An advisory committee of more than fifty representatives of scientific and scholarly institutions and universities from all over Europe encouraged Enrique Banús, Director of the Centre for European Studies of the University of Navarra, to try to realize an unorthodox idea: to fully open the approaches to all the phenomena of European culture - historical and current, theoretical and practical - in order to stimulate the processes of cultural integration of the hitherto divided continent. This effort has so far resulted in a very positive response and several impressive volumes of the proceedings of the first four conferences on 'European Culture'.
Some forty topics on the programme of the Fifth Conference covered a wide thematic range and provided a coherent yet flexible framework for a lively participation and fluctuation of the participants. It is difficult to get a full idea of the effects of such an open-design conference, working simultaneously in a number of different thematic sections. There is no doubt, however, that the Fifth Conference on 'European Culture' held in Pamplona, Spain, 28-31 October 1998 showed that this effort was guided by a genuine democratic desire for a new Europe, in the spirit of openness to all European, and not only European, issues.
The five contributions from that conference that we publish here can hardly present the entire effort, but they certainly do illustrate its innovative spirit.
In the introductory paper, Enrique Banús questions the established views of national and modern identity, arguing his case effectively and with numerous references to European literature and literary history. Nieves Pérez-Solórzano Borragán and Christopher Longman convincingly present their view 'that under the aegis of civic belonging the myriad of separate identifications will come together, bridging the gap between the people of Europe and the European Project'. Heidy Cristina Senante warns that 'the favourable attitude to Europeanise that holds up the support of the Spanish people to the unification effort does not translate into a high degree of its knowledge, but rather quite the reverse'. The research reported by Kiira Maria Kirra focuses on the Finns' perception of problematic phenomena in their communication with non-Finns. Rok Zaucer and Franc Marusic made a survey among the Slovene university students to determine the extent to which Slovenia and the Slovenes are prepared linguistically to enter the European Union.
Culturelink is grateful to Dr. Enrique Banús and Dr. Matko Metroviæ for offering these contributions to the Culturelink network members.
- Some Simple Theses for a Complex Subject: 'European Culture'
- European Cultural Identity: Unity in Diversity or a Family of Cultures?
- Language Issues in an Emerging Expanded European Union
A Case Study of Slovenia
- The Spanish Citizen and the European Union
- What Kind of Problematic Phenomena Do Finns Perceive
in Their Communication with Non-Finns: A Study of Critical Incidents