On December 8, 2010, the European Commission, with the support of the Belgian presidency of the Council of the European Union, organized a high-level conference celebrating five years of the adoption of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. The need for action to ensure the Convention’s implementation and growing recognition of culture’s economic potential were among the topics discussed. Speakers stressed the need for culture to be systematically included in policy and development instruments in order to make the most of its potential as a tool for development and sustainable growth.
Documents from the conference are now available on the European Commission website. They include opening remarks by Francesco Bandarin, UNESCO deputy director general for culture and World Heritage Center director, a speech by Androulla Vassiliou, commissioner for education, training, culture, multilingualism, and youth, and a video that gives a good idea of the prevailing atmosphere at the conference.