EU Policy

No matter whether the EU is (supposed to be) driven by an economic rationale or by common intangible values, the cultural element of its essence is not something to neglect. In the context of the gloomy reality of today, the EU needs to invent a bold new narrative, and to nourish and strengthen the sense of a common culture. The arts are there to create a space and tools for various communities to engage in dialogue, where different views can be freely shared, understood and accepted; conditions needed to sustain democracy and to enable the EU to exist as well as prosper. 

This section is both about the role of culture and the arts in the future of the EU, and about the EU policies which affect our sector.

Elena DI FEDERICO
On 23rd June 2016 the people of the UK made the historic decision to leave the European Union. Ahead of the referendum the British Council commissioned this collection of essays by prominent people working in a wide variety of cultural sectors. They offer an insight into the historic, social, artistic, scientific and educational connections between the UK and other European countries, and a reflection on how these might be shaped in years to come.
Victor Mayot
The arrival and presence of refugees in Europe remains a critical issue. The policies of national and supranational governmental organizations are by and large ineffective and often hostile. Self-organizing grass-root initiatives of citizens in many different European cities and across countries have endeavoured to compensate for what the political ruling class is failing to do.
fbittencourt
On 8 June, European Commission adopted a joint communication on new strategy to put culture at the heart of EU international relations. This first ever EU international cultural relations strategy is in line with the Commission's priority to make the EU a stronger global actor.
Elenq
"The first fruits of the EU’s new “cultural strategy” for external relations was on show at the Development Days conference in Brussels on Wednesday (15 June), as a theatre troupe from both warring sides in Sri Lanka showed how working together could aid in post-conflict resolution."
Joanna Crowley
In 15 days the UK will take to the polls and vote to remain in or leave the European Union. I for one will be voting to remain in. I will do so on the one hand because of a deep personal belief in the EU, on the rights it offers, the liberties it upholds and because I want to play no part in any attempt to dissolve the largest peace project in history. But importantly I will also be voting to remain in from a professional perspective.
Elenq
"Intercultural communication also matters for international political achievements. Policy makers tend to talk over each other, rather than with each other, in global governance systems due to the lack of intercultural exchange." Helly, D. 2016. Intercultural integration and communication: An agenda for Europe. ECDPM Talking Points blog, 21 April 2016.
Katherine Heid
The decision of UK citizens – to stay or leave the EU – will affect the cultural life of future generations all across the continent. So how do European citizens hope they will vote? Katherine Heid shares her perspective.
Elena DI FEDERICO
Europe has a ‘problem’; it is becoming a ‘less cultural continent’ as fewer Europeans are ‘engaging in cultural activities’. This paper questions the existence of this ‘problem’ and instead suggests that there is a shared problematisation across Europe sustained by common discursive archaeology that employs various discursive strands in relation to a dominant institutional discourse. The argument is that the ‘problem’ of ‘non-participation’ legitimates a ‘solution’ that predates its emergence: the state subsidy of arts organisations.

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