The last EU-China High-level People-to-People Dialogue took place in Shanghai on 14 November 2017. At this occasion, EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Tibor Navracsics gave a speech during the plenary session.
Emphasis on education and culture in EU-China relations
Commissioner Navracsics mentions in particular that cooperation and exchanges in education and culture, multilingualism and youth play the most important part in creating closer ties between Europe and China: “Education and cultural exchanges, together with youth and sport initiatives, can significantly contribute to developing intercultural skills and cross-cultural awareness.” Tibor Navracsics announces that 2018 will be the year of EU-China of Tourism, with an opening event expected on 19 January 2018 in Venice, Italy.
Mobility and mutual understanding
The mobility of students, professors and researchers also has an importance in the future of EU-China relations and partnership through programmes such as Erasmus+ and Horizon 2020. Commissioner Navracsics underlined the increased participation of Chinese students to Erasmus+ and the benefits for inter-cultural dialogue it enables.
On a city level
Commissioner Navracsics was happy to remind the cooperation forum on the European Capitals of Culture and the East Asia Cities of Culture that also happened on 14 November 2017 in Shanghai, during which 40 mayors and culture professionals from Europe together with Chinese, South Korean and Japanese cultural professionals and city representatives met to exchange ideas and learn from each other.
Cultural managers of tomorrow
Europe and China are also driven to meet and create cooperation. The Atelier for Young Festival and Cultural Managers that took place in Shanghai in October 2017 and the annual Cultural Diplomacy Platform’s Global Cultural Leadership Programme are two examples of dialogue between people and how to bring to young professionals to work together.
Cultural Innovation & Creative Industries
EU-China partnership is also the place for cultural innovation and creative industries. The EU-funded Creative Tracks project hosted its final event in China while the b.creative challenge awarded the creative agency LATRA.
You can find the written version of the speech here.
“Building mutual understanding between people and cultures is today more important than ever. We must invest in developing the appropriate tools to foster it, to improve intercultural skills and cross-cultural awareness, especially in our young generation. But this is only possible if young people learn the values of respect, intercultural dialogue and diversity.“