Towards a Sustainable Approach to EU Education Diplomacy? The Case of Capacity-Building in the Eastern Neighbourhood

Silviu Piros
Joachim Koops

The 2016 Global Strategy acknowledges the role of education both in the near-abroad and beyond in building societal resilience. The Eastern Partnership (EaP) has been at the forefront of such attempts and provided a framework for supporting reform and modernisation of higher education through EU-EaP institutional cooperation. In this context, education and exchange programmes constitute an integral and often neglected component of cultural diplomacy and, most notably, of education diplomacy. Their mission is to promote a greater understanding of the EU through educational and curricular activities, mobility and outreach activities. Their focus on enhancing exchange partnerships for students and academic staff, and strengthening strategic cooperation and capacity-building helps to analyse a crucial component of the EU’s cultural strategy, namely its ability to reach out and cultivate its ties with societal networks. This chapter draws on a case study based on the TEMPUS programme in the Eastern Partnership countries of Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia.