EU and China strengthen a third pillar of the strategic partnership


Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, and her Chinese counterpart, Minister of Culture of the People’s Republic of China Cai Wu opened a new chapter in the EU-China relationship on 1 February by launching the EU-China Year of Intercultural Dialogue.

The 2012 EU-China Year of Intercultural Dialogue is a part of the EU-China High-Level People-to-People Dialogue, which was agreed by the EU and China leaders last year and will be launched at the EU-China Summit on 14-15 February. The People-to-People Dialogue, the so-called ‘third pillar’ in the strategic partnership, builds on the two previous cooperation agreements, which frame the EU-China relations – the High-Level Economic and Trade Dialogue and the High Level Strategic Dialogue.

The Dialogue aims to go beyond already well-established political and economic partnership by strengthening cultural cooperation. It encompasses strategies for bolstering policy exchanges on education and training, fostering multilingualism, promoting civil society exchanges and mutual understanding.

The EU-China Year of Intercultural Dialogue is the second in a series of thematic years in EU-China relations. 2011 was the EU-China Year of Youth.

Launch of 2012 EU-China Year of Intercultural Dialogue
EU welcomes China's cultural drive