In our globalised world, the ties between peoples and nations are becoming closer; our ideas, visions and goals are merging together to create a truly intercultural society.
It is such a society that can tackle the challenges before us, it is through collaboration and active interaction between states, governments and people, that we can create a more prosperous world. Art and culture play an increasingly important role in this process, as they build bridges and common understandings, providing us with numerous opportunities and ways of getting to know the others.
Culture also plays a key role in diplomacy, in the relations between states, governments and people. Indeed, forty years after the start of the EU-China strategic relationships, we have moved beyond trade, economic and politics to come together through culture, history and art.
This is why I am very happy to support the contest “China Unlimited” – it is a thought-provoking, eye-opening initiative, which engages our citizens in a creative way and promotes intercultural dialogue. It gives space to imagination and inspiration, demonstrating how we really view the other culture, how China and Europe differ and on what grounds they are coming closer together. I therefore believe that this contest will foster political, social, cultural and economic integration; a sense of common purpose.
As an ambassador for “China Unlimited”, I would like to underline the importance of such initiatives for enhancing collaboration and deepening mutual cultural understandings. Too often we underestimate the power of cultural exchange, which not only enriches our lives and broadens our horizons, but can also support us on the path to development and prosperity. The results of this initiative will build the ground for enhancing the partnership between China and EU’s Member States and fostering respect for cultural diversity.
The increasingly interdependent world in which we live today highlights the growing importance of the EU-China relations. As two of the main actors on the global stage, China and the EU have significant roles to play both individually and collectively to shape better future.
The opportunities are indeed “unlimited”. I am confident that in the next 40 years and beyond the China-EU partnership will continue to grow and bring even greater success, international peace and stability.
Eva Paunova is a Member of the European Parliament from the European People´s Party (EPP) and the Bulgarian party Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB). She is part of the Delegation for relations with the People´s Republic of China to the European Parliament and Ambassador for the “China Unlimited” creative contest.
With regards to her parliamentary work, Eva Paunova is member of the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO), the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON) and the special Committee on Tax Rulings (TAXE). Her priorities are devising effective economic and youth policies, providing support for the business and entrepreneurs, and building the Digital Single Market.
This year, Eva Paunova received the “Best Newcomer MEP” prize, part of the prestigious MEP Awards 2015.
Ms Paunova is also Vice-President of the largest organisation of associations and civil societies in Europe “European Movement International” (EMI), Chairwoman of the Youth Intergroup at the EP, board member of the EPP Young Members Network and the EU40. She is also part of the National Executive Council of Entrepreneurs-GERB and honorary member of the Council of Women in business in Bulgaria.
Prior to her election as a MEP, Ms Paunova has had 5 years of experience working in the European Parliament – initially as Policy Advisor to MEP Iliana Ivanova and later on as Executive Coordinator of the GERB-EPP Delegation.
Eva Paunova graduated in International Affairs and Business Administration at the American University John Cabot in Rome, Italy, where she served as President of the Student Government. She is an alumna of Harvard Kennedy School of Government.