The Workshop on Cultural Diplomacy took place on 8-9 February 2024, featuring guest speaker Mr Juan Manuel VILAPLANA LOPEZ.
The course consisted of two sessions, covering both theoretical and practical sides to cultural diplomacy. The first session was more theoretical, and covered the fundamentals of cultural diplomacy, the competencies of the EU, its legal basis, and its potential. The second session was entirely practical, with the objective of reviewing the European Work Plan for Culture concerning its external dimension.
This course aimed to encourage reflection on the EU’s action in the realm of cultural diplomacy, fostering new ideas and solutions for a more integrated approach. After an examination of the current state of play, the limitations, and the potential of existing mechanisms, participants could apply their negotiation skills to simulate strategic discussions and country-level coordination exercises. As cultural diplomacy has become a crucial tool in diplomatic relations and the creation of soft power, this workshop provided first-hand training on how to develop communication strategies to shape the perception of a country or region, promote values and improve bilateral relations.
About the speaker:
Mr Juan Manuel VILAPLANA LOPEZ is a Spanish career diplomat currently serving as Chargé d'affaires ad Interim at the Embassy of Spain to the Republic of Moldova. Previously, he was Head of the Culture and Science Section of the Embassy of Spain in Berlin, as Consul General of Spain in Alexandria, as political officer at the Delegations of the European Union in Kyiv and Beirut, as deputy Chair of the COEST and COSCE Working Parties while serving at the Permanent Representation of Spain to the European Union, and as Political Advisor at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, EU and Cooperation of Spain.