It is an important step, bridging last year’s high level people-to-people dialogue in Brussels and the next one, which will take place in China in 2017.
This dialogue has given us a successful framework for our cooperation in education and training.
I look forward to developing it further with our Chinese partners.
The theme of today’s conference “Building the China-Europe Silk Road of Education” makes a direct link to the ancient network of trade routes between East and West.
For centuries, these routes played a central role in the cultural interaction between peoples from China to Europe.
Today’s world is complex and full of uncertainty. It can be difficult to find one’s place in it. But turning inward is not the answer – in fact, we would all lose.
At the top of the list, we have the EU’s Erasmus+ programme and the Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions under Horizon 2020. The Chinese Scholarship Council and Hanban actions have pursued similar aims on the Chinese side.
We know that this kind of learning mobility has a very positive impact.
Like mobilities, these projects bring our academic communities together – benefiting our societies at large by fostering inquisitive mind-sets and new approaches that help drive innovation, economic growth and social development.
Our Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions under the Horizon 2020 programme are enabling European and Chinese researchers to develop their careers at research institutes, universities, and companies abroad.
I am convinced that through projects like these between our people and civil societies, ties between the EU and China will become even stronger.
Before I conclude, let me briefly come back to the ancient roads connecting the EU and China and one critical factor that made them such a success: entrepreneurship.
I am pleased to see that this is one of the topics we will discuss later this morning. I strongly believe that entrepreneurial skills can be taught, and that they should be integrated into educational curricula at all levels.
Increasingly, the KICs are involving partners from China.
I would like us to pursue this in the same spirit that has been informing our relationship for so long. With open minds, always looking to explore new ideas and ready to work together.