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Partnerships for Germany

Establishing partnerships and networks and getting people all over the world interested in and excited about Germany is the goal of cultural relations and education policy. There are many ways of going about this: exchange programmes for academics and students, promoting the German language abroad and helping to preserve cultural treasures in foreign countries. On 9 January the Federal Cabinet approved the report on cultural relations and education policy for 2011 and 2012.

The report, which was produced under the leadership of the Federal Foreign Office, is the 16th such report on cultural relations and education policy. In June of 1994, the German Bundestag called on the Federal Government to draw up one annually. The most recent report contains more than a hundred pages and provides an overview of what was focused on in cultural relations and education policy between June 2011 and September 2012.

Numerous projects

At the Tarabya opening ceremony

At the Tarabya opening ceremony
© Photothek / Trutschel

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At the Tarabya opening ceremony

At the Tarabya opening ceremony

At the Tarabya opening ceremony

Over this period, various projects were carried out that illustrate the entire spectrum of cultural relations and education policy. In Istanbul in October 2011, for example, the Tarabya Cultural Academy was opened by Federal Foreign Minister Westerwelle and his Turkish counterpart Davutoğlu, a project that was initiated by the German Bundestag. Since September 2012, scholarship recipients have had the opportunity to live and work there for several months.

The “Germany Year in Russia” was launched in June 2012. With the title “Russia and Germany – shaping the future together”, the year provides an opportunity to present various aspects of Germany at many performances, exhibitions and other events. At the same time, Russia is presenting itself in Germany with a year-long series of events. The Year of Germany in India was inaugurated in May 2011 to show the “infinite opportunities” opened up by cooperation, using, for example, mobile pavilions that were set up in various big cities in India.

The priorities of cultural relations and education policy also took into account the sweeping changes in the Arab world. The Federal Government supports Arab countries in transition through transformation partnerships. Of the approximately 100 million euros made available for 2012 and 2013, about 20 million euros is dedicated to projects in the fields of culture, education and media annually.

A pillar of foreign policy

Cultural relations and education policy is a pillar of Germany’s foreign policy. Intercultural dialogue, establishing and maintaining sustainable networks as well as long-term partnerships are essential elements in this. Cultural relations and education policy promotes mutual trust and understanding through many projects and is thus an integral part of peace policy.

Especially in a world that has seen massive changes in the framework conditions of foreign policy in recent years – through, for example, expanding communication networks and shifts in global power – cultural relations and education policy is very important.

With its strategy on cultural relations and education policy in the age of globalization, which was unveiled in September 2011, the Federal Government reacted to these developments.

The goals of cultural relations and education policy

Cultural relations and education policy supports the process of European integration and makes a major contribution to crisis prevention, conflict resolution and peace policy through intercultural dialogue.

Its goals include:

  • promoting the German language abroad,
  • promoting education and knowledge transfer around the world and strengthening Germany as a centre of research,
  • cultural exchange and the dissemination of art and culture from Germany abroad and
  • promoting Germany and communicating a modern image of the country.

A total of 1.478 billion euros, the equivalent of 0.49 percent of the federal budget, was made available for cultural relations and education policy in 2011; in 2012, the figure was 1.591 billion euros. The Federal Foreign Office’s share of this was 713.9 million euros in 2011 and around 784.79 million euros in 2012.


Last updated 09.01.2013

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