In the framework of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the Ministry of Culture is organising, on 3 and 4 September 2015, a conference at the Trifolion in Echternach on the theme "Culture and development: towards a more strategic approach to cultural policies in EU's external relations".
The main objective of the conference will be to provide an overview of the ways in which culture and development interact, highlight the links between this subject and the more general context of culture in external relations and question the coherence between policies.
Indeed, culture is an essential aspect of the European Union's external relations. This principle has been accepted by the European Union since the publication in 2007 of the Communication for a European Agenda for Culture, as well as by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union, which, for that matter, chose it as one of its priorities for its 2015-2018 Work Plan for Culture.
Despite this, and despite the efforts made by European Ministers for Culture to highlight the positive effects of increasingly taking into account cultural and creative sectors, cross-cutting integration of culture into other sectoral policies continues to be a challenge. The EU's external relations are no exception, although some very encouraging initiatives in this field already appear to be going in the right direction. However, these joint efforts still lack coordination and it is necessary to think about how to ensure greater coherence in order to avoid a loss of synergy and resources.
It is on this issue and, more widely, the interactions between culture and the EU's external relations on which the Luxembourg Presidency has decided to focus: based on the concrete aspect of culture and development, the objective will be for the Council to reach conclusions which, on the one hand, contribute to greater coherence in policies at the service of development and, in this way, also, highlight the other aspect, namely the need for a more strategic and more systemic approach to culture in the EU's external relations in general.
In concrete terms, the conference will consider several points: what might be the effect and the contribution of culture to the future implementation of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the adoption of which is scheduled for autumn 2015; to what extent does culture - as such - contribute to development strategies and to what extent - as a vector - does it contribute to the success and sustainability of development projects in other sectors; how might greater coherence improve the beneficial effects of this interaction between culture and development and, beyond that, between culture and the EU's external relations?
In the presence of the Minister for Culture, Maggy Nagel, the conference will bring together about thirty experts, including representatives of the European Commission and the European External Action Service, UNESCO, the Council of Europe, national cooperation structures, cultural institutes, etc.
Several honorary guests will also be present and will speak during the conference, including:
- Romain Schneider, Minister for Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs
- Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sports
- Silvia Costa, Chair of the Committee on Culture and Education of the European Parliament
- Mário Lúcio Matias de Sousa Mendes, Minister for Culture, Cabo Verde
- Jorge Barreto Xavier, Secretary of State for Culture, Portugal
- Charles Goerens, Member of the European Parliament
- Marc Angel, Member of the Luxembourg Parliament (Chambre des Députés)
Communicated by the Ministry of Culture