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Report: EU cultural diplomacy needs new impetus


- Cultural diplomacy is beneficial for the economy through increased market access for European cultural and creative industries, strengthened cultural diversity and the wider sharing of European values.

Report: EU cultural diplomacy needs new impetus

Through an initiative of the European Parliament, a report published today by the European Commission highlights the positive effects that the creation of a cultural diplomacy or "soft power" programme could have on the European Union and its member states.

"Cultural diplomacy gives us an opportunity to share our European culture and values such as human rights, diversity and equality with other countries," said Androulla Vassiliou, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth. "It is also good for jobs and growth. I urge the future Commission and European Parliament to implement the report's recommendations."

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The report was based on research in the 28 EU Member States, the 16 Neighbourhood countries (Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Moldova, Morocco, Occupied Palestinian Territory, Syria, Tunisia and Ukraine), and 10 strategic partners (Brazil, Canada, China, India, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, South Korea and the United States of America).

Its recommendations on how to increase the impact of Europe's cultural diplomacy include:

  • Better co-ordination and dedicated staff such as cultural attachés in EU Delegations;
  • New methods of funding and fundraising, including co-funding and public-private partnerships;
  • Pooling resources of cultural organisations and Member States, especially via their cultural institutes and attachés abroad;
  • Removing barriers to mobility, for example by facilitating visa requirements for cultural operators;
  • Connecting with young people, for example by expanding educational and cultural exchange programmes;
  • Focusing on cities and towns to identify key partners;
  • Facilitating exchange of experience and best practices between artists from different countries, cultural managers, journalists or writers;
  • Empowering local cultural stakeholders by facilitating cooperation with cultural organisations and/or foundations;
  • Improving monitoring and evaluation of projects and cultural diplomacy policies. 

The report and its recommendations will be discussed with representatives of the Member States and European Parliament. 

Culture as a key component of external relations is one of the three strategic objectives of the European Agenda for Culture, a comprehensive policy framework which has guided the joint work of the Commission and the Member States since 2007. (EU Neighbourhood Info)

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