by Steve Austen
The overall impact of the FMCC and AMSU activities envisaged is to contribute, during turbulent times in Europe, to the current discussion about European identity and European citizenship. For the Erasmus+ 3-year cooperation project (ECHC) the initiators took the European Commission’s motto of the Social Summit in Gothenburg (November 2017) as its overarching intentions: “Strengthening European Identity through Education & Culture” and added the sentence: “and How to Manage It” as the expression of the conviction of the partners that entrepreneurial knowledge and tools are necessary to come to a promising future for the Commission’s intention. Besides spreading this notion, the ECHC project helps to develop intercultural and critical thinking about the EU project and the values it stands for. It supports the social, human and political engagement of the partners and their audiences, clients, stakeholders and networks. It promotes intercultural and civic competences of students as well as the connectivity of themes, persons (speakers, artists, journalists, politicians, teachers and students) and project partners.
Encouraged by the receipt and success of the project activities and the interest of new partners, the project initiators made all their knowledge and experiences available under the label: Observatory for European Citizenship in culture & business (formerly announced as ECHC Observatory).
One of the activities, in close cooperation with Netherlands Business Academy, is the ongoing series of masterclasses, presentations, congresses and short and long courses assisting informal and formal initiatives in the field of culture and heritage in the widest sense. These formats contribute to new management approaches of (in)tangible heritage organisations and initiatives, cultural organisations, social enterprises, civic and educational organisations as well as NGOs of a multitude of social goals.
In previous years the project selected and documented four best practices of European initiatives of various kind, emblematic in its genre and awarded with two or more characteristics out of these five: 1. Good management and (social) entrepreneurship 2. European heritage component 3. Cultural aspects 4. European values 5. Fostering European citizenship. To make the development and content as well as the impact of it accessible for a wide range of interested people FMCC produced next to a manual a storyboard, that gives an insight of format, content, historical background of themes, talking heads of eyewitnesses of major European political and cultural events, voices from students, teachers and experts, but just as a selection of the enormous database that after the project will be hosted by the follow-up of ECHC: The Observatory for European Citizenship in culture & business.