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European Union set for new accord with China on cultural cooperation

Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, will reiterate the importance and benefits of increased cultural cooperation between the European Union and China when she meets Ministers and senior officials in Beijing this week (29 November-1 December).

During her visit, the Commissioner and Chinese Minister of Culture, Cai Wu, will adopt a new joint declaration on EU-China cultural cooperation and take part in the closing ceremony of the 2012 EU-China Year of Intercultural Dialogue. The Commissioner will also attend the launch of the first Online EU Film Festival in China and a conference on multilingualism aimed at promoting the teaching of EU languages in China and Mandarin in Europe.

"The European Union is committed to strengthening its cooperation with China in the areas of culture, education, youth and multilingualism. This year has seen some important milestones in this process with the launch of our High-Level People-to-People Dialogue and the success of the EU-China Year of Intercultural Dialogue. These initiatives are helping to bring our peoples closer together and I look forward to further deepening our ties during this visit," said Commissioner Vassiliou.

On 29 November, the Commissioner will attend a gala evening at Beijing's first art house cinema, the Broadway Cinematheque MOMA, to mark the launch of the 1st Online EU Film Festival and celebrate the 5th 'traditional' EU Film Festival, which is taking place in cinemas and cultural centres in four Chinese cities - Beijing, Chengdu, Shenzhen and Tianjin. The Beijing event will include a screening of James Huth's French romantic comedy Un bonheur n'arrive jamais seul (Happiness never comes alone), starring Sophie Marceau and Gad Elmaleh.

On 30 November, the Commissioner is due to meet State Councillor Liu Yandong, to take stock of the results so far of the People-to-People Dialogue launched in April (IP/12/381), and with Education Minister Yuan Guiren to discuss extending cooperation on joint schools and scholarships to boost learning mobility between the two regions. She is also due to hold talks with the Minister for Radio, Film and Television, Cai Fuchao. In the evening she will attend the closing ceremony of the EU-China Year (IP/12/91), which has provided the impetus for nearly 200 events. Together with Minister of Culture Cai Wu she will then adopt the new joint declaration on cultural cooperation, which identifies priority areas of mutual interest such as the creative and cultural sectors, cultural heritage and contemporary arts.

On 1 December Commissioner Vassiliou will address the China-EU Conference on Multilingualism. Organised with the Beijing Foreign Studies University and gathering 200 representatives from China and the EU, the event seeks to encourage training and mobility for language students and teachers.