“Culture is an essential part of the EU’s international relations”: Council adopts Conclusions

On 23 May the Council adopted conclusionson culture in the European Union’s external relations. The conclusions follow the joint communication from the High Representative and the European Commission of 8 June 2016 entitled “Towards an EU Strategy for international cultural relations” of 8 June 2016″. They provide guidance on the EU’s strategic approach to international cultural relations.
The conclusions underline that such an approach should be bottom-up and should respect the independence of the cultural sector. They recognise that international cultural relations can only develop by encouraging cultural diversity within the EU, and they call for consistency and coherence of effort.
In order to take forward this work, the Council has agreed as a next step that a working group will be established to assist in drawing up a comprehensive EU strategic approach to international cultural relations. This work will be supported by the Commission and European External Action Service, drawing on the existing cultural diplomacy platform which was set up in 2016 to help promote the EU’s cultural engagement with third countries.