Research Programme 'Culture and Foreign Policy'
ifa | 'Cultural cooperation will inevitably suffer from reduced freedom of movement, less money from loss of access to EU programmes, tariffs on trade in cultural goods and services, and increased bureaucracy from the introduction of customs checks.' There is a great deal of common ground and existing collaboration between Germany and the UK in the main areas of international cultural relations. This collaboration is supported by a range of instruments, some of which are at risk from Brexit, some of which are not directly impacted by Brexit. Which consequences will Brexit have for cultural cooperation between Germany and the UK? Which consequences are actual, which are only potential? How can Germany’s foreign cultural policy react at the initial stage of this process? How can intercultural exchange be secured with a long-term perspective despite Brexit?
Study by Stuart MacDonald
ifa | Loud demands for more transparency and opportunities for co-determination occur on a regular basis. Political engagement of civil society extends far beyond the election of its representatives. Due to modern forms of communication and transport , foreign policy takes place in detachment from incumbents of political office. Does this make the work of diplomats obsolete? No, as foreign policy is a very complex field that requires a certain form of expertise. However, the exchange with the civilian population can be very fruitful. This was shown by the citizens' dialogue "Außenpolitik live- Diplomaten im Dialog (Foreign Policy Live - Diplomats in Dialogue)".
The EU in the wake of Brexit
ifa | Why do we really want Europe? Can we demonstrate to European citizens the opportunities offered by social politics and a strong social democracy in Europe? This is the aim of the new Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung project "Politics for Europe". In a random selection of persons eligible to vote in Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the Czech and Slovakian Republics, persons were surveyed about their perceptions of the European Community and their expectations of the EU. The results show that European integration can be done in a democratic, economic and socially balanced way and with a reliable foreign policy.
blogs.lse.ac.uk | Commentators argue that globalisation with its implications is the main reason for the cleavage appearing in western Europe. Several recent European elections, as well as the UK’s referendum on Brexit, have shown a clear split in voting choices between citizens with different levels of education. The traditional distinction between right and left seems to be obsolete. Mark Bovens and Anchrit Wille argue that a new political cleavage in Europe has emerged between citizens with high levels of education and those with lower levels of educational attainment.
Foreign Policy live
ifa | Pegida and TTIP are symptoms of society’s loss of confidence in the government. Civil-society actors are becoming increasingly more significant when it comes to shaping Germany’s foreign policy. What is the importance of participation here? Can dialogue formats break down distrust and create transparency? On 21 June 2017, Dieter Reinl and Valentin Naumescu discussed these topics in the German city of Passau. The discussion was moderated by Sophie Haring. By Odila Triebel and Daniela Hochstätter
German civil society international
ifa | In times of increasing political disillusionment and scepticism towards the state, reference is often made to civil society as an important contributor to shaping democracy. Many actors target neighbouring countries, regions or international politics with their activities. In their study "Zivilgesellschaftliche Akteure in der Außenpolitik [Civil Society Actors in Foreign Policy]" Prof. Dr. Daniel Göler and Robert Lohmann discuss the foreign policy of civil society. What is the meaning of 'civil society' in this context? How does this new form of foreign policy influence state actors?
Europe in an Epoch of Populism
ifa | One audience, two guest speakers, countless questions. How might the European fabric be strenghtened? Which roles do populism and nationalism play? And what is Europe, altogether? Political blogger John Worth sits adjacent diplomat Görgen at the podium. The concluding seminar of the programme "Foreign Politics Live – Diplomats in Dialogue", held at the Leipziger Zeitgeschichtliches Forum (Contemporary Historical Forum) is underway. Yannick Jürgens from the radio station mephisto 97.6 moderates the theme "Strengthening Europe – Handling Populism and Euroscepticism".
ifa | Why is culture important for European cities? How does an ideal cultural city look like? The European Commission published their findings in the first edition of “Cultural and Creative Cities Monitor.” With the comparing tool developed by the scientific office of the European Union, called the Joint Research Centre (JRC), cities are supported in finding their strengths and weaknesses. Furthermore, they want cities to compare themselves and learn from each other. The tool is the result of data collected from 168 cities in 30 European countries. The performance was measured by using 29 indicators mirroring the cultural, social and economic dynamic of the cities. You can find the full report here.
