EUNIC adopts joint statement with EEAS at General Assembly
EUNIC members met in their first hybrid General Assembly on 10 and 11 June 2021. The network adopted joint statements with EEAS and RIDCULT, welcomed two new members and approved the establishment of seven new EUNIC clusters. The network now counts 132 clusters in more than 100 countries.
For the first time, the EUNIC General Assembly took a hybrid form, with colleagues joining both online and in person in Toledo. The second day of the meeting was organised as a bi-regional meeting along with 22 Ibero-American counterparts from the Ibero-American Network for Cultural Diplomacy (RIDCULT).
Joint statements with European External Action Service and Ibero-American Network for Cultural Diplomacy
On the second day of the meeting, the General Assembly adopted two joint statements, with the European External Action Service (EEAS) and with the Ibero-American Network for Cultural Diplomacy (RIDCULT).
In the presence of Stefano Sannino, Secretary-General of the European External Action Service, EUNIC and the EEAS signed a joint statement, committing to step up joint efforts to implement the strategic framework for international cultural relations by reaffirming their strategic partnership formalized in the Administrative Arrangement of 2017 and by endorsing a number of specific actions.
In his statement to mark the signing of the joint statement, Stefano Sannino highlighted cultural relations as an important tool to face global challenges and promote sustainable development and he reflected on how together we can bring EU cultural relations forward through EUNIC's Preparatory Action European Spaces of Culture, and working closely with Latin America and the Caribbeans.
The EUNIC-EEAS joint statement include action points to advocate the cultural relations approach and strengthen European collaboration in culture throughout both global networks, to implement common cultural relations projects and joint actions in countries outside the EU, to effectively continue the joint implementation of European Spaces of Culture, and to continue joint capacity building between staff of EU institutions and EUNIC through among others a joint job shadowing scheme and a joint training programme. Read the full statement here.
In their joint statement, EUNIC and RIDCULT express the intention to collaborate in the field of culture and sustainable development towards achieving the 2030 Agenda. EUNIC and RIDCULT commit to work together, among others by jointly developing strategic cultural actions, by sharing knowledge and good practice of responding to the global challenges facing sustainable development, and by promoting cultural relations projects to support a sustainable recovery after the Covid-19 pandemic. Read the full statement here.
Incoming EUNIC Presidency: AECID (Spain)
Guzmán Palacios, Director for Cultural and Scientific Relations at AECID, took over as new President of EUNIC. His term as EUNIC president starts immediately and ends in June 2022. He follows in the footsteps of Cees de Graaff, Director of DutchCulture, who took over the Presidency in October 2020.
Guzmán Palacios has a degree in Law and he entered the Diplomatic Career in 2005. He has served in the Diplomatic Representations of Spain in Venezuela, Mexico, and Nicaragua. Among other positions, he was appointed Chief of Cabinet for the Secretary of State of International Cooperation, Ibero-America, and the Caribbean as well as the Secretary of State of International Cooperation in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation.
The General Assembly voted in Johannes Ebert, Secretary General of Goethe-Institut, as Vice-President. He will take over the Presidency from Guzmán Palacios in June 2022.
Andrew Manning was presented as new EUNIC Director. Currently the Secretary General of the European Concert Hall Organisation and International Advisor for the Nordic region at BOZAR – Centre for Fine Arts, he will succeed Gitte Zschoch who has been appointed the new Secretary General of EUNIC member ifa. Andrew Manning’s mandate will start on 15 August 2021.
New Members: Adam Mickiewicz Institute and Bulgarian State Institute for Culture
With unanimous votes, the General Assembly welcomed the Adam Mickiewicz Institute from Poland and the Bulgarian State Institute for Culture as new Full Members to the network. EUNIC now counts 38 Full and Associate Members from all EU Member States and associated countries.
Furthermore, seven new clusters were approved in Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Mongolia, Republic of the Congo and Strasbourg (France). The EUNIC network now has 132 clusters in 102 countries. Clusters are the network's branches, established where at least three EUNIC members are represented. Clusters engage in cultural relations, co-creating activities with partner organisations.