India, EU sign cultural pact

By Sarwar Kashani, IANS
Friday, December 10, 2010

BRUSSELS - India and the European Union Friday signed a pact to broaden cultural exchanges and promotion of knowledge between the two sides.

The accord, which will “further promote and strengthen the rich cultural cooperation between the two sides”, was signed by Indian cultural ministry secretary Jawahar Sircar and EU director general for education Jan Truszczynski after the 11th India-EU summit, officials from the two sides said.

“The European Commission and the government of India declare their wish to strengthen cooperation and dialogue between in the field of culture (as they) consider that cultural cooperation is instrumental in improving mutual understanding and in promoting genuine intercultural dialogue,” a joint declaration issued after the signing ceremony said.

The declaration said that India and EU “share a commitment to the preservation and promotion of cultural diversity”.

A mutually acceptable framework is being discussed under future EU-funded culture programme that will further promote and strengthen the rich cultural cooperation between the two sides.

In this context, both sides declared that they will set up a sector policy dialogue covering issues of common interest in the field of culture to protect and promote the diversity of cultural expressions.

The sector policy dialogue and cooperation will consist of regular exchanges of best practices, achievements and challenges and promotion of knowledge building and sharing in relation to commonly identified issues.

“Specific events such as seminars, workshops, or expert meetings will be jointly organized for the purpose of those exchanges and discussions, with the participation of relevant stakeholders. These events could be held annually, alternately in Brussels and in New Delhi or in any other venue agreed to by both sides,” the declaration said.

“In addition, special promotional events, with the participation of relevant stakeholders, could be organized,” it added.

The two sides will regularly review its implementation and senior officials from both sides will meet in principle once a year.

The two sides will bear their own delegations costs of participation in such events and meetings.

All other costs linked to the organization of these seminars, workshops and meetings will be borne by the side hosting the events, except if agreed otherwise, the declaration said.

Filed under: Diplomacy

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