EU National Institutes for Culture - EUNIC

EUNIC Fair Collaboration

What does fair collaboration in cultural relations mean? And what could it look like for EUNIC members working with local partners worldwide? To find answers to these pressing and often sensitive questions, EUNIC has commissioned a team of six experts to develop a set of user-centered tools for colleagues working in EUNIC members and in the field of cultural relations.


The principles of cultural relations, which aim to build fair partnerships by practising mutual listening and learning and engaging in dialogue, co-creation, and joint capacity building, form the basis of EUNIC’s work in line with the EU strategic approach to international cultural relations. To assure mutually beneficial outcomes of cultural relations, such as better understanding, greater connectivity and enhanced sustainable dialogue between people and cultures, relations based on fair collaboration are crucial.

After a panel discussion on fair collaboration in international cultural relations with Kateryna Botanova, Nan van Houte, Annemie Vanackere and moderator Jörgen Tjon a Fong co-organised by DutchCulture, the EUNIC General Assembly in December 2019 decided that EUNIC should explore the topic further.


Following this decision and in order to give practical indications and answers to these often fundamental and abstract questions, EUNIC commissioned a group of experts to create a toolkit on fair collaboration in cultural relations through a call for proposals in March 2021. The selected team of authors namely consists of Matina Magkou, Avril Joffe, Anna Steinkamp, Cristina Farinha, Katelijn Verstraete, and Sudebi Thakurata along with D.epicentre as the design partner.


The goal of this project is to develop tools specifically targeted at colleagues working in EUNIC members and more broadly in cultural relations to raise awareness and to facilitate fair practices by providing ideas, stimulating questions and creative and practical instruments for working in the field of cultural relations with local partners in a fairer way.

Activities and Timeline

The creation of the toolkit follows a bottom-up, user-centred and design-led approach and builds on several parts:

  • A comprehensive mapping exercise and desk research reviewing existing material and practices in the field and adjacent sectors such as international cooperation resulted in a living background paper: "Fair Collaboration in Cultural Relations: A Provocation".
  • A series of four roundtables was conducted in June 2021 in order to invite practitioners and researchers to share their diverse perspectives and experiences to nurture the project with ideas and topics relevant on the ground. Three roundtables were open to the public while one roundtable was exclusively reserverd for EUNIC members. The roundtables were held in English, French and Spanish.
  • A public online survey is conducted until 20 July 2021, inviting everyone to share thoughts and ideas in any language on the topic of fair collaboration.
  • Interviews with relevant actors and examinations of relevant case studies from the network will further feed the creation of tools.

The set of tools will provide innovative and applicable ways of raising awareness of the topic and of engaging with the target audience to adapt existing practices of cultural relations towards fair collaboration. The deliverables will be finalised in autumn 2021 to be presented at the EUNIC General Assembly in December 2021.

Should you have resources, documents, literature, evaluations or case studies, potential interview partners or hints you find relevant for us to know, please get in touch with the team of authors directly by sending an email to

  • Cultural relations
  • Fair Collaboration

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.