Engaging the World: Towards Global Cultural Citizenship

Brussels, 10 June 2014

Motivated by the fact that “the European Union has no cultural relations strategy”, the European Commission mandated in 2011 a consortium of eight cultural organisations, institutes, and a consultancy to propose such a strategy. The report is published today and according to the Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, Androulla Vassiliou, it “makes for fascinating reading and brings together concrete proposals as to how to move forward in the coming months and years”.

Video message – Androulla Vassiliou

The report presents (1) the first ever overview of the cultural relations strategies pursued by governmental and civil society actors in 26 of the EU’s strategic partners and Neighbours, plus detailed reports on each of these countries have also been produced[1] (2) It also gives constructive, ethical and practical recommendations as to how Europe can do better and be more effective in the field of international cultural relations. Finally, (3) the report evidences the considerable added value a European strategic approach can offer to all stakeholders including the EU institutions, Member States, European cities and regions, civil society actors, artists and cultural operators, cultural organisations and networks, as well as their counterparts elsewhere.

Prof. Yudhishthir Raj Isar, Lead Expert of the Consortium, states that the report gives “a better understanding of the potential in the many ways, in which culture offers pathways for meaningful engagement between countries and peoples in and outside the EU. This potential has not been sufficiently exploited, despite the many cultural relations activities that exist already”.

The consortium, that carried out and implemented the Preparatory Action – Culture in External Relations, is convinced that this report will make policy-makers and cultural actors at all levels recognize the multiple benefits – such as increased creativity and innovation, increased trade in cultural goods and services, a more competitive EU, far greater understanding beyond Europe of the European Union, etc. – of a European strategic approach for culture in external relations and that they will act effectively on that recognition and in a concerted joined-up way.

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Executive summaries (PDF)

English  French  German  Arabic  Chinese  Spanish  Russian 

Report presentation events:

1] 16 Neighbouring countries of the EU:  Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Moldova, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia and Ukraine; 10 Strategic Partners of the EU: Brazil, Canada, China, India, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, South Korea and the United States of America.

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