On 5 July 2017, the European Parliament adopted its report on the Joint Communication “Towards an EU strategy for international cultural relations”, following the presentation that was delivered by HR/VP Mogherini.
In its report, the Parliament recalls that the EU is an important actor in international politics, playing an ever-increasing role in world affairs. It states that culture has an intrinsic value, and the EU’s experience has shown that cultural exchanges can serve to promote its external objectives and as a powerful bridge between people of different ethnic, religious and social backgrounds. In this regard, the Parliament considers that culture should become an essential part of the political dialogue with third countries, and that there is a need to systematically integrate culture into EU projects and programmes.
In preparation to this report, the European Parliament held several meetings:
– a joint meeting of the Committees of Foreign Affairs and Culture & Education on 9 March 2017, where Mr. Diego Marani (European External Action Service) and Mr.Walter Zampieri (European Commission Directorate General for Education and Culture) presented the Joint Communication “Towards an EU strategy for international cultural relations”;
– a second joint meeting of the Committees of Foreign Affairs and Culture & Education on 22 March 2017, where external experts – namely Mr. Nicolas Bideau, director of Presence Switzerland (the agency implementing the strategy of the Federal Council on Switzerland’s communication abroad), Ms. Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović, Secretary General of Europa Nostra, Ms. Susanne Höhn, Regional Director of the Goethe-Institut for South-Western Europe, and Mr. Stefan Gies, Chief Executive of the Association Européenne des Conservatoires, Académies de Musique et Musikhochschulen – shared their views on the new EU strategy on international cultural relations.
The Parliament’s Research Department also produced a six-page briefing for the Committee on Culture & Education, which gives an overview of the policy developments that led to the new Joint Communication “EU strategy for international cultural relations”, summarising its main elements and challenges to be addressed in the Parliament’s report.