The workshop was introduced by highlighting the major developments of the ‘European Capitals of Culture’ (ECOC) initiative since its inception, in particular the growth in the number of candidate cities located in the border areas of the European Union. It was noted that the Jean Monnet CECCUT network was set up to identify the potential of the ECOC initiative in cross-border urban cohesion processes from three angles: identity/sense of belonging, social inclusion and urban development. Following a presentation detailing the partnership, the CECCUT network’s action plan was reported. This comprised four main topics: teaching, research, output for the general public and a series of events involving cities, academics and other civil society stakeholders involved in cultural policies along European borders. Lastly, it was mentioned that the European Union’s cross-border areas are laboratories of the European Union and that culture can be a means of relaunching the process of the European construction in the current period of crisis.
Workshop: ‘Sense of belonging’