EUNIC is the network of the international cultural relations institutes from the member states of the European Union. Formed in 2006, it has 30 members from 26 countries.
EUNIC's members work in over 150 countries with over 2,000 branches. They work in the arts, languages, youth, education, science, intercultural dialogue and development sectors. The members' employ over 25,000 staff and have a combined turnover over €2.5bn.
EUNIC's members have an international reputation as Europe's leading cultural relations practitioners.
They seek to facilitate cultural co-operation; to create lasting partnerships between professionals, to encourage greater understanding and awareness of the diverse European cultures and to encourage greater language learning (over 2 million people learn European languages with EUNIC members).
The EUNIC network is:
· An active network: encouraging members to implement shared projects
· A learning network: sharing ideas and practices between members
· A partnering network; working with partners including the European Commission, the Council of Europe and partners around the world,
· An advocacy network; raising the awareness and effectiveness of building cultural relationships between people worldwide
How do the EUNIC members work together?
EUNIC members come together in varied groupings to develop common projects or develop new directions. Examples include the
· Language Rich Europe project led by the British Council which will be a valuable tool for policy makers in the use of languages within the EU,
· the European-Chinese Cultural Dialogue led by the Goethe Institute and the Danish Cultural Institute which brings together intellectuals and practitioners
· Literature Nights led by the Czech Centres which celebrates contemporary literature and translation across Europe every May,
· Culture|Futures which links culture and ecology and is led by the Danish Cultural Institute.
· EUNIC chairs the EC's Civil Society platform on Multilingualism. EUNIC has working groups on e-learning; languages and integration and quality standards in teaching centres.
Around the world, member institutes come together in "clusters" to develop local activities. Over 55 are now in operation with another 25 forming in 2010. In 2009 the clusters organised over 200 shared events and projects. During 2011 EUNIC will run regional policy conferences in Africa and Latin America and in the "European Neighbourhood" in Morocco and Kyiv.
A selection of EUNIC projects in 2010
· Russia; "Intradance" is a co-production between European and Russian contemporary dance companies (with significant EC funding). http://intradance.ru/eng/
· The Poland, Romania, Belgium, Czech Republic clusters have come together for "generation89": bringing people born in 1989 in 9 countries together to develop their views on the future of Europe. http://www.generation89.eu
· In Brussels, EUNIC partners the Council of Europe's CultureWatch Europe programme. The most recent, "Culture and policies of change" brought together over 200 key professionals from Europe, USA, and Australia to explore ideas on how the cultural sector can respond to the challenges of financial austerity, social problems and the need to move to a more environmentally secure future.
· In Chile EUNIC is organizing a Festival of Contemporary Drama. A Chilean jury of playwrights, directors and critics will select 10 plays submitted by 5 EUNIC members of plays premiered in the last two years
· In Berlin the cluster initiated a concert raising over €7,000 for the Haiti earthquake appeal.
· In Athens EUNIC partners the Onassis Foundation, selecting 80 young European participants for a conference on the contemporary influence of Greek thought.
· In South Africa the cluster co-organises a major Architectural festival each year.
· In Armenia five members have come together on a major creative industries project with the Armenian Fashion Council.
How is EUNIC governed?
The heads of EUNIC members, (Secretaries-General and Chief Executives) set the strategy. The president for 2010-11 is Horia Roman Patapievic, president of the Romanian Cultural Institute. The vice-presidents are Ana Paula Laborinho, president of the Instituto Camoes (president from June 2011), and Delphine Borione, director of cultural co-operation at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, president from June 2012.
A full-time presidency support team is responsible for proposing and then delivering the strategy, managing and facilitating shared programmes and projects, leading on external relations.