Michelle Müntefering, Minister of State for International Cultural Policy at the Federal Foreign Office, has issued the following statement on the adoption of an EU strategic approach to international cultural relations by the Foreign Affairs Council:
This sends an important message in support of diversity, shared heritage and cohesion, especially now in the run-up to the European elections. The power of culture is particularly vital for European integration. We are strengthening the European approach through our work in international cultural policy.
At their meeting in Luxembourg today, the Foreign Affairs Council adopted a strategic approach to the European Union’s international cultural relations, including a framework for action. In the future, the EU Member States’ national cultural institutes outside Europe, the EU delegations and the EU Member States’ embassies and consulates will work more closely and systematically together and present joint cultural and cultural policy events.
Various pilot projects were already carried out successfully last year. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, for example, the Goethe-Institut, the Institut Franҫais and the Belgian cultural institute, with funding from the European Commission and the European External Action Service, co-organised events that included a European film festival and a book fair in cooperation with local partners. This approach is also part of the Treaty between the Federal Republic of Germany and the French Republic on Franco-German Cooperation and Integration, under which the two countries are stepping up their cultural cooperation in third countries and taking on responsibility for Europe. This enables people to experience Europe’s cultural diversity for themselves.