15th EU-China Summit of September 2012 and its Joint Press Communiqué stressed the role of language and multilingualism as an important field of cooperation between China and the EU.
With trade, economic cooperation and political relations between China and Europe on the rise, the role of language and language education appears crucial. Despite the existence of language barriers and hindrances in improving the situation in the field, investing in language education can be mutually beneficial on many different levels.
EU-China language cooperation has developed rapidly over the last decade. In addition to other study and language programmes, more than 2000 Chinese students have benefited from Erasmus Mundus grants to study in the EU, while the Chinese government now yearly provides 200 scholarships for European students to come study Chinese at Universities in China. Moreover, EU-China language cooperation programmes have been praised for their effectiveness in raising mutual understanding and are extremely valuable in further developing EU-China relations and people-to-people interactions.
In order to identify challenges, bottlenecks and opportunities for Chinese language education in Europe, the “EU-China Language Forum” conference was organised by the EIAS on 16 October 2012 together with the Chinese Youth Federation in Europe. The Forum analysed and explored potential policy measures and practical means to improve language education, cooperation and bilateral relations between China and Europe. The event was chaired by EIAS Board Member, Mr Glyn Ford, and joined by four distinguished speakers. The keynote addresses were given by Mr Viorel Isticioaia-Budura, Managing Director for Asia and the Pacific of the European External Action Service, and by H.E Mr Zhang Lirong, Minister and Deputy Head of Mission of the Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the EU. In addition, Mr Wim Haagdorens, Lecturer at the Artesis Hogeschool in Antwerp, and Ms Jie Hu, Deputy Secretary-General of the Chinese Youth Federation in Europe, provided their views and analysis on the topic.
Download Full Text: EIAS_Event_Report_2012-10-16_EU-China_Language_Forum.pdf
Publication Series: Event Report
Additional Material: Presentation_language_forum_Wim_Haagdorens_Demystifying_China.pdf, Speech_HE_Zhang_Lirong_EU-CHina_Language_Forum