Social Inclusion: partnering with other sectors

/Social Inclusion: partnering with other sectors
Social Inclusion: partnering with other sectors 2019-01-11T11:39:27+00:00

Social Inclusion: partnering with other sectors


About the theme

In the Council Work Plan for Culture 2015-18, EU Culture Ministers agreed to prioritise policy collaboration among Member States on the contribution of culture to social inclusion. A working group of Member States’ experts has been established, under the Open Method of Coordination, with the following mandate:

  • Topic: Fostering the contribution of culture to social inclusion. How can public policies encourage and support cultural institutions in working within partnerships with other sectors (healthcare, social care, prison service etc.)?
  • Instruments and working methods: Experts will map existing public policies dealing with social inclusion through culture and identify good practices.
  • Target outputs and timeline: 2017-18 – Guidelines for policy makers and cultural institutions.

In Decision (EU) 2017/864 designating 2018 the European Year of Cultural Heritage (EYCH), the European Parliament and Council defined objectives for the year including to

  • encourage approaches to cultural heritage that are people-centered, inclusive, cross-sectoral
  • promote [making] cultural heritage accessible to all -including people with special needs
  • raise awareness of Europe’s cultural heritage in particular by focusing on hard-to-reach groups

To feed into the social inclusion working group and the European Year, the Commission would now like to hear the views of organizations working in these areas, particularly those actively partnering to deliver culture and heritage projects in healthcare, social care, prisons and deprived communities.

Two meetings were held in 2018 to discuss the issue (brainstorming and dialogue meetings). The discussion was structured around three
questions, set out below:

1. Which recent projects in Europe best demonstrate the effectiveness of culture and heritage activities in fostering social inclusion, in partnership with
other sectors? With a particular focus on projects for which evaluations are available. (Participants will be invited to choose 2 projects each to present
briefly at the brainstorming meeting; a list will then be collated to inform the group’s work).

2. What are the main success factors and obstacles for culture and heritage organizations in

  • a) delivering projects in health, social care and prison settings?
  • b) reaching people in deprived communities?
  • c) challenging “exclusionary”/ discriminatory attitudes in the wider population?

3. What (more) might public authorities do to facilitate effective partnership working between culture and heritage organizations and other sectors, in projects to promote social inclusion? It will be open to participants to propose additional or different issues to focus on during the two meetings. In doing so they should bear in mind topics already discussed in the Voices of Culture process, such as the Inclusion of Refugees & Migrants through Culture, and Promoting Intercultural Dialogue through Culture in Shared Public Spaces), to avoid duplication but build on their findings.


The call for applications was open from 21 December 2017 to 8 January 2018 to all representatives of the cultural and creative sectors (professional organisations, cultural institutions, non-governmental organisations, European networks, foundations, private organisations, etc.) with relevant expertise on the topic “Culture for social inclusion – partnering with other sectors”, who would like to contribute to discussions with the European Commission.

In total close to 90 applications were received, which were then carefully reviewed based on the criteria noted in the call.

The following conditions were taken into consideration in the selection process:

  • Geographical origin – Organisations applying had to be from one of the EU Member States;

  • Thematic expertise – organisations with relevant expertise on the theme of the meeting, including those able to contribute empirical evidence to support the discussions;

  • Large multiplying effects – organisations representing a large number of stakeholders and different European countries and/or able to disseminate the outputs widely;

  • Geographical balance – umbrella organisations representing different national or European civil society bodies or stakeholders as well as organisations based in countries from all corners of the EU;

  • Sectoral balance – organisations representing a wide range of cultural and creative disciplines as well as different types of organisations, as appropriate;

  • Gender balance – an effort was made to try to ensure that a roughly equal number of men and women are present, as appropriate.

Based on the criteria, a final selection of 30 organizations was made, with 5 additional non-cultural organization receiving special invitation.

Brainstorming session

The Brainstorming Session on Culture for social inclusion: partnering with other sectors represented the opportunity for a group of 30 European civil society stakeholders in the cultural sector and 5 noncultural stakeholders to exchange ideas on this topic and to come up with joint ideas and recommendations to be shared with the European Commission. The group brainstormed on 17-18 April 2018, and has after that wroekd remotely on summarizing their main ideas in a Brainstorming report, to be presented and discussed with the European Commission at a Dialogue Meeting in Brussels on 17 September 2018.

You can download the list of participants

and the agenda of the Brainstorming session.

Dialogue meeting

On 17 September 2018, a Dialogue meeting between the representatives of 35 civil society stakeholders and the European Commission took place in Brussels. The meeting represented an opportunity to present the main results of the Brainstorming session held ealier in April this year.  The participants in the Structured Dialogue presented the main points of dicussion from the meeting, as well as the recommendations for improving partnerships between the cultural and other sectors in the field of social inclusion. These recommendations are gathered in a Brainstorming report, available below.

You can download the list of participants

and the agenda of the Dialogue meeting.

Brainstorming report

The present Brainstorming report on “Social Inclusion: partnering with other sectors” is the result of the brainstorming process between 35 participating organizations, both from the cultural and other sectors. The report looks at the policy, qualities of partnership and research and development aspects of programmes and projects dealing with culture and social inclusion. It lists critical success factors as well as obstacles, and ultimately gives recommendations on how to improve the partnerships between the cultural and other sectors in this sphere. Furthermore, it also addresses the problem of rising exclusionary attitudes among the wider population and proposes possible actions.

Based on the discussion from the Brainstorming meeting, the document has been drafted and edited by several participants, coordinated via online digital means and in close consultation with all structured dialogue participants who provided support and feedback (see list of participants).

Following the Dialogue meeting with the European Commission, the draft Report has been further edited to reflect the outcomes and conclusions of the discussion which have now been polished into the Final Report.