KulturDialog enhances understanding along the Danish-German border

​The KulturDialog project

​The KulturDialog project fostered cross-border encounters and promoted mutual understanding between citizens in the Danish-German border region. In this way, it helped to break down barriers and increase knowledge of culture and society on the other side of the border in each of the two neighbouring countries. Together with the seven music schools in Danish-German border region, the project organised the Danish-German music school day in Husum and Sønderborg, as well as in Schleswig and Aabenraa. With the support of KulturDialog, over 1 200 students played their music and showed their skills on different stages in both towns. Pedagogues and teachers from both sides of the border communicate much more and arranged a Danish-German string orchestra. KulturDialog brought about the signature of the first cross-border cultural agreement in Europe in 2013, which led to the foundation of the Sønderjylland-Schleswig international cultural region. Long term cultural cooperation in the border region was thus assured.

A common cultural fund and a network fund were set up to support micro projects in the fields of culture, language, children, youth and recreation. The project also worked to support further development of understanding between schools in the border region with regard to language and culture. A total of 74 micro projects received support through the cultural fund and were completed within the framework of the project. They covered such themes as history, music, art, literature, sports, school and theatre. Each project contributed to enhancing mutual understanding and forming new bonds between Danes and Germans. Many of the micro projects undertook effective publicity campaigns and made good use of media such as short films, social media and other channels in order to reach younger target groups.
 
Annual regional conferences were organised throughout the lifetime of the project. At the conferences, cultural actors, public authority representatives and citizens, particularly young people, had the opportunity to debate cultural subjects within a Danish-German perspective. The level of interest increased each year among ordinary citizens. A wide of range of other communication activities were implemented within KulturDialog. In addition, the project led to the creation of two jobs. Total investment for the project “KulturDialog” is EUR 1,5 million, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund is contributing EUR 1 million from the Operational Programme “Syddanmark - Schleswig-K.E.R.N”.