World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development
On the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development this 21 May, High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell and Commissioner Mariya Gabriel issued a joint statement to celebrate cultural diversity and to underline its importance in fostering dialogue and respect between people of the world.
In the joint statement, Borrell and Gabriel highlight the EU's engagement in international cultural relations by supporting the cultural sectors of its partner countries and fostering cultural cooperation. Culture “contributes to inter-cultural dialogue, conflict prevention, reconciliation and resilience, proving to be a shield against intolerance and violent extremism.”
Furthermore, EUNIC's project European Spaces of Culture is mentioned as an important testing ground for innovative models and practices of collaboration in partner countries for cultural exchange, co-creation and people-to-people contacts.
Culture is at the heart of progress: it can play a truly key role in the aftermath of the current crisis.
The statement concludes by saying that the “EU and its Member States stand committed to support and protect the variety of cultures, providing opportunities for cultural exchanges, cooperation and creation. Culture is at the heart of progress: it can play a truly key role in the aftermath of the current crisis.”
EU engagement in cultural relations
In a news story, the European External Action Service (EEAS) further explains its engagement in cultural relations, referring to milestones such as the Joint Communication “Towards an EU strategy in international cultural relations” and the 2005 UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, committing to the values of and strategy towards promoting the cultural diversity as part of its cultural relations.
The articles states that “culture, and in particular inter-cultural dialogue, can contribute to addressing major global challenges – such as conflict prevention and resolution, integrating refugees, countering violent extremism, and protecting cultural heritage. Three-quarters of the world’s major conflicts have a cultural dimension. Bridging the gap between cultures is urgent and necessary for peace, stability and development.”
Three-quarters of the world’s major conflicts have a cultural dimension. Bridging the gap between cultures is urgent and necessary for peace, stability and development.
The article highlights worldwide cultural relations projects, with four of the five projects presented realised as cooperation between EUNIC and EU Delegations: Creative Connections in Sudan, collaborative projects the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tfanen: Tunisie Créative in Tunisia and the European Spaces of Culture.