Cultural Diplomacy & The Need for Common Understanding

By The Hon. Anna Diamantopoulou, Former European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, and Equal Opportunities

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Is it not enough to have greater political union or greater economic union: we need more understanding among people- we need to enforce mutual understanding in societies and between nations.

What happens when there is no common understanding between people and nations? There is misunderstanding. This means the same thing is perceived a different way in Germany, a different way in the Netherlands, a different way in Malta. There are many conflicts and, of course, there are stereotypes, and this is the way they can be transformed in any kind of conflict.

Generally speaking, differences in manner of expression and communication, the similarities in social structures, and historical experience account for a communication gap between European member states.

- The ICD Annual Conference on Cultural Diplomacy 2012; Berlin, Germany, December 14th, 2012