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Document 52007SC0570

Commission staff working document - Accompanying document to the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on a European agenda for culture in a globalizing world - Inventory of Community actions in the field of culture {COM(2007) 242 final}

/* SEC/2007/0570 */


Commission staff working document - Accompanying document to the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on a European agenda for culture in a globalizing world - Inventory of Community actions in the field of culture {COM(2007) 242 final} /* SEC/2007/0570 */


Brussels, 10.5.2007

SEC(2007) 570


Accompanying document to the


on a European agenda for culture in a globalizing world Inventory of Community actions in the field of culture

{COM(2007) 242 final}


Introduction 3

1. Preparatory work preceding the new European agenda for culture 3

1.1. Qualitative Eurobarometer on the importance of culture in European values 3

1.2. Study on the economy of culture in Europe 4

1.3. A changing relationship with stakeholders 6

2. The contribution of EU programmes and policies to culture 7

2.1. Internal programmes and policies 7

2.1.1. Culture, Education and Youth 7

2.1.2. Communication 10

2.1.3. Regional policy 11

2.1.4. Agriculture and sustainable development 13

2.1.5. Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities 13

2.1.6. The audiovisual sector 14

2.1.7. Information Society and Research 17

2.1.8. Competition policy 21

2.1.9. Internal market 23

2.1.10. Maritime policy 24

2.2. Culture and Trade policy 25

2.3. Culture in the external relations and development policies and programmes 26

2.3.1. Candidate countries and potential Candidates 26

2.3.2. Cultural dialogue with Neighbouring countries 29

2.3.3. Dialogue in the field of culture with Russia 32

2.3.4. Cooperation in the field of culture with industrialised countries 33

2.3.5. Cultural Dialogue with Asia 34

2.3.6. Cooperation between the EU and Latin America 36

2.3.7. Cultural dialogue and cooperation with ACP countries 36

2.3.8. The United Nations Alliance of Civilisations 38

2.3.9. Current perspectives 38


Inventory of Community actions in the field of culture


The European Union (EU) already makes an important contribution to culture and cultural diversity. As indicated in the Communication on a European agenda for culture in a globalising world, a range of Community programmes support culture in the large sense in a direct and indirect way.

This staff working paper is intended to complement the above-mentioned communication. While the communication sets out a new approach for the EU to deliver support for culture in the future, the staff working document wants to serve as a technical inventory of existing Community action in the field of culture. Its first part gives more detailed information regarding some of the work which has helped prepare the Communication. The second part of the paper then provides a more detailed overview of the existing contribution of EU programmes and policies to culture, with links to relevant websites where further information can be obtained.


Qualitative Eurobarometer on the importance of culture in European values

In 2006, a qualitative Eurobarometer study on cultural values of Europeans helped to learn more about how Europeans view culture and its contribution to developing a sense of European citizenship. For the study, about 25 participants in each Member State were asked about their perceptions on aspects linked with "culture" and "European culture".

The main findings of this "Eurobarometer" are as follows:

- Culture is seen in a positive light and is valued highly as a fundamental element in personal development, after essential needs such as a happy private life, financial needs, job satisfaction and a balance between these different elements have been met.

- However, participants feel that some obstacles hinder access to culture. They include material conditions (that apply to varying degrees to all forms of cultural contact such as lack of money and time; and also unequal availability of cultural provision or information), as well as limitations due to the socio-cultural context that relate more particularly to “traditional” or “intellectual” culture, and psychological limitations. In this respect participants express the desire for measures that can bring culture closer to people, make it easier for them to access it, and encourage them to take advantage of it to a greater extent. In this respect, new information technologies could play an important role.

- Initial reactions to the idea of European culture are often marked by hesitation and confusion, with a temptation to think initially of the differences that exist between Europeans and of national cultural singularities. In reality, however, upon further investigation, these perceptions coexist with a more or less diffuse feeling of cultural community and common ground between European countries. This common ground includes the following perceptions:

- common roots, a long history, and consequently a rich cultural heritage – the study demonstrated how the past and tradition are highly valued;

- the notion of a certain amount of "wisdom" as well as "refinement" stemming from this history, with all the trials and conflicts that have punctuated it and which have ultimately been overcome and assimilated;

- organisational methods and a social project that are largely shared, based around concepts such as democracy, freedom and respect for different traditions;

- and finally cultural diversity, which stems from this common base. This is a very highly valued asset that is largely seen as being a distinctive European characteristic and that gives rise to other specific values such as tolerance and open-mindedness.

- Some values seem to be particularly developed in Europe to the point where they may be perceived by the participants to differentiate Europe from other places: among these values are “heritage from history” and “respect for the planet”. Other important values mentioned include intellectual curiosity, respect for others, tolerance and solidarity.

- Last but not least, the study indicated that culture is recognised by participants as being a key element in the construction of a European identity, that participants believe that the European Union and its institutions have a key role to play in this area, and that respondents expect them to act.

- Two key words sum up the principal expectations of participants: diversity, which must be maintained, preserved and encouraged in the face of a globalisation that risks to bring uniformity in its wake; and exchanges, for example by providing citizens with more opportunities to meet and explore the cultures of their European counterparts.

- At the same time, there are two pitfalls to be avoided according to participants: firstly the risk of supranational uniformity, a consideration that gives rise to reservations in some countries; and secondly the risk of initiatives focusing too heavily on an "elitist" culture, from which the general population will feel excluded.

Study on the economy of culture in Europe

When it comes to economic growth and employment, sustainable development and social cohesion, the European cultural industry has a lot to offer. As recently highlighted in a study on the cultural economy in Europe, carried out for the European Commission, the economic weight and potential of the cultural and creative sectors are quite considerable.

In 2003, the turnover of the cultural and creative sectors in Europe amounted to EUR 654,288 million. In terms of value added to the European economy as a whole, it represented 2.6% of Europe’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The relative importance of the cultural and creative sectors becomes more apparent when its value added to Europe’s GDP is compared with that of other industries. For instance, real estate activities (including the development, buying, selling and letting of real estate), one of the driving sectors of the European economy in the last years, accounts for 2.1% of Europe’s GDP – a figure that is inferior to the cultural and creative sectors' contribution. The economic contribution of the cultural and creative sectors is also higher than that of the sector of food, beverages and tobacco manufacturing (1.9%), the textile industry (0.5%) and the chemicals, rubber and plastic products industry (2.3%).

Overall, the cultural and creative sectors exhibited an impressive performance during the examined period - the years from 1999 to 2003. Whilst the nominal growth of the European economy in this period was 17.5%, the growth of the cultural and creative sectors in the same years was 19.7%. This means that the cultural and creative sectors grew faster than the general economy and that it was therefore a positive driver for development in Europe.

Furthermore, as far as the dynamic of the contribution of the cultural and creative sectors to European GDP is concerned, figures show a positive trend over the years, meaning that the sector grew in economic importance and that its contribution to the general wealth of Europe has become more and more significant.

Regarding employment, a minimum of 4.714 million people worked in the cultural and creative sectors alone in 2004, equivalent to 2.5% of the active employed population in the EU25. An additional 1.171 million were employed in the sector of cultural tourism. The distribution by gender and age differs little between cultural employment and total employment. However, 46.8% of workers in the cultural sector have at least a university degree in comparison with 25.7% in total employment. Furthermore, the share of independent workers is more than twice as high in the cultural sector than that of total employment.

On top of this direct contribution, the cultural and creative sectors also have indirect impacts on the European Socio-economic environment.

A first indirect impact on the overall performance of the economy is that the cultural and creative sectors foster innovation in other sectors of the economy. Secondly, the cultural and creative sectors are crucial for the take off of ICTs (Information and Communication Technologies), the flagship industry of the Lisbon strategy. They provide content to fuel digital devices and networks, thereby contributing to the adoption of ICTs by European citizens (“ICT literacy”), and fostering innovation in the ICT sector as ICT manufacturers and networks need to find original and optimal ways to integrate content into new value-added services. Thirdly, the cultural and creative sectors have a multiple role to play in local development: i) these sectors constitute a powerful catalyst for attracting tourists, thereby alimenting the tourism industry which is particularly well performing in Europe, generating growth and employment; ii) they can also be of strategic importance for growth and employment in cities and regions. The development of "creative cities" that are investing in the cultural and creative sectors is a good illustration of this phenomenon and iii) cultural activities at local level have also significant social impacts. This is exemplified in projects of social regeneration aimed at including marginalised or "resource-weak" communities, as well as at ensuring a better cohesion with the least wealthy areas. They contribute to improving communication and dialogue between different ethnic and social communities. Culture is an important tool in urban and regional policies, contributing to achieving sustainable development.

In other words: the cultural and creative sectors have the potential to contribute to our growth and our money earning potential enormously in the coming years.

A changing relationship with stakeholders

In recent years, the relationships and working methods between the European Commission, the Member States and the cultural field have gradually evolved.

As an example, the Commission was given the mandate to coordinate the positions of the EU Member States during the negotiations that led to the adoption of the UNESCO Convention on cultural diversity.

Furthermore, high level cultural conferences have been taking place regularly across Europe. This process began with the first “Soul for Europe” conference, organized in Berlin in November 2004. It was continued in Paris in May 2005, Budapest in November 2005, Granada in April 2006, Lublin in October 2006 and then Berlin again in November 2006, gaining in momentum at each step.

These conferences have brought together EU Ministers of Culture, high-level representatives of international organisations, including the Commission, as well as eminent members of the cultural field. They have offered a space for a real and open debate between all stakeholders at the European level, but also highlight the need for a better structuring of the dialogue, as explained in the Communication.

More recently, on 4 December 2006, a public hearing with the cultural sector was organized by the European Commission following a public on-line consultation on the communication[1]. Both the consultation and the hearing confirmed firstly that the European project was a cultural project and, as a consequence, that there was a real legitimacy for the EU to act in this field; and secondly that is was now necessary to move on from speeches about the importance of culture to action. They also confirmed the three main objectives set up by the European Commission in its communication on culture and Europe in a globalising world, that is the need to promote cultural diversity in conjunction with intercultural dialogue, to promote culture as a catalyst of creativity and to promote culture as a vital element in the Union's international relations.

However, they also revealed that cultural actors were still characterized by fragmentation and insufficient visibility at European level. The main players at European level are also largely heterogeneous in terms of status and functions, from representative structures to independent foundations, which are crucial financing vectors for the development of cultural activities, and European networks and organisations of different size and structure. The challenge is to strengthen representativity in the cultural sector while capitalizing on the expertise and commitment of other actors.

The contribution of EU programmes and policies to culture

Internal programmes and policies

Culture, Education and Youth

- Culture 2000 and the new Culture programme (2007-2013)

The Community's culture programme – which is based on Article 151 of the EC Treaty - has the objective of promoting cultural cooperation. Over the years this programme, although small in size, has made an important contribution to supporting cultural co-operation in Europe.

From 2000 to 2006, Culture 2000 has co-funded more than 1500 cultural cooperation projects in the form of festivals, international exhibitions, tours etc. It has therefore contributed to improving the knowledge and dissemination of European cultural heritage, promoting cultural exchanges, artistic and literary creation, and literary translation. It has also given recognition to major European cultural achievements through European prizes in architecture, cultural heritage and pop music as well as European Capitals of Culture . The EU has also been supporting bodies active at European level in the field of culture. The new Culture Programme (2007-2013) will go further in facilitating mutual understanding, stimulating creativity, and contributing to the mutual enrichment of our cultures. Its main priorities are to promote the transnational circulation of works of art, the mobility of artists across national borders, and intercultural dialogue. In this way, it will help thousands of cultural organisations to create and implement cultural and artistic projects. With EUR 400 million allocated for the period 2007-2013, its budget has increased significantly compared to its predecessor, the Culture 2000 Programme.

- Active Citizenship

Between 2004 and 2006, the Commission implemented a programme promoting active European citizenship . The concept of European citizenship in this programme is broader than the legal definition. It encompasses the participation of citizens in debates and projects with a European dimension, with a view to promoting a sense of belonging to a common area, based on shared values, history and culture. The cultural aspect of active European citizenship has been further developed within the new programme Europe for Citizens (2007-2013), which is also partially based on Article 151 (culture) of the EC Treaty.

All projects supported under the citizenship programme promote dialogue between different cultures in Europe and help to raise awareness, either directly or indirectly, about the common elements contributing to European identity. An exchange programme between twinned towns can, for example, include an arts performance or a visit to a major cultural site.

However, in the context of this programme, in the majority of cases culture has to be understood in its broader, anthropological, rather than artistic sense, referring to ways of life and thinking. For example, European trade unions can exchange experiences about the role of women at the work place. Non-governmental organisations can reflect on the contribution of Islam to our societies. Young people meeting in the context of town twinning can compare school systems in different countries and discuss mobility opportunities within the European Union. The actors and themes are diverse, but they all contribute to debate on our place in today's Europe and our cultural roots.

- Education

"Cultural awareness and expression" has been defined in a Recommendation adopted by the Council on 18 December 2006 (2006/962/EC) as one of the key competences to be achieved by all European citizens through lifelong learning. "Competence" is defined as knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the context, including awareness of local, national and European cultural heritage including contemporary culture, appreciation of works of art, self-expression through a variety of media and the willingness to cultivate aesthetic capacity through artistic self-expression and participation in artistic life.

Consideration is being given to how the link between education and culture could be strengthened through the relevant Community programmes, with a particular emphasis on promoting creativity, by a proposal for a European Year. In association with this envisaged initiative, the Eurydice network will launch a survey of arts and culture education in schools in Europe in the second half of 2007.

Such an initiative would build on solid foundations. Many projects funded under the Socrates and Leonardo da Vinci programmes and their predecessors have supported educational or vocational training projects in the cultural field, and this pattern can be expected to be maintained under the Lifelong Learning Programme 2008-2013 . This includes projects put forward by European consortia of conservatoires or other arts education institutions, universities and schools, as well as projects dealing with vocational training in arts-related skills such as conservation. Work is under way to identify examples of good practice from among the existing pool of such projects.

There have been a number of targeted initiatives dealing with various aspects of the interface between education and culture including notably the Connect initiative in 1999-2001 which provided support for 92 projects linking education, culture, innovation, research and ICT for a total budget of EUR 15 million.

In this respect, it is also worth noting that a study was carried out by the European Commission in 2006 on actions linking culture and education in Europe.

Generally speaking, the study revealed the existence of a wide variety of projects at all levels – national, regional, local and European –, including the above-mentioned Connect projects, linking formal, non-formal and informal education, vocational training and young people with culture.

The study shows that many projects use culture as a means of addressing contemporary social issues (environment, active citizenship, violence at school, drug problems, social problems) or issues more specifically related to education. In this regard, culture is used, in all shapes and forms, as a tool to promote education and to kindle the desire to learn whether it is in a formal, non-formal or informal setting.

The will to reinforce interaction between culture and formal education tends to occult the exploration of other types of interaction such as culture and young people or informal, non-formal education. Indeed, the study identified the absence of a variety of possibly valuable approaches.

For example, very few projects emphasize the contribution of foreign cultures to cultural and educational policies implemented in any given country. In the same way, few projects deal with the question of the professionalisation of "cultural mediators" or with the question of initial and/or continuing education of teachers, or the promotion of synergies between the fields of education and culture being a means of ensuring that pupils and students are given equal opportunities within the education system.

The study also highlighted the fact that few of the projects inventoried approach the issue of cultural and educational democratization from the angle of economically disadvantaged populations. Nor do very many projects address questions related to emerging occupations in the field of culture and education, the interconnections between sport and culture, between culture-education and entrepreneurship, between culture-education and interest in the sciences, or, last but not least, the link between culture-education and vocational training, and in particular apprenticeships.

It should not be forgotten that the thousands of mobility exchanges enabled by the EU's education, training, youth and citizenship programmes have provided rich personal, but also cultural experiences for individuals, the majority of whom indicate that their experience has contributed to making them feel more European.

- Youth

Community youth programmes often offer young people the opportunity to engage in cultural activities.

For instance, one of the objectives of the Youth programme (2000-2006) was clearly to foster a better understanding of the cultural diversity of Europe. Like the fight against racism and xenophobia, cultural diversity was even a priority in 2005 for the selection of projects in all parts of the programme. This programme objective gave rise to a wide variety of projects. Thousands of projects comprising an artistic dimension have been supported by Youth. For example, youth exchanges and discussion sessions have given groups of young people from different countries between the ages of 15 and 25 opportunities to meet each other and become familiar with each other's cultures. The European Voluntary Service has likewise allowed young people aged between 18 and 25 to spend up to 12 months abroad in order to contribute to local projects of many different types, including artistic and cultural activities.

Special emphasis has often been laid on the "intercultural dialogue" dimension, reflecting in particular the idea that youth exchanges help above all to establish mutual trust and foster the spirit of tolerance.

Of the many projects supported under the Youth programme which focus on the cultural dimension, the following can be given as examples:

The Youth in Action programme (2007-2013): its general objectives clearly contribute to the development of EU policies, particularly as regards the recognition of the cultural and linguistic diversity of Europe.

- Multilingualism

Language is the most direct expression of culture. Together with respect for the individual, openness towards other cultures, tolerance and acceptance of others, respect for linguistic diversity is a core value of the European Union. Our many mother tongues are a source of wealth and a bridge to greater solidarity and mutual understanding. Our policies focus on preserving and fostering this linguistic diversity and promoting language learning.

Multilingualism has a significant contribution to make in the cultural field. Many Lingua projects under previous programmes have been linked to various forms of cultural expression. The new Lifelong Learning Programme 2007-2013 , opens up new opportunities for linking language learning and teaching with intercultural skills, an area which will be given priority in the selection process.

In order to examine to what extent national education systems provide for the teaching of intercultural skills along with languages in their curricula, the Commission has launched a study on this in 2006. The results will be available in the end of 2007. The Commission will also create an expert group of artists, intellectuals and cultural personalities during 2007 in order to examine the specific contribution that languages can make to the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue.

The Commission is cooperating with EUNIC, the network of European National Cultural Institutes, in examining the cultural aspects of language learning, that are becoming increasingly important for both mobility on the single market and individual employability and personal development.


- The new approach to Communication: Action Plan, Plan D and White Paper

Communication and culture are inextricably linked. The way we communicate is largely shaped by cultural characteristics and it is through communication that we learn about each other's culture. Moreover, intercultural and cross-national communication is the precondition of the creation and the continuous development of a unique European culture. The active participation of citizens in debates on Europe, which preferably involves cross cultural exchange, cooperation and common creation, lies at the heart of the Commission's new approach to communication.

The principles of this new approach have been laid down in three key documents. The Action Plan to Improve Communicating Europe by the Commission[2] initiated a major reform of the Commission's internal culture of communication, based on listening to the citizen, communicating and "going local." Plan-D for Democracy, Dialogue and Debate[3] was the Commission's contribution to the period of reflection, and created a long-term framework for citizens' dialogue. The goal of Plan D is to stimulate debate and promote the active participation of citizens. The White paper on a European Communication Policy[4] reinforced the concept of communication as a two-way street, involving active participation of citizens and shifting the emphasis from an institution-centred to a citizen-centred communication, as well as from a Brussels-based to a decentralised approach. The new approach seeks to empower the citizens, through improving civic education and through connecting citizens with each other and with public institutions. The underlying principles of the new way of communication are the same as the democratic principles of cultural exchange in Europe: inclusiveness, diversity and participation.

Most initiatives realized or planned under the new communication approach thus have an intrinsic cultural character. (E.g. the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome are heavily centred on the question of cultural values.) Instead of providing an exhaustive list of one-time events and communication tools, two longer term projects which have a strongly cultural character are presented below. en.htm

- Creating European Public Spaces

The White Paper on Communication suggests that: "Member States could cooperate in a joint effort to establish new meeting places for Europeans, open to citizens of all generations and backgrounds, to host cultural and political events relating to Europe". In this context the Europe Houses will further develop the establishment of European Public Spaces for the citizens. The aim is to create public spaces in the capitals of the Member States, and at local and/or regional level, where the institutions and their democratic representatives may interact with society, with emphasis on the following fields: politics, culture, education and civil society. Several types of activities are envisaged: exhibitions, films, meetings, visits, discussions, forums of debate and lectures etc. Particular attention will be paid to culture. There is a strong link between this activity and those proposed in the recent Communication of the Commission which seeks to promote the role of culture in Europe with new partnerships and methods for cooperation, both with Member States and civil society: These new spaces could also be an outlet for cultural products supported by the Media programme.

Regional policy

Culture has an important role to play in European economies, and there are many possibilities for financing under the instruments for Social Cohesion: support for innovation and for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), funding for cultural services which integrate information and communication technologies, funding for research projects on the preservation and restoration of cultural heritage, etc. The instruments of the new Cohesion Policy 2007-13 must make it possible to tap all the potential of the cultural sphere, particularly that of the creative industries. The creation of networks and interregional cooperation activities, for instance, will have to be supported by Community funds.

Regions which benefit from the Convergence Objective will have resources to invest in the protection, promotion and preservation of their cultural heritage and in the development of their cultural infrastructure , provided that these investments have a significant impact on the socio-economic development of the region. Measures to promote sustainable tourism and enhance the region's appeal will also be supported.

The Competitiveness and Employment Objective will allow beneficiary regions to invest in the protection and enhancement of local cultural heritage if these measures have an impact on regional socio-economic development. The investments of these regions may also relate to the promotion of their cultural assets , with a view to developing sustainable tourism.

The Territorial Cooperation Objective will allow regions to invest in culture . Cross-border cooperation will facilitate the development and shared use of cultural infrastructures. As regards transnational cooperation, financing will be available for measures to preserve and promote cultural heritage where these tie in with a sustainable urban development policy. In fact, measures to preserve and develop cultural heritage can be financed under special provisions for urban development in the new Regulation on the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

During the past financing period 2000-06 many regions devoted priorities or measures of their operational programmes to culture, cultural heritage and related activities. Two member states, Greece and Portugal, were running entire operational programmes on culture. The 'Culture' objective 1 programme for Greece sought promoting the protection and development of the cultural heritage and the development of Greece's modern culture as priorities, with a budget of EUR 675 million, of which EUR 474 million coming from the ERDF and the remainder from other public and private sources. The 'Culture' operational programme for Portugal had the development of historical and cultural heritage, and an improved access to cultural sites and activities as priorities, mobilising EUR 351 million in total, of which EUR 249 million contributed by the ERDF.

For the 313 draft operational programmes for 2007-2013 received so far by the Commission, planned expenditures for culture amount to more than EUR 5 billion, of which 2,6 bn for protection and preservation of cultural heritage, 1,8 bn for the development of cultural infrastructure, and EUR 590 million for assistance to improve cultural services. This is, however, by far not all that cohesion policy and its tools will do for culture and relative industries. Further support will be provided under other relevant headings, such as Research Technology Development, SME promotion, information society and human capital, to enumerate only a few.

A very valuable contribution for further mainstreaming culture in regional development programmes comes from related innovative actions and territorial cooperation schemes that have been carried out during the last funding period. For the category "heritage, culture and tourism" of interregional cooperation (INTERREG III c), the experiences of no less than 42 projects can be used as an inspiration by shapers and managers of the new programmes.

Agriculture and sustainable development

The contribution to culture is to be found mainly in the second pillar of the CAP, i.e. the rural development policy .

The "Leader +" Community initiative encourages the implementation of innovative local strategies which are integrated and participative, and which involve both the private and the public sector. For the current programming period, "Leader +" is financing cultural projects until the end of 2008 under the heading of "making the best use of natural and cultural resources".

For the new programming period (2007-2013), the contribution to culture comes under priority 2 (improving the environment and the countryside) which, under the agri-environment measure, supports the preservation by farmers of traditional farmed landscapes (e.g.: cultural landscapes such as terracing, low dry-stone walls or hedgerows).

Culture is also supported under the third priority (the quality of life in rural areas and diversification of the rural economy), which includes in particular measures to improve the quality of life in rural areas by making them more attractive (attracting new businesses and stabilising the population): one the one hand, the "Conservation and upgrading of the rural heritage" measure provides financing for studies and investments linked to the maintenance, restoration and upgrading of cultural heritage and, on the other hand, the "Basic services for the economy and rural population" measure offers financing for the establishment of cultural services in rural areas.

Lastly, priority 4 of the Leader approach should likewise allow for the development of territorial cultural activities, particularly those linked to territorial identity, which often forms the basis for development which draws on local human resources (endogenous development).

Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities

The European Social Fund (ESF) is part of the EC cohesion policy and has become the financial instrument of the European Employment Strategy. The ESF makes a considerable indirect contribution to culture through actions in the cultural sector such as professional training and pathways . These can help to integrate people in the labour market by improving their qualifications and competences. The ESF can, therefore, contribute to creating more and better jobs in the cultural sector.

It is, however, important to stress the integrated and complementary approaches of the ESF and the ERDF, as there are often links between training and infrastructure requirements. For example, the development of tourism may in practice necessitate new infrastructure, but it may also require investment in the training of workers, such as future tour guides, on cultural, natural heritage or other issues.

European social dialogue in the culture and live performing arts sector

According to the most recent (but incomplete) Labour Force Survey data, the live performance sector employs more than 700.000 workers, of whom many are part-time or temporary workers. Through the European sectoral social dialogue committee, European workers and employers representatives and their national affiliates are informed and consulted on EU initiatives and developments of importance for their sector. The committee also takes concrete action on issues identified in their joint work programme through a range of possible initiatives (joint statements, training projects and tools, guidelines, recommendations, agreements).

The Culture and Live Performing Arts Social Dialogue Committee was established in January 1999 with the support of the European Commission. The Social Dialogue website of the Commission's Directorate General Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities offers updated information about social dialogue and, more specifically, Committee meetings, events, adopted texts, and the internet sites of organisations represented at the Committee.

Progress and the European year of equal opportunities for all

The Community programme for employment and social solidarity, PROGRESS, can finance research on employment in the cultural sector, on the mobility of those working in the cultural sector or on combating discrimination in the access to cultural goods and services.

2007 has been declared European Year of Equal Opportunities for all and some of the 30 countries participating in it use art and culture as ways of promoting diversity. Others have included actions directly promoting the cultural diversity of their ethnic minorities, for instance via festivals or photography competitions.

Preventing poverty and social exclusion

The importance of the role of culture in preventing and reducing poverty and social exclusion has led the Commission to support a study which analyses and identifies cultural policies and programmes in thirteen Member states that contribute to preventing and reducing poverty and social exclusion.

The audiovisual sector

Audiovisual works represent a most important vector for the transmission of our cultural, social and democratic values.

- Regulatory framework

European audiovisual policy seeks to provide a framework favourable to the development of the audiovisual sector and to support the trans-national dimension of this essentially cultural industry. To this end, the Television without Frontiers Directive (TWFD) [5] is a centrepiece to facilitate "business without frontiers" in the audiovisual sector. It sets, in particular, the conditions for the transmission across borders of television broadcasts within the EU single market and thus creates a legal framework for the free circulation of European audiovisual content within the EU.

On the basis of the "country of origin" principle (which allows broadcasters to offer audiovisual content complying with the laws of their own State for broadcasting in other States) the Directive has led to a huge increase in the number of channels being broadcast, thereby contributing to the strengthening of media pluralism and cultural diversity.

In addition, cultural diversity is fostered through promotion measures of European and independent audiovisual productions (Articles 4 and 5 of the TWFD), which provide that Member States shall ensure, where practicable and by appropriate means, that broadcasters allocate a majority of time on TV channels, to European-made programmes and that a minimum proportion of viewing time is reserved to European works created by independent producers (or alternatively that a minimum programme budget is allocated by broadcasters to independent productions).

To keep pace with rapid technological and market developments in Europe's audiovisual sector, on 13 December 2005 the Commission adopted a proposal for the revision of the TWFD[6]. This proposal provides a set of basic rules for all audiovisual media services and modernises the rules of the current Directive for television services.

The development of the EU audiovisual and information services industry also requires a minimum level of protection of the general interests of the European citizen. On 20 December 2006 the European Parliament and the Council adopted a Recommendation on the Protection of Minors and Human Dignity and on the Right of Reply (2006/952/EC). The Recommendation builds upon the earlier 1998 Council Recommendation (98/560/EC), which will remain in force. It extends the scope to include media literacy, the cooperation and sharing of experience and good practices between self-, co- and regulatory bodies, action against discrimination in all media, and the right of reply concerning online media.

The European Parliament and the Council adopted a Recommendation on Film Heritage and the competitiveness of related industrial activities on 16 November 2005. Member State shall inform the Commission every two years of action taken in response to this Recommendation.

- Support measures in favour of the European audiovisual industry: the MEDIA Programme

The MEDIA programme, which was launched on 1 January 1991, was created to encourage the development of the European audiovisual industry. There have been four multiannual programmes since 1991: MEDIA I (1991-1995, budget: EUR 200 million), MEDIA II (1996-2000, budget: EUR 310 million), MEDIA Plus (2001-2006, budget: EUR 513 million) and MEDIA 2007 (2007-2013, budget: EUR 754.9 million). In total, from 1991 to 2013, almost EUR 2 billion will have been granted in aid under the MEDIA programme .

The European audiovisual sector shows great social and economic potential. In its conclusions, the Lisbon European Council considered that "content industries create added value by exploiting and networking European cultural diversity". In accordance with Article 157(3) of the Treaty establishing the European Community, the aim of the MEDIA programme is therefore to strengthen the competitiveness of the European audiovisual sector. This aspect involves in particular the implementation of measures to foster:

- the adaptation of the European audiovisual industry to structural upheaval;

- the development of a propitious environment for the small and medium-sized businesses which underpin the industrial fabric of the cinema and audiovisual sectors;

- the advent of an environment which fosters cooperation between businesses.

Ultimately, this strengthening of competitiveness should become evident in the European Union through an increased market share for non-national European productions.

Apart from its economic implications, the European audiovisual sector also plays an important role in the emergence of European citizenship. To this end, Community support is designed to enable the European audiovisual sector to promote intercultural dialogue, increase mutual awareness amongst Europe's cultures and develop its political and cultural potential. Productions supported by the MEDIA programme are generally of qualitative interest and show internationally recognised cultural potential, as reflected by the prizes received by, for example, "The Wind that Shakes the Barley" by Ken Loach ( Palme d'Or at the Cannes Festival in 2006) or " Das Leben der Anderen " by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (Best European Film at the last European Film Awards and winner of the 2007 Oscar for the best foreign language film).

Following on from earlier programmes, measures under MEDIA 2007 are structured in different action lines: Training, Development, Distribution, Promotion/Festivals and Pilot Projects/Horizontal Priorities. Each year, around 50 specialised training seminars are organised thanks to MEDIA. As a result, more than 1 500 professionals attend training courses running from several days to several months in: scenario writing and project development, economic and financial management, using new technologies.

The MEDIA programme provides European independent production companies with financial support for the development of production projects: on a yearly basis, 300 new European film projects are born with MEDIA backing.

Through distribution schemes, half of the European Films shown on European cinema screens benefit from MEDIA support. Furthermore, the MEDIA programme supports cinema networks. For instance, the Europa Cinemas network (670 independent theatres with more than 1500 screens in some 340 cities and 50 countries worldwide) benefits from MEDIA support.

Film Festivals to promote European cinematographic works and to encourage their distribution throughout the Member States, are supported as well. Each year, MEDIA supports more than 100 festivals and fosters collaboration between them to strengthen the diversity and quality of films produced and shown in Europe.

- Other initiatives

In 2004, the European Parliament invited the Commission to launch an initiative in the field of "Media Literacy". In 2006, the Commission therefore set up an expert group. The mandate of this group is to analyse trends and define precise objectives in this field, in particular with a view to understanding and promoting "good practices" at European level, ultimately leading to proposals for action lines. This group must meet three times a year.

As a way of supporting the discussions, the Commission has carried out as detailed a survey as possible on the practices of the Member States. Its analysis will be used to feed into and consolidate the experts' deliberations. This work will lead to the drafting of a Communication and a Recommendation in the second half of 2007.

Other actions are promoted in relation to the distribution of audiovisual content over electronic networks such as "On-line content". To this end the Commission is preparing a Communication on 'Content Online in Europe's Single Market' for the second half of 2007. The public consultation based on a questionnaire on 'Content online in the Single Market' (28 July-13 October 2006) and public hearing on 11 October 2006 led to more than 175 written contributions, which are currently being analysed for the proposal.

Furthermore the European Union is committed to protecting media pluralism as well as the right to information and freedom of expression enshrined in Article 11 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights. A 3-step approach on Media pluralism has been launched in January. The first step is the publication of the Staff Working Paper which identifies the relevant aspects of media pluralism such as internal and external pluralism, relations between politics, economic interests and media or access to media content. The second step will be a comprehensive study on media pluralism in the Member States of the European Union. As a third step, the indicators developed in the study will be presented to the general public in 2008.

Information Society and Research

- Information Society

Information and Communication Technologies provide new opportunities for Europe's rich cultural heritage, both in terms of improving access and supporting the preservation of content . The Commission Communication "i2010: digital libraries"[7], focuses on the political objective of making Europe's cultural heritage and scientific records accessible to all. It analyses the challenges to bringing out the full cultural and economic potential of European cultural heritage in the information society and identifies a preliminary set of actions seeking to realise this objective and explores the synergies between ongoing activities at national level. The Commission is supporting work towards the European Digital Library, a multilingual common access point to Europe's distributed cultural heritage.

On 24 August 2006, a Commission Recommendation on the digitisation and on-line accessibility of cultural material and digital preservation[8] was adopted. The latter highlights the need for a coordinated effort in the three main areas for intervention identified (on-line accessibility, digitisation of large collections and preservation of digital content) and proposes a number of specific actions to be taken by the Member States with the support of the Commission. On the other hand, ICT are called to play a major role in creating and delivering new content, which means going far beyond the stage of providing access to information about cultural heritage items. Demand for high-quality, enriched digital content will continue to grow (as shown in the 2006 Commission study on "Interactive Content and convergence: Implications for the Information Society"[9]). Regarding research, in 2007 the Commission has adopted a Communication on Scientific information in the digital age to examine how new digital technologies can be better used to increase access to research publications and data as an important driver for innovation[10]). EU policies therefore support the production, use and distribution of high quality digital content and the promotion of linguistic and cultural diversity on global networks. The overall objectives of the Commission Recommendation and the vision of the European Digital Library received the political endorsement of the Council [11] in November 2006. In its conclusions the Council showed the willingness of the Member States to work together towards common goals and agreed on an implementation calendar.

In addition in the eInclusion Ministerial Declaration signed last year by 34 countries at the Riga Ministerial Conference[12] one of the 6 areas identified for action in the forthcoming 2008 eInclusion initiative is on cultural diversity and the promotion cultural diversity in relation to inclusion by fostering pluralism, cultural identity and linguistic diversity in the digital space.

- eContentplus

This programme seeks to tackle organisational barriers and promote the take-up of leading-edge technical solutions for improving accessibility and usability of digital material in a multilingual environment. The funding available under the programme which runs from 1 January 2005 to 31 December 2008 is EUR 149 million. The programme deals with three areas:

- digital libraries (cultural and scientific/scholarly content), supporting the development of interoperable digital libraries (i.e. collections and objects held by cultural and scientific institutions) and supporting solutions that facilitate the exposure, discovery and retrieval of these resources;

- educational content, encouraging the emergence of the structures and conditions necessary to support pan-European learning services that can significantly increase multilingual access to quality digital content and its use in different educational and academic contexts;

- geographical information, stimulating the aggregation of existing national datasets of core geographic information into cross-border datasets, educational content and cultural, scientific and scholarly content.

The eContentplus programme assumes special importance in the context of "i2010: digital libraries" initiative by supporting the creation of the European Digital Library, a multilingual internet access point to cultural collections from all Member States.

- eTEN

The eTEN (Trans-European Telecommunications Networks) Community Programme[13] finished at the end of 2006 as the funding cycles of the programme were completed. eTEN supported the deployment of trans-European e-services in the public interest. The programme aimed to accelerate the take-up of services to sustain the European social model of an inclusive, cohesive society.

eTEN’s six themes included eGovernment, eHealth, eInclusion, eLearning, Services for SMEs and Trust & Security. eTEN has for many years funded a significant number of projects providing easy access to Europe’s cultural heritage and diversity. These projects typically fell into the eGovernment theme (electronic services provided by or for public administrations), the eLearning theme (use of multimedia technologies, the internet and other delivery channels to improve the quality of learning by facilitating access to resources, including access to European cultural heritage and digital content), or the eInclusion theme (provision of public services and solutions that bridge the "digital divide", through areas such as digital literacy and culture).

These projects contribute to increasing access to Europe’s rich cultural and scientific heritage and to ensuring the maintenance of such cultural items by creating inventories of digitised cultural content and enhanced understanding of the different cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds of the different communities across Europe. While there will be no further calls for proposals within the eTEN programme, projects will continue through 2007, 2008 and 2009 and the Commission will monitor these projects and provide support for disseminating their results.

- The 6 th and 7 th Framework Programmes for research and development

The Framework programme supports culture directly and indirectly through its specific programmes.

Within the Specific Programme Cooperation, two thematic priorities cover cultural aspects:

- Information society technologies

European Commission's funded research in Information Society Technologies (IST) applied to cultural heritage aims at improving the meaning and experiences people get from cultural and scientific resources when these resources exist in electronic form, and developing systems and tools that support the accessibility and use over time of digital cultural and scientific resources.

Between 2003 and 2006 a total budget of EUR 79.7 million was devoted to supporting research in the field of "Access to and Preservation of Cultural and Scientific Resources" . A total of 25 projects were funded through two calls for proposals: RTD on digital libraries services, digitisation and restoration of audio-visual and film heritage, large integrated projects and a coordination action on digital preservation, co-ordination actions targeting community building between either national bodies or regional/local level stakeholders, and more targeted research projects dealing with virtual representations or re-constructions of cultural and archaeological objects and sites, applications for virtual museums and cultural tourism, and indexing and semantic annotation of multimedia content, information retrieval and multilingual content. Funded projects include: EPOCH is structuring multidisciplinary research into intelligent applications of ICT to physical cultural heritage; PRESTOSPACE brings together the main European institutions responsible for audiovisual archives to develop cost effective digitisation methods and for preserving their content; PLANETS led by European national libraries and archives is researching on an integrated production environment for the preservation of their digital holdings and MULTIMATCH is developing a semantically-based multilingual search engine for accessing cultural heritage resources in all formats.

In the Work Programme 2007-2008 of the Information and Communication Technologies theme of the 7th Framework Programme (FP7), cultural heritage research is an essential part of the objective of Challenge 4, 'Digital Libraries and Content'. This forthcoming research, which builds on the solid body of past and ongoing research and takes into account the new policy context of "i2010: Digital Libraries", has medium- and long-term objectives.

In the medium-term the objective is to create large-scale European-wide digital libraries characterised by robust and scalable environments, cost-effective digitisation supported through European networks of competence centres, semantic-based search facilities and digital preservation features. In the long-term the research is expected to deliver radically new approaches to digital preservation that are able to cope with high volumes, dynamic and volatile digital content (notably web), keep track of evolving meaning and usage context of digital content, safeguarding integrity, authenticity and accessibility over time and providing models enabling automatic and self-organising approaches to preservation. The aim is to unlock organisations' and people's ability to access digital content, preserve it over time and arrive at large-scale, EU-wide digitisation and long term preservation. The overall budget for 2007-2008 is EUR 102 million (covering also activities in technology-enhanced learning).

- Social sciences and humanities

Many projects directly linked to cultural issues (e.g. cultural identities, coexistence, European citizenship, cultural heritage, multilingualism, etc.) have been financed under FP6, with substantial budgets of EUR 3.5 to 5 million (e.g. the Networks of Excellence "Creating Links and Innovative Overviews for a New History Research Agenda for the Citizens of a Growing Europe –" and " Réseau d'excellence des centres de recherche en sciences humaines sur la Méditerranée – Ramses 2 " (Network of Excellence for Centres of Research into the Humanities in the Mediterranean) or the Integrated Projects "Language dynamics and management of diversity – DYLAN" and "Languages in a Network of European Excellence – LINEE").

Research fields or themes included in the Specific Programmes "Cooperation" and "Capacities" opened in the context of the first invitation to tender under FP7 focus on cultural issues (e.g. "Cultural interactions in an international perspective", "Diversities and commonalities in Europe" or "Action to establish a trans-disciplinary research community on science and culture").

"The European Schoolnet" projects include a number of projects financed through the 6th Framework Programme and aim to promote co-operation, information and cultural exchanges amongst schools across Europe.

To encourage a better participation in IC technologies, Commission's Directorate General Information and Society is cooperating with industry to promote a number of activities for increased diversity in ICT related professions and in particular to attract more young people to choose such careers.

The Specific Programme People supports mobility of researchers and training of PhD students in scientific fields related to culture.

Within the Specific programme Capacities, cultural aspects are highlighted mainly through projects linking science and society, where cultural means are often used to bridge the division between citizens and science.

Competition policy

- Antitrust policy (Art. 81 and Art. 82 EC Treaty)

Competition policy ensures that competition is not distorted as a result of anti-competitive agreements (Article 81 EC) or abuses of a dominant position (Article 82 EC). Competition policy is an important element in achieving and protecting cultural diversity. In particular, cartels and exclusionary practices may lead to reduced availability of cultural goods and services. Anti-competitive agreements and exploitative abuses may result in higher prices not only for consumers of cultural goods and services but also for producers and suppliers of cultural goods and services, such as writers, artists or filmmakers.

When applying Article 81 EC in the cultural sector, the Commission may take into account the specific characteristics of cultural goods and services at various stages of the assessment. First, the characteristics of the goods and services concerned will influence the definition of the relevant market. Second, within the assessment of the question whether an agreement restricts competition within the meaning of Article 81(1) EC, account will be taken of the actual conditions in which it functions, in particular the specific economic and legal context in which the undertakings operate, the products or services covered by the agreement and the actual structure of the market concerned. Third, under Article 81(3) EC, restrictive agreements are accepted that improve the production or distribution of goods including cultural goods (such as, e.g ., books, CDs or DVDs) if the consumers receive a fair share of the resulting benefit, the restriction or conduct is indispensable and competition is not substantially eliminated. Within the framework of Article 82 EC, the characteristics of the relevant market and the products and services concerned are relevant, e.g ., when assessing whether a conduct may be qualified as abusive or whether the alleged abuse can be objectively justified.

A practical example of the interplay between competition policy and culture includes the Commission's investigation concerning fixed book prices in Germany where the Commission stressed the importance of " cultural and linguistic diversity "[14].

- Merger control

European merger control law[15] and policy has the aim of preventing consolidation and restructuring of companies that result in firms enjoying excessive market power. The Commission's mandate is to ensure that customers and consumers have a choice of supply and benefit from competitive prices and innovations, and to protect consumers from the emergence of companies able to exercise unfair and harmful practices. European merger control therefore could be a valuable instrument that could contribute to protect cultural diversity, plurality of media and fair market conditions in the cultural sector.

More specifically, where mergers take place between companies active in markets where cultural goods and services are traded, the Commission's aim to ensure that such companies do not enjoy excessive market power and limit product variety could overlap the protection of cultural diversity. The Commission also takes efficiencies of a transaction into account in assessing its overall impact on consumers. If such efficiencies lead to improved production and distribution of traded cultural goods, they can be offset against the harmful effects of the concentration on competition.

European merger control law also does not prevent the Member States from subjecting mergers assessed by the Commission to measures in order to protect legitimate interests. Plurality of the media, for example, is explicitly recognised in the European Merger Control Regulation as such a legitimate interest. Member States therefore have the ability to prevent or impose modifications to a merger on the basis of cultural considerations, provided that these measures are proportionate in pursuing legitimate goals.

- Control of State aid

The objective of State aid control is to ensure that government interventions do not distort competition and intra-community trade. The EC Treaty pronounces the general prohibition of State aid (Article 87(1)). In some circumstances, however, government interventions are necessary and therefore the Treaty leaves room for a number of policy objectives for which State aid can be considered compatible.

Culture is such an objective and following Article 87(3)(d) EC Treaty, introduced by the Maastricht Treaty, ‘aid to promote culture and heritage conservation where such aid does not affect trading conditions and competition in the Community to an extent that is contrary to the common interest, may be considered to be compatible with the common market’.

Under Article 87(3)(d) the Commission has in the past approved a wide range of measures, which have benefited such diverse areas as museums,[16] national heritage,[17] theatre and music-productions,[18] printed cultural media[19], and last but not least the cinematographic and audiovisual sector. In 2001, based on its experience of assessing various national film support schemes, particularly the French system, the Commission published a Communication setting out the conditions for the application of Article 87(3)(d)[20] to the production of "cinematographic and other audiovisual works"; the so-called "Cinema Communication". On the basis of this Communication, the Commission has approved a considerable number of State aid measures[21].

In order to approve an aid under Article 87(3)(d), the Commission always requires that the notion of culture be applied to the content of the measure, and not, for instance, to its medium or distribution channel per se . Aid measures lacking a clear cultural nature but having as an objective for instance the support of media pluralism[22], were approved under 87(3)(c) (aid to facilitate the development of certain economic activities or of certain economic areas).

It should be noted that Regulation (EC) No 1998/2006 exempts from the notification requirement of Article 88(1) aid measures granted to undertakings (including cultural undertakings) that do not exceed EUR 200 000 over a period of three fiscal years.

Internal market

As for other Community fields of action, regulated single market approaches exist for cultural activities. For instance, Community law includes major measures for harmonising intellectual property rights in order to provide equivalent levels of protection for rights-holders in the various Member States, eliminate barriers to trade and adapt the European legal framework to the new forms of use made possible by information and communication technologies.

The European Union has set up a legal framework which largely harmonises the protection of copyright and related rights. There are currently a number of European directives in this field covering, among other things, rental and lending rights and certain rights related to copyright in the field of intellectual property, copyright and related rights applicable to satellite broadcasting and cable retransmission, the term of protection of copyright and related rights, and the resale right for the benefit of the author of an original work of art.

The Directive of 22 May 2001 on copyright and related rights in the information society[23] aims to harmonise copyright and related rights, particularly as regards rights of reproduction, distribution, communication and public availability of works and other products. The Member States have the option and, in one case, even the obligation, to allow for exceptions. The Directive also provides for harmonised legal protection against circumvention of the technological measures for the protection of rights (access code, encryption, etc.). This Directive, which constitutes a fundamental element of the environment in which new applications for the production, distribution and marketing of cultural contents develop, will be subject to a monitoring report in 2007.

In all of the above fields, the Commission will take account of the need to promote cultural diversity through the implementation of potential new initiatives.

Maritime policy

The new EU maritime policy will have a strong cultural dimension. Throughout history, oceans and seas have been vectors of commercial and cultural exchanges both among Europeans and between Europeans and other peoples.

Maritime and coastal tourism is an essential part of maritime economy, one where culture and economic activities, history and present are intimately linked. Maritime museums may help in understanding and disseminating the achievements of the past, but could also do more in passing on a sense of the advanced technology which characterises maritime activities today. Associations dedicated to keeping alive the traditions of the past could also link them with the commercial reality of the present, or the future potential of the oceans.

The cultural dimension of the maritime policy is also crucial to involve our neighbours in shared responsibility for and management of common maritime challenges. By highlighting the common maritime cultural heritage and linking it to present challenges, the EU can foster cultural understanding and cooperation in matters pertaining to the sustainable development of sea-based activities.

Culture and Trade policy

Trade policy takes into account cultural considerations as required under Article 151(4) EC Treaty, which can be highlighted by the following examples:

Overall, cultural concerns are fully taken into account in the Doha Development Agenda (DDA), and the Commission has successfully defended the EC position in the DDA negotiations, consisting in putting forward no request to third countries, and no offer as regards the EC, in the audiovisual sector. The discussion of the collective request on audiovisual services, cosponsored by 6 World Trade Organisation (WTO) Members, underlined the sensitivity of this sector, and the WTO Membership focused, in plurilateral meetings in Geneva, on the "dual side" of this sector and the need to take into account the specificity of this area.

In bilateral and regional Free Trade agreements, the Commission has proposed to negotiate specific cultural cooperation and partnership Titles, in order to take into account cultural considerations and the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. These specific titles will, in particular, foresee preferential treatments to facilitate the dissemination of developing countries' cultural works, with a view to deal with structural imbalances in cultural exchanges. The interface between trade policy and cultural policies has also been taken into consideration by the Commission when negotiating on behalf of the EC the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. The Commission used its trade expertise to ensure the compatibility between the UNESCO Convention and Trade agreements.

Furthermore, the Commission has launched negotiations at the WTO to withdraw and modify a number of trade commitments of new EC Member States under the GATS, and in this process is ensuring that provisions covering the cultural policies of the EC and its Member States apply to all Member States and that the clarification that contents are excluded from trade commitments made in the telecommunication and computer services sectors, also apply to all EC Member States.

Intellectual property (IP) has significant economic and social implications: it is a tool for the development of cultural creations, new technologies and new products that will eventually be available to the society. As regards the cultural sector IP rights are of great economic value. They guarantee that authors, painters, performers etc are properly compensated and recognized for their work.

The policy of the Commission in the field of intellectual property includes:

- to set minimum standards of protection for each category of intellectual property rights (TRIPS);

- cooperating with developing and least developed countries, for which the introduction and enforcement of intellectual property laws is quite a challenge. The EU is currently providing technical co-operation to a significant number of countries in this field.

Culture in the external relations and development policies and programmes

The fact that culture pervades all aspects of human life and plays a major role in determining the functioning of societies and economies has important implications for external relations and for how they are conducted. Due to Europe’s own cultural diversity and the important role this diversity plays both in shaping a ‘European’ identity in the perceptions of Europe’s external partners and in constructing a European identity for the citizens of Europe, the importance of the cultural factor in European external policy has long been acknowledged. After the events in New York in 2001, the EU endeavoured to integrate culture and cultural dialogue much more effectively into Europe’s external relations. As a result, the dimension of culture now features more highly in Europe’s relations with most of the countries and regions of the world and this trend is strongly encouraged both by external partners as well as by the EU itself.

The Commission’s Communication on “Europe in the world ”[24] proposed a number of ways in which the EU could improve its delivery of external policy. One area where improvements can be made within the framework of the existing treaties is the issue of public diplomacy, of which culture is an essential element. As the examples from the countries of Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific indicate, cultural events are already a key feature of the public diplomacy activities of the Commission Delegations in third countries, often involving cooperation with and among Member States’ embassies and cultural institutions to convey important messages about Europe and its diversity; about its welcoming of different cultures; and about its willingness to open a direct dialogue with individuals and with civil society.

It is the task of the Commission with the Member States to promote this increased cultural dialogue and awareness. The Commission is therefore already taking steps to develop exchanges of personnel with diplomatic services of the Member States and the staff of the Council Secretariat both in Delegations and at headquarters, and related training schemes.

Moreover, the viability and sustainability of aid depend on its integration into the cultural context of the recipient country and its people. At the same time culture is not fixed once and for all and is shaped and evolves with changes in societies and economies. Thus, exogenous factors, including those related to development aid, may have an important impact on local cultures.

Candidate countries and potential Candidates

The main focus of the Commission's political dialogue with and financial assistance of candidate and potential candidate countries is the Copenhagen criteria (political and economic criteria and alignment with the acquis ). Nevertheless, various pre-accession programmes such as CARDS (Community Assistance for Reconstruction, Development and Stabilisation), PHARE (Programme of Community aid to the countries of Central and Eastern Europe) and, as of 2007, IPA (Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance) as well as specific policies do have a real impact on the cultural sector. Information on financial assistance including an overview of projects can be found at:

In addition, future participation in the cultural programmes of the European Community (such as the Culture Programme, the Europe for Citizens programme) of those countries not yet participating will open up possibilities in the cultural sector.

- Turkey

In order to support the Turkish government in implementing legislative reforms in the field of broadcasting in languages and dialects traditionally used by Turkish citizens in their daily lives, the EC Delegation to Turkey launched the ‘Promotion of Cultural Rights in Turkey Grant Scheme’. This EUR 2.5 million programme is made up of two components: broadcasting and cultural initiatives. As a wider objective, the grant scheme seeks to contribute to increasing mutual understanding, knowledge and wider appreciation of the cultural diversity of Turkey.

To accompany the establishment of a civil society dialogue, the EC Delegation in Turkey launched, among a variety of other activities, a new call for proposals specifically targeting cultural cooperation. This grant scheme, entitled ‘Civil Society Dialogue: Culture in Action’, supports: 1) projects designed to contribute to the active involvement of the Turkish public and to enhance its knowledge of the pre-accession process for Turkey; and 2) projects aimed at raising the interest of the Turkish people in different aspects of European culture and arts as an expression of the EU’s multi-cultural identity. However, as a general rule, one of the requirements of this grant scheme is partnerships with counterparts in at least one (possibly more) EU member state for all project proposals in order to help ensure the development of viable dialogue and cooperation. The programme’s budget is EUR 1.45 million.

- Croatia

From 2001 to 2004, the CARDS national programme for Croatia has supported several projects in the area of civil society and projects focusing on the promotion of democracy and human rights by supporting NGOs, civil society groups and media outlets. In addition, the implementation rules of the PHARE Cross-border-Programme allow for the funding of "cultural exchanges".

- The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

The Commission has been involved in promoting cultural activities through CARDS and IPA.

- Albania

The Stabilisation and Association Agreement with Albania was signed in June 2006 and is currently being ratified. This agreement includes commitments in fields such as cultural cooperation (in particular within the framework of the UNESCO Convention on the protection and the promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions), cooperation in the audio-visual field and with regard to cinema and television, information society and electronic communications networks and services. In addition, the European Partnership, approved by the Member States in January 2006, contains a number of priorities, including the fostering of media freedom, improving the legal framework for minorities and aligning national legislation in various fields.

Culture is included under the IPA Cross Border Co-operation Adriatic Programme, for which an indicative amount of EUR 14.45 million is allocated over the period 2007 to 2009.

- Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Commission has been the major actor in establishing the Public Broadcasting System of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and the Communications Regulatory Authority. In the latter case, supply of equipment and technical expertise has allowed the CRA (RAK in local language-s) to become a reference point for media regulation in the Western Balkans and to take over responsibility from SFOR for broadcasting frequencies and, even more importantly, broadcasting standards. It carries out a valuable watchdog role in ensuring that audiovisual media respect European norms.

In addition, the Commission's support has been instrumental in establishing BHT1 within the Public Broadcasting System. This is the only state-wide broadcaster in BiH which came on air in summer 2004. The Commission has provided, inter alia , technical support, management training and vital equipment - transmitters and will continue to do so under IPA.

- Montenegro

The situation in Montenegro is similar to the one in other countries of the Western Balkans in the sense that the Commission's main impact and influence on the cultural sector and the dissemination of culture is exerted by civil society projects, either directly or indirectly. One project, for instance, deals with the protection of cultural heritage (Duklja – Roman site close to Podgorica), whereas other projects assist the telecommunication sector.

In addition, the Multi-Annual Indicative Programme (2007-2009) for IPA provides the opportunity to support culture also in the future as the civil society programme will include a call for proposals for projects aiming at encouraging – amongst other issues – the promotion of culture in the framework of an enhanced civil society dialogue.

- Serbia

In Serbia, cultural activities have been financed primarily by CARDS and EIDHR. An example of the latter is the project 'Luggage for the future: mine, yours – promotion of inter-ethnicity and multiculturalism', a project which aims at fostering inter-ethnicity and multiculturalism particularly by carrying out events. As regards CARDS, many projects which primarily supported media had an additional indirect impact on the dissemination and protection of culture (e.g. the project 'Support to Yugoslav Film Archive'). Support under CARDS was also provided to assist civil society.

However the Multi-Annual Indicative Programme (2007-2009) for IPA also leaves a window open for the future support of the cultural sector of Serbia. Priorities of its components include promoting local 'people to people' type actions, emphasising stronger co-operation between public entities, NGOs in fields such as education and cultural co-operation, developing democracy, tolerance and conflict prevention and fostering co-operation among cultural institutions including museums and theatres.

- Kosovo (under UN administration according to UNSCR 1244)

The EC assistance in Kosovo is promoting the rehabilitation of the cultural, religious and environmental heritage.

The Commission is supporting the Reconstruction Implementation Commission (RIC), the local institutional framework chaired by the CoE and composed of the Ministry of Culture and Youth of Kosovo, UNMIK and the Orthodox Church. The RIC is overseeing the rehabilitation of the Orthodox heritage damaged in 2004, incl. the EC-funded ongoing reconstruction of the seminary and the Bishop's residence in Prizren.

The EC is helping Kosovan actors of the civil society who are concerned with the protection of the natural heritage and who dedicate themselves to the adaptation of their agriculture to develop and certify ecological production.

The EC has also directed its support to the development of RTK, the public broadcaster, to become viable, professional, independent and multi-ethnic. The programme was complementary to Council of Europe's support to modernize the Independent Media Commission. In order to improve ethics in the media the EC has recently started developing skills and professional standards of journalists and media professionals in Kosovo.

Cultural dialogue with Neighbouring countries

- Euro Med Partnership in the field of culture

Since 1995, the Barcelona process has become the regional framework for dialogue between members of the Euro Med Partnership. The dialogue between cultures was recognized right from the outset as a major component of the process and as a new development in relations between the EU and Mediterranean partners. The social, cultural and human chapter of the Barcelona process aims to bring people on both sides of the Mediterranean together, to promote their mutual knowledge and understanding and to improve their perception of each other.

Particular attention was paid to intercultural and inter-religious dialogue and to the fundamental contribution that civil society organizations can make towards bringing people together. These goals have been the target of a wide variety of regional programmes and projects in the field of culture, notably actions to preserve and promote cultural tangible and non tangible heritage. The Euromed Heritage Programme was the first regional MEDA programme focusing on cultural Heritage; It was launched in 1998 and is continuing in three phases until 2008 for a total amount of almost 60 million, involving 36 projects and with approximately 400 partners from EU member Stats and South Mediterranean countries. The aim of the programme is to highlight Euro-Mediterranean common heritage, to promote exchange of know-how and knowledge about heritage and to offer training in heritage-related skills and professions.

The Euromed Heritage programmes launched the first "Euromed heritage journalistic award" and the initiative "Adopt a Mediterranean heritage".

One of the main results of the programme is the defining of a strategy paper entitled "Strategy for the development of Euro-Mediterranean Cultural Heritage: priorities from Mediterranean countries (2007-2013)", drafted in consultation with the Mediterranean partners countries.

“The main objective of any promotion programme of Cultural Heritage has to be centred on the appropriation of Cultural Heritage by people themselves and therefore on education and access to knowledge of cultural heritage”. This is the core message of the “Strategy", presented by Ministers of Culture of the Mediterranean region and their representatives at the Euromed Heritage Forum in Istanbul on 27 October 2006.The Strategy document, which defines priorities for Cultural Heritage in the framework of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership and the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), is intended to serve a reference tool for future policies in this field.

Further Euromed Heritage programmes are planned under the new European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument. The new programme for 2007-2010 will focus on following objectives:

- helping to raise public awareness, particularly in the Mediterranean partner countries, of the importance of cultural heritage (material and non-material) and of its diversity; encouraging access to and knowledge of this heritage and its efficient, integrated management;

- enhancing the social and economic benefits at local and regional level;

- raising awareness among the national and local authorities of the MPC (Mediterranean partner countries) and helping them to improve the legal framework in the cultural sector and to strengthen the interinstitutional framework for planning and coordination by encouraging exchanges with civil society.

The new EU maritime policy also offers a unique opportunity to promote the maritime cultural heritage on both sides of the Mediterranean as a means to foster cultural understanding and economic cooperation.

Another major regional programme, Euromed Audiovisual, also continues to foster cooperation in the audiovisual sector across the Mediterranean with a second phase (35 million euro for the first and second phase together).

In the recent years, priority actions were launched under the impetus of a consultative group set up by the Commission’s President leading to new initiatives. The Euro-Mediterranean Foreign Ministers conference, in The Hague, on 30 November 2004, established the Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for Dialogue between Cultures as the first common institution of the Barcelona process. This Foundation, established in Alexandria, Egypt, aims to:

- promote knowledge, recognition and mutual respect between the cultures, traditions and values which prevail in the partners;

- identify, develop and promote areas of cultural convergence between the Euro-Mediterranean countries and peoples, with the aim in particular of promoting tolerance, cultural understanding and avoiding stereotypes, xenophobia and racism;

- encourage initiatives which aim at promoting a dialogue between religions in the Euro-Mediterranean region;

- promote the human dimension of the partnership as well as the consolidation of the rule of law and of basic freedoms in accordance with the guidelines of the regional cooperation programme which was adopted in this field by the Foreign Ministers Conference in Valencia, in April 2002;

- underline the vital importance of ensuring that all partners encourage the development and deepening of the cultural and human dimension of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership in all its aspects and its various components at bilateral or multilateral level.

The Foundation has established and coordinates a network of 37 national networks in order to act as a catalyst to develop activities and provide an inventory of co-operation, promote intellectual, cultural and civil society exchanges, and a continuous debate using in particular multi-media techniques (television, radio, periodical magazine, Internet) and with the participation of people from both shores including journalists and the young. It gives patronage to important events which promote mutual understanding, co-financed by large media groups and/or festivals and institutions already active in these areas, promote the activities of the Barcelona Process including by means of the Foundation itself (periodical magazine, Internet site).

With a total initial budget of almost EUR 12 million (2005-2007), provided by all Euromed partners, the activity of the Anna Lindh Foundation is now well established and provides the ideal framework for developing cultural dialogue between the two shores of Mediterranean Sea.

- Culture within the European neighbourhood policy

The EU has negotiated with 12 of the 16 neighbourhood countries, A ction plans tailor made for each country, based on its needs and capacity. Defining an agenda of political and economic reforms by means of short and medium-term (3-5 years) priorities, the action plans cover inter alia political dialogue and reform, economic and social cooperation and development, and a human dimension (people-to-people contacts, civil society, culture, education, public health …).

For example, the action plan negotiated and agreed in 2006 with Lebanon specifically mentions culture and has the objective to e nhance cultural cooperation and dialogue between cultures with the objective to:

- enhance participation in the relevant EC cultural cooperation programmes of the Euro-Med partnership,

- exchange views on the UNESCO Convention on protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions and promote the ratification and implementation of the text,

- enhance dialogue between cultures, taking into consideration the principles embodied in the Action Programme for the Dialogue between Cultures and Civilizations, adopted by the Valencia Ministerial Meeting in April 2002 and taking advantage of the Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for the dialogue between cultures,

- encourage dialogue and exchange of information on cultural issues between the parties, inter alia at local level.

As a second example with Ukraine , the Action plan agreed in 2005 also deals with culture and audio-visual issues with the objective to enhancing cooperation in this field in:

- considering support to cross border cultural links,

- developing a dialogue on cultural diversity, including in the context of the relevant UNESCO framework,

- investigating the possibilities for co-operation in the framework of EU programmes in the field of culture.

Dialogue in the field of culture with Russia

At the St Petersburg Summit in May 2003, the EU and Russia have agreed to reinforce their cooperation by creating in the long term four ‘ common spaces’ . The fourth one deals with research and development, education and culture. Its aim is to reinforce cooperation with a view to creating a space of research and education, including cultural aspects, to promoting people-to-people contacts and common values, to creating a spirit of equality and partnership aimed at strengthening political, commercial, economic and cultural ties.

In capitalising on the strong EU and Russian intellectual heritage and knowledge capital, the objective is to intensify links and exchanges in various fields such as culture and to promote the identification and adoption of best practices.

In the area of culture there are three objectives in order to:

- promote a structured approach to cultural cooperation between the enlarged EU and Russia, to foster the creativity and mobility of artists, public access to culture, the dissemination of art and culture, inter-cultural dialogue and knowledge of the history and cultural heritage of the peoples of Europe,

- strengthen and enhance the European identity on the basis of common values, including freedom of expression, democratic functioning of the media, respect of human rights including the rights of persons belonging to minorities and promotion of cultural and linguistic diversity as a basis of vitality of civil society in Europe without dividing lines,

- develop cooperation between the cultural industries of the EU and Russia in order to increase both their cultural and economic impact.

The National Indicative Programme 2007-2010 (NIP) is intended to support joint policies set out by both sides, reinforcing the strategic partnership between the EU and Russia. Based on the Common Space of Research and Education, and Culture; the objective is to increase cooperation and contacts in the audiovisual and cultural field with the intention to promote the mutual knowledge of and respect for what is a shared, yet diverse cultural and linguistic diversity. In order to pursue this overall objective, the following activities aim at promoting:

- artistic and cultural projects with a European dimension (festivals, master classes, exhibitions, new productions, tours, translations and conferences); short-, medium-, and long-term cooperation between museums to enhance cultural ties, conservation and research of common European heritage; links between artistic universities and institutions in order to create new cultural resources, the training of professionals in the audiovisual sector, and distribution of cinematographic works and audiovisual programmes and support for film festivals,

- convergence with European standards in the broadcasting field,

- and enhancing consultation and cooperation in relevant international fora, such as UNESCO, in order to defend common objectives and promote cultural diversity especially through the negotiation of an international convention on the protection of the diversity of cultural contents and artistic expressions.

In Russia, the Institution Building Partnership Programme (IBPP) financed by EU funds provides already support to civil society and local initiatives. IBPP with a budget of EUR 5 million puts priority on culture as a facilitator for raising quality of life, fostering social interaction and civic participation as well as activating local economic development. For example in 2006 it has supported projects in the following themes: the need to promote a structured approach to cultural cooperation between enlarged EU and Russia, to foster the creativity and mobility of artists, public access to culture, the dissemination of art and culture and intercultural dialogue and knowledge of the history and cultural heritage of the peoples of Europe.

Cooperation in the field of culture with industrialised countries

With the US, culture cooperation is mainly done by EU Member States on a bilateral basis. EU Member States Embassies in Washington and the Consulates and Cultural Institutes in other cities in the U.S. (mainly New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles) are developing under EU umbrella partnerships with American cultural organizations to promote European Culture. Other activities such as the 6-week European Dreams Performing Arts Festival in 2006 in New York (co-financed under the EU Culture 2000 programme), and regular film festivals in Chicago and Los Angeles have been organised with partners such as the American Film Institute or the Gene Siskel Film Centre at the Art Institute of Chicago. A major project is developed in spring 2007 in Washington; it is the European Poetry in Motion, whereby 135 poems from the 27 EU Member States are being featured on the Washington Area Metro Transit System.

With Japan, two EU Centres have been established to provide lectures and to organise outreach activities about the European Union. These Centres, which are located in Tokyo and in the Kansaï Region, spread knowledge about Europe, including its languages and culture; and therefore contribute to a better understanding between peoples. To foster face to face exchanges and contacts between people, about 2000 cultural events were organised in Japan and in Europe in 2005 the context of the Year of People-to-People exchanges.

Cultural Dialogue with Asia

ASEM dialogue in the field of Culture

Cultural dialogue and people-to-people contacts between Asia and Europe are seen by the EU as indispensable to the promotion of mutual understanding and avoidance of conflicts. They aim to:

- promote dialogue on cultures and civilizations in developing cultural exchanges as well as protecting and promoting cultural expressions. Two ASEM Ministerial Conferences on cultures and civilisations were held. In Paris, in June 2005, the second one adopted an action plan encouraging cultural interactions among the peoples of Asia and Europe at all levels. The next ASEM Culture Minister meeting will be held in Kuala Lumpur on 16-17 July 2007. The ASEM 5 Summit of Heads of State and Government adopted in Hanoi in 2004 the ASEM Declaration on Dialogue among cultures and civilisations, reaffirming that cultural diversity is the common heritage of humanity and an important driving force for economic progress and social development, conducive to building a more stable and peaceful world,

- promote interfaith dialogue and building harmony among different religions and faiths. The First ASEM Interfaith Dialogue Meeting was held in Bali in July 2005, bringing together religious leaders, senior officials, intellectuals and media from ASEM partners. It adopted the Bali Declaration on Building Interfaith Harmony within the International Community, which affirmed that peace, justice, compassion and tolerance are keys to building international harmony and suggested measures in the fields of education, culture, media, religion and society in promoting these goals. The theme was further developed at the Second ASEM Interfaith Dialogue in Larnaca, Cyprus in July 2006, resulting in the adoption of the Larnaca Action Plan with a view to promoting interfaith understanding in the already mentioned various fields. Two further Interfaith Dialogue meetings are scheduled for 2007 and 2008, in China and the Netherlands respectively.

The Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) and its flagship programmes : aim to promote understanding and collaboration between the peoples of Asia and Europe through cultural, intellectual and people-to-people exchanges. Funded by voluntary contributions from ASEM partners, ASEF has organised a large number of seminars, workshops and activities in the following four core areas:

- Intellectual exchange programme aiming to bring together representatives from civil society in its broadest sense, including the business sector, and government officials to contribute to the creation of networks and to policy debate and strategic thinking on themes including international relations, environment, governance (including human rights, justice and democracy), and intercultural/interfaith dialogue.

- Cultural exchange programme seeking to provide young artists and cultural professionals with a platform to encourage the exchange of techniques and the creation of networks, and promote cultural policy development in Asia and Europe.

- People-to-People exchange programme aiming to strengthen youth networks, in particular among the next generation of leaders. Activities cover two main areas: educational exchanges, and cooperation and dialogues between youth and their organisations (e.g. Asia-Europe Young Political Leaders Symposium and Asia-Europe Young Entrepreneurs Forum).

- Public affairs programme providing publicity and press support for ASEF activities and seeks to raise public awareness of issues pertaining to Asia-Europe relations through media activities, such as TV documentaries, public lectures, the use of the Internet (the ASEM Infoboard website), and the publication of newsletters and the academic Asia-Europe Journal .

- Dialogue in the field of culture with India

The EU and India adopted at their 2004 Summit in The Hague a “Cultural Declaration ”, recognizing culture as an important instrument to foster close cooperation among States, adding a cultural dimension to their bilateral cooperation, to promote interaction among civil societies and to develop a better understanding among people. They share the objective of contributing to the promotion of cultural diversity and of the dialogue among cultures at international level.

The Commission Delegation and Embassies of the EU Member States in Delhi are supporting a wide range of cultural activities aimed at raising the profile of the EU, and of European culture, in India. In the past years, annual EU Cultural Weeks have been held in Delhi. A European Film Festival, the 11th session of which took place in March-April 2006 in Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Thiruvananthapuram, has brought significant audiences to European cinema across India.

On the basis of the Cultural declaration, the Commission has notably supported, through the EU-India economic cross-cultural programme a number of heritage preservation projects, as well as projects aimed at promoting the culture of minority groups in India. The Commission has included provisions on cultural cooperation, including the establishment of a “ Culture Fund ”, in the India Country Strategy Paper for 2007-2013 (EUR 4.7million earmarked) with the overall objective to increase awareness of European culture in India and of Indian culture in the European Union and the specific objectives to support cultural events, the promotion of cooperation between cultural and related organisations in India and the EU, effort to increase awareness of the two regions’ cultures, to widen contributions in the field of cultural diversity, to capture the potential of increased synergies among actions and activities and other existing EC programmes in the field, and to support a greater dialogue among the relevant institutions of India and the EU, including in the context of the areas of economic policy dialogue and cooperation. Many activities will be developed such as regularisation of events that have occurred irregularly, such as the Cultural Week, the European Film Festival, etc., which should take place in India and the EU, development of co-operation programmes in preservation and restoration techniques, organisation and support to meetings, seminars and conferences on a variety of culture-related topics, circulation of cultural works or thematic EU-India cultural years (cinema, literature, music, dance, etc).

- Activities with China

With China, the Commission signed in December 2003 a Memorandum of Understanding in order to promote closer cooperation and mutual understanding between China and the EU.

Cooperation between the EU and Latin America

The EU and Latin America countries share common points of reference in the cultural sphere. In its Communication[25] “A stronger partnership between the European Union and Latin America” , the European Commission announced its intention to strengthen the transfer of know-how and good practice regarding cultural cooperation not only between both regions but also between the Latin American countries themselves. Stepping up dialogue and joint activities in this area should facilitate better mutual understanding. This might also encourage the development of the cultural industries of the two regions, both in the traditional sectors and in the area of new information and communication technologies. This approach was further developed by the Heads of State and Government of the EU, the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) countries when they met in May 2006 in Vienna (EU-LAC Summit). They recognized the importance of cultural diversity as a factor of development, growth and stability and they committed themselves to finding means to enhance both EU-LAC and intra-LAC cooperation and exchanges of expertise and good practices. They also agreed to commemorate historic and cultural events with the aim of contributing to closer ties between their peoples.

In line with these political recommendations, several concrete cooperation actions in the cultural field took place or are scheduled in the 2007-2013 programming exercise. As an example, the EC supported in 2004 the first edition of the World Cultural Forum organized in São Paulo and more recently, the EC and Brazil have agreed to launch a sectoral dialogue on culture. Some other actions have been identified for the future, such as the creation in Mexico of a "Special Fund for Information, Dissemination and Visibility" with the objective of favoring better reciprocal understanding between the Mexican and the European societies. The EC could support Mexico to gain knowledge of the European experiences where culture and arts have become a factor in economic growth. It also foreseen to launch for the Mercosur region a project aimed at the "Strengthening of Mercosur’s cinematographic and audiovisual sector to promote regional integration". This project will support the development, distribution, accessibility and promotion of Mercosur audiovisual work and it is expected to result in the setting up of a Mercosur Media Programme based on the EU MEDIA Programme.

Cultural dialogue and cooperation with ACP countries

The EC and its Member States have a strong mandate to support culture in ACP countries under Article 27 of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement, which creates a comprehensive framework for cultural cooperation that ranges from the mainstreaming of culture in development activities to the promotion of intercultural dialogue, the preservation of cultural heritage, support to cultural industries and improved access to European markets for ACP cultural goods and services.

On the basis of this mandate, culture is increasingly integrated into the political dialogue with ACP partners. Accordingly, the EC has supported two meetings of ACP cultural ministers which took place in 2003 and 2006. These meetings led to the adoption of the Dakar Plan of Action[26] in 2003 and the Santo Domingo Resolution[27] in 2006. The EC has also supported with EUR 1 million the organization of the first ACP Festival in October 2006 in the Dominican Republic. The programme of this festival included music and dance performances, a visual art exhibition and film screenings as well as professional meetings among cultural operators.

In terms of cultural actions, since the mid-1980s the Commission has financed a broad range of programmes, projects and events related to ACP culture in ACP and EU countries. Overall, the Commission has supported approximately 650 actions and committed a total budget of EUR 148 million. Under the 9th EDF, support to culture is estimated to be worth about EUR 39 million. These actions fall into a number of categories:

- The Commission supports national projects aimed at the conservation and exploitation of the cultural heritage . Such projects were e.g. the rehabilitation of coastal castles in Ghana and its integration in the socio-economic fabric, specifically designed shelters in order to protect the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela in Ethiopia from erosion and the restoration of the St. Peter and St. Paul wooden cathedral in Surinam. These projects contribute to the preservation of the national heritage, and thus the cultural identity of partner countries, while also contributing to develop the potential of their tourism industry.

- The Commission plays an important role in providing regular support to African arts events and festivals with a regional and international dimension . This includes the FESPACO film festival in Ouagadougou, the DAK’ART contemporary arts fair in Dakar, the African Photography Encounters in Bamako, the African Dance Festival in Antananarivo, etc. This is an important contribution to the visibility of African arts and to promoting encounters and exchanges between African artists. It also supports the regional Pacific Arts Festival.

- The Commission finances support programmes to cultural initiatives. These programmes primarily aim at strengthening the innovative and organisational capacity of cultural actors – typically artists, private operators, museums, local authorities, etc. Such programmes exist in five African countries - Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali and Senegal while a regional cooperation programmes links countries in West Africa. They contribute to a lively and creative cultural sector and its longer-term development.

- Since 2000 but funded under previous EDF, the Commission also supports a variety of other cultural projects , such as the creation or renovation of museums and arts schools. For example, the EC co-financed the creation of Aruba’s National Museum, which will display archaeological artefacts and contemporary works of art as well as the rehabilitation of Kenya's and Mali's National Museums. It also co-financed the “Ecole des sables” near Dakar, which specialises in traditional and contemporary African dances. Again, the emphasis is both on preserving the heritage and supporting the living dimension of culture.

- Over a third of the EC’s financial support to culture in ACP countries comes currently from two programmes based on the intra-ACP allocation. These programmes are open to participants from the whole ACP region.

- The first is the Film and Television Support Programme , which co-finances the production, distribution and promotion of audiovisual works from ACP countries, including movies, TV series and animation films. Its funding level is EUR 8 million under the 9th EDF. This focus on cinema and audiovisual cooperation reflects the economic importance of the sector and the importance of audiovisual media as a vector of culture.

- The second is the Cultural Industries Support Programme , which provides support to cultural actors. While the programme is open to all ACP countries, particular emphasis will be put on strengthening the culture sector in five pilot countries with a view to maximising the sector's economic and job potential. The programme will also support the creation of an ACP Cultural Observatory, which will allow getting a better view and understanding of the cultural sector in the ACP region and will help structuring the sector on a professional and political level. The budget of this action is over EUR 6 million under the 9th EDF.

The United Nations Alliance of Civilisations

The Commission maintains an open and vivid dialogue with approximately 140 religions, churches and communities of conviction. This specific dialogue can be considered as a major contribution to a better understanding, to confidence building und to reconciliation, where this is necessary. To continue with this policy of dialogue of crucial importance for the future, the EU has also supported the UN Dialogue and the Alliance of Civilisations and has welcomed the appointment in April 2007 of Jorge Sampaio as UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilisations.

Current perspectives

Within the new financing perspectives for 2007-20013, the new instruments enable the Commission to better mobilise funding for culture in EU external assistance. The Common Framework of Development Cooperation in the field of culture[28] will continue to be a reference point for programming decisions.

- the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument [29] (ENPI) which covers neighbourhood countries (Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean partners) as well as Russia aims inter alia to “promote multicultural dialogue” (Article 2 v) and to “support cooperation aimed at protecting historical and cultural heritage and promoting its development potential, including through tourism” (Article 2 x). Activities in support of the Action plans developed with neighbouring countries and the Common spaces developed with Russia will be financed by this instrument. Culture is therefore eligible for EU funds.

- the Development Cooperation Instrument [30] (DCI) includes, in its Thematic programme "Investing in People", provisions on culture (Article 12. 2. d. i.), which foresee support for promoting intercultural dialogue, cultural diversity and respect for other cultures; for international cooperation between cultural industries, for support for the social, cultural and spiritual values of indigenous peoples and minorities and for culture as a promising economic sector for development and growth.

An amount of EUR 50 million is earmarked for the period 2007-2013, for promoting access to local culture, and protecting and promoting cultural diversity and multiethnic and multicultural dialogue. The programme will promote access to culture for all by strengthening local cultural capacity (cultural industries and activities, governments and non-state actors), public/private partnerships, and intercultural dialogue at all levels. It will promote South-South cooperation and the preservation of material and immaterial cultural heritage. It will also support the establishment of networks for exchanges of expertise and good practice as well as training and professionalisation of the sector.

A second Thematic programme of the DCI, on ‘Non-State Actors and Local Authorities in Development’ will also be able to contribute, by reinforcing local initiatives and capacities which may have a cultural dimension and are aimed at increasing participation in democratic process and governance.

- the 10th European Development Fund will provide initial funding, to which the Member States will be invited to contribute also, for a new EU-ACP Cultural Fund proposed by the European Commission. This Fund aims to support primarily the distribution (in particular local distribution) of ACP cultural goods and works of art and secondarily its production and promotion, thus encouraging the emergence of local and regional markets and industries. All sorts of cultural goods could be supported, with special attention to audiovisual, written and multimedia works, which are the principal vehicles for the transmission of culture.

This new EU-ACP Fund will finance action both at country level and at the level of access to EU markets:

- At local level the development of distribution structures will facilitate and encourage the access of local people to culture and to the various means of cultural expression. It can mean the modernisation of cinema or theatre auditoriums, the building and establishment of cultural centres, libraries, on-line services, mobile units and multiple use structures. The development of such structures and networks depends on the emergence of viable intermediaries including film distributors and producers, cinema or theatre operators, publishers, event and festival organisers etc, on the one hand; and on the optimal use of possibilities offered by the information and communication technologies on the other[31].

- At external level, access of ACP works of art and cultural goods to the EU market is rather limited to the field of music. Films made by ACP filmmakers and co-financed by the European Commission or Member States funds are mostly programmed by specialised festivals, art house cinemas and certain TV stations open to films from the South[32], and in spite of their high quality, generally they don’t have access to the wider public neither in Europe, nor in their country of origin. The access to distribution networks and platforms in the EU is therefore crucial for ACP artists in the field of cinema, theatre, dance, music, literature, plastic art, fashion, multimedia works and all other ways of cultural expression.

[1] An electronic online questionnaire was published on-line from 28 September until 9 November 2006. The public interest in this consultation was high, with 499 contributions received (318 organisations, 181 individuals) of which, however, only 147 were validated by participants, enabling them to be published. The validated contributions are published on our website under the following link: The majority of contributions came from the Netherlands (85), followed by France (37) and Germany (37), Belgium (32) and the United Kingdom (30). These contributions account for more than 65 % of all contributions. Most contributions were submitted by national organisations/associations. About 20 % of the participating institutions were explicitly European. The Commission noted a low level of participation by national ministries as well as cultural industries. The second phase of consultation took place via a public hearing held on 4 December 2006 in Brussels with more than 250 representatives from the cultural sector. Key note speakers included Commission President, Jose Manuel Barroso, and Commissioner Jan Figel'.

[2] SEC(2005) 985, 20.7.2005.

[3] COM(2005) 494, 13.10.2005.

[4] COM(2006) 35, 1.2.2006.

[5] Directive 89/552/EEC of 3 October 1989 as amended by Directive 97/36/EC of 30 June 1997.

[6] COM(2005) 646.

[7] COM(2005) 465, see also:

[8] Commission Recommendation 2006/585/EC



[11] Council Conclusions 2006/C297/01



[14] Commission press release of 22 March 2002, IP 02/461:"On the basis of EU competition law the Commission has no problem with national book price fixing systems which do not appreciably affect trade between Member States. By clearing the German price fixing system the Commission, in a perspective of subsidiarity, also takes account of the national interest in maintaining these systems which are aimed at preserving cultural and linguistic diversity in Europe".

[15] Council Regulation (EC) No 139/2004 of 20 January 2004 (OJ L 24, 29.1.2004).

[16] For example NN 136/A/02 – France, mesures concernant l'Ecomusée d'Alsace,

[17] For example NN 11/2002 – United Kingdom; Individual cases of application based on the National Heritage Memorial Fund.

[18] For example N 448/2005 – España Ayudas a la producción teatral, musical y coreográfica .

[19] For example N 542 /2005 - State aid in favour of Vydavatel'stvo spolku slovenských spisovatel'ov s.r.o.- Individual aid for literary periodica l

[20] Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on certain legal aspects relating to cinematographic and other audiovisual works (COM(2001)534 final of 26.09.2001,OJ C 43 of 16.2.2002); prolonged by Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on the follow-up of the Commission communication on certain legal aspects relating to cinematographic and other audiovisual works of 26.09.2001 (COM(2004)171 final of 16.3.2004, OJ C 123 of 30 April 2004.

[21] For cases, see:

[22] Aid to the Danish press, see:

[23] Communication from the Commission to the European Council of June 2006: Europe in the world – Some practical proposals for greater coherence, effectiveness and visibility - COM(2006) 278, 8.6.2006.

[24] Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament: “A stronger partnership between the European Union and Latin America” - COM(2005) 636, 8.12.2005.

[25] The "Dakar Plan of Action on the Promotion of ACP Cultures and Cultural Industries" adopted in 2003 at the first meeting of ACP ministers of culture was the first framework for ACP-wide cultural cooperation.

[26] The Santo Domingo Resolution concerns the ongoing implementation of the Dakar Plan of Action; the South-South cooperation in the area of culture; the reduction of the digital divide in ACP states; the involvement of cultural networks in the promotion of ACP cultural strategies and policies; and the consideration of culture in the identification of projects and programmes to be financed under the 10th EDF.

[27] Document resulting from the Seminar on external cultural cooperation in relation with development organised by EuropAid in February 2003, with the participation of all relevant services and many partners from civil society. This document is available on the EuropAid site

[28] Regulation (EC) No 1638/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 2006 laying down general provisions establishing a European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (OJ L 310, 9.11.2006, p. 1).

[29] Regulation (EC) No 1905/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 establishing a financing instrument for development cooperation (OJ L 378, 18.12.2006, p. 41).

[30] The importance of reducing the digital divide is strongly highlighted in the Santo Domingo Resolution of ACP Ministers of Culture.

[31] For instance TV5Monde or ARTE.