External Cultural Relations

The Power of Culture in Reconciliation in the Ukraine Crisis

More Europe – external cultural relations commissioned a study on the power of culture as a tool for reconciliation in the context of the Ukraine crisis. In the course of June 2014, 25 in-depth expert interviews and many more e-mail exchanges with cultural operators and culture activists with the relevant experience from Ukraine, Russia and third countries (including from the UK, Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands) were held. This policy paper contains the results of the study and offers an analysis of their thoughts and suggestions on the subject, the current situation and the way forward.

Read the full paper here.

Engaging the World: towards global cultural citizenship

Final Report of the Preparatory Action Culture in EU External Relations, on how the EU can make strategic use of culture in its external relations. This report presents:

Public and Private Cultural Exchange-Based Diplomacy: New Models for the 21st Century

The fifty-four participants of the Salzburg Global Seminar Session 490 on “Public and Private Cultural Exchange-Based Diplomacy” met at an auspicious moment in the evolution of international cultural engagement. As comment after comment at the Seminar made clear, there is a palpable sense of opportunity in the field. The tone and texture of cultural discourse, the range of included voices in creative practices, the organizational and technological infrastructure for conducting transnational cultural exchanges, are all undergoing a sea change—and generally for the better.

Voices of the People: Culture, Conflict and Change in North Africa


This publication presents the most important insights from a research project carried out for the British Council by the Post-War Reconstruction and Development Unit at the University of York. It suggests that the UK arts community can help shore up fragile changes in the region and build a sustainable cultural ecosystem.

Watch interviews with arts practitioners from the UK and North Africa:


Culture Means Business: How international cultural relationships contribute to increased trade and competitiveness for the UK

This report shows that culture is key to UK commerce in two ways: people overseas who have experienced UK culture are significantly more interested in doing business with the UK; and they also rate the country more highly as a business destination. The report is based on research carried out for the British Council by IpsosMori and YouGov.

Report – “International Artistic Mobility and Territorial diplomacy"

This seminar grouped together 50 professionals from the cultural sector – policymakers, researchers, cultural operators, artists, institutional representatives and consultants from both sides of the Mediterranean (20 countries including 8 countries from the South – , Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic , Denmark, Egypt , Finland, France, Germany, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, the Netherlands, Palestine, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Syria , Tunisia, Turkey, United Kingdom ).
This debate bought to the fore five themes:
1.Mobility and Periphy

Influence and attraction: Culture and the race for soft power in the 21st century.

A new report from the British Council investigates how and why ‘soft power’ is becoming more important in international relations – and why countries such as China, Korea and Brazil are making huge investments in it.

European external cultural relations - Expectations from the outside. Conference report

On 12 December 2012 around 80 experts from the fields of European cultural affairs and (European) external cultural relations, including representatives of cultural institutions and members of academia, met at the conference “European external cultural relations: Expectations from the outside” in order to discuss the perceptions and expectations for European external cultural relations from the outside, in particular in countries in Asia and Africa, since many European cultural co-operation projects focus on those regions.


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