Interview with Mr Ramon Molina, Director of the People-to-People Exchange
YD: Mr Ramon Molina, what is a dream of Director of the People-to-People Exchange? What is the main conclusion after ten years - does this programme meet the expectations?
Mr Ramon Molina: The dream is only to be in the position to bring education and youth co-operation between Asia and Europe one step further so that I can leave my successor a better state of affairs than the one I already received which was remarkably positive.
The programme has not met the expectations and will never meet them, because our ambitions are so high that they will never be fulfilled. Nevertheless, we have to work so that everything that we do represents a positive contribution in the right direction.
YD: What is the priority field of the co-operation between Asia and Europe now? Culture dialogue or maybe economic area? Which one should be supported more and how?
Mr Ramon Molina: The basic priority area is to improve the coordination mechanisms that will facilitate a more profound and intense co-operation between Asia and Europe in the years to come.
YD: In Your opinion, what is the European knowledge about the Asian culture? What is our attitude towards different traditions - do young people, businessmen and politicians present - so called - europocentrism?
Mr Ramon Molina: I think that Europe is profoundly euro-centric and Asia is profoundly asia-centric. Both continents need to adopt a broader view and be ready to accept more easily ideas that were not necessarily born within the boundaries of their own cultures.
YD: How is the European Union perceived in Asia?
Mr Ramon Molina: The European Union, for the most part, is not perceived at all in Asia, when the European Union is portrayed, it is mainly as an economic competitor and a protectionist force in world trade.
YD: Thank you very much for congratulations for 'Young Diplomats' success. What could be done more in this project to promote youth co-operation across the continents?
Mr Ramon Molina: Do more of what you are already doing.
Thank you very much for the interview.
People-to-People Exchange means building bridges between Asia and Europe through educational and youth cooperation.
Asia-Europe Classroom Network (AEC-NET) is an educational co-operation programme, which provides learning experiences beyond the classroom to secondary/high school teachers and students. Students share their knowledge through their participation in AEC Online Collaborative Learning Project.