Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange

Intercultural PedagogyErasmus+ Virtual Exchange is a ground-breaking project enabling youth in Europe and the Southern Mediterranean to engage in meaningful intercultural experiences online, as part of their formal or non-formal education. The program has been running for several years, but is now being highlighted as a good way to expand intercultural dialogue during the pandemic.

Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange is part of the Erasmus+ programme of the European Commission, providing an accessible, ground-breaking way for young people to engage in intercultural learning. Working with Youth Organisations and Universities, the programme is open to any young person aged 18-30 residing in Europe and the Southern Mediterranean.

Through a range of activities, Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange aims to expand the reach and scope of the Erasmus+ programme through Virtual Exchanges, which are technology-enabled people-to-people dialogues sustained over a period of time. Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange offers a safe online community to participate in facilitated discussions, increasing intercultural awareness and building 21st Century skills through Virtual Exchange. The programme encourages and promotes intercultural dialogue, employability, and citizenship, strengthening the youth dimension of the EU neighbourhood policy.

For more information, click on the links above, or see: D’Arcy, Naoise. (2020, June 28). In a pandemic, a virtual Erasmus offers a new way of crossing cultures. University Times [Ireland].


CFP Engaging Together Globally: EU and Central Asia Grants

CALL: ENGAGING TOGETHER GLOBALLY: The European Union and Central Asia
European Commission Grant Opp ID: 164216 | Collaboration or Cooperative Agreement Program or Curriculum Development or Provision
Deadline: 02 February 2017 17:00:00

€1.5 million has been budgeted for this topic for 2017. The budget amounts for the 2017 budget are indicative and will be subject to a separate financing decision to cover the amounts to be allocated for 2017. The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the order of EUR 1.5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. This does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. Coordination and support action: Funding rate: 100%. Participants may ask for a lower rate.

Specific Challenge:
In-spite of its undisputable importance as a region located at a strategic crossroad to the Far East, as a rich reservoir of natural resources and as an area of traditional trade relations with Europe, Central Asia has been rather neglected by the major global players in the post-Soviet era. Only in more recent years, the political and economic developments in the five countries of the region – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan – have received more attention. Challenges related to weak governments, abuse of power and corruption, divided societies, border disputes and ethnic tensions have led to increasing political and religious militancy and the creation of extremist groups which potentially represent non-negligible suppliers of forces to the radical political and religious movements in the neighbouring countries. Today’s relevance of Central Asia in general and to the trade, security and development strategies of the European Union[1] and other world powers in particular is, however, not reflected in the level of attention which the region is given from a scientific, social sciences and humanities point of view. Not only are Central Asian Studies less of a priority for European research centres, but European researchers in this field are also not sufficiently coordinated and their work is not adequately linked to policymaking.

Taking into account the need for a more intensive and properly coordinated research in the field of Central Asian Studies and the need for closer links to EU policy making, a network of European researchers will be created which, in cooperation with researchers from Central Asian countries, will:
• through mapping the current state of affairs in the field of Central Asian Studies in Europe and European Studies in Central Asia, recommend relevant new forms and priorities for future EU scientific cooperation in social sciences and the humanities with the region;
• through mapping the current state of political, economic, trade, cultural and any other relations between the EU and its Member States with Central Asian countries as well as between Central Asian countries and countries in the rest of Asia, and analysing results of the existing measures and tools supporting them, recommend future priorities for European policy making. These recommendations should be prepared in close cooperation with any other relevant European and Central Asian stakeholders (e.g. local, regional and state authorities, not-for-profit sectors, representatives of businesses, etc.);
• prepare an awareness-raising dissemination and communication strategy for the promotion of Central Asia and its role for Europe, which could be used by a variety of stakeholders (e.g. education, media, EU public sphere in general).

Any consortium submitting a proposal to this call should ensure a balanced representation of partners from countries in Central Asia.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the order of EUR 1.5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. This does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

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


Museums and Intercultural Dialogue

A very nice article by Eva Zimmerhof on museums as forums for intercultural dialogue has just been posted online by the Goethe Institute.

It begins: “In future the traditional national museums to be found in Europe are to open multidimensional perspectives on the history and culture of both the individual countries and on Europe as a whole. To implement this new approach the European Union has initiated a program called “Eurovision – Museums Exhibiting Europe” (EMEE). This is an interview with the project’s coordinator, Prof. Dr. Susanne Popp.”

European Youth Parliament

“The EU has long been encouraging an exchange of ideas across its borders, hoping to engage young people in European affairs. A prime example is the European Youth Parliament – a platform for intercultural dialogue on hot political issues in the EU. It met recently in Lillehammer in Norway and we caught up with some of the young members taking part in the debate.

There are three sessions of the European Youth Parliament per year bringing together around 270 young people for 10 days. In order to familiarise young people with political processes the Youth Parliament functions the same way as the European Parliament.”

For more information, see the original article posted on Euronews.

EU/CoE program: SPARDA

The European Union and the Council of Europe have established a new joint program: Shaping Perceptions and Attitudes to Realise the Diversity Advantage (SPARDA). This will last 18 months, will be coordinated by Education, Culture and Heritage, Youth and Sport, and have a budget of over 1 million. The objective is: “To promote intercultural dialogue on the basis of the guidelines and recommendations set out in the White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue [CM(2008)30] at local, national and international level. The programme addresses the democratic governance of cultural diversity, the promotion of democratic participation and citizenship, the teaching and learning of intercultural competences, the development of spaces for intercultural dialogue and the role of intercultural dialogue in international relations.”

For further information, see the announcement on their SPARDA site.