The Challenges of an EU Strategy for International Cultural Relations in a Multipolar World
31 Pages Posted: 16 Jun 2017
Date Written: June 2017
By channelling the results of recent scholarship into policymaking and feeding new policy developments into the academic discourse, this paper aims at contributing to a joint reflection on the development of EU international cultural relations in the context of global public diplomacy embedded in a wider process of eroding state sovereignties, the rise of non-governmental actors, and the acceleration of information technology. Investigating how the EU could be positioned among world powers in the intensifying race for soft power in the twenty-first century, the paper argues that Member States can only influence these global movements by acting together. It concludes that the new institutional dynamics of the Lisbon Treaty may take the nascent EU strategy further than its predecessors and, notwithstanding the immense challenges, can also be interpreted as a timely reminder to uphold the fundamental values of European integration even under difficult circumstances. Overall, this seems to indicate that strengthening the symbolic and cultural dimension could be an important factor in the EU’s foreign policy, and the new approach based on mutual outreach could facilitate mutual understanding as well as the fight against radicalization and populism.
Keywords: EU; International; Culture; Diplomacy; Soft Power
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