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Alain Ruche (Secretary-Generalof the EU External Service, Senior Advisor on Cultural Matters)
发布时间:2015年01月09日  来源:察哈尔学会  作者:Alain Ruche  阅读:908

Distinguished organizers, Colleagues, Ladies and gentlemen, Excellencies, co-organizers of this event, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen.

 

We are very honored of being your guest in Shanghai. I would like to concentrate on four words-culture, international relations, China and Europe, particular the European Union, see how cities fit in this picture. I would like to do this with three questions: 1) what is happening now in the field of international cultural engagement? What is the context? 2) How can China and Europe work together? 3) What kind of recommendation can we draw for the future?

 

Let's start from the context. We live in an interdependent, interconnected world where speed and predictability must matter. Today what happens in the world influences what happens in our community and in our family. Climate change is a good example. Given our population and our size, China and Europe we are major stakeholders in this process. In the context of international culture engagement, we can see three changes happening at the same time. First, we can see a shift from culture diplomacy to people-to-people engagement at a global level. I understand in China there are hundreds of million active social media users. And we know the culture plays a big role in the conversation all these people are having every day. Cities matter. Because they produce and consume lots of this kind of culture. And also must culture operator live and work in cities. This international engagement takes place in the diversification of fluxes across the world. The second shift concerns the whole of the state. State is less a doing actor than an enabling actor. Here reflect, Saying "Look at me, look how beautiful I am." Progressively leave more space to active listening, mutual understanding and co-financing. The third structural change refers to the multiplication of diversification of stakeholders. These networks on international level are often digitally oriented and they have a global impact while they are not global by themselves. A recent paper issued has a title A Global Parliament of Mayors' Governance Network also includes initiative agenda 21 for culture involve more than 300 cities local government and organization from all over the world. This shows that city diplomacy may well be more advance on the field actually than we normally think. Others can do part of the job and actually started doing so. These three changes are often used in an emerging global paradigm which has to do with collaboration, empathy instead of pure and hard competition. This is happening everywhere, in cities, in the universities, in community life. This new development also has an impact on the leadership culture. Less and less pure command and counter mode is prevailing. Open collaboration and open innovation is now coming up. And we can see it in culture activity as well.

 

Now the second part is how China and Europe work together on this can. Let's avoid a mistake of sameness. We shouldn't be the same. We shouldn't be even working together to be the same. We are different. But we can work together to face common and join challenges, in particular at global level. For example, for cities, I understand the experience of China include the setting up of city advance sometimes very far away for traditional centers. So the adaptation problem is all of a challenge. In Europe we have all the cities which need to adjust to modern requirement and knew again human aspect in life. Recently the European has worked hard on this issue of whole of culture in external relations. And China is a first pilot case. And we have a very active people to people dialogue in particular on creative industries. Two or three months ago a landmark study was issued on the role of culture in external relation with also a paper and 24 county reports on this very much topic. More recently the External Service of European, of which I am a member, EU official, started working on cultural and chance culture reconciliation, culture include diversity, democracy and conflict and prevention. So what kind of recommendation can we think of? I see two. First, principle for future action and what kind of action for new ideas. As principle for action, I would say instead of concentrating too much on a grant strategy, let's do things in spite step. We look around. We learn. We correct. And we make another step. Second,let's support consensuses building up in cities with the approach from bottom-up to global. Third, let us have harmony in all our policies. We may have half of the citizens live in cities, but it also means the other half live in rural and small towns. I was happy to see two years' back the topic of the conference was on wisdom. I have much respect for Chinese and for China in this respect. We must go beyond smart and intelligent city; we must pull wisdom deep in this process. We should give more attention to creative industry, some of the cities in Europe use creativity as the most important concept.

 

The recommendations made are about principles for action (mainly a prototype approach beyond smart cities), and concrete proposals inspired by new ideas (like a school for city leaders and city multi-track diplomacy).China-Europe relations are based on an important fact that the East and West civilizations have learned from each other on the basis of mutual respect and equality. City diplomacy can actively contribute to deepen this development.

 

To conclude, I would like to say that we are on a tipping point in the international relations, and cities are playing key roles nowadays!


Thank you very much! 

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