The Anna Lindh Foundation’s Belgian network brings together organizations active in the fields of education, art, culture, migration, human rights, the media, as well as universities and “think tanks”.
La Compagnie des Nouveaus Disparus is the Head of the network consisting of 98 association members.
The Belgium Network works on creating platforms, finding ways of sharing and highlighting international connections. The Network is represented throughout Belgium, from north to south and east to west and includes Dutch and French speaking members.
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On September 1st, 2019, the Compagnie des Nouveaux Disparus has officially replaced the MEDEA Institute (European Research Institute for Mediterranean and Euro-Arab Cooperation) as the Head of the Belgian network. Before the MEDEA Institute, the King Baudouin Foundation used to lead the Belgian network.
Additionally, several working meetings were held to discuss the following themes: migration, religious components, youth, young asylum seekers and refugees. The role of the current Head of Network is to reactivate and revitalize the members of the Belgian Network.
The Belgian federal government has implemented the Intercultural Dialogue Commission in February 2004 at the initiative of Minister Marie Arena (Minister of Social Integration, Equality Chances and Interculturality). This follows the footsteps of a project initiated by Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt and Deputy Prime Minister Laurette Onkelinx who had set up a round table since December 2002 titled “Better living together”.
This dialogue initiative is in line with the agreement of the government which proclaims that “Belgium must remain an open society in which people from different backgrounds cultures can cooperate in a climate of openness, tolerance, meeting and mutual respect, an open society led by sensitivities, affiliations and diverse cultures, constantly evolving, widely sharing a commitment to values of the Constitution and human rights ".
Concrete solutions have been proposed in certain domains. Some have a symbolic significance like the adoption of a Citizenship Charter “Being a citizen in Belgium” and a greater flexibility in the choice of holidays, depending on everyone's culture. Others aim to create the tools necessary for the implementation of an interculturality policy. Propositions in this domain include the creation of an observatory interuniversity tasked with analysing migration and minority cultures and the establishment of an Immigration Museum, a Belgian Institute of Islam and an Interconvictional Study Center promoting the dialogue between religious, secular and other traditions.