The conference was opened by Olöf Oláfsdottir (Head of Division for Citizenship and Human Rights Education, Council of Europe) who emphasized, that in her opinion it is not acceptable that social and cultural groups in Europe live separated from each other, sharing just mutual ignorance, but not sharing values.
The conference ended with a presentation by Bashy Quraishy (European Network Against Racism, who explained the difference between lip service and intercultural reality in Europe. He favoured the model of an intercultural society where majority and minority groups coexist on eye-level in their separate private spheres and share a common public space (employment, housing, culture etc.) - versus a model of multiculturalism, where minority cultures are merely tolerated on the periphery, but not accepted.
The conference video documentary and the reports from workshops (including handouts and presentations from trainers and experts) will be posted soon at http://www.dare-network.eu/.
Journalists from the European Youth Press Network EYP interviewed the participants and documented workshops and discussion groups. See http://www.orangelog.eu/ for the reports and pics.
MEP Christa Prets (right) and MEP Doris Pack (left) stated: "You don´t need a lobbyist to access members of the European Parliament - just call us!" They joined the conference for half a day and will support the DARE hearing in the EP on the state of art in EDC/HRE in Brussels in spring 2009.
Where do we go from here? Join DARE and roll the ball towards the next common project!