Roberto Vellano of Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs takes over as new EUNIC president
Roberto Vellano of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation is the new president of EUNIC. He has officially taken on his new role at the General Assembly in Rome, Italy, on 13 June 2019, and will serve as EUNIC president for one year. He follows in the footsteps of Augustin Favereau of the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs.
Roberto Vellano plans to focus on three important objectives for EUNIC during his time as president:
First, to implement the EU strategic approach to international cultural relations, as adopted in the Council Conclusions of 8 April 2019 by the Council of the EU. “It is important that all EUNIC members are aware of this and that all the actors involved at national levels – ministries and cultural agencies, no matter if they are members of EUNIC or not – are consistent in their level of commitment”, says Roberto Vellano.
Secondly, he stresses the need to find a balance between EUNIC’s role inside and outside the EU, and thirdly, that all members of EUNIC are equally engaged and motivated in implementing EUNIC’s strategy.
Furthermore, Roberto Vellano acknowledges the changing external context in which EUNIC and its members are operating. “We need to ensure that the momentum that culture has had in the past few years will continue to be strong, and we want to work with all stakeholders together to bring culture to the forefront and make it count in foreign relations.”
Out going president Augustin Favereau of the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs comments: “The last year has been an important year for EUNIC. We have started to implement “European ‘Houses’ of Culture”, a project that was initiated by the European Parliament and that will test new ways of collaborating in culture with EU actors and local stakeholders from our partner countries allover the world. This is the first time we are working together with the EU and local partners to implement cultural relations projects together. We have also worked on actively engaging with EU Delegations, and have held numerous joint sessions during regional seminars, such as in Bogotá and Accra. I wish my successor all the best for continuing the work on European collaboration on culture.”
Read a more comprehensive interview with Roberto Vellano here.