Working Group Members on Social Cohesion
* Florentina Costea(Romania)
* Toma Chiurkci(Bulgaria)
* Yioryi Manoilovski(R. of Macedonia)
* Nicu Vrana(Romania)
* Dimitri Grebeniti(Serbia)
* Custika Poci(Albania)
* Thanasi Stamuli(Romania)
Social Cohesion through Cultural Diversity
Social cohesion and social development are essential contributing factors to lasting political stability and economic development in the Balkan countries.
The Balkan countries review on social cohesion is an important element of the programme of assistance activities for the next years and an important contribution of the Council of Europe to the Stability Pact for these countries.
The implementation of the strategy for the social cohesion is supported by the Social Cohesion Development Division that was set up in 1998 by the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers and has the objective to analyse the transformation of the society and its consequences on social cohesion and to find ways of fighting against social exclusion in the member states.
Cross-cultural contacts, contacts between different communities, have to be encourage in order to break down barriers between different ethnic groups. Newspapers should not exacerbate tensions between different ethnic groups, should not allow to use their pages for inciting race hatred through ill-informed comments.
The cultural diversity is one of the most important factor in reaching a social cohesion with healthy values.
Promoting the inclusivity and reflecting peoples´ rights, the cultural diversity offers also practical information and ideas for how we can all participate in and contribute to an active appreciation of our diversity.
Diversity is embodied in the plurality of the identities of the groups and societies, therefore the defence of the cultural diversity is an ethical imperative, inseparable from the respect for human dignity.
The cultural diversity is a source of exchange, a source of innovation and creativity, is as necessary for humanity as biodiversity is for nature, is one of the roots of development, not only to achieve an economically growth, but also to achieve a more satisfactory intellectual, emotional, moral and spiritual existence.
In the face of exchanges of cultural goods, it is necessary to reinforce the international cooperation and solidarity, especially developing countries to establish cultural industries that are viable at national and international level.
The Council of Europe is also actively supporting the objectives of the Stability Pact for South East Europe through the Strategic Review, and in particular the promotion of co-operation between the many international organisations and organisations which are present in the region and are involved in one or more aspects of the Strategic Review.
Cultural events which celebrated 2008, the 12th Edition of The Year of the Intercultural Dialog, organized as part of the European Film Festival, recreated the historical path of the Arman community, its culture and accomplishments over time, featured story telling/reading, music, dance, photography and traditional food.