Cooperation in Europe
ifa | 25 years ago former Federal Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher and his Romanian ministerial colleague Adrian Năstase signed the German-Romanian Treaty on Friendly Cooperation. During the anniversary year various events on the cooperation of the two countries are taking place. In Timișoara the German Cultural Days are celebrated. On May 25, the ifa-exhibition 'Rosemarie Trockel' opens at the Museum of Art of the West Romanian town. The Centrul Cultural German Timişoara presents the exhibition 'International Relations. Young Architectes from Germany' up to 9 June.
ifa | Participating in a journalistic workshop, 15 pupils had the chance to learn more about their own town of Sântana in Romania in May 2017. The main focus of the workshop was interviewing people with traditional professions like a mason, a blacksmith, or an upholsterer. Concluding the workshop, they gathered all their information and wrote short articles that are published in the 'Allgemeine Deutsche Zeitung für Rumänien', a German-language daily newspaper based in Romania.
Photos by Florian Kerzel (ifa cultural manager)
ifa | What are the correlations between national, transnational and European perspectives? Is there a difference between a European perspective and multiperspectivity? What can and what should be the goal of historical education concerning the First World War? The contributions in this anthology reflect on these questions, reveal blind spots and present new approaches and projects to European Commemoration of the First World War.
Simulation game on European cultural policy
ifa | The European Union is rife with crisis and discord. Instead of solidarity and cohesion, self-interest and protectionism dominate the discourse between its member states. Internally as well as externally, the project EU is as unattractive as never before. Hence, the European Commission ventures to act big: a new pan-European idea is needed.
On the traces of the Transylvanian Saxons in Romania
ifa | The German school is deserted, a Protestant parsonage serves as a youth hostel. Today, Seligstadt has just 200 residents. It is one of the oldest villages founded by Transylvanian Saxons in Romania. In November 2016, a group of German-speaking youngsters from Temeswar and Fogarasch visited the village in search of its past, present and future. With the help of an audio expert and two ifa cultural managers they produced articles for an interactive audio-trail.
Photos by Florian Kerzel (ifa cultural manager)
Call for Applications
ifa| The programme offers young professionals and volunteering individuals from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine, Russia and Germany the opportunity to gain professional experience abroad and to act as multipliers in their home countries. This initiative aims at the extension and development of political, economic and social relationships among the countries involved. Deadline is 10 March 2017.
Special Press Review
ifa | Populism is on the rise in Europe. Anti-European parties and protectionist movements are enforcing nationalistic ideas. The new ifa’s Special Review ''Target Europe'' addresses the revival of nationalist thinking in Europe, its impact on the arts, culture, the media and science as well as the latters' responsibility to fight back against oversimplifying populist narratives.
Culture report, EUNIC Yearbook
Talk about soccer requires a more than vague expertise, but, all in all, it is well-focused. It doesn’t oblige you to intervene personally, because you are talking about something played beyond the area of the speaker’s power. For the male adult it’s like little girls playing ladies: a pedagogical game, which teaches you how to occupy your proper place.
By Umberto Eco
Culture Report / EUNIC Yearbook 2016
A Global Game. Sport, Culture, Development and Foreign Policy
Sport spans linguistic and cultural boundaries and gets into the hearts of people all over the world. But the ideal of fair play is under threat from corruption and commercialisation, greed and political manoeuvring. Can sport be a useful tool in cultural relations? How can the social power of sport be used for development, integration and peace work? These and other questions are addressed in the Culture Report and EUNIC Yearbook 2016. On the occasion of Euro 2016, we publish selected articles in the series A Global Game.
Dave Eggers: Sports for communists
Serhij Zhadan: Ukraine goes into extra time
Anders Ravn Sørensen: Swede of the year
Umberto Eco: Sport is man, sport is society
Beqë Cufaj: Sport is also war
Julian Rieck: A symbol of Spain's internal battles
Andrei S. Markovits: A force for emancipation and discrimination
Marianne Meier: A love affair with dictators
Young people in Kiev had the opportunity to slip into the role of local politicians and activists in a fictional city. The aim of the simulation was to promote participation and democracy. A report on the Our Community simulation game held from 2 to 4 November 2015.
By André Eichhofer
Interview with Federica Mogherini
eunews.it | The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, after the presentation of the 'Cultural Diplomacy' project.
European Commission: Towards an EU strategy for international cultural relations