25 August 2021
The European Union and China plan to work more closely together in education, culture and youth policy as well as new areas including gender equality and efforts to address violence against women.
These are among potential new priority areas for the ‘High-Level-People-to-People Dialogue’ (HPPD) between the EU and China, which aims to build trust and understanding between the two regions’ peoples. Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, will meet Chinese Vice-Premier Liu Yandong in Beijing on 6 September to take stock of the HPPD’s achievements since its launch two years ago. The two leaders will also discuss other areas where the EU and China could expand cooperation, including greater participation of Chinese institutions in the U-Multirank university ranking and a new project to promote cultural festivals in China.
During her talks with Vice-Premier Liu, the Commissioner is also expected to highlight the opportunities available to Chinese students and researchers through Erasmus+, the EU’s new programme for education, training, youth and sport, and from the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, under the Horizon 2020 programme.
During her stay in China, Commissioner Vassiliou will also deliver a speech to students at Xi’an Jiao Tong University, which is involved in the EU-China ‘Tuning initiative’ aimed at increasing the compatibility of education systems and overcoming obstacles to mobility.
During her trip to Asia, the Commissioner will separately visit Mongolia.
Over the past decade the EU and China have closely cooperated in the areas of education, training, culture, multilingualism and youth through sector-focused policy dialogues. In 2012, the European Commission and China decided to integrate these sector activities under the HPPD, which complements the EU-China High Level Economic and Trade Dialogue and High Level Strategic Dialogue.
Commissioner Vassiliou and Vice-Premier Liu Yandong took part in the first round of the HPPD in Brussels on 18 April 2012, signing a joint declaration and agreeing plans for follow-up actions. On the occasion of the 16th EU-China Summit in Beijing on 21 November 2013, the two parties adopted the EU-China 2020 Strategic Agenda for Cooperation, which included a chapter devoted to people-to-people exchanges. This year’s visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Brussels (31 March-1 April) added to the momentum for strengthening the links between the EU and China.
Key facts and milestones
Since the signature of the HPPD Joint Declaration in 2012, the two sides have cooperated on a range of initiatives including:
– The adoption of a Joint Declaration on EU-China cultural cooperation following the success of the 2012 EU-China Year of Intercultural Dialogue;
– The EU-China Tuning initiative, finalised in May 2014 The EU-China Higher Education Platform for Cooperation and Exchange (HEPCE), launched in April 2013. This aims to upgrade policy dialogue and exchange of best practice in higher education;
– An overview (‘mapping’) of EU-China cultural stakeholders and cooperation projects as well as workshops on the contribution of culture and creativity to local/regional development and on digital publishing;
– The 4th China-Europe Symposium on Youth Work Development in March 2013;
– The launch of an initiative to train Chinese teachers of lesser spoken EU languages at European universities in summer 2013;
– The appointment of a cultural attaché at the EU Delegation in Beijing (as from mid-September 2014).