The secretary general of Instituto Cervantes, Carmen Noguero, and the executive director of the British Council, Sir Ciarán Devane, signed a collaboration agreement in London today – the first one signed by both parties- with the aim of strengthening the bilateral dialogue and promoting «the joint work »so that each institution can« achieve its strategic results more effectively».
The agreement includes the future participation of Instituto Cervantes and the British Council in joint projects and exchange programs, as well as a possible coordination of their respective strategic plans.
In this first official meeting, held at the headquarters of the British organisation in London, Noguero was accompanied by the director of International Relations at Instituto Cervantes, Rafael Soriano, and the directors of Instituto Cervantes in London, Ignacio Peyró, and of Manchester and Leeds, Francisco Oda.
Sir Ciarán Devane also attended on behalf of the British Council, as well as Siobhan Foster-Perkins who is the regional director for the European Union, the rest of Europe and the Americas; the regional director for the European Union, Andy Mackay, and the director of Spain, Mark Howard.
Strengthening European cooperation
The signing of this unprecedented memorandum of understanding between both institutions aims to give continuity and reinforce the fruitful dialogue between Spain and the United Kingdom. It will build on the conversations held over the last year in the field of cultural diplomacy, and the joint exploration of new approaches to work on the agendas.
At the meeting held in London today, each party gave a presentation of its organisation and external network, as well as an introduction to its strategic plan. Afterwards, they analysed the current status of foreign languages and their learning in both Spain and the United Kingdom.
In this regard, both delegations underlined the characteristics of both Spanish and English languages as constantly growing international communication languages, «complementary and not competing with each other.» They also agreed to claim the teaching and learning of languages as part of the response to the challenges of globalisation.
At the end of the meeting and the signing of the agreement, Carmen Noguero expressed her satisfaction for “sharing agendas in areas of joint interest and sharing resources and experiences”. For his part, Sir Ciarán Devane said that the collaboration between both parties «will contribute to improving links between our organisations and creating new cultural and educational connections between people around the world.»