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Brussels Tips #2

Europe and China woo each other..

As a BAM! correspondent, I arrived in Brussels a few days ago…I still have to get used to these tremendously serious temperatures, but some litres of whisy washy coffee will help me settling into it.

As you know, one of the favourite games played by the EU is to assign labels to the years. Well, as soon as I arrived I discovered that 2012 has been baptized the EU-China Year of Intercultural Dialogue.

BAM! took part to the launching conference of this event, which took place on the 2nd of February in the BOZAR, a wonderful International Artistic Centre right in the middle of the city.

Important people representing the European Commission (DG Education and Culture), Cultural Networks (ENCATC, IETM..) and Consultancy Agencies (KEA)  were presented to confront each other on and to set the basis for strengthening cultural cooperation with China.

In the auditorium, beside these excellent personalities, there were many cultural operators, managers and artists from all over Europe and China, who took their turn on the stage to show their experience of cooperation with the other side of the world.

Actually, China and Europe are wooing each other, still not knowing much about each other. First of all, miscommunication: gestures, verbal and body language, attitudes during business meetings or lunches… Reciprocal perceptions should be smoothed over.

China and Europe are wooing each other, but it is not news…2011 has been the EU-China Year of Youth, and still before, the two giants signed a Joint Declaration on Culture on the 22 October 2007, aimed at strengthening the dialoge and collaboration by launching policy exchanges on education and training.

Also in the economic and trade sectors, the EU is hardly working since 2008 in order to activate strategic partnerships with China.

Culture comes after economic agreements, but it will be probably the right level for building a people-to-people dialogue, mutual understanding and sustainable cooperation. 

Will this wooing turn into a happy marriage?

A BAM! cultural spy from Brussels