Every year poses challenges to Europe – to politicians, social workers, historians, academics and of course, our citizenry, with different backgrounds. Can we meet those challenges, and can we say that we live in harmony today, and if not, can we identify the formulas for attempting this. Although patterns and reasons for immigration differ from region to region, many European states are faced with a similar problem – large social groups that are not well integrated within a community. While the causes and history differ, the problems are similar, with divided information spaces, insufficient integration in the educational systems and different perceptions of history. In the Baltics this is exacerbated by the closeness of Russia and recent history. In many “old” European Countries social inequality is the major challenge. How do we balance individual freedoms, which include the right to live in a separate, parallel society, with the need for the participation of the entire society in a democratic community based on common values for the effective functioning of democracy? How do we combine the diversity of society, openness to this diversity with the rights of the host nation to the preservation of its cultural space? Are identities exclusive or complementary? Will people of the 21st century naturally have several identities? Experts from various European countries will try to find answers to these and other questions in an international conference “A Harmonious Europe (?) - Integration policy in Europe in the 21st century” taking place in Riga May15 -16 in “Splendid Palace”, Elizabetes iela 6.The National Integration Centre, is a project of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia financed by the European Fund for the Integration of Third Country Nationals (Project No. IF/2011/1.b./1) (75% funded by the European Fund for the Integration of Third Country Nationals and 25% financed by the budget of Republic of Latvia).
This conference is organised in close co-operation with the EUNIC (European Union National Institutes for Culture) cluster in Riga for anyone who is interested in learning about opinions and developments in international thought on the following topics:
■Social Memory and Historical Memory
■Education and Language
■Democracy and Information Space
■Identity and Diversity
Working language: English and Latvian (simultaneous translation will be provided). Price: free.