The European Union has presented several recommendations for enhancing the role of culture throughout its 28 Member States.
New methods of funding, empowering local cultural stakeholders and pooling resources of cultural organisations feature in the European Commission’s new report, Preparatory Action: Culture in EU External Relations.
Whilst the report acknowledges the potential of culture to generate ‘soft power’ throughout the continent, such as benefits to the economy and greater cultural diversity, it also reports several weaknesses in the current strategy.
Building greater connections with young people, and exchanging experiences and best practices between different countries also formed part of the recommendations.
The report warns that if action is not taken to meet its recommendations, it would be ‘a huge missed opportunity for Europe’.
Androulla Vassiliou, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth said: ‘Cultural diplomacy gives us an opportunity to share our European culture and values such as human rights, diversity and equality with other countries. It is also good for jobs and growth. I urge the future Commission and European Parliament to implement the report’s recommendations.’
The report is set to be discussed with representatives from the Member States and MEP’s.
Image: iStock Brussels © Franky De Meyer