EU Cultural Diplomacy: A Contextual Analysis of Constraints and Opportunities

  • Richard Higgott
Part of the The European Union in International Affairs book series (EUIA)


This chapter examines the EU Cultural Diplomacy in the wake of the 2016 Joint Communication and the 2017 adoption of a strategy for international cultural relations. It identifies opportunities, but more pertinently the constraints on the development of a European strategy for international cultural relations and cultural diplomacy. In doing so, it specifically looks into the institutional design that underpins the current attempts to develop a strategy for intercultural relations. The chapter identifies three types of constraints: structural (politico-economic context), ideational (defining the appropriate normative agenda for ICR-CD), and agential (the role of people and institutional agents). These big picture constraints cast an immediate policy shadow that houses three practical problems: How does the EU: (i) overcome the competence problem in the policy-making relationship between the member states and Brussels; (ii) how does it resolve the perennial coordination problem; (iii) how does it address the funding problem? In what is a more an applied exercise in public policy than an academic/scholarly paper, it attempts to provide insight into the resolution of these problems.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Higgott
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for European Studies (IES)Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)BrusselsBelgium

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