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Germany/ 3.4 International cultural co-operation  

3.4.5 Cross-border intercultural dialogue and co-operation

In the last years, the government, especially the Foreign Office, has been setting up some programmes to support trans-national intercultural dialogue. Worth mentioning is the programme "kulturweit" by the German Commission for UNESCO in cooperation with the Foreign Office. Since 2009 this international cultural volunteer service for young adults, offering them the opportunity to become active in the Foreign Cultural and Educational Policy of the German Foreign Office for six to twelve months. The places of assignment are situated in developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America as well as in Middle and Eastern Europe. The goal of the programme is to strengthen intercultural competencies of young adults but also to contribute to a higher visibility of foreign cultural relations and education policy. "kulturweit" is organised by the German Commission for UNESCO and is realised through its partner organisations in the Foreign Cultural and Educational Policy domiciled in Germany.

Furthermore, the institutions that were mentioned in  chapter 3.4.1 to 3.4.4 are also active in this field. Another important actor is the Federal Cultural Foundation (Bundeskulturstiftung), with many programmes and projects on cross-border intercultural dialogue (, for example the "Initiative Fellowship International Museum" and the 2012 established programme "TURN – Funds for German-African Cooperations"). Some private foundations are very engaged as well, such as the Mercator-Stiftung with its centre for "International Affairs" and the current thematic cluster integration or the Bosch-Stiftung with projects on international understanding. Twelve German foundations, including the Allianz Culture Foundation, the Bertelsmann Foundation and the Volkswagen Foundation, have formed the group "Engaged Europeans" (Engagierte Europäer), which aims to deepen European integration with several projects. But increasingly regional actors also complement that picture.

Central to the current intercultural dialogue is the debate with the Islamic world and Islamic culture, with countries and cultures in Asia, in particular China, Japan and Korea.

For more information, see our Intercultural Dialogue section

Chapter published: 30-08-2016

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