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Cities' External Cultural Relations: Trends and Actions

By EUROCITIES, Brussels, 2017, 26 pages

EUROCITIES, Brussels, Belgium, is a network of major European cities with over 140 members. The association works in all areas of interest for cities, from culture to mobility, environment to social affairs, economic development to smart cities. The objective is to facilitate learning experiences between cities, and represent the cities' interests at the European Union.

The EUROCITIES study entitled Cities' External Cultural Relations: Trends and Actions clearly shows city authorities to be vitally important partners for pilot projects and future EU actions in the field of international cultural relations. In a broader context, there is a great number of innovative policies and actions already present in cities, which have the potential to inform and inspire the future development of international cultural relations at both the national and the European level. Cultural relations play an increasingly significant role in the international sphere, with growing consensus on the positive outcomes of better intercultural understanding. This is especially true at the city level; in the age of instant digital communication and increased mobility, cultural diplomacy has become far broader than the actions of national governments.

The study reveals that cities are early adopters of a collaborative and interactive approach when it comes to their external cultural relations, experimenting with innovative working models, projects and actions which bring their citizens closer to the rest of the world. There are lessons to be drawn from these initiatives at the national and the European level, effectively upgrading and building on the knowledge and experience already present in cities. The cities' size and status make them important actors on the global stage, while their proximity to the citizens allows their policies and actions to be responsive and innovative. Cities are a source of inspiration for new ways of working and engaging culturally with external partners, employing a collaborative approach in a spirit of co-creation, mutual understanding and mutual benefit, all while keeping European values at the core of their actions.

For more information and for the full study, please visit: www.eurocities.eu/eurocities/news/New-EUROCITIES-study-highlights-trends-and-actions-on-culture-in-cities-external-relations-WSPO-AREME9