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Document 52008IP0124

Culture in a globalising world
European Parliament resolution of 10 April 2008 on a European agenda for culture in a globalising world (2007/2211(INI))

OJ C 247E, 15.10.2009, p. 32–41 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)



Official Journal of the European Union

CE 247/32

Thursday 10 April 2008
Culture in a globalising world


European Parliament resolution of 10 April 2008 on a European agenda for culture in a globalising world (2007/2211(INI))

2009/C 247 E/07

The European Parliament,

having regard to Article 151 of the EC Treaty,

having regard to Decision No 1855/2006/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 establishing the Culture Programme (2007 to 2013) (1),

having regard to the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, adopted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) on 20 October 2005,

having regard to Council Decision 2006/515/EC of 18 May 2006 on the conclusion of the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (2) (Unesco Convention on the Protection of Cultural Diversity),

having regard to the conclusions issued by the Education, Youth and Culture Council following its meeting of 24 and 25 May 2007 on the contribution of the cultural and creative sectors to the achievement of the Lisbon objectives (9021/2007),

having regard to the Commission communication entitled ‘Europe in the World — Some Practical Proposals for Greater Coherence, Effectiveness and Visibility’ (COM(2006)0278),

having regard to the Commission communication of 10 May 2007 on a European agenda for culture in a globalising world (COM(2007)0242) and to the related Commission staff working paper (SEC(2007)0570),

having regard to the Council resolution of 16 November 2007 on a European Agenda for Culture (3),

having regard to its resolution of 5 September 2001 on cultural cooperation in the European Union (4),

having regard to its resolution of 4 September 2003 on cultural industries (5),

having regard to Commission Recommendation 2005/737/EC of 18 October 2005 on collective cross-border management of copyright and related rights for legitimate online music services (6),

having regard to Rule 45 of its Rules of Procedure,

having regard to the report of the Committee on Culture and Education and the opinions of the Committee on Development, the Committee on International Trade and the Committee on Regional Development (A6-0075/2008),


whereas, without denying the fact that it is wholly desirable to take as open an attitude as possible to every other culture, the European Union has a very special duty to safeguard Europe's cultural richness, implying that the European cultural heritage, in all its dimensions, must, by every means, be preserved, disseminated, and shared both within and outside the Union,


whereas, arts and culture are a means towards achieving greater expression and self-awareness in personal and social development and allow individuals and communities to deal with their heritage and memory, and to conceptualise their individual and collective futures,


whereas, arts and culture open new forms of dialogue, create spaces of cultural understanding and enable individuals and groups to go beyond their own identity stances,


whereas, as a field of exchange, debate and creativity and for the production of ideas, arts and culture encourage civic engagement and participation,


whereas Europe's cultural heritage, encompassing its diverse forms of expression and the combination of its founding sources, such as, for example, Graeco-Latin and Judaeo-Christian antiquity, has, over the course of history, placed Europe in the vanguard of all the continents, proved to be an unrivalled driver of innovation, development and progress, which has spread in every direction, and today still constitutes an essential reference point for humanism, spiritual enrichment and enlivenment, democracy, tolerance, and citizenship,


whereas in an increasingly globalised world, the outstanding specific qualities contained within the nucleus of Europe's cultural richness constitute genuine European added value and their identity-giving role is vital for Europe and the Union in that it helps them to understand the world, bring about cohesion within, emphasise their uniqueness, and assert themselves in relation to other peoples,


whereas flexibility and mobility are both intrinsic to the practice of artistic professions,


whereas artistic productions bring together European and non-European artists alike and whereas the mobility of artists is being impeded by national policies requiring visas from persons moving within the EU,


whereas the particular ways in which the influence of European cultural heritage has over the course of history found expression in other continents must lead to special measures emphasising those factors which serve to build civilisation, mutual understanding, and a constructive approach uniting the peoples represented by such forms of expression,


whereas local and regional authorities play a particularly important role in cultural development and consolidation, especially through safeguarding the cultural heritage and promoting artistic innovation within their boundaries, a factor which should be properly taken into account in reorganising the European agenda for culture in the light of globalisation,


whereas non-European immigrants, tourists and other visitors are obliged to respect Europe's cultural heritage, which has a privileged status in the Member States,


