Our next meetings

Les Rencontres d'Umeå (26-29 May 2014)





We invite you to join us from the 26th to the 29th May in Umeå, the northernmost European Capital of Culture since the creation of the title in 1985!

The rencontres of Umeå will focus on cultures and creativity in Northern Sweden, on the 66th parallel. Located on the Arctic circle, this region is characterized by great spaces and extreme conditions, dynamic and creative cities and the presence of the Sami, the indigenous people of Scandinavia who live in a wide area encompassing the north of Sweden, Norway, Finland as well as the Kola peninsula in Russia.

Researchers, representatives of associations and cultural structures, politicians and artists will offer us an insight into the Sami culture, presenting its specificities but also the challenges which have to be taken up to preserve this culture and keep it alive. We will also get to know the highlights of Umeå 2014, the city’s perspectives of cultural development beyond, local and regional cultural policies as well as innovative and creative projects and works.

The Sami calendar gives its rhythm to the programme of Umeå 2014, and our meeting will take place in the season of returning, Spring. We will take advantage of the profusion of cultural events in the city to visit Västerbottens Museum (ethnographic museum tracing the history of the Sami culture), the Bildmuseet (museum of contemporary art), the Institute of Design, Umedalen Sculpture Park (one of the most prestigious in Europe), the House of Music, alternative cultural venues..


2014 being the year of the Refounding of our network, a Board meeting and an extraordinary general meeting will take place on this occasion. The new bylaws of our association and Les Rencontres' Charter will be on the agenda. A separate email was sent to all of our members and will be forwarded to our participants.

Registrations are already open. You can download the preliminary programme, the practical information sheet (registration fees, hotels etc.) as well as a map diplaying the places linked with the conference. Please note that an email address has been put into service umea@lesrencontres.eu.




Roxelane Oliyar-Komilkiw,roxelane.oliyarkomilkiw@lesrencontres.eu,+33 1 56 54 26 35
Rafael Mandujano, rafael.mandujano@lesrencontres.eu, +33 1 56 54 26 37
Laure Borel, laure.borel@lesrencontres.eu, +33 1 56 54 26 31


Les Rencontres d'Umeå are organised in collaboration with Umeå 2014, the City of Umeå and the Västerbotten Region.


Les Rencontres' Shared Refounding Process

An Inclusive Consultation to Reforge the Organisation


2014 marks the 20th anniversary on the Association. Twenty years of rencontres, of course, but also of exchanges, debates, discoveries and projects.


Twenty years that have created strong bonds between the members of the network.


2014 will also be a year of renewal for Les Rencontres. The creation of a stable and creative future depends on the analysis of past years and, most importantly, in the case of a network, can only be done collectively.


The Association has started this large re-foundation process, paying a particular attention to the opinions of its members, in order to build a future suitable for all. Without ever questioning the essence of its activities, Les Rencontres wishes to give itself a new lease of life to continue to create bonds, beyond borders, always more effectively.


The Refoundation process is built on a 6 steps calendar. Discussions in Brussels, sending of a questionnaire, gathering of answers, meeting during the Rencontres of Umeå, drafting of new statutes then a General meeting at the European Campus in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais and a vote: the re-foundation will run all year.

Our last meetings

La Rencontre de Bruxelles, 5-7 February 2014




This conference had a strong symbolic value for us: Les Rencontres Association celebrates this year its 20th anniversary. 20 years of meetings, exchanges, debates, artistic experiences, cultural projects... creating and consolidating links between the members and the partners of the network. The programme was composed by conferences, speeches and debats, as well as visits and activities to discover key cultural insitutions or projects.


We gathered in Brussels, longtime member of Les Rencontres, a city particularly involved in promoting arts and cultural projects, both at the local and European levels. Brussels is also seat of other members of Les Rencontres which supported the organisation of our meeting: the Frenchspeaking Community Federation , the Frenchspeaking Community Commission and the Atomium .


Through the years, the Association has worked on creating strong and pertinent ties between culture and territories, implementing a real European cultural cooperation through actions that have forged the identity of our network. Though it is important to reflect on this deciding past, the Association also considered its future.


Beyond a simple anniversary, 2014 is marking its renewal.

 Programme      List of participants (as of 04/02/2014)

European Campus of Les Rencontres - Tampere, Finland


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The second edition of the European Campus of Les Rencontres took place in Finland, on the invitation of the City of Tampere, from 18th to 21 September 2013.



The unifying theme of the European Campus was "Culture and social innovation".

Indeed, the specificity of this Campus was its focus on the strengths of Finland in the fields of education, creativity and innovation, quality of life, citizen participation, social cohesion, among other positive facets, in relationship with the cultural policies of Finnish local and regional authorities, and putting these dimensions in a European perspective.

We associated the theoretical and practical analysis of these policies with:

  • - the reflection axis of our European Campus, which is the contribution of local and regional cultural policies in the Europe 2020 strategy, and
  • - our field of action, which is the promotion of cultural co-operation between local and regional authorities in Europe.

You can download the Project outline of the Campus (a detailed document on the background and context of the conference, its goals and expected results), the practical information sheet and the final programme


Les Rencontres' Side Event on the occasion of the "11th Open Days"

As you most certainly know, from the 8th to the 10th October is held the 11th Week of Regions and Cities: Open Days in Brussels. This event, organised by the Committee of the Regions and the European Commission's DG for Regional Policy, has become a European networking platform for experts in regional and local development. Over the years, the OPEN DAYS has grown into the key event on EU Regional Policy. It welcomes some 6 000 participants in over one hundred workshops.

On this important occasion, we organised a Side Event consisting of 2 roundtables that were held in Brussels on the 8th October morning. Their overall theme was: European Cities and Regions and their cultural policies for local and regional development in a Europe 2020 perspective. The two roundtables took place in the beautiful location of the Brussels City Hall on the Grand Place. In the afternoon our Ordinary General Meeting also took place there.

Here is the programme of the Side Event:

Les Rencontres de Marseille-Provence













La Rencontre de Fingal / Dublin, 7-10/03/2013
European Campus of Local and Regional Authorities for Culture, Paris - 21-24/11/2012
The Association of European Cities and Regions for Culture 'Les Rencontres' organised the first edition of the 'European Campus of local and regional authorities for Culture' in Paris from 21 to 24 November 2012. This was a new initiative in the evolution of Les Rencontres' activities: a forum dedicated to reflection and discussion between various stakeholders in the sphere of Culture.
Maison Heinrich Heine
In the framework of this Campus, local and regional elected officials in charge of culture, professionals, intellectuals, researchers and artists met in a creative and relaxed atmosphere to brainstorm and delve deeper into issues concerning cultural policies, co-operation and artistic creation.

What is the role of the cultural policies of local and regional authorities in achieving the Europe 2020 Strategy? This was our central question at the conference. Our hypothesis is that the local and regional authorities' contribution has neither been sufficiently examined nor debated, despite the current - and potential - impact of their cultural policies on achieving a smarter, more sustainable and more inclusive growth which is the ambition of the Europe 2020 Strategy.


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