From its base in Berlin, the civil society initiative “A Soul for Europe” is building an international network and seeking to influence cities and regions, EU member countries, the worlds of culture and business, and European policy-makers.

Legal form
Platform – collective of organisations
  • Promoting a new understanding of citizenship in order to create Europe from the bottom-up.
  • In the process of European integration, harnessing more efficiently Europe’s cultural strengths. All fields of policy beyond the cultural sector, from social to foreign affairs, must develop a cultural component.
  • Applying culture as a strategic factor in Europe’s development – at local, regional and national levels as well as at the level of central European institutions.
  • Provoking a change of perspective amongst top-ranking EU policy-makers by means of conceptual stimulation from non-political actors (from all fields of society including culture and the business sector).
Main Activities

The Berlin Conference brings together cultural players and policy-makers, representatives from the business world and other areas of society willing to initiate steps aimed at strengthening the cultural dimension of European development.

  • “Cultural Coalition for a Citizens’ Europe”– It is important to mobilize every individual to assume responsibility for Europe – and to create the conditions for them to be able to do so. “A Soul for Europe” thus promotes making culture the centre of attention during the “European Year of Citizens” in 2013.
  • Mobilizing Culture for Structural Development – Liaising between decision-makers at the national and European level and cultural networks in Europe with the intention of utilizing their European added value to improve structural development and regional policy.
  • Cities and Regions – Europe’s cities and regions share a direct responsibility for Europe beyond their local and regional activities. Together with international partners, the Initiative has developed a manual on how to adopt a European mandate for cities and regions.
  • European Capitals of Culture – The participation of the citizens of the city and its civil-society initiatives is essential for a credible and sustainable European Capital of Culture. “A Soul for Europe advocates for a reasonable and inclusive development and implementation process.
  • Culture & Economy Platform – A European-wide platform of individuals from the culture and economic sectors that aims to serve as a think-tank to develop common strategies, actions and policy proposals.
  • Forum X – A series of conferences held across Europe to develop new forms of cooperation between civil society and top-ranking political decision-makers.
  • The Berlin Conference – The biennial Berlin Conference serves as a civil-society platform. Every two years, it invites individuals from different sectors to define and initiate common steps to strengthen the cultural component of European development.
  • Centrality of the concept of culture and cultural democracy
  • Decentralisation of the network and of the organisation of the initiative
  • Participation of civil society actors in the development of a Europe of citizens
Finance and Main Partners
  • The project sponsor is Stiftung Zukunft Berlin.
  • The initiative’s group of supporters includes Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Stiftelsen, Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, Compagnia di San Paolo and the Robert Bosch Stiftung.