The European Union (EU) is very active in the field of culture. It encourages co-operation between Member States and complements their actions, while respecting their national and regional diversity. It acts on the basis of the ‘EU Treaty’. The European Union now encompasses 27 diverse Member States and nearly half a billion citizens. That wide expanse represents a lot of cultural ground. The wealth of European culture and the rich fruits it produces – from film to music and books – is a great asset for Europe. Managing this cultural diversity, and the differences in identity and perception it can engender, is a major challenge for the Union in the coming years.
Culture has important implications in the political, social and economic spheres. That is why it has been an EU competence since the Maastricht Treaty (or the Treaty on European Union) entered into force in 1993. According to the Treaty, the EU “shall contribute to the flowering of the cultures of the Member States, while respecting their national and regional diversity and at the same time bringing the common heritage to the fore”.
A new strategy for culture in Europe
Cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue
Culture as a catalyst for creativity, within the framework of the Lisbon strategy; and,
Culture as a vital part of the EU’s external relations.
ECF – european cultural foundation