whereas, on the one hand, European creators, artists, and cultural industries have a decisive role in the creation of European cultural identity, the sharing of values, and in the continuous development of European citizenship that both transcends the nation state as well as recognises the cultural diversity on a European, national, regional and linguistic scale,


whereas, on the other hand, European creators, artists, and cultural industries also have a real impact on economic incomes, sources of wealth, and the creation of jobs within the EU,


whereas technological progress means that cultural products are increasingly produced, disseminated and consumed in digital form, and policy must take account of this development,


whereas European cultural industries find themselves in a protected space with regard to trade rules, adequately reflecting European perceptions that cultural products and services differ from other kinds of goods and services, necessitating specific rules,


whereas the EU's major museums and cultural institutions are increasingly carrying out economically significant exchanges with equivalent institutions from elsewhere in the world, which are producing substantial revenue over and above that derived from tourism,


whereas the historical, cultural and archaeological heritage of the Member States deserves maximum protection from the risks of illegal exports and illicit trade in general, as provided by the Convention of 14 November 1970 on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property and other applicable international instruments,


whereas the EU must show solidarity in protecting the cultural heritage of third countries, in particular those with the weakest cultural sectors, and actively prevent the illegal import of cultural works which are protected in their State of origin,


whereas the EU's trade balance in cultural goods and services is unfavourable,


whereas economic globalisation and the build-up of global cultural industries challenge linguistic and cultural diversity which are values in themselves, therefore making it important to find a European common approach to these challenges,


whereas the tourism industry and related services are one of the points where international trade and culture converge, and in relations between the EU and third countries may be the best means of giving European cultural destinations a higher profile while at the same time benefiting trade, thus helping to ensure social, cultural and environmental sustainability,


whereas there are hardly any reliable and meaningful statistics on international trade in cultural goods and services,


whereas digital technologies are to be understood as a novel way of disseminating cultural products and services globally which can advance cross-cultural understanding under the premise of free and fair access and respect for cultural and linguistic divergences,


whereas new media technologies, including open source based Internet portals and services and their development, are acquiring an increasing amount of content in order to be competitive,


whereas these developments pose unprecedented challenges that call for new thinking on how to manage and regulate issues that affect the protection of intellectual property rights, piracy and unauthorised digitalisation, taking into account the need for an appropriate balance between fair access to cultural products and services and new forms of artistic and intellectual creation,


whereas counterfeiting and piracy of cultural products lead to job losses in the EU, and undermine the competitiveness of cultural industries and the quality of products, which particularly affect Member States which derive their basic revenue from the production of cultural goods and their use for economic purposes,


whereas ultimate power has been conferred on the Commission to protect intellectual property rights of European industries in all international forums as well as before those trade partners that do not have adequate legislation in this field,


whereas culture is specifically included in the EU's free-trade agreements (FTAs) and other trade instruments,


whereas culture and language are driving forces behind regional development and greatly help to attract incoming investment, especially in underdeveloped regions, poor in natural resources or tourist attractions, and whereas artists and cultural institutions play a decisive role in forming the identity of regions and increasing their attractiveness in the European integration process,


whereas culture, as a sector that both provides jobs and fosters economic growth, is particularly important for the development of towns (especially small and medium sized ones) and rural areas, and whereas, in the social sphere, cultural identity is an important factor in fostering integration and greater social cohesion in regions and local communities,


whereas support can be given under cohesion and rural development policies to restoring the cultural heritage and promoting the artistic trades, with a view to increasing the attractiveness of regions,


whereas SMEs and private capital should play an increasingly important role in the cultural sector and should be brought into play in the implementation of projects and measures in this field, particularly through public/private partnerships (PPPs),


Welcomes the Commission communication on a European agenda for culture and endorses the aims set out therein; notes that it has pointed on several occasions to the essential role of culture in imparting structure to the implementation of the Lisbon strategy and establishing a new pillar of global governance and sustainable development;


Likewise welcomes the fact that the abovementioned Commission communication has been well received by the Council, as reflected in the Council resolution of 16 November 2007;


Underlines that local, regional and national authorities play a key role in developing and fostering culture, especially in protecting cultural heritage, as well as promoting artistic innovation and creative industries;


Welcomes the fact that the Commission is addressing the mobility of artists and culture sector professionals;


Points to the need to promote the emergence and mobility of young European artists;


Regrets that no reference to the role of the large number of partnerships between cities, local authorities and regions has been made in establishing a European agenda for culture in a globalising world;


