More Europe – External Cultural Relations
Launched in 2011, MORE EUROPE – external cultural relations is a cultural civil initiative, composed of a public-private partnership of foundations, civil society networks and national cultural institutes, whose objective is to highlight and reinforce the role of culture in the European Union (EU)’s external relations. It calls on Member States, civil society, private foundations and EU institutions to work together, combine their views, pool their resources and coordinate their activities in the field of external cultural relations.
Being a relatively small initiative, MORE EUROPE acts as an avant-garde on the topic – with a strong civic approach allowing flexibility and reactivity.
In 2019, More Europe – external relations members are: the Goethe-Institut, the British Council, the European Cultural Foundation and the Institut Français.
More Europe – external cultural relations promotes a new European approach towards external relations, based on the promotion of fundamental values, two-way dialogue, and the recognition of the role of civil society is urgently needed. In this regard, cultural relations, exchanges, cooperation and people-to-people engagement are crucial for the foreign policy of the EU.
Cultural relations are fundamental drivers of economic, social and sustainable human development. They play a crucial role in strengthening civil society capacities and reinforcing democratisation processes. They also support conflict prevention and reconciliation, build trust between people, and pave the way for intercultural cooperation in difficult settings. Cultural relations also foster economic development and trade in cultural goods and services.
MORE EUROPE – external cultural relations (1) holds High-level public debates (8 debates in Berlin, Paris, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Warsaw, Brussels, and Marseille). The debates tackle issues such as cultural identity, culture and human rights, culture and development, the assessment of the EU cultural diplomacy, challenges and perspectives for cultural cooperation as viewed from Neighbourhood countries, cultural cities-to-cities cooperation, etc. Third-country policy-makers, cultural operators, artists and other stakeholders are always consulted and included in the discussions. (2) Pushes for a strategic and more comprehensive approach to culture in the EU foreign policy through advocacy, both at bilateral and multilateral levels, including cultural sensitiveness, intercultural dialogue, and an innovative approach to cultural diplomacy. (3) Conducts research and studies, such as:
The role of culture in preventing and reducing violent extremism (oct. 2017)
Advocacy Paper - EU cultural relations with its Southern Neighbours (sept. 2017)
Advocacy Paper - Cultural Diplomacy or Cultural Relations? (fev. 2017)
Advocacy Paper - Culture in EU Development Policies (2019)