EU and China set to boost co-operation on education, culture, youth and research
The European Union and China are preparing to take their co-operation to a new level on issues relating to education, culture, youth, research and multilingualism.
Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, is in Beijing to finalise plans for the launch of a “people-to-people” dialogue covering these areas. Its aim is to deepen understanding and mutual trust by supporting exchanges between the two strategic partners. Commissioner Vassiliou will meet her counterpart in the Chinese administration, State Councillor Liu Yandong, to pave the way for the new framework for cooperation, which will be officially launched before the end of the year. During her visit, the Commissioner will also hold talks with Minister of Culture, Cai Wu, and the Vice Minister of Education, Hao Ping, as well as presiding at three major events, the closing ceremony of the EU-China Year of Youth ‘Future Camp’ (24 October), the opening of the EU Film Festival (26 October) and the second EU-China High-Level Culture Forum (27 October), where cultural implications of urbanisation will be discussed.
The new EU-China High-Level People-to-People Dialogue will represent a ‘third pillar’ in relations between the two partners, building on two previous cooperation agreements – the High-Level Economic and Trade Dialogue (‘first pillar’) and the High-Level Strategic Dialogue (‘second pillar’). The people-to-people dialogue will enjoy the same status as the other agreements and will have flexible structure with very low financial implications.
Its first formal meeting will take place in 2012.
Concrete ‘deliverables’ already planned include the establishment of an EU-China Higher Education Council and joint scholarship schemes aimed at encouraging opportunities for EU and Chinese students and teachers to study in each other’s territories. The two partners will also develop a joint strategy and programme for the 2012 EU-China Year of Intercultural Dialogue, which also aims to contribute to better understanding and dialogue.
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