EUNIC General Assembly held in Munich
EUNIC held its General Assembly on 23 and 24 June in Munich. The network engaged in discussion, amongst others, about the war in Ukraine and the future of international cultural relations, common approaches and actions, and developments in the EUNIC cluster network. Members also elected a new Board of Directors and welcomed the three new EUNIC clusters in Barcelona, Kansai and New Zealand. The General Assembly also marked the incoming presidency of Goethe-Institut's Johannes Ebert.
Election of new Board of Directors
The General Assembly elected the following new Board members to join the Board alongside new President Johannes Ebert, Secretary-General of the Goethe-Institut:
- Camilla Mordhorst, CEO of the Danish Cultural Institute (Vice-President)
- Ondřej Černý, Director General of Czech Centres
- Guzmán Palacios Fernández, Director of Cultural and Scientific Affairs at AECID
- Matthieu Peyraud, Culture, Education, Research & Network Coordination Director at the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs of France
- Aušrinė Žilinskienė, Director of the Lithuanian Culture Institute
The General Assmbly also thanked outgoing Board members for their active contribution: Cees de Graaff, DutchCulture and Petra Kežman, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia.
The future of cultural relations in light of contemporary global developments
The war in Ukraine has brought up many operational and ethical questions and it urgently poses the question of the role and relevance of cultural relations in national and foreign affairs at this point in time. At the same time, Ukraine is not the only war and conflict. As institutes – and together as the EUNIC network – working globally we are living in a general context of insecurity, crisis, conflict in many areas. During a debate, in an interactive ‘fishbowl’ format, a broad range of colleagues from the General Assembly took to the stage to join the conversation and share perspectives on – amongst others – shrinking civic space, discplacement of Ukrainian (cultural) professionals, and the importance of the cultural relations approach. In the next steps of EUNIC’s shared work and offer we will continue to explore what we can learn from each other with regards to these important topics, including the establishment of a shared fund to support the visibility of Ukrainian cultural workers in the EU.
10-year anniversary of the EUNIC Cluster Fund
The EUNIC Cluster Fund was established in 2012 as an internal strategic instrument to financially support collaborative projects and enable cluster development around the world. To take stock of the cluster network developments and to share success factors and practical recommendations with the network of how to support clusters further, the EUNIC office commissioned and presented at the General Assembly a report on the development of the network the last ten years through the lens of the Cluster Fund. The findings and recommendations of the report also guided a panel discussion during the General Assembly, giving the stage to colleagues with experience in working in clusters worldwide, outlining perspectives and challenges for EUNIC clusters.
Three new clusters approved
The General Assembly approved three new EUNIC clusters in Barcelona (Spain), Kansai (Japan) and New Zealand. The EUNIC network now has 136 clusters in 104 countries. Clusters are the network's branches, established where at least three EUNIC members are represented. Clusters engage in cultural relations, co-creating activities with partner organisations.