Industry Report: European Policy
“Culture in EU external relations”
by Enora Jaffredo
- In Brussels, the Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, Androulla Vassiliou, presented her new report on the cultural relationship between the EU and the rest of the world. The report’s main aim is to reinforce, rather than to create, an international diplomatic strategy based on the cultural potential of the EU. Indeed, we know that the EU possesses significant cultural heritage and a dynamic of creation; but according to the European authorities, these strengths are under-exploited and have the potential to become a major asset.
This report is the final product of a consortium of cultural organisations created in 2011 and that today incorporates the 28 member states of the EU, 16 neighbouring countries (Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Moldova, Morocco, Occupied Palestinian Territory, Syria, Tunisia and Ukraine) and ten partner countries (Brazil, Canada, China, India, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, South Korea and the United States of America).
As Vassiliou describes it, this report contains concrete measures to favour cultural exchanges between the EU and other countries, particularly in relation to funding plans and collaborations between the public and private sectors, bringing together all kinds of stakeholders, such as artists, professionnals, the EU institutions and civil society, in order to facilitate cultural exchanges between the member states and their neighbours.
It is through promoting small-scale cultural exchanges and bringing together the public and private sectors that the report fights for cultural freedom and rails against the monopolistic position of big investors in the market, which are particularly concentrated in certain areas of the world.
As dictated by our times and our society, this new dynamic commits the EU to a movement of “mutual learning and sharing” that can only be beneficial and that, according to the report, will bring “instrinsic added value” to the EU.
At this key time of European political disarray that we are experiencing, developing domestic and external cultural exchanges seems to be the perfect initiative, both to guarantee the rise of the EU up the ranks of culture on the international scene (and to attract investors), and also to reinforce the European identity, creating all kinds of cultural and artistic opportunities that will be within everyone’s grasp.
Download the report