This document is an excerpt from the EUR-Lex website
European agenda for culture in a globalising world
The Commission proposes a new European agenda for culture, which attempts to respond to the challenges of globalisation. This new strategy aims to intensify cultural cooperation in the European Union (EU), focusing on a series of concrete proposals to achieve a set of common objectives.
Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 10 May 2007 on a European agenda for culture in a globalizing world [COM(2007) 242 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
The cultural sector plays a key role in terms of its numerous social, economic and political implications. Consequently, culture has a fundamental part in the process of European integration.
On the basis of these considerations, and in light of the results of an online consultation of stakeholders in the cultural sector, the Commission proposes a new European agenda for culture that focuses on a limited number of objectives. To work towards these objectives, the Commission also suggests new mechanisms for cooperation with and among European Union (EU) countries, other levels of governance and civil society.
The objectives of the new European agenda for culture are built around three priorities:
Cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue
Openness and exchanges between different cultures should be promoted. Accordingly, the new agenda for culture seeks to encourage:
Stimulating creativity within the framework of the Lisbon Strategy for growth and jobs
Cultural industries contribute to the dynamism of the European economy and to EU competitiveness. By way of example, the cultural sector employs nearly five million people in the EU. In this respect, the Commission proposes the following objectives:
Culture as a vital element in international relations
In line with the Unesco Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, ratified by the EU and most of its countries, the new agenda for culture proposes to reinforce the cultural dimension as a vital element of EU external relations. This priority is accompanied by a number of measures to:
The Commission seeks to establish a structured dialogue with the cultural sector to achieve these objectives. This dialogue would include all stakeholders, from artists and creators to cultural industries. To this end, the Commission recommends:
This new strategy for culture and all the measures proposed depend on closer cooperation between the EU and its countries through the open method of coordination (OMC) mechanism. It also aims to develop a structured dialogue with the cultural sector.
The new European agenda for culture is complemented by other actions related to the cultural sector, such as the 2008 European Year of Intercultural Dialogue.
Commission Report to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 19 July 2010 on the implementation of the European Agenda for Culture [COM(2010) 390 final – Not published in the Official Journal]. This report presents the progress made on the objectives of the European agenda for culture both at the European and national level, as well as the first experiences with the new working methods.
The promotion of cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue has involved a variety of issues and actions, such as:
To promote culture as a catalyst for creativity, several initiatives have been taken, such as:
The promotion of culture in EU external relations has received increased impetus since the adoption of the agenda and has included:
The first experiences of the OMC indicate that, in general, it is an effective tool for cooperating in the cultural field. However, it has not been used for long enough to draw any substantial conclusions. For the future, cooperation will have to be reinforced, with adapted working methods. The structured dialogue in the cultural sector is taking place through thematic platforms of European associations and the European Culture Forum. The thematic platforms have been especially beneficial for intensifying dialogue within the sector. Nevertheless, further efforts need to be made to achieve more focused dialogue with civil society in future.
Last updated: 14.10.2010