6 November 2023 was a pivotal moment for the cultural connection between Indonesia and the European Union as EUNIC Indonesia (European Union National Institutes for Culture) launched its cluster at Erasmus Huis. Propelled by the corporation of European cultural institutions and embassies, this collaborative initiative embodies a commitment to strengthen the friendship between Indonesia and Europe.
Comprising a consortium of esteemed entities such as the British Council, embassies of Austria, Ireland, Poland, Spain, the Netherlands, along with the Goethe-Institut Indonesien, Institut Français d’Indonésie, and Istituto Italiano di Cultura, this EUNIC Cluster Indonesia aspires to foster relationships and leveraging cultural diplomacy as a channel for dialogue and collaboration in the realms of arts, culture and education.
EUNIC, with its extensive presence in over 100 countries globally, has played a crucial role in advocating the importance of culture in international relations. As a strategic partner of the European Union, EUNIC contributes to shaping and implementing European cultural policy. The launch of EUNIC Cluster Indonesia signifies a dedicated effort to fortify cultural diplomacy for the benefit of both regions.
At its core, the agenda set forth by EUNIC Indonesia encompasses a multifaceted approach, intertwining arts, education, and cultural exploration. The cluster plans to organise international seminars, policy advocacy initiatives, and expertise missions to facilitate knowledge exchange and address shared challenges. Moreover, a focus on training and residency programs will enhance the sector’s capacity, fostering international co-production and creating opportunities for a more significant collective impact. By aligning with local partners, the cluster aims to cultivate inclusive and sustainable programs, steering towards mutual enrichment and understanding.
EUNIC Cluster Indonesia’s efforts will not be confined to a top-down approach; instead, the cluster aims to engage with various stakeholders at different levels. Target partners include key ministries like the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Higher Education, Research, and Technology. Furthermore, collaboration with regional government institutions, the ASEAN Secretariat, youth organizations, community groups, civil society organizations, and the EU delegation is essential for achieving its objectives.
Reflecting on this monumental launch, co-presidents of the EUNIC Cluster Indonesia, Summer Xia of the British Council and Charlotte Esnou of the Institut Français d’Indonésie, expressed their enthusiasm and commitment towards this collaboration. Xia emphasized the important role of culture in international relations and addressing global challenges, while Esnou articulated the aspirations of nurturing a vibrant space for intercultural dialogue and cooperation.
The launch of EUNIC Cluster Indonesia is a turning point for cultural cooperation between Europe and Indonesia. This dynamic collaboration holds the promise of fostering cultural exchange, and mutual understanding, and addressing global challenges through the power of cultural diplomacy. As EUNIC Cluster Indonesia takes its first steps, it opens new avenues for intercultural dialogue and cooperation, enriching the relationships between both regions.