As a recent announcement in the official website of EU informs us: Almost three quarters of EU citizens (72%) believe that people with a different background (ethnic, religious or national) enrich the cultural life of their country; a quarter (23%) of citizens disagree with that idea, according to a Flash Eurobarometer survey commissioned by the European Commission. Respondents were asked about the patterns of their interaction with people of different cultures, about their general attitude towards cultural diversity and, specifically, about the upcoming European Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008.
Over 27,000 randomly selected citizens aged 15 years and above were interviewed in the twenty-seven Member States of the European Union. The most important outcomes of the survey are the followings: a) Day-to-day interaction among people belonging to different cultures is a reality in Europe; b) a large majority of EU citizens believe that people with a different background (ethnic, religious or national) enrich the cultural life of their country; c) the dominant feeling in the EU is that intercultural dialogue is beneficial, while carrying on domestic cultural traditions is equally important d) Europeans attribute a variety of meanings to the expression “Intercultural dialogue in Europe”; most of these are closely related to the core concept, and are positive; e) and finally a reasonable interest for the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue.
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