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The Meeting of Women Speakers of European Parliaments in Varna ended up with the adoption of a final communiqué

The Meeting of Women Speakers of European Parliaments in Varna ended up with the adoption of a final communiqué

August 27, 2010

The Meeting of Women Speakers of European Parliaments in Varna ended up with the adoption of a final communiqué. The meeting was part of the initiative of the informal club of women speakers of EU parliaments. The speakers of the national parliaments of Austria, Bulgaria, Estonia and Iceland discussed the subject of „ The New Spreads of European Intercultural Dialogue”.

As proposed by Tsetska Tsacheva from now on women speakers of parliaments of EU candidate countries will also be invited to take part in the initiative. This year the meeting was attended by the speakers of the National Council of the Republic of Austria Ms Barbara Pramer, of the State Assembly of Estonia Ms Ene Ergma and of the Parliament of the Republic of Iceland Ms Asta Johannesdottir.

The participants in the meeting unanimously agreed on sending the Conclusions of the Chair in the form of a letter signed by the President of the Bulgarian National Assembly to the Chair of the upcoming Conference of the EU Speakers of Parliament as well as to the Interparliamentary Union. .


Meeting of Women Speakers of Parliament
of EU Member States and Candidate Countries

Varna, August 27, 2010

Conclusions of the Chair

The Women Speakers of Parliaments of Austria, Bulgaria, Estonia and Iceland, who gathered in one of the most ancient cities of the European civilization, the city of Varna, after holding a discussion on the subject “The New Spreads of European Intercultural Dialogue” have agreed on the following positions, expressing their vision on the contemporary challenges faced by the European intercultural dialogue:

Today the processes of communication are instantaneous; the information horn of plenty is boundless while the access to cultural riches is of no precedent, in terms of scale and popularity, in the entire European history. Under these circumstances the citizens of Europe are the actors setting on their own and in the course of their daily life the new spreads of intercultural dialogue:

- Digital media;

- Social networks;

- Virtual information resources;
- Open encyclopedia systems;
- Virtual libraries, museums and collections.

The impetuous technological development of communications, freedom of citizens’ mobility in Europe and expanded territories of democratic rule are those key factors giving rise to the new spreads of European intercultural dialogue.

However, the effective development of the European intercultural dialogue requires consistent institutional involvement and support in order to preclude the new spreads of dialogue from becoming inaccessible to individuals, groups and communities that may remain excluded due to economic, ethnic or religious reasons, to lack of access or deficiency of knowledge and skills.

Therefore we deem important:

- The national parliaments, in close cooperation with the civil society, to actively participate in the process of defining policies and adopting relevant legislation in the sphere of intercultural communication, taking into account the new realities;

- To expand the state policies of providing access to cultural riches, including in the digital environment, mainly by way of targeted funding of social nets and communication channels as well as of public information resources that are helping shape a new ambiance of tolerant, informed and ideologically unembarrassed communication;

- To implement policies that adequately take into account the fact, that the contemporary generation of children and youth inhabits a digital world, where the intercultural dialogue is a daily routine rather than an end in itself. This circumstance has to be seized as an opportunity for the young people to mature as individuals unencumbered by the prejudices of cultural isolation, xenophobia and chauvinism, however rich in free and easy access to the milestones set by the European civilization throughout its historic evolution;

- To encourage the intensive and adequate exchange of information among the European countries on best practices regarding the processes of communication in the digital environment.

The Speakers regard as crucial the role of women-parliamentarians in attaining the above goals and implementing the policies thereof - a role of active and politically committed individuals who treat with literate concern the issues of intellectuality, upbringing, education and family and who champion the European humanistic ideal with a vision for its future in our globalized world.

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