EU National Institutes for Culture - EUNIC


European Union National Institutes for Culture

EUNIC – European Union National Institutes for Culture – is the European network of organisations engaging in cultural relations. Together with our partners, we bring to life European cultural collaboration in more than 100 countries worldwide with a network of 140 clusters, drawing on the broad experience of our members from all EU Member States and associate countries.

EUNIC advocates a prominent role of culture in international relations and is a strategic partner of the EU, actively involved in the further definition of European cultural policy. EUNIC is a platform for knowledge sharing and for capacity building amongst its members and partners.

Through culture, EUNIC strives to build trust and understanding between the people of Europe and the wider world. We work to make culture count in international relations.

EUNIC’s work is based on the principles of cultural relations. We aim to build fair partnerships by practising mutual listening and learning and engaging in dialogue, co-creation, and joint capacity building.

EUNIC’s understanding of culture includes the arts, creative industries, development cooperation, digitalisation, education, gender, heritage, human rights, language and multilingualism, social inclusion, sports, sustainability, tourism, youth, and others.

The purposes of EUNIC are defined in the Statutes as follows:

  • to work together
  • to promote cultural diversity and understanding
  • to strengthen international dialogue and cultural cooperation
  • to be a partner of the EU in defining and implementing EU cultural policy
  • to advocate for the value of cultural relations and, as part of this, argue for a strong and independent voice for the cultural sector
  • to conduct research and share best practices

EUNIC Statutes in the French original and English translation

The revised Statutes as published here have been approved by Royal Decree and deposited with the Brussels Enterprise Court and published in the Annexes to the Belgian Official Journal (Moniteur Belge). EUNIC is registered as an international non-profit association (AISBL) under Belgian law (VAT BE 0473.098.395).

On 4 June 2020, EUNIC adopted its new Strategic Framework 2020-2024. EUNIC's three objectives are:

  • to strengthen cultural relations worldwide together with partners;
  • to advocate for culture in international relations as a strategic partner of the EU; and
  • to enhance its capacity as a network.

EUNIC Strategic Framework 2020-2024

EUNIC is one of the European networks supported by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union. It has continuously benefited from this support since 2014.

EUNIC members join together in 140 clusters in 108 countries worldwide. Clusters are the network's branches, established where at least three EUNIC Full Members are represented. Clusters engage in cultural relations, co-creating activities with partner organisations. This map shows the global presence of EUNIC.

Colleagues working in EUNIC clusters find key documents and guidelines in the EUNIC Resource Centre.

EUNIC members engage in cultural and related activities beyond their national borders. They are national institutes for culture or other organisations acting for or on behalf of a national entity, based in EU Member States. EUNIC unites both cultural institutes that operate at arm’s length from national governments and national bodies and ministries. EUNIC currently counts 39 members based in all EU Member States and associated countries.

Czech Republic
Czech Centres
Slovak Republic
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
United Kingdom
British Council

EUNIC’s General Assembly is composed of all members and is the governing body of EUNIC, steering the network strategically. The General Assembly approves new Full and Associate Members, elects the Board of Directors, and confirmes EUNIC’s activity plan and budget. It also formally approves new EUNIC clusters. The General Assembly meets twice a year and is chaired by the President of EUNIC.

General Assembly Meeting Reports

Executive decisions are taken by the Board of Directors. It meets four times a year. The Board members are elected for a period of two years by the Full Members of EUNIC, with the possibility of re-election for another two years.

Liviu Jicman

President – Romanian Cultural Institute

Kirsten van den Hul

Vice-President – DutchCulture

Carmen Noguero Galilea

Board Member – Instituto Cervantes

Hanna Lämsä

Board Member – The Finnish Cultural and Academic Institutes

Johannes Ebert

Board Member – Goethe-Institut

Mary-Ann Cauchi

Board Member – Arts Council Malta

The EUNIC president chairs the General Assembly and the Board of Directors and represents the network. They serve a period of one year. The current President of EUNIC is Liviu Jicman, President of the Romanian Cultural Institute (June 2024-June 2025).

Liviu Sebastian Jicman is President of the Romanian Cultural Institute since 2021, the leading cultural diplomacy institution for promoting Romanian culture internationally. Born in 1981 in Bucharest, he graduated in 2004 from the Faculty of Economic Studies in Foreign Languages - German Language Section - within the Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies. Subsequently, he graduated from the Faculty of Law at the University of Bucharest.

In the past 12 years, he has worked exclusively in the field of culture. Prior to his current position at the Romanian Cultural Institute, he was the General Director of the Cotroceni National Museum for 5 years and Vice President of the Romanian Cultural Institute for 3 years. He worked within the Ministry of Culture (and later within the Ministry of Culture and National Patrimony) as the minister's chief of staff, and later as minister’s advisor. As a representative of the Ministry of Culture or the Romanian Cultural Institute, he was a member of the National Cultural Fund Administration Board (AFCN), an advisory body on the evaluation, selection, and financing of cultural projects. Until 2012, he worked as PR consultant at the "Masca" Theater in Bucharest and held various roles at central public administration level.

Former EUNIC Presidents and Board Members

The Director of EUNIC is responsible for the daily management of the network, delivering the EUNIC strategy and heading the EUNIC office. The Board of Directors also delegates some of its tasks to the Director. The Director is selected by the Board of Directors following an open call (both within the network and externally).

Andrew Manning became Director of EUNIC in August 2021. Prior to EUNIC, Andrew was the Secretary General of the European Concert Hall Organisation (ECHO) and international Advisor for the Nordic region at BOZAR, the Centre for Fine Arts Brussels. Andrew has previously worked as Head of Arts at the British Council in France as well as roles with the BBC and British Council Brussels. Andrew has a degree in French language and Literature from the University of Oxford.

Former EUNIC Directors
Gitte Zschoch, Goethe-Institut, 2018-2021
Andrew Murray, British Council, 2015-2018
Helena Kovarikova, Czech Centres, 2012-2015

Andrew Manning is the first Director not seconded by a EUNIC member. In cases where the Director is seconded from a EUNIC member organisation then EUNIC compensates that member for the staff costs of the Director.

The EUNIC office is the secretariat of the EUNIC network, based in Brussels. The secretariat supports EUNIC members in the delivery of collaborative work worldwide, advocates for European cultural relations, and facilitates knowledge sharing and capacity building between the people of the network. The office was established in 2012.

Contact the team

EUNIC is funded by proportionate membership fees.

EUNIC's worldwide activities are financed by contributions of members’ local branches and partners.

The Cluster Fund is the network’s most important internal financial instrument and is financed by voluntary contributions by EUNIC members. It supports activities inside and outside the EU with currently around 300,000 euros annually. Since its establishment in 2012, 169 Cluster Fund projects have been financed with a total budget of 1.6 million euros. In 2021, 18 members contributed to the fund with a total of 308,000 euros. Including contributions by EUNIC members locally and by partners, the total budget of project selected for 2022 is more than 990,000 euros.

In 2014, EUNIC first received funding as European network from the Creative Europe programme, which was renewed in 2017 and 2021. The Preparatory Action European Spaces of Culture is co-funded by the Directorate-General Education, Youth, Sports and Culture of the European Commission.

Administrative Arrangement: Partnership agreement with the EU
In 2021, EUNIC and the European External Action Service (EEAS) approved a joint statement, re-confirming their commitment to strengthening their collaboration.

In 2017, EUNIC signed a partnership agreement, an Administrative Arrangement, with the European Commission – represented by the Directorate General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture (EAC) – and the European External Action Service (EEAS). In the Arrangement, the three parties agreed to initiate joint pilot activities to enhance cooperation between EU Delegations and EUNIC clusters.

The EU strategy on international cultural relations, the Joint Communication ‘Towards an EU strategy for international cultural relations’, was published in 2016. It identifies EUNIC as one of the implementing partners of the EU's cultural relations approach.

Joint activities between the EU and EUNIC
A first joint pilot activity resulting from the Administrative Arrangement was the publication of the Report on the current state of the partnership between EUNIC clusters and EU Delegations, based on the experiences of collaboration in 14 countries worldwide.

Furthermore, EUNIC, the EEAS and the Commission have co-hosted joint sessions on the role of cultural relations in EU foreign policy during regional seminars in North Macedonia (2018), Dominican Republic, Eritrea, Ghana, Guinea and the Philippines (2019). During the Covid-19 pandemic, they were co-hosting webinars on cultural relations for colleagues working in EU Delegations and in the EUNIC network.

To further facilitate cooperation between EU Delegations and the EUNIC network, the Joint Guidelines: EUNIC – European External Action Service – European Commission partnership were co-authored and published. These guidelines advise colleagues working in EU Delegations and EUNIC clusters worldwide on how to design effective working relationships in order to deliver cultural relations projects.

Joint cultural relations projects and programmes between EUNIC clusters and EU Delegations have been implemented in amongs others Bolivia, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Jordan, Peru, Senegal, Sudan, Tunisia, and Ukraine.

European Spaces of Culture
In 2018, EUNIC was granted the Preparatory Action European Spaces of Culture, initiated by the European Parliament and implemented through EUNIC’s network, EU Delegations and local stakeholders. The project tests new models of European collaboration in culture. After its Preparatory Action phase, the programme is continuing with follow-up funding from Creative Europe.

Read more about the programme on the website.

Further reading

European Spaces of Culture continues after Preparatory Action (2019-2023)
EUNIC's Climate Culture(s) Creative Lab in Berlin
The Ukrainian Institute joins EUNIC as Associate Member
Ten-year anniversary of the EUNIC Cluster Fund
Fair Collaboration non-toolkit published
Joint Statement on Cultural Relations with EEAS approved
Network grows to be active in more than 100 countries
Conference "European Spaces of Culture: Taking EU cultural relations to the next level"
New membership policy approved, officially including Associate Members at the global level
Joint Statement "For the future: Make cultural relations count in a post-crisis global society" approved by all 36 EUNIC members
Strategic Framework 2020-2024 adopted
Joint Guidelines on the Partnership between EUNIC, the European Commission and the European External Action Service published
European ‘Houses’ of Culture Preparatory Action grant received
Creative Europe programme funding received for the period of 2017-2021
Administrative Arrangement signed, a partnership agreement between EUNIC, the European Commission and the European External Action Service
Network grows to 100 clusters worldwide
First Strategic Framework adopted
EUNIC brings together members from all EU Member States
Creative Europe programme funding received for the period of 2014-2016
EUNIC Cluster Fund created
EUNIC office in Brussels installed
Network grows to 50 clusters worldwide
Integration of ministries for Member States without cultural institutes
EUNIC network created by six EU cultural institutes: Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, British Council, Danish Cultural Institute, Goethe-Institut, Institut français and SICA, the predecessor of DutchCulture
Co-funded by the European Union Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor EACEA can be held responsible for them.