Local initiatives towards the promotion and the implementation of the 2005 Convention
At local level, knowledge of the Convention is scant.
The same survey was distributed as was provided to Autonomous Community administrations and replies, though reduced, have been considerable from bodies which were not aware of the Convention.
There is a marked difference between major cities (such as Madrid and Barcelona, which are familiar with the Convention and apply it) and other, medium or small ones, and lesser towns, which on the whole are not aware of it. Although it is true that resources allocated to culture are very high at local level, and that the majority of Town Councils have programmes which aim to avoid social exclusion, facilitate immigrant integration, promote respect for cultural diversity and facilitate access to cultural life, they do so without any specific familiarity with the Convention, but simply in the interests of providing a service to their citizens.
On the other hand, what is widespread is the application of Agenda 21 for culture, a document which is a point of reference for local governments in the formulation of cultural policy. It is based on the principles of cultural diversity, human rights, intercultural dialogue, participatory democracy, sustainability and peace. Its final document was approved on 8 May 2004 in Barcelona during the 4th Forum of Local Authorities for the Social Inclusion of Porto Alegre, within the framework of the Universal Forum of Cultures.
It is coordinated by the world organisation United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), and is managed by its culture Commission, which is presided over by the Barcelona City Council.
To give another example of a Spanish city which certainly does know about and applies the Convention (along with Barcelona), the report provided by the city of Madrid explains that in all its programmes it takes into account the following underlying matters: the Agenda 21 Actions Plans of its districts, the Equal Opportunities Plan for men and women at the Madrid Town Council, the Municipal Disability Council, the Disability Plan in areas of Education, Culture and Leisure, the Family, Infancy and Adolescence Plan, the City of Madrid Youth Plan, the Sector Council for the Elderly of the City of Madrid and the “Solidarity Forum” Volunteer Council of the City of Madrid.