From ‘More Europe – external cultural relations’…
Launched in 2011, MORE EUROPE – external cultural relations is a cultural civil initiative, composed of a public-private partnership of foundations, civil society networks and national cultural institutes, whose objective is to highlight and reinforce the role of culture in the European Union (EU)’s external relations. It calls on Member States, civil society, private foundations and EU institutions to work together, combine their views, pool their resources and coordinate their activities in the field of external cultural relations.
Being a relatively small initiative, MORE EUROPE acts as an avant-garde on the topic – with a strong civic approach allowing flexibility and reactivity.
In 2019, More Europe – external relations members are: the Goethe-Institut, the British Council, the European Cultural Foundation and the Institut Français.
More Europe – external cultural relations promotes a new European approach towards external relations, based on the promotion of fundamental values, two-way dialogue, and the recognition of the role of civil society is urgently needed. In this regard, cultural relations, exchanges, cooperation and people-to-people engagement are crucial for the foreign policy of the EU.
…to ‘Global Cultural Relations’
After more than 10 years of advocacy, research and partnerships, which led, among other, to major developments, such as the adoption of the very first EU strategy for international cultural relations. What used to be More Europe – external cultural relations now goes by Global Cultural Relations (GCR). It represents a promising development of the initiative, backed up by core members, in view of future strategic orientations and willingness to reinforce multiple and diverse partnerships within Global Cultural Relations. The main objective is to continue building and fostering inclusive, reciprocal and fair cultural relations alongside with international partners.
Our main observation, is that diverse actors should, today, contribute to the design of international cultural relations and speak for themselves – from the public and private sectors, to non-state actors, the civil society as well as foundations from Europe and beyond. Therefore, and in line with this same spirit of openness, Global Cultural Relations aims to provide such a platform, calling for inclusive and fair cultural relations, shared knowledge and practices, as well as relationships of the same standards to better address and fit global challenges.
With GCR, we aim to co-create with partners and jointly develop pilot actions, test new initiatives and co-design priorities and strategic work strands for the future in order to inform international cultural relations and continue putting the topic high on political agendas.