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European Commission - Press release

Culture: EU and Brazil sign agreement to step up cooperation

Brussels, 4 October 2011- The European Commission and Brazil are to step up joint cooperation on cultural issues. Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, and Ana de Hollanda, Minister of State of Culture of Brazil, today signed a four-year joint action plan focusing on cultural diversity, cultural heritage and the development of a sustainable cultural and creative economy. Culture is a boom area for the European economy, with studies showing that it contributes 4.5% to Europe's GDP and provides jobs for 8.5 million people. Brazil also has a vibrant cultural and heritage sector: the country has 11 sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List, including the historic towns of Ouro Preto, Olinda and Salvador de Bahia, which attract thousands of European and other tourists every year.

Commissioner Vassiliou and Minister Ana de Hollanda signed the new 'Joint Programme on Culture', which runs until the end of 2014, in the margins of the EU-Brazil summit, which represents a further positive step in EU-Brazil economic relations (see IP/11/1138MEMO/11/651). The accord will set in train a series of initiatives aimed at enhancing policy exchanges, in particular linked to the implementation of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, to which the EU is a party in addition to individual Member States. The Commissioner and Minister will take part in the first of these initiatives, a round-table on the place of culture in contemporary societies and economies, which will be held in Brussels tomorrow (5 October).

Commissioner Vassiliou said: "Both the European Union and Brazil recognise the vital role of culture in our own societies and our relations with our partners. Strengthening co-operation and dialogue on culture as part of our strategic partnership is instrumental to improving mutual understanding and fostering closer links between our peoples. It will also help us to engage on the important issue of global governance in the area of cultural governance at international level."

Minister Ana de Hollanda said: "The round-table meeting between Brazil and the EU, which brings together representatives who are dedicated to thinking about cultural policy, will be the ideal opportunity to reflect on the current situation in terms of cultural, political, economic and social issues and, hence, to seek viable solutions for sustainability in the 21st century."


The Joint Programme on Culture between the European Commission and Brazil builds on a Joint Declaration on Culture signed in May 2009. Within the context of this dialogue, the Commission and Brazilian Ministry of Culture engage in regular exchanges on policies and best practice. In particular, they focus on existing and future cultural cooperation, such as jointly organised seminars and events linked to the priorities identified in the Joint Declaration and the Joint Programme on Culture.

These priorities include:

  • Policies to create a favourable environment for the cultural and creative economy;

  • Improving cooperation and exchanges between the EU and Brazil, including audiovisual co-productions;

  • Sharing professional expertise on the preservation of cultural and natural heritage, including landscapes, fostering its promotion;

  • the promotion and implementation of the 2005 UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.

For more information:

On 5 October at 1pm Commissioner Vassiliou and Minister Ana de Hollanda will give a press conference at the VIP corner, Berlaymont building, Brussels.

Joint Programme on Culture, 2011-2014:

Joint Declaration (2009):

EU-Brazil relations:;;

European Commission: Culture and External Relations:

Contacts :

Dennis Abbott (+32 2 295 92 58)

Dina Avraam (+32 2 295 96 67)

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