Platform activities

In the framework of the EU-China High-Level People-to-People Dialogue, the Cultural Diplomacy Platform organises a forum on cooperation between European Capitals of Culture (ECoC) and Culture Cities East Asia (CCEA) in Shanghai on 14-15 November 2017. The forum will be opened by EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Mr. Tibor Navracsics, and Vice Premier of the People’s Republic of China, Ms. Liu Yandong.

Initiated in 1986, the “Europe City of Culture” became the European Capitals of Culture in 1999. Since then, the ECoC has been selecting two European cities each year to highlight the richness and diversity of European cultures and the features they share as well as to promote their heritage and cultural dynamism. Since 2014, China, South Korea and Japan have teamed up to elect three Cultural Cities from each country which can implement cultural exchange activites that display the cultural history, traditions and legacy of the East Asian Region.

Both focused on promoting cities with a regional dimension, this forum will discuss the opportunities and potentials for ECoC/CCEA transregional cooperation and collaboration. The Cultural Diplomacy Platform is actively working with 5 experts to contribute and steer the discusssions in Shanghai:


• Else Christensen-Redzepovic, an independent consultant at MIDENA Creatives. She has a long track record of leading large-scale transnational projects focused on empowerment of local communities and sustainable regional development. For instance, from 2006-2008 she was Programme Manager of a cooperation programme between China and the UK on Science and Innovation, working for the British Embassy in Beijing where she lived with her family for four years. She then led Sønderborg and Sonderjylland-Schleswig´s application for European Capital of Culture 2017, a cross-border bid that reached international attention for it´s innovative approach.


• Aiva Rozenberga
, who is is the current director of the Latvian Institute. Previously, Aiva worked as Press Secretary and Head of the Communications Service of President Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga and Press Secretary to the Prime Minister of Latvia. Aiva is a member of the European Commission panel for the selection of European Capitals of Culture, and she was the Programme Director of Riga European Capital of Culture 2014.


• Eric Messerschmidt
, who is the current director of the Danish Cultural Center in China, Denmark’s official platform for the exchange of culture and art in China. He was also, prior to that, the Director of the NGO Dansk Kulturinstitut in China and the Co-organizer of the Chinese-European Cultural Dialogues (Beijing – Copenhagen – Shanghai – Luxembourg – Xi’an – Bucarest) from 2008 to 2014.


• Mary McCarthy
, who is the director of the National Sculpture Factory Cork. Previously, she was Deputy Director and Director of Programmes for Cork European Capital of Culture 2005, and an advisor to European Capitals of Culture bid cities and a member of the selection panel for the European Capital of Culture, appointed by the European Commission.


• Ulrich Fuchs
, who is a professor at the University of Bremen. He was the Deputy Managing Director and Programme Director of Linz European Capital of Culture 2009, Project manager of Bremen’s bid for European Capital of Culture 2010 and Deputy Managing Director and Programme Director of Marseilles-Provence European Capital of Culture 2013. Ulrich is a member of the European Commission’s panel for the selection and monitoring of European Capitals of Culture.