Culture in EU external relations

Preparatory Action on Culture in the EU External Relations

The Preparatory Action “Culture in EU External Relations” is an initiative funded by the European Union. It is implemented by the European Commission, Directorate General for Education and Culture, with the support of a Consortium of eight cultural institutes and organisations, which won an open call for tenders to this effect.

This Preparatory Action was initiated by the European Parliament following its Resolution on the cultural dimensions of the EU external action, which called for the development of a visible common EU strategy on culture in the EU external relations.

The preparatory action will run until mid-2014 and consists of the following stages:

Stage #1
a comprehensive mapping of existing resources, approaches and strategies regarding culture in external relations in Member States and in a number of EU partner countries;

Stage #2
a consultations process involving a wide variety of stakeholders from both the EU and third countries, which should contribute to identifying strategies and visions on the contribution of culture to the development of external relations as well as the positioning of different actors vis-à-vis this topic;

Stage #3
a final conference to be held mid-2014 to draw conclusions and recommendations for a strategic approach to mobilising the potential of culture in EU external relations.

In addition to the EU Member States, this preparatory action covers the following partner countries of the EU:

  • the Neighbouring countries of the EU:  Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Moldova, Morocco, Occupied Palestinian Territory, Syria, Tunisia, Ukraine
  • the 10 strategic partners of the EU:  Brazil, Canada, China, India, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, South Korea and the United States of America

The purpose of the action is to facilitate and support an on-going process of research, exchange of knowledge and public debate about the role of culture in the EU’s external relations.

Furthermore, the ambition is to engage the broader civil society in the discussion by inviting online debate on this blog and on our social media platforms. Everybody is invited to join the discussion!

The members of the consortium in charge of implementing this action are convinced that culture can play a decisive role in the development of external relations and are committed to bringing new knowledge and research to the attention of policy-makers on a national, European and international level.

List of members of the consortium:
The Goethe Institut, Brussels
BOZAR, Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels
The British Council, Brussels
The Danish Cultural Institute, Brussels
ECF European Cultural Foundation
IFA Institut fur Auslandsbeziehungen
The Institut français, Paris
KEA European Affairs

Independent experts:
Prof. Yudhishthir Raj Isar (Team Leader/Scientific Manager)
Rod Fisher
Damien Helly

Associated partner:
EUNIC Global


Author: Center for Intercultural Dialogue

Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz, the Director of the Center for Intercultural Dialogue, manages this website.

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