Topic of the National Selection Process 2017/2018

This article introduces the topic of this year’s national selection process of the European Youth Parliament in Germany. Nonetheless, it was written in May and does not claim to be up to date until the application deadline. Thus, by the time you start to write your topic overview, please also have an eye on more recent information.

Download Topic: EJP-2018-Topic_Rationale-UsefulLinks (als pdf zum Download).


Considering the joint communication by the European Commission and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on an EU strategy for international cultural relations, how should the European Union further develop the Eastern Partnership Culture Programme II to improve cultural cooperation with its Eastern neighbours?


In June 2016, the European Commission and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy submitted a joint communication to the European Parliament and the Council, introducing a proposal for a European Union (EU) strategy on international cultural relations. The role of culture is especially significant in the promotion of political reforms, democratisation, and a dialogue between the societies and cultural policy makers of neighbouring countries; a common past and culture may thus serve for the benefit of maintaining preferable relations with the neighbourhood through preserving and promoting an intercultural development of interests, mutual trust, and cultural polyphony.

One of the EU’s main pillars is the mutual understanding and respect for fundamental rights with cultural diversity being one of the EU’s most important values. Therefore international cultural relations are an important part of the EU’s role as a global actor. This involves a commitment to support the promotion of the Union and the diverse cultures of EU Member States through ‚cultural diplomacy.‘

In the past few years Member States, the European Parliament and civil society representatives have voiced the need for a more coordinated approach in international cultural relations which led to the Council calling on the Commission and the High Representative to prepare a strategic approach on the matter including guidelines. The Joint Communication proposes an EU Strategy for International Cultural Relations that focuses on advancing cultural cooperation with partner countries across three main strands: supporting culture as an engine for sustainable social and economic development; promoting culture and intercultural dialogue for peaceful inter-community relations; reinforcing cooperation on cultural heritage.

The second strand includes the Eastern Partnership Culture Programme II which follows the Eastern Partnership Programme I (2011-2015). The first programme was launched to strengthen regional cultural links and dialogue within the Eastern Partnership region, and between the EU and European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) Eastern countries’ cultural networks and actors. The programme included Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine and they were assisted in their cultural policy reform at government level, as well as capacity building and improving professionalism of cultural operators in the Eastern ENP region. It contributes to exchange of information and experience among cultural operators at a regional level and with the EU. The programme seeks to support regional initiatives which demonstrate positive cultural contributions to economic development, social inclusion, conflict resolution and intercultural dialogue. The succeeding Eastern Partnership Culture Programme II will further develop the aforementioned objectives, but will not include Russia.

Exemplary Questions:


  • How is the current situation affected with the strategy for international cultural relations in place?
  • What difficulties occurred with the Eastern Partnership Culture Programme I and how can the Eastern Partnership Culture Programme II be more effective?
  • What are the main tasks for different actors and how are they divided among them?
  • Can and should the EU enforce measures on a regional level?
  • Where should cultural cooperation be at the end of the Eastern Partnership Culture Programme II?

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