On June 23 2010 a round table took place at the European Parliament in Brussels in order to discuss the role of culture in shaping Europe’s external relations and foreign policy
On June 23 2010 representatives of the European Parliament and of the Commission, ministries, experts and interested public gathered at the European Parliament in Brussels to discuss the role of culture in shaping Europe’s external relations and foreign policy.
The European Agenda for Culture in a Globalising World highlights External Relations as a prominent field to implement the objective to give culture a place at the heart of EU policies. Why European cultural values can be decisive in the context of world relations?
Concepts grounded in the European culture like “participation”, “cultural citizenship” and “cultural diversity” are very helpful to promote ideas and policies for cosmopolitan integration and cohesion. Moreover, as EU institutions have pointed out, external relations policies have also cultural tasks: strengthening the rule of law, developing cultural diplomacy as an instrument of conflict prevention and management, protecting and enhancing cultural heritage, creating mechanisms for civil society co-operation and exchange.
In face of these challenging purposes, it is necessary to develop tools, responsibilities and competences in shaping Europe’s cultural foreign policies. For this reason, the speakers of the Round Table reflected about what could be the role for the European Parliament, for the Commission, for national foreign ministries, for cities and regions and for the new European External Action Service.
The debate took advantage of the contributions of major personalities in the context of European cultural policy; among them Doris Pack, Chair of the Committee for Culture and Education of the European Parliament, Elmar Brok, member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Finn Andersen, former President of Eunic and director of the Danish Cultural Institute