Highlights the fact that the cultural sector plays an important part in attaining the objectives of the renewed Lisbon strategy and draws attention to the importance of culture in creating a good and dynamic living environment, notably through the tremendous opportunities afforded by cultural tourism for the economic development of many regions;


Points out that in the light of Article 151 of the Treaty, action in the culture sector, which must not undermine cultural diversity and national identities, has to take the form of cooperation policies and partnership agreements between Member States; also points to the role of the regions of the European Union as an important forum for cultural cooperation;


Is concerned that the communication fails to clarify the ongoing problem concerning misunderstandings about culture in terms of contemporary and traditional arts, European heritage and the profit-driven and profitable ‘creative industries’. Moreover, the objectives set out in the agenda generally represent culture as having important social, economic, political and more generally ‘instrumental’ value but do not incorporate the issue of culture as a value in itself (culture qua culture);


Is concerned that in the debate on intercultural and cultural dialogue and on what is meant by ‘culture’, it is often understood that culture unites people together rather than being a moderator of differences. In this context, Jean Monnet could be quoted: those young people ‘acquainted with all that is great and good in different cultures, without ceasing to look to their own lands with love and pride, they will become Europeans’;


Believes that if Article 151(4) of the Treaty is to be implemented completely and coherently, the specific features of the culture sector, not least its creative and innovative potential and its social significance have to be taken into account as cultural and economic goods so that culture can fully assume its rightful place within the Lisbon strategy;


Believes that the Commission's objective to further develop dialogue with civil society in the cultural sector is crucial to the development of a coherent European agenda for culture, and that only through such structured dialogue could European policies genuinely reflect the realities and demands of European artists and cultural operators;


Calls on the Commission to submit recommendations for the protection of digital rights management systems which take equal account of the requirements of the EU internal market and of the Unesco Convention on the Protection of Cultural Diversity;


Stresses that cultural productivity and artists’ creativity must be guaranteed in a sustainable manner, but that this presupposes a secure social situation for artists, including an appropriate legal framework in the areas of tax, labour, social security and copyright law;


Calls on the Commission and the Member States to breathe life into the Unesco Convention on the Protection of Cultural Diversity and to take full account of the Convention's underlying principles in its internal and external policies;


Reminds the Commission that the Community is duty-bound to implement the Unesco Convention on the Protection of Cultural Diversity when exercising the competences it enjoys in policy areas which are covered by the Convention, namely ‘the common commercial policy, development cooperation policy, economic, financial and technical cooperation with third countries, free movement of goods, persons, services and capital, competition, and the internal market, including intellectual property’ (7);


Believes that the existing Community programmes in the culture sector do not fully reflect the implications of Europeans’ common cultural heritage, and calls on the Commission, therefore, to propose that specific programmes be drawn up in order to foster artistic creativity and preserve the links, on a wider scale and at a deeper seated level, with the goods and values, both tangible and intangible, that constitute European cultural heritage and to enable those goods and values to interact according to the humanist conception of identities and differences and in present-day cultural works, thus making it possible to reap and share their benefits;


Stresses that the programmes in the culture sector will all do a great deal to foster cohesion, real convergence, economic growth, sustainable development, innovation, employment and competitiveness;


Points out that the EU has an essential role to play in taking practical measures genuinely conducive to the mobility of European and non-Community artists;


Calls for a specific visa to be introduced for artists to enable them to accept immediately when they are offered a very short professional engagement;


Reiterates the strategic importance of the attractive EU cultural project — the European Capital of Culture scheme — which gives a significant boost to the social and economic development of cities and regions by injecting European added value;


Asks the Commission to pay particular attention to the strong and effective cooperation between the 2007 to 2011 European Capitals of Culture and the 2010 Cultural Cities Network, which brings together more than 20 towns and cities from Hungary, Germany and Turkey to work together on the development of their own European cultural objectives, to join the Capitals of Culture in their preparations for 2010 and to present their projects simultaneously at a wide range of different locations;


Maintains that mobility and flexibility are the only means of both ensuring the survival of creative activity in the individual Member States and of fostering a European cultural identity;


Recommends to the Council and to the Commission that a programme be drawn up with a view to enhancing the prestige of Europe's classical heritage and the historic contributions of national cultures in all their dimensions down through the centuries, and that such a programme should exist alongside and complement the ‘Culture’ framework programme for 2007 to 2013 while also allowing for the needs of the culture sector in the future;


Calls on the Commission to intensify the policies in support of literary translation provided for in the ‘Culture Programme (2007 to 2013)’;


Calls on the Commission to draw up a programme aimed at developing the promotion of European languages in the world and their role in creative artistic activity in other continents, so as to facilitate both mutual knowledge and understanding and the cultural interaction generated and conveyed by those languages in their extra-European dimensions;


Calls on the Commission to enhance and promote international cultural exchanges and the acquisition of cultural skills and multilingualism among the citizens of the European Union;


Stresses that, in view of the designation of 2008 as the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue, the European Union should put the values of intercultural dialogue into practice and open itself up to other cultures and promote and develop opportunities for cooperation by proposing an interesting range of cultural programmes to European third countries, in particular those covered by the European Neighbourhood Policy, for whom involvement in joint cultural programmes would have an extremely important mobilising influence;


Proposes that Parliament, the Council, the Commission, and the Member States undertake to establish conditions genuinely conducive to culture and creative activity in every walk of life in the Union, focusing in particular on the family, schools, lifelong learning, the mass media, and the world of digital technologies;


Maintains that specific cultural projects must continue to be promoted at European level, the European digital library being one example; calls for the library to be set up more rapidly;


Supports the numerous cultural partnership arrangements between towns, communities and regions, which are of great importance for the social development of the regions and the promotion of cultural innovation; calls on the Commission and the Member States to provide every support for local, regional and interregional cultural initiatives as an essential factor in the process of regional and European integration in the face of global challenges;


Points out that teaching of the arts and literature has an important part to play in rounding out the personalities of young people, awakening and fostering their vocations, and enabling them to enjoy cultural goods and values to the full;


Stresses the need for the school syllabuses in all Member States to include a common history of the European Union teaching programme to promote European identity and culture in the context of globalisation;


Maintains that it is important, both in schools and in society, to build innovative bridges between culture and research, science, and technology, and to have programmes covering these matters;


Calls on the Commission to devise means in order to identify sectors in crisis in European cultural industries, focusing particular attention on the publishing market, in which the trend has been such that high-quality creative writing is now in danger of being eclipsed by best-sellers, and on the world of music-making, where quality and diversity are likewise under threat due to piracy and the worldwide spread of digital technologies by the concentration processes entailed in collective rights management;


Calls on the Commission and the Member States to employ the means needed to enforce and protect literary and artistic property rights, especially in the digital environment;


Believes that the foundations should be laid for genuine European cultural diplomacy and calls on the Member States and the Community institutions to strengthen the cultural element of their diplomatic representation and embark on regular organised initiatives devoted to European culture;


Calls on the Member States and the Community institutions to encourage initiatives aimed at developing cultural tourism;


Recommends that the Council and the Commission compile and promote a list of ‘cultural places of pilgrimage’ in all the Member States with a view to organising specific initiatives and events to take place regularly in these monuments to, and powerhouses of, culture;


Believes that a European heritage label should be established with a view to emphasising the European dimension of cultural goods, monuments, memorial sites, and places of remembrance, which all bear witness to Europe's history and heritage;


Recommends that the Council and the Commission support and promote the Council of Europe's European Cultural Routes programme, launched in 1987, since the routes in question constitute exemplary networks encompassing regions and local communities and bear witness to Europe's heritage and shared history;


Proposes that the Council and the Commission establish a European arts sponsorship scheme and the designation of ‘European patron of the arts’ so as to enable the public and private sectors to enter into effective partnerships consistent with the aims of the Commission's proposed action;


Proposes also that prestigious European prizes, awarded on a regular basis, be established for every sphere of creative artistic activity;


Suggests also that the profile of the existing prizes be raised and their effects assessed;


Suggests that, in view of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Fryderyk Chopin, a brilliant composer who has made an undeniable contribution to world culture, 2010 should be designated the ‘European Year of Fryderyk Chopin’;


Suggests that the year 2011 be designated ‘European Year of the Greek and Latin Classics’ in order to make the peoples of the Union more aware of this essential aspect of cultural heritage now in danger of being forgotten;


Recommends that the Commission, in cooperation with the Member States, in the interest of promoting European cultural values and demonstrating its commitment to culture, should start regularly organising and supporting a European Year commemorating