Entries with Categories Global Affairs Trials .

essay/ Marianna McMillan

I. Introduction

On 31 March 2016, the High Representative of the EU, Federica Mogherini, presented the new cultural diplomacy platform, which goal is to enhance visibility and understanding of the Union through intercultural dialogue. The fact that all influential actors are committed to this platform (from a top-down, bottom-up perspective), means that we need to reconsider three EU factors: (1) the context in which it operates; (2) the domestic constraints it has to address, and (3) the foreign policy it aspires to. However, the EU wants to give a single cultural image, with a single voice that is consistent with its policies; That is why, first and foremost, the EU must uphold its motto 'unity in diversity'. This motto signifies the integration of national cultures into other countries, without this integration endangering the different national identities of the member states. Consequently, in its status as an international actor and regional organisation, the EU is lacking in intercultural dialogue and negotiation between identities (European External Action Service, 2017). For this reason, it must strive both in one and in the other (intercultural dialogue and the negotiation between identities) to face threats to European security such as terrorism, cyber-insecurity, energy insecurity or identity ambiguity.

The goal The aim of this analysis is, on the one hand, to understand the importance of culture as an instrument of soft power, and on the other hand, to reflect on the influence of culture as the theoretical foundation of the new European cultural platform.

II. Unity in diversity through the New Cultural Diplomacy Platform

If the European Union aspires to be a liberal order based on cooperation, then to what extent can the EU be globally influential? What is undeniable is that it lacks a single voice and a coherent common foreign policy.

The fact that the EU lacks a single voice is result of the course of integration throughout history, an integration that has been based more on diversity and not so much on equality. On the other hand, the assertion about the incoherence of the common foreign policy makes reference letter to all those cases in which, in the face of a coordination problem, what was agreed in the 1992 Maastricht Treaty takes precedence (Banús, 2015: 103-105 and Art. 6, TFEU): the competences may be of the member states, of the EU or they may be shared competences

As a result of the acceleration of globalisation, the increase in non-traditional security threats (international terrorism, energy vulnerability, irregular migratory flows, cyber threats or climate change) the idea of a common foreign policy between member states and the EU is challenged. Such threats demand not only a new paradigm of security, but also a new paradigm of coexistence. This paradigm shift would allow the EU to have a greater capacity to reduce radicalisation and to direct coexistence towards the needs of civil societies (see European Commission, 2016). By way of illustration of the new paradigm, we can name the promotion of narratives of a shared cultural heritage that financial aid to the regional integration process. However, at the same time that initiatives such as the above are implemented, scepticism towards immigrants is growing and narratives contrary to the EU narrative projected by the EU are being promoted. These institutional and structural constraints – diversity and shared competences – reflect the dynamics of the cultural landscape and their unintended consequences within the EU. They also give a glimpse of the project European identity as a process of integration (unity in diversity) and European identity as a single voice. Therefore, the EU, as an international actor and regional organisation, based on unity in diversity, has a need to establish an intercultural dialogue and a negotiation of shared identities from within its organisation (EEAS, 2017). This would serve not only to establish favourable conditions for Brussels' policies, but also as an instrument or means for the EU to counter non-traditional and external threats, such as terrorism, populist narratives, cyber threats, energy insecurity and identity ambiguity.

Regarding the difficulty in distinguishing internal constraints and external threats, Federica Mogherini established the New Cultural Diplomacy Platform (NPC) in 2016.

With the goal to clarify the terminology Previously used, 'cultural diplomacy' is understood as a 'balance of power' according to the approach realistic and as a "reflective balance" from a approach (Triandafyllidou & Szucs, 2017). On the one hand, the approach realist understands cultural diplomacy as a subject of dialogue that serves to advance and protect national interests abroad (e.g. joint European cultural events or bilateral programmes, such as film festivals, support for the strengthening of Tunisia's cultural sector, the creation of European cultural houses, the Culture and Creativity, Communication and Culture programme for the development in the Southern Mediterranean region, and the NPC).  On the other hand, the approach Conceptually, more reflectively, he understands cultural diplomacy as a policy in itself. The potential of cultural synergies is fostered for a development social and economic sustainability through individuals (e.g. cultural exchanges such as Erasmus Plus, the Instrument for Promoting and Developing Countries). development and Cooperation and its subprogrammes, the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), the ENI Cross Border Cooperation and the Civil Society Facility). The application of cultural diplomacy to the EU seeks to have global visibility and influence, and on the other hand, seeks to promote economic growth and social cohesion through civil societies (Trobbiani, 2017: 3-5).

Despite being funded by the Partnership Instrument (PI), which has as its goal to promote visibility and understanding of the EU, the NPC is a balance between the approach realistic and the approach (European Commission, 2016b). Consequently, it is a resilience strategy that responds to a new reality (resilience is understood in terms of inclusiveness, prosperity and security of society). In this reality, non-traditional security threats have emerged and in which there has been a change in the position of citizens, who have gone from being independent observers, to being active participants demanding a constructive dialogue involving all stakeholders: national governments, international organizations and civil societies (Higgot, 2017:6-8 and EU, 2016).

The 2016 Global Strategy seeks pluralism, coexistence and respect by "deepening the work In the Education, culture and youth" (EU, 2016). In other words, the platform invests in Structures creative organizations, such as think tanks, cultural institutes, or local artists, to preserve a cultural identity, advance economic prosperity, and enhance soft power.

By seeking global understanding and visibility, we see how the EU's interest in international cultural relations (ICR) and cultural diplomacy (CD) has grown. This, in turn, reflects the EU's internal need for a single voice and a common foreign policy. This effort demonstrates the fundamental role of culture in soft power, thus creating a connection between culture and external power. Perhaps the most appropriate question is: to what extent can Mogherini's NCP turn culture into a tool soft power? And are the strategies – ICR and NCP – a communication and a model effective coordination in the face of internal and external security threats, or will it inevitably undermine their narrative of unity in diversity?

III. Culture and Soft Power

The change in the concept of security requires a revisit of the concept of soft power. In this case, cultural diplomacy must be understood in terms of soft power, and soft power must be understood in terms of attractiveness and influence. Soft power, of agreement with Joseph Nye's notion of persuasion, it arises from "intangible resources of power": "such as culture, ideology and institutions" (Nye, 1992:150-170).

The EU as a product of cultural dialogues is a civil power, a normative power and a soft power. The EU's power of persuasion depends on its legitimacy and credibility in its institutions (EU, 2016a and Michalski, 2005:124-141). For this reason, the coherence between the identity that the EU wishes to show and the practices it will follow is fundamental for the projection of itself as a credible international actor. This coherence will be necessary if the EU is to meet its goal to "reinforce unity in diversity". Otherwise, their liberal values would be contradicted and populist prejudices against the EU would be solidified. Thus, domestic legitimacy and credibility as sources of soft power ultimately depend on the written request of the consistency between the EU's narrative identity and the democratic values reflected in its practices (EU, 2016).

Cultural diplomacy responds to incoherence by requiring reflection, on the one hand, and improving that identity, on the other. For example, optimising Europe's image through the European Neighbourhood Instrument communication programme and association (ENPI) help promote specific geopolitical interests, creating more durable conditions for cooperation with countries such as Algeria, Libya and Syria to the south; and Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine to the east. This is relevant in relation to what Nye coined as "co-optive power": "the ability of a country to manage a status so that other countries develop certain preferences or define their interests in the agreement with their own" (Nye, 1990:168). Soft power applied to culture can work indirectly or directly. It works indirectly when it is independent of government control (e.g., popular culture) and directly through cultural diplomacy (e.g., the NCP). Foreign policy actors can act as defenders of domestic culture, both consciously (e.g., politicians) and unconsciously (e.g., local artists). In doing so, they serve as agents for other countries or channels of soft power.

IV. Culture and foreign policy

Considering soft power as an emergence of culture, values, and national policies, we can say that culture is both a foundation and a foundation. resource of foreign policy (Liland, 1993:8). Foreign policy, in turn, operates within the framework of any society interacting at the international level. Therefore, there is a need for a European cultural context capable of influencing the world (such as the difference in the accession negotiations between Croatia and Turkey and the attractiveness of economic integration or the ability to adjust human rights policies). Culture, in turn, is a resource, as the exchange empowers the EU. This new capacity of the EU allows it to become acquainted with new attitudes, sentiments and popular images that are capable of influencing foreign policy, domestic policy and social life. (Liland, 1993:9-14 and Walt, 1998). Another noteworthy function of culture is the dissemination of information and its ability to obtain favorable opinions in the foreign nation (Liland, 1993:12-13).

Cultural diplomacy is therefore at the forefront of European foreign policy; On the other hand, this does not mean that the use of culture can replace traditional foreign policy objectives – geography, power, security, politics and economics – but that the use of culture serves to support and legitimize them. In other words, culture is not the main agent in the foreign policy process, but is the foundation that reinforces, contradicts, or explains its content – thus, Wilson's idealism in the 1920s can be linked to a domestic culture of "manifest destiny" (Liland, 1993 and Kim, 2011:6).

V. Conclusions

The purpose of this article has been to highlight the importance of culture in relation to soft power and foreign policy, as a theoretical foundation to understand the logic of the new EU Cultural Diplomacy platform. Identifying the role of culture as a fundamental part of social cohesion within the EU, we can conclude that culture has made the EU a global actor with more capacity for influence. Culture, likewise, has been identified as source and as an instrument of foreign policy. But the sources of soft power—culture, political values, and foreign policy—depend on three factors: (1) a favorable context; (2) credibility in values and internship, and (3) the perception of legitimacy and moral authority (see Nye, 2006). The EU must first legitimise itself as a coherent actor with moral authority, in order to be able to deal effectively with its existential crisis (European Union, 2016a:9 and Tuomioja, 2009).

To do so, the EU must overcome its institutional and structural limits by collectively confronting its non-traditional external external security threats. This requires a strategy of resistance in which the EU is not identified as a threat to national identity, but as a cultural, economic and legislative entity.

In this article various topics related to culture, soft power, the EU's foreign policy and its internal dynamics were discussed; However, the impact of a "uniform cultural system" and how foreign policy can influence a society's culture has not been analysed in depth. Culture is not an end in itself, nor are intercultural dialogues and the development of cultural diplomacy.

The Union should avoid the risk of evolving towards a dehumanising bureaucratic structure favouring a standard culture to counter its internal constraints and non-traditional external security threats. According to Vaclav Havel, the EU can avoid this phenomenon by supporting cultural institutions that work for plurality and freedom of culture. These institutions are critical to preserving each nation's national identity and traditions. In other words, culture must be subsidized to better adapt to its plurality and freedom, as is the case with national heritages, libraries, museums and public archives – or the witnesses of our past (Havel, 1992).

As a final touch and as a historical reflection, cultural diplomacy promotes shared narratives about cultural identities. To do otherwise would not only solidify populist rhetoric and domestic prejudice against the Union, but would also make cultural totalitarianism, or worse, cultural relativism, endemic. To aspire to a 'uniform culture system' through an agreed European narrative would be to negotiate pluralism and freedom and, consequently, to contradict firstly the nature of culture and, secondly, the liberal values on which the Union was founded.



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Categories Global Affairs: European Union World order, diplomacy and governance Essays

essay / Celia Olivar Gil [English version].

The global context continues to pose new challenges to European collective action at subject of development, the most important of which is migration from the Southern Mediterranean and the difficulty of articulating a well-articulated joint reaction. Aware of the urgency of status, the European Union is trying to offer a new and ambitious response in the form of the New Consensus on development (hereafter 'Consensus') which also coincides with the review of the Millennium Development Goals by the United Nations.

The Consensus is a 'framework of action' to promote the integration and coherence of cooperation to development of the European Union and its member states. This framework of action requires the adoption of those changes necessary for both EU and national legislation to comply with the diary 2030 of development Sustainable proposal by the United Nations and with the agreement of Paris on climate change.

The Consensus maintains the eradication of poverty as its main goal, goal , but includes a novel vision, proposing that poverty be addressed from a triple economic, social and environmental perspective. In addition to the eradication of poverty, the Consensus aims to achieve diary 2030, and to this end articulates its five pillars: population, planet, prosperity, peace and cooperation. To this articulation, the Consensus adds some novel and cross-cutting elements, which are: emphasis on youth (meeting the basic needs of young people such as employment); gender equality; good governance (achieving a rule of law that guarantees human rights, promoting the creation of transparent institutions, participatory decision-making and independent and impartial courts); mobilization and migration; sustainable energy and climate change; Investment and trade; innovative engagement with countries at development more advanced (building new partnerships with these countries to implement diary 2030 here); domestic resource mobilization and use (effective and efficient use of resources through the "raise more, spend better" initiative).



In order to achieve all the initiatives and objectives set out above, the application of the Consensus extends to both the policies of the European Union and those of all its member states. In addition, it emphasizes that the Consensus should also be applied in new, more tailored and more multilateral partnerships involving civil society and greater participation of partner countries. The means of implementation combine traditional financial aid with more innovative forms of financing for development, such as private sector investments and mobilizing additional domestic resources for development. In terms of follow-up, the new consensus will have a regular monitoring mechanism, including accountability through the European Parliament and national parliaments and reporting obligations.

Initial assessments of the new consensus agree that it is a good synthesis of the international concerns of development. However, it raises some criticisms regarding the effective capacity to address these concerns.

First of all, as the Overseas Development Institute points out, it is not a real strategic plan, but a set of unconnected priorities. development For it to be a real strategy, the roles of the Commission and the member states would need to be determined, the thematic, sectoral and geographic priorities defined (the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) contained in the diary 2030 are treated with equal importance), and new European institutions built or existing ones (such as the International Climate Fund) used to coordinate national funds more effectively. Likewise, the Consensus should determine the form and content of cooperation with income countries average, establishing horizontal, vertical and sectoral coordination. At the same time, this coordination would require the establishment of a division of tasks within the EU to achieve a better use of resources.

Secondly, and from agreement with James Mackie (head of the department learning and quality of the European Center for the development) it is difficult to perceive to whom it is addressed and what exactly it demands. The fact that geographic and sectoral priorities remain undetermined leaves the Degree commitment of member states uncertain and if there is commitment, it will be tactical rather than explicit.

The third criticism is related to its implementation. Although the consensus is ambitious in its objectives, it lacks an adequate institutional framework and an efficient mechanism to implement its new proposals. In addition, it gives the private sector a very important role, without providing it with transparency in cases of human rights abuses or environmental damage, as Marta Latek, researcher at EPRS (European Parliamentary Research Service) explained

In terms of its objectives there are many influential actors such as CARE (the international confederation of development) who agree that it focuses too much on migration control and does not prioritize the needs of the poor. This can be seen in the fact that both in the framework cooperation with other non-EU countries, as well as the external investment plan, it prioritizes the security and commercial interests of the EU before helping the population out of poverty.

A fifth criticism makes reference letter to the political dimension. The new Consensus should integrate a holistic as well as a sustainable security concept to connect the problems of stability and democracy with those of security in EU foreign affairs. A holistic concept of development means a vision of lasting sustainability, encompassing aspects such as the condition of sustainability, social justice or democracy. (Criticism according to Henökl, Thomas and Niels Keijzer of the German Development Institute).

Finally, as far as financing is concerned, the European Parliament continues to ask member states to donate 0.7% of their annual budget for cooperation to development. Given that very few of them are able to give this 0.7%, the consensus is on the importance of private sector participation via the European External Investment Plan.

In conclusion, this document reflects the needs of the current global context but requires a series of changes in order to be fully effective and a true strategy. These changes are necessary to prevent the Consensus from remaining only theoretical.



Questions and Answers: New European Consensus on development: 

The new European Consensus on development: EU and Member States sign a joint strategy to eradicate poverty:

The proposed new European Consensus on Development Has the European Commission got it right?

New European consensus on development Will it be fit for purpose?

Seven critical questions for review of 'European Consensus on Development '

The Future of the "European Consensus on Development"

European Union Development Policy: Collective Action in Times of Global Transformation and Domestic Crisis

Categories Global Affairs: European Union World order, diplomacy and governance Essays