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The leaders of the EU and China designated 2012 as the EU-China Year of Intercultural Dialogue during the 13th Summit in October 2010 in Brussels. As one of the concrete outcomes of the EU-China Joint Declaration of 22nd October 2007 , which calls for reinforced cooperation in the field of culture, the Year will contribute to fostering long-term cultural cooperation between the EU and China.

The main objectives of the Year are:

  • to promote and strengthen intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding between the EU and China through cultural exchanges and people-to-people contacts;
  • to establish and develop structured and sustainable cooperation between Chinese and EU cultural institutions and organizations;
  • to establish a sustainable policy dialogue on issues of common interest.


The Year will be very broad in scope. It will not only cover culture (e.g. visual, written and performing arts, music, audiovisual and new media, cultural heritage, translation and publishing), but also related fields which contribute to mutual understanding and exchanges between civil society, in particular education, research, exchanges between intellectuals, multilingualism and youth.

Additional information about the Year can be found on the concept page.

You can read more about what has already been achieved in cultural cooperation between the EU and China on the background page.