2002 – Bruges

The First Session, Bruges 15-17 November 2002

The European Cultural Parliament is a new European initiative offering a forum for debate and a meeting point for artists and other cultural personalities from all over Europe. After the first session – a low budget “pilot” session – in Bruges, Belgium, 15–17 November 2002 we dare say that the initiative is very promising! Some 40 cultural personalities representing various arts sectors and coming from 25 countries participated and discussed the theme “How can European artists and other cultural personalities contribute to better understanding between cultures, religions and regions?” The session was held in the College of Europe in cooperation with Bruges – Cultural Capital of Europe 2002.

In this Compendium you will find not only the conclusions of the session, but also brief summaries of both the plenary and the working group sessions as well as the interesting biographies of most of the participants. We knew – and the Bruges-Session confirmed it – that “the agenda” of culturally active people in Europe is not necessarily identical with that of politicians and businessmen. We are, however, convinced that the cultural agenda is at least as important as the traditional agenda for future European cooperation! We in the “Senate” – the preparatory committee of the Cultural Parliament – are hoping that the European Cultural Parliament will grow in importance and that it may one day match forums like the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Given the limited financial resources, the impact of the Bruges session was considerable. To our knowledge media in more than fifteen countries had reported or published articles about the Cultural Parliament before 10 December 2002. There are more to come…..

Several Members of the new Cultural Parliament have continued intensive e-mail contacts after the Bruges session. Concepts and ideas for the second session are already subject to discussion and brainstorming. The “Senate” will decide upon theme and modalities for the second session within the next few months. We are hopeful that, subject to financial support, we will be in a position to invite more than 100 cultural personalities from over 30 countries to the second session. We have been invited to hold this session in St. Petersburg, Russia, during the autumn of 2003.


Pär Stenbäck Karl-Erik Norrman
Minister, Finland Ambassador, Sweden/Germany
Chairman of the “Senate” Secretary General


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