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.


On 23 May the Council adopted conclusionson on an EU strategic approach to international cultural relations. The conclusions follow the joint communication from the High Representative and the European Commission of 8 June 2016 entitled "Towards an EU Strategy for international cultural relations" of 8 June 2016". They provide guidance on the EU's strategic approach to international cultural relations.
Cultural operators, whether institutions, businesses, NGOs are right to make the case that cultural investment is good for foreign relations and ultimately to achieve EU goals (including in economic and trade fields). They now have to build the case justifying more culture in EU external relations’ policy.
Rami Mohsen via Flickr
In a moment of existential crisis for the European Union, culture might seem irrelevant. Yet, for a meaningful refounding of the European project, culture and values need to be at the heart of the debates in Europe.
Is Europe’s main problem linked to the institutions and the cumbersome decision making process as the White Paper seems to suggest? Is the future of Europe merely a matter of logistics? Is it not the very idea of Europe itself that is at stake?
60 years ago, the treaties of Rome prepared the ground for the European Union. When celebrating their 60th anniversary in March this year, Member States will have the opportunity to reaffirm their commitment to fundamental European values whilst creating a new understanding of a sustainable European project, deeply grounded in the European societies.
On 13 December 2016 the European Parliament adopted a report calling on the European Commission to develop a “comprehensive, coherent and long-term industrial policy framework for the cultural and creative sectors”. The report also calls on the EU to include the adequate funding of CCIs in its strategic goals and overall priorities.
"Institutions have to become representative of the soul of Europe. A Europe without a soul, without a clear vocabulary and modern mission is the tragedy of the European project as it stands. A Europe without culture is a Europe without identity, a cold construct, detached from its people, its particularities and its collective aspirations." A personal point of view on the European project by Philippe Kern, MD KEA European Affairs.
The European Alliance for Culture and the Arts appeals to include culture, arts and creative work in the the European Commission's new strategy for achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of the United Nations (the 2030 Agenda).
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (the 2030 Agenda), adopted by the United Nations in September 2015, represents a new framework to achieve sustainable development and poverty eradication. The core of the 2030 Agenda is the set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and associated targets.
In June 2016 a majority (51.9%) of British voters elected to leave the European Union, yet 96% of the UK cultural sector indicated its desire to remain. In this little guide, Culture Action Europe (CAE) considers possible models for the kind of relationship that the UK may develop with the EU within the framework of the UK vote to leave.


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