In that he describes the value of a poet like Ritsos who managed to give back to people their human substance they had thought to have lost in years of wars and of being grinded to the ground by hardships and injustices. The 'untranslatable' human substance has to be recognised by poetic language, otherwise it does not exist within the realities of Europe. Since Bruno Kartheuser comes from a German speaking minority in Belgium, he reflects communication processes from the vantage point of having been open to many languages, and not only German, French or Dutch, but also Ancient and Modern Greek.

Other members of workshop 1 were Melitta Gourtsoyanni who, as a Greek citizen, worked until recently for the European Commission on a consolatory basis. Her broad background, including an Irish husband and now the life alone with a daughter, along with a big love for music and movements that go beyond the conventional means of understanding life, society and politics, has made her into a vocal voice of protest and of cultural affirmation of what is meaningful. This involves her in considerable aesthetical reflections as to what can be considered as being culturally significant.

Then, there attended also Alexandra Grigoriadis who has a keen interest to promote a safety programme for driving with regards to children. Insofar as culture is determined also by the 'vehicle' of communication, she wants to reflect more upon destructive and irresponsible tendencies underlying the design and the usage of modern systems of transport. Furthermore, as English teacher with education in America, she has the ability to reflect upon cultural differences from outside of Europe.

As representative of the Flemish government, Carl Lepoutre showed a keen interest to see how the Fifth Seminar would translate itself into a meaningful component for the government he is working for. In understanding the various political issues, he was open to experience at the Fifth Seminar the working out of an idea to make it into not an academic discussion, but a concrete meeting place for working out proposals for 'cultural actions'.

Within the workshop, the specific concerns of the Flemish government in having a "cultural barometer" (an idea of van de Brande) were addressed on the basis of preliminary research findings by Ruben Lombaert from the College of Europe. This 'cultural barometer' is a tool of evaluation for the Flemish government, insofar measurable achievements in the field of culture are linked to vital interests in having, for example, equality of languages. In the forefield of the Fifth Seminar, there had been a discussion especially with Prof. Bekemans about the possibility of referring to such a sensitive measuring tool, when it had been impossible to do any substantial research in advance due to a lack of funds. Prof. Bekemans point is well taken: there is no use to refer only overtly to some measuring tool, when not examined in depth and especially independent from the political desire to use this instrument for making policies accordingly. Basically, it is a matter of evaluating European reality in cultural terms to be retranslated into action programmes. This, in turn, reflects the need to reconsider wishes of the Flemish government in practical terms. There is a consensus about the kind of work involved, if this demand is to be fulfilled at all adequately. The financial support needed to sustain continuous work for preparing not only such seminars every six months, but also the research required to substantiate discussions has been sofar limited or as a matter of fact non-existent. Afterall, the institutionalisation process of the seminars must be ensured if the high demands are to be fulfilled and the step-by-step process means many forms of work in-between seminars. Hence the workshop was only able to hear an up-to-date report about the intentions of using a 'cultural barometer' for assessing particular interests in terms of overall European developments.

Since the Fifth Seminar had as co-host (aside from the College of Europe), Athens University, it was felt that also the Greek context with regards to cross-cultural identities ought to be considered. In Greece itself, this means at a popular level much more looking into mixed marriages transforming the future education of children who grow up in such multi-cultural backgrounds into a complex problem. The inadequacies of the prevailing school system make many oscillate between private and public offers. Still even more crucial is what answer can be given to inherent nationalistic tendencies in Greece, while trying to network with Europe on the basis of only successful cases. This means 'failure' is ignored while successes do not seem to mean anything more but just getting money from the European Union. As the poorest country in Europe, this puts Greece into an awkward position of demanding while not able to offer the same kind of co-operation needed to deepen and to enhance ties with the rest of Europe. For that reason, people from Athens University were invited to participate in this workshop, but unfortunately at the last minute they were prevented from attending the Fifth Seminar.

Then there is Jesse Marsh who gave a paper on networking within Europe as connected with improvements in communication technology. This fits with the idea of the chairperson Dominique Danau who wanted to stress in the workshop a substantial discussion about cultural networking / structures for the European identity.

The proposal of Dominique Danau, member of the EC programme ARTICULATE and working for the European Centre for Work and Society in Maastricht, for the workshop entails several issues:

According to her understanding of the need for 'cultural actions', this can only be articulated by going beyond philosophical, sociological or anthropological discussions on topics of culture. In order to seek a practical understanding beyond academic forms of discourses, some practical field of engagement has to be located as being closer to social life and the imperatives of problems yet to be resolved. Indeed, if a discussion can be changed into that direction, then all the better. However, it is still a secret as to when an entire group of people, never mind an entire society or even a continent like integrated Europe can become active not in just any sense, but in terms of 'cultural actions'. Restated as a value, what then is needed to support on the one hand European integration, on the other to maintain 'cultural diversity' within Europe. Given the stress upon regions which are primarily culturally defined, there is as much a problem to keep up diversity between regions, as within (see report of Michael Longley about his work as director of the Arts Council in Belfast, in which he called that kind of 'cultural work' as a daily crossing of 'intellectual minefields'). For four writers from Leuven may be as different amongst themselves, as four from four different regions. If 'cultural actions' are meant to support diversity, then the reflective tools accompanying such actions must go well beyond powerful images effectively evoked at massive demonstrations like world football games or yacht races, and reach out to individual needs to encourage culturally mediated self-understanding. The latter would be a difference of quality from mere economic or political determined identities leaving out freedom of choice and of expression. Culture is nothing static, but rather the knowledge of enjoyment of life connected with forms of expressions which go beyond transitory existence. Here alone some of the debates by the Irish poets as to what contains humanistic perspectives, i.e. Brendan Kennelly about James Joyce, would contribute to an enrichment of the concept 'culture' as developed by Adorno and Horkheimer after the experiences of Second World War, namely to mean 'redemption': a second chance of undoing mistakes which had seemed at first in the course of history as unavoidable. Again, that is like a stepping out of predetermined paths and facing reality with a sense of responsibility for what man does. Europe had engulfed the world in two terrible world wars because of a multiple inability to curtail egoistic or vested interests in their respective societies while leaving many social injustices and hence potential conflicts unresolved.

In the specific case of workshop 1, two constraints need to being reflected upon.

1. The confusion between theory and practice has accompanied developments of thoughts within the Western World. Aristoteles had already stated, that theory was the highest art of being practical. Here contemplation goes hand in hand with knowing the goals one wishes to drive towards. Only in everyday language and reflection has crept in the saying, that contemplation is not practical. As if we could do things without the power of insight into what lets us relate to the outer world. That power stems from an imaginative perception supported by empathy for other people. There where understanding exists for people's actions, this perception has become an understanding for needs. There is nothing more effective than doing what is needed. By relating to real needs, actions directed to developing something like the Fifth Seminar become possible. In such created contexts, the real and the imagined possible find their expressions in the articulation of selfs having come together to form such configurations of concepts that make possible the understanding of the need for 'cultural actions'.

The theory-practice dimension has often been misunderstood because philosophy has been called politically ineffective even by its own advocates like Habermas. Yet if we follow alone the critique of Popper ('Open Society and its Enemies'), political consequences from Plato to Hegel are not to be overseen. The controversies around Heidegger are reflected in attempts to reconstruct his philosophy along the dividing line between 'pure' philosophy and political responsibility. The latter term is often disputed on grounds of 'freedom of expression' in an artistic sense, as if reproducing current trends and ideologies does not mean helping certain lines of thought to be followed through. Nowadays post-modern philosophy reflects this possibility by trying to capture the reality of these thoughts in language. Yet few would see the connection between how things are named and what kind of political action would follow as consequence. There is after all the saying by Shakespeare in Hamlet: "should you suit the actions to the words, or the words to the actions." Within the European context, this is to ask whether or not actions undertaken have a different meaning since the unity is no longer called European Community, but European Union. The controversial side of that may have not been articulated as of yet, although the choice of the new name recalls the 'Unionist' of the South in the United States prior to Civil War and in present terms an extreme conservative bent towards preserving many until now uncontrollable privileges. The 'force fields' behind statements by the European Commission are thus still unreflected, that is, unnamed 'cultural conflicts' making themselves felt in choices which are convenient for those presently in power, but certainly not responsive and responsible enough as to the overall needs of Europe, European Societies, people of Europe etc. Again, the naming of reality and its legitimising force shows how many political implications follow out of a particular usage of language. Between the theoretical reflections of these possibilities, including their implications, and the need for 'cultural actions', there must be found a mediating position between philosophy and politics. Efforts to undertake such a mediation require an independence of conceptual knowledge, so as to be able to work out inherent contradictions and let various approaches become articulatable. By being impatient and in wishing to see immediate actions, the theoretical possibilities of becoming practical are ignored. There is an additional danger insofar those who want to act immediately (which is not the equivalent of being practical), may do so without continuing to reflect the meanings of their actions in terms of an understandable language to others, even though these others will face the consequences of their actions. This holds, for example, also for the Flemish government wishing to create local stock markets in order to uphold regional ownership as guarantee for social balance between local and foreign forces. If this means loosing sight of one's interest in what others are doing, while trying to maintain only Flemish interests, then this will not be supportive of a broadening of the European Cultural Movement and, therefore, remain unable to relate to the same idea initially favoured by the Flemish government, namely to undertake efforts to safeguard and to encourage 'cultural diversity' within Europe.

2. The second constraint has to do with something Aristoteles also said, namely that people follow the person who knows the goals. This traditional leadership people model became a long time ago inadequate and yet the demand for knowing goals is repeatedly expressed especially in societies facing great uncertainty. The not knowing what the future entails has an immediate impact upon how the present is being lived, experienced and related to both the past and the future. In Greek, teleos is the idea of having some aims. This cannot, however, be separated from 'wishes', the best ones of them only perceivable by means of the 'imagination': a far reaching form of anticipation following out of a knowledge what constitutes a 'happy', fulfilled life and making actions towards that goal 'proportionate'. Not everything can be achieved within one day, so that structuring of actions becomes an imperative for people wishing to unfold their personalities as expressions of achieved freedoms. This means practical wisdom is involved in judging both the extent to which laws apply and the need to wait for other things to develop, so that an overall balance of things can guarantee social and political 'peace'.

If this reflective premise is accepted, then it becomes possible to discuss in practical terms the need to reformulate the need for 'cultural actions' within Europe. The goal 'maintaining cultural diversity' is then not enough to be understandable in specific cultural contexts. IBM may convince the Irish that it is up to 90% Irish by playing upon the myth of the influence of the Irish upon American life by marketing its universal products through a clever form of advertisement, but in substance and in terms of cultural differences that marks no uniqueness within European societies having become consumer oriented entities devoid of any cultural meanings other then spending money. This 'consumption' of cultural differences has become, for instance, the main tourist attraction of Bruge: a sort of living museum, yet where 90% of the time the visitors spend strolling down shopping malls and sitting in restaurants which hardly distinguish themselves from the universal MacDonalds and fast food entities, rather than taking in the historical realities of that city. In terms of universities and later on careers, whether Dublin, Heidelberg or Madrid, that means only certain lines of thinking - science as being compatible with business interests - are finally supported enough, so that they become common enough models to exist, but hardly anything else. This then makes the air for true cultural differences, that is, lived and liveable realities, truly thin. They are not to be confused with models of living styles known otherwise as fulfilments of certain ideologies, i.e. the single mother with two children - a kind of visible model in modern cities all over Europe.

That means 'cultural actions' need to be discussed and designed according to what is socially reproducible, what is not. This is not self evident, for short lived cultural actions may be a part of the missing puzzle of an imaginary picture of reality emerging in the long run as that which captivates both spirit of the times and minds of the people, i.e. Altdoerfer's "Alexander the Great's defeat of Darius", the latter the symbolic leader of the Occident while the former seems to represent the Western World.

Such identifications have set, in turn, historical and cultural premises for achievements which seem to be desirable. It is, therefore, always an odd contradiction that the very same interest groups complaining about a lack of culture, hence progress in terms of civilisation, yearn for overall unities as only rarely achieved in history. Yet this contradiction strikes a chord with the thought, no diversity without unity, no unity without diversity. Kant made that into the prerequisite of knowing the 'unity of apperception'. In short, diversity can only exist and reproduce itself, if recognized as such by a theoretical perspective enabling all to respond and to integrate those elements of expression in their own cultural forms of articulation. Unity is then another word for the limitation of being able to integrate diverse elements, in order to unify them into a single direction. Whether they are set by nations or regions, the political implicatons are clear: they are constraints for a larger European unity.

The workshop 1 undertook, therefore, a heavy task of clarifying the grounds as to what kind of practical theory allows insights into desirable goals. It is interesting to note that the workshop responded by reformulating the question of goals into basic questions themselves. The response to these questions by other workshops or an overall structured seminar like the Fifth Seminar would ensure that the impetus gained through such a series of seminars is not lost.

Given this frame of reference, the workshop as chaired by Dominique Danau tried to work out practical linkages to the implications of proposed cultural actions. For instance, organisational preparations of cultural actions must be evaluated according to a specific methodology and maintained by instant feed-back, in order to know to what extent the declared aims have been achieved or not. The lack of a 'rational communication' about the failures would mean important follow-ups would not come about. How the failure to achieve practical linkages between 'actions' and 'culture' is explained, shows to what extent a critical self-understanding has been made possible through intelligible evaluation methods. By contrast, traditional interpretations would merely reduce such failures to a lack of the imaginative powers which could have made a difference in bridging such gaps. Another possible explanation could be that the system was over demanded by details hindering any anticipation of future steps and, therefore, prevent the realisation of these aims or goals. But instead Dominique Danau's proposal contains the interesting concept of 'cultural fluency' as an evaluative criterion by which difficulties with the creation of 'cultural actions' and the maintenance of important linkages can be understood and resolved. It would mean once such difficulties are located, specific cultural actions can be undertaken to overcome them. A purposeful pattern would set in and with time culture as a natural reproductive force could take over. Such 'cultural fluency' has something to do with the question as to when people participate in culture (Mitscherlich), but it takes the discussion, especially methodological wise, well beyond traditional or scientific discourses.

Thus, the Fifth Seminar can be understood itself as the creation of a linkage between the theoretical premises reflected upon at the Bruge Seminar and the need for practical proposals within such a context for cultural actions to be undertaken in Europe. It may be achieved by becoming more and more in future a common reference point, in order to help clarify ongoing discussions about cultural identity, the Europe of Cultures, cultural diversity, cultural adaptability etc. This reference point should be taken into consideration by the various institutions of the European Commission, the Council of Regions, European Parliament and the Council of Ministers as much as by various cultural institutes from Poetry Networks to regional and urban arts councils.

The Fifth Seminar is a departure point for the broadening of the European culture movement. While looking for other financial means of supporting cultural activities, this does not end the controversy between those wishing to maintain an autonomous art and those who would like to run it as a business with the consequence of falling under other administrative jurisdictions and hence subject to other funding (i.e. theatre run as a business and not as a cultural institute). In the first plenary session of the Fifth Seminar this became a point of pessimistic versus optimistic interpretations of the Maastricht treaty itself, that is, what consequences for cultural matters are to be expected within the next two years.

However, there was expressed by all participants of the Fifth Seminar a wish for an end of 'cultural politics' in the narrow sense. The lack of the European Commission to initiate really significant 'cultural actions' was explained throughout all plenary sessions and workshops as that only such programmes were initiated which were convenient, administratively speaking. In other words, culture was restricted to a narrow form of accountability. If any progress was to be achieved, this would mean proposals for 'cultural actions' must also restate the interrelationship between a feasible financial framework and wished-for contents by cultural actions. That goes beyond mere thematic influences upon cultural events or activities, i.e. whether they carry or not the name 'Europe' or 'Flemish'. The administrative demand of accountability has to be reformulated by those making proposals into how the 'cultural actions' guarantee the political responsibility of artists to maintain their independence. This can be best expressed by not becoming 'instruments of power' or even worse tools of propaganda. Someone like Bart Verschaffel, co-ordinator of the literary workshop at Antwerpen '93, could differentiate this point of maintaining independence through interesting projects, even though it meant not giving in to local-regional interest groups wishing to have more scope for only Flemish writers as guarantee of their cultural autonomy. Rather than cultural freedom, this would have been in practice 'cultural protectionism'. Other practical cases could be stated to clarify the terminology required for the evaluation of future 'culture actions'.

In short, the independence and the freedom of the arts must be respected by all 'cultural actions' and passed on to all European levels as outcome of such actions. What this means in practice, depends on such evaluative concepts as 'cultural fluency' and how these 'cultural actions' contribute to that. Both ways and means of financing specific programmes (i.e. see, for example, the specific requirements of the Kaleidoscope programme with third party financing and being only 25% of the total budget while having already a track record of successful cultural events - it has led to a gross inflation of budget requirements during application and fake 'letters of credit' by governmental institutions wishing to obtain all the money for themselves, thus leaving out cultural institutions of precisely political independence, while most of the 'cultural actions' remain within traditional lines of festivals, networking and maintenance of exchange of information) must be re-examined in this light. Rather new 'cultural actions' must be evaluated on the basis of their ability to ensure that an overall creative spirit prevails with a 'friendly' attitude accompanying their implementation, to ensure a truly European orientation.

Between a practical action within workshop 1 and the need to keep 'consensus' with the other workshops in mind, certain other issues will have to be dealt with in time:

While it was not sure that all participants sensed the importance of each thematic purpose having a vital linkage to the other workshops, this can be taken up in the follow-up seminar. Workshop 1 would have in such a case an integrative purpose by developing cross-references for all workshops and by trying to interconnect them, helping in creating a 'cultural premise' for further reflections as final outcome of the Fifth Seminar.

Thus, to return to the main thought, how to make a discussion become more practical not only in workshop 1, but in all workshops, that was crucial for the Fifth Seminar. It was only partially successful in that direction, but by bringing together people of various special fields and by allowing them to discuss within small groups (no workshop contained more than ten people), something was created by all and diversity was experienced as a liveable reality. It should also not be forgotten that not everyone has the same understanding of 'cultural actions' for Europe nor do people become active under the same premises. Afterall, many people only really act in their lives when in love, for then even 'Oblomov' gets off his couch and pursues his 'object of desire' actively.

At a later stage, it will be important to connect 'identity' with more defined cross-cultural issues. Bart Verschaffel talked already about this as being not only a 'cultural issue' when politics seizes upon 'culture', in order to secure identity, but also when European networks remain faceless, placeless and only an interchange of information on a technological basis. That ties in with the contemporary problem of 'localism' (opposing networking on a larger scale and having institutionally difficulties with horizontal integration, that is, on an European basis) as opposed to the 'nationalism' of the past. Yet, what is that 'local factor', if space is fragmented, as Andre Loeckx, architect from Leuven claimed in the plenary session and who warns of the difficult debate lying ahead when it comes to clarifying the relationship between lived space and identity. Andre Loeckx made the important distinction between forceful, indeed capitalistic interventions and results brought about by 'cultural actions' as based on consensus. This distinction is important for reflections of even municipal policies with regards to tolerating other identity formations to the one desired by the state and its administration. 'Multi-cultural societies' at community level are sofar only philosophically desirable (Habermas), yet in real politics identity formations are forced to undergo violent containment adaptations (i.e. in Berlin after 1981 the slogan was 'either become German or get out'). Even if such racial policies reflect fears of entire societies to be appropriated by foreigners, in practical and thus economic terms they are destructive for the very needed forms of co-operation and working together in teams with a multi-cultural background. The workshop 1 ought, therefore, to examine more precisely the possible structural support 'cross-cultural identities' can give to mediations between local demands and European levels for supporting economic activities. At the same time, the linkage between cross-cultural identities and 'cultural diversity' must be stated. In a key sentence Dominique Danau sums up this practical field of inquiry: "Identity forms as a result of social interaction and problems with identity occur if one feels alienated from society through, for example, ethnic differences".

In terms of language, accessible to all at community level, Dominique Danau states the following: "A fundamental condition for meaningful communication is a common universe of discourse (see also G.H. Mead) that allows individuals to tune their behaviour in a way that meaningful behaviour is possible." This then set the premises for the discussions in workshop 1 about 'cultural barometers' in terms of 'cultural fluencies', networking within Europe and endangered identities. The evaluation of the papers discussed and an appraisal of the discussion itself was given as a report by the chairperson Dominique Danau herself.

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