EU explores potential of science and culture in international relations

The European Union has launched a new €25m grant for research into cultural and scientific diplomacy.

The funding strand is calling for projects which would explore the potential of culture and science in the EU’s international relations.

‘The theme of this call for proposals is rather unique,’ an EU official told IAM. ‘It’s aimed at financing one or more projects that will produce novel insights into the EU’s activities.’

According to the funding call, research should analyse and compare the EU and its member states’ cultural relations with ‘other major, and often very active, global players – for example the US, China or South Korea. The role of the Council of Europe and the multilateral dimensions of global cultural relations within UNESCO should equally be investigated.’

Research should also emphasise the institutional set-up, aims, processes and content of the EU’s external activities, and explore how cultural practice is important in building global relationships.

It’s hoped that this funding strand will offer key insights into how future policies should be developed. If it has the anticipated impact, research will highlight best practices and models of effective cooperation, as well as inconsistencies or shortcomings in political and economic terms.

Findings will contribute to a clearer view of the potential for EU cultural and scientific diplomacy and its corresponding challenges.

‘We expect that applicants will put together solid international consortia incorporating partners from the EU, associated countries and third countries,’ added the spokesperson. These consortia will combine expertise from the social sciences with that of various humanities disciplines, and will not only be academic institutes, but also non-governmental entities active in the cultural sector.’

The deadline for applications is 28 May 2015.