British Council CEO Ciaran Devane (front row, 4th from left) with participants at the 'Next Generation' networking event at LaVallee Creative Hub in Molenbeek, Brussels. Photo Credit: Lode Saidane.

Following the UK's referendum on European Union (EU) membership, the British Council has decided to deliver an important series of face-to-face and digital events bringing together institutional and policy leaders from the education, culture, arts and science sectors in Europe.

Stakeholders were invited:

  • to share professional perspectives on the sector gains of European collaboration
  • to jointly agree ways of maintaining the best possible relationships
  • and, where relevant, to make practical proposals that might assist the formal EU-UK discussions.

Participants proposed sector recommendation titled 'Our shared European future' for policy-makers in Europe to help sustain the vibrancy and vitality that now characterises European collaboration in arts, culture, science and education. These were endorsed by 450 organisations and representatives

 Moving Beyond Brexit: Uniting the Cultural and Creative 

On Monday 24 September 2018 more than 60 leading experts from the cultural and creative sectors from Europe, including the UK, called on Brexit negotiators to address their urgent concerns related to mobility, funding and partnerships, as well as legal questions surrounding the future relationship between the UK and the EU. They made a series of recommendations.

Moving Beyond Brexit: Uniting the Cultural and Creative Sectors’ was organized in collaboration with BOZAR and the European Cultural Foundation. 

British Council also organised a series of policy dialogues in Brussels in collaboration with the Center for European Policy Studies (CEPS)

 The future of EU-UK partnership in Science and Research 

All speakers unanimously pointed to the importance of securing the lowest possible barriers to the movement of staff between the UK/EU, ensuring the UK’s continuing participation in the European Research Area (ERA) & EU's higher education and research and innovation programmes.

The future of EU-UK partnership in Education

There was an agreement that the Erasmus+ program is a win-win situation for both the UK and the EU. All panellists and participants spoke unanimously about safeguarding the opportunities for students we have built up over the past decades – despite and even because of the departure of the UK. 

The future of EU-UK partnership in external aid

Panellists made it clear that it is in the interest of both the EU and the UK to develop an EU-UK collaborative framework in external development cooperation. The benefit for partner countries was also undisputed.