4th Transatlantic Dialogue

Creating Human Bonds through Cultural Diplomacy

Creating Human Bonds through Cultural Diplomacy

Under the high patronage of Her Royal Highness

the Hereditary Grand Duchess of Luxembourg.

Under the auspices of

 the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Mr. Thorbjørn Jagland

and the patronage of the European Parliament.

When: May 24th-26th / 27th 2017
Where: UL Campus Belval, Esch-sur-Alzette & Neumünster Abbey, Luxembourg


Dear all,

The 4th edition of the Transatlantic Dialogue has been an amazing experience and success through your commitment and active participation.

‘The reality today is that we are all interdependent and have to co-exist on this small planet. Therefore, the only sensible and intelligent way of resolving differences and clashes of interests,. whether between individuals or nations, is through dialogue.’

Dalai Lama

I sincerely want to thank you and look excitingly forward to a 5th ‘Anniversary’ Edition in 2020 …

On behalf of the Steering Committee,

François Carbon

TAD'17 Conference Chair


Glossary of terms

Cultural Diplomacy refers in its original sense to the projection by governmental agents, i.e. diplomats, of their countries’ cultural values and achievements to the rest of the world. Nowadays, civil society and private sector agencies also consider the cultural relations they promote to be a form of cultural diplomacy. The term is now increasingly used as a synonym for international cultural relations.

International Cultural Relations is an umbrella term referring to the fostering of understanding between countries and especially their peoples. Such relations seek to engage in dialogue with a much broader public than is the case with cultural diplomacy. They may result from specific government or cultural institute policies, or may grow organically without government intervention. Generally, cultural relations present a more ‘rounded’ picture of a country as opposed to cultural diplomacy approaches, which tend to emphasize the presentation of positive images.

Link: www.cultureinexternalrelations.eu © European Union, 2014 


The Institute for Cultural Diplomacy in Berlin (ICD) promotes five principles:

  • Respect and Recognition of Cultural Diversity and Heritage
  • Global Intercultural Dialogue
  • Justice, Equality, and Interdependence
  • The Protection of International Human Rights
  • Global Peace and Stability


The 4th Transatlantic Dialogue provides a dynamic environment in which to pursue these aims with particular focus on the first two which lay a foundation for achieving the last three principles. Explorers, travelers, teachers and artists are all examples of “informal ambassadors” or “cultural diplomats”. All those who interact with different cultures facilitate a form of cultural exchange.

More than ever before, cultural diplomacy has a vital role to play in international relations, enabling us to appreciate and promote points of inter-sectionalism and common bonds. Bridging differences begins with approaching others with the will to acknowledge and understand their and our own cultural identities and ‘othernesses’. Universities have a key role to play in this regard and presenters will offer multiple perspectives on how this can be achieved.


Three overarching questions will be examined:

  • What is the role of culture and cultural diplomacy in negotiating problems facing humanity?
  • How can universities harness the potential of cultural diplomacy to transform societies?
  • How can we interpret cultural diplomacy and act upon it?


Reach out for Cultural diplomacy through:

CD = Information, Communication, Dialogue - Cultural diplomacy provides the context, background and rationale behind a state’s decisions, mitigating the potentially damaging effects of misunderstanding and creates bonds by slowly weaving a network of unique relationships. Reaching out to others while at the same time developing one’s uniqueness provides us with a sense of identity and belonging.

CD = Diversity, Human Rights - Cultural diplomacy can be used to humanize interactions that can facilitate political diplomacy and opportunity. How, for instance, can universities in both Europe and the United States use cultural diplomacy to deal with racial strife on campus or the plight of refugees and immigrants?

CD = Education - Cultural diplomacy connects learning with creativity and engages the imagination by encouraging self-expression.

CD = Conservation of heritage - Cultural diplomacy draws on the respect for cultural heritage and values the preservation of humankind history as a vehicle for understanding the past, the present and the future.

CD = Sustainable development - Cultural diplomacy builds on the conviction that lasting international peace and development are only possible in an environment of economic prosperity in which the well-being of all people is assured. Cultural sustainability calls for a decent standard of living for everyone without compromising the needs of future generations.


Interdisciplinary keynote speeches, plenary sessions, round table discussions, panels and creative ateliers will provide the venue spaces to share and discuss possibilities and strategies for translating notions of cultural diplomacy into action. Centered on specific topics related to cultural diplomacy, facilitators will guide the conference participants to engage in lively discussion of ideas and issues emerging from the TAD.


The Transatlantic Dialogue conference series on global citizens, held in Luxembourg since 2008, explore the significance of culture / liberal education for fostering global citizenship from both US and European perspectives.