EU Strategy for Culture in External Relations

Diego Marani addresses the EUNIC General Assembly

Diego Marani addresses the EUNIC General Assembly

On 10 and 11 June Stuart MacDonald, Executive Director of the CCR, presented research done for EUNIC Global as part of the Crossroads for Culture project to the General Assembly of EUNIC in Madrid

The General Assembly was welcomed by the Spanish Minister of Education, Culture and Sport, José Ignacio Wert.

EUNIC is the network of the European National Institutes for Culture (British Council; Instituto Cervantes, Goethe Institut; Institut Français etc). It has 33 members from 27 countries and over 90 clusters based in different locations around the globe. EUNIC’s members work in over 150 countries with over 2,000 branches and thousands of local partners. They work in the arts, language, youth, education, science, intercultural dialogue and development sectors.

EUNIC projects contribute to connecting culture with a range of policy areas including development, climate change, conflict prevention and conflict resolution. Projects also foster innovation and development of creative economies.

The CCR research – carried out by Ewen McIntosh (Politics and International Relations) with Chad Damro, Jean Monnet Chair and Director of the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence, and Co-Director of the Europa Institute and Stuart MacDonald – examined the extent to which EUNIC contributes to EU policies on culture and external relations, and identified opportunities for EUNIC to play an important part in the EU’s evolving thinking on culture in external relations.

There was a very lively and frank discussion of the many issues raised by the research including the potential for EUNIC members to make a reality of plans for collaboration to ensure that culture plays a role in addressing the many external and internal challenges faced by the EU.

The General Assembly also heard from Diego Marani from the European External Action Service, who outlined the EU’s new consultation on its strategy for cultural diplomacy, and concluded with speeches from José Manuel García-Margallo y Marfil, Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs, and José María Lassalle, Junior Minister for Culture.

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