There was a round-robin email asking for comments on the Culture Forum, so I've put in my tuppence-worth. The comments are all at http://www.culture.info/euforum, but here's the gist of what I said. First of all, I quibbled a bit with the "speeches by experts" format: a conference should involve far more give and take. The panels had been selected by the organisers, so the great revelation of "we all agree" should not have been so surprising. I much preferred the open debate which characterised the Platform for an Intercultural Europe event in June.
Which said, the fact that the DG went to such trouble to indicate its support for a cultural agenda and for the integration of cultural policy across EU actions was extremely positive. I think Steve Green was right to compare it with the situation at national level. In Britain, at least, we remain poor cousins of people with "proper Jobs", an add-on luxury which entertains and flatters the "real economy". This is likely to get worse, not better, after the next election. So let's be grateful to Europe for this.
On the catering - by the way - the sandwiches were not the greatest, BUT the breakfast pastries were lovely and the tapas with wine before the wonderful concert was terrific. Oh, guess what - sandwiches are English - croissants are French and tapas are Spanish. Subtext, surely??