India, EU ink pact to boost cultural cooperation

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Brussels, Dec.10 (ANI): India and the European Union on Friday took steps to enhance cultural ties between the two regions through a joint declaration to reinforce cooperation and dialogue in the field of culture.

Jawhar Sircar, India's Culture Secretary and Jan Truszczynski, the European Union's Director-General for Education, Training, Culture and Youth, signed an agreement to this effect.

The agreement was signed on behalf of the European Commission and the Indian Government.

As per the pact, India and the EU have acknowledged that cultural cooperation is instrumental in improving mutual understanding and in promoting genuine inter-cultural dialogue, the preservation and promotion of cultural diversity.

Both sides recognized the importance of their cultural relations is underpinned by the Cooperation Agreement signed on December 20, 1993, the EU-India Joint Declaration on Cultural Relations adopted on November 3, 2004 at the India-EU summit in The Hague, the 2005 EU-India Joint Action Plan supporting the strategic partnership and the Joint Statement issued at the EU-India Summit in New Delhi on November 30, 2007.

Both acknowledged that a mutually acceptable framework being discussed under future EU-funded culture programme would further promote and strengthen the rich cultural cooperation between the two sides.

In this context, both recognized the positive outcome of 2008 EU-India Summit in Marseille, and in particular the decision to develop a dialogue between the parties in the field of culture.

Both sides said that they intend to further exploit the potential for cooperation between both regions through the development of new policy-oriented activities.

Both sides will jointly set up a rolling work programme, which will be continually updated for conducting this dialogue.

They will regularly review its implementation and avenues for future cooperation. To this end, senior officials from both sides will meet in principle once a year at alternating venues. Other occasional meetings may be held as necessary. By Smita Prakash (ANI)

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