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e-newsletter - April 2014 - No.35

Androulla Vassiliou
Androulla Vassiliou
Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth
"Culture is a vital part of our collective European identity and helps to underpin our shared values such as respect for human rights, diversity and equality. Cultural diplomacy is an opportunity for us to share these values and our European culture with other countries. Developing a more active and dynamic role for European culture on the international stage is one of my key priorities. Used intelligently, I believe this 'soft power' can benefit the EU and its Member States in their relations with the wider world."


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In the spotlight
Maximizing the impact of cultural diplomacy in EU foreign policy
Maximizing the impact of cultural diplomacy in EU foreign policy

How can the European Union and its Member States maximize the impact of culture in foreign policy? Androulla Vassiliou, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, addressed this question at a meeting involving policy makers, cultural organisations, artists and academics from 54 European and non-European countries. They have discussed proposed recommendations by experts which could form the basis of a new EU strategy on the role of culture in the EU’s external relations. The proposals follow a pilot initiative, launched by the European Parliament and led by the European Commission in cooperation with experts from the Goethe Institute and other cultural organisations. Pierre Vimont, Executive Secretary General of the European External Action Service, and Morten Løkkegaard, Vice-President of the European Parliament's Culture and Education Committee, have also addressed the meeting's discussion, which will feed into final recommendations, due to be published in the next few weeks.

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EU programmes to support higher education in Africa

Higher education has a key role to play in delivering the knowledge requirements for economic development: it is vital for growth and job creation, better governance, increased entrepreneurship and intergenerational social mobility, and a stronger civil society. This holds as true for Africa as it does for the European Union.

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Culture needs more support to reap benefits of the digital revolution

The cultural and creative sectors are at the heart of the digital revolution in Europe – but if they are to achieve their full potential, the EU and its Member States must do more to ensure that the right conditions and incentives are in place for creativity to flourish. This was the main message of Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner responsible for culture, when she took part in the Chaillot Forum on the future of culture and Europe in Paris last 4 April.

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Education is the only way out of poverty and exclusion for Roma

Androulla Vassiliou, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, has participated in the European Roma Summit bringing together around 500 representatives of EU institutions, national government, parliaments international organisations and civil society (including Roma organisations) to discuss progress on Roma integration across Europe in Brussels. This will be the first Summit since the Commission put in place an EU framework for national Roma integration strategies in 2011 (IP/11/400). The aim is to take stock of how the national Roma strategies submitted by Member States as a result of the EU Framework, are being implemented and if they are improving the life of Roma communities on the ground. Commissioner Vassiliou has underlined that education is key to the successful inclusion of Roma communities in Europe.

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