Preparatory Action Culture in the European Union's External Relations
The Conference on the Preparatory Action Culture in the European Union's External Relations was held in Brussels in the Cultural Centre BOZAR, on 7 and 8 April 2014. The Preparatory Action has been supported by a Consortium of eight cultural institutes and organizations. It has been initiated by the European Parliament in accordance with its Resolution on the cultural dimension of EU external action, which had called for the development of a visible common EU strategy on culture in the EU external relations. The Conference, that gathered some 400 participants, provided an opportunity to discuss the results of a study on the role of culture in European external relations, as well as to look back at a number of discussions and proposals for integrating culture in European external relations. The key question at the moment is to find a proper place for culture in the European external relations affairs strategy, that is being discussed. Speakers and panellists as well as participants in the discussions touched upon many important issues, including questions of moving ahead from the classical perception of cultural diplomacy as a tool for presenting "oneself" to "others". Many participants insisted on a change of the paradigm (at all levels) towards a more collaborative process – a dialogue. Debates also included reflection about the role of culture in EU's development policies, and a need to highlight this dimension in the future strategy. What still remains to be resolved, is a question who will be leading the process or who will be the focal point for coordinating EU's efforts in this field.
A member of the Culturelink team, Ms. Nina Obuljen Korzinek, participated as a speaker in the first panel, on Realities and Expectations about Culture in EU External Relations.
More information about the implementation of the Preparatory Action and different activities of the project can be found at the web site www.cultureinexternalrealations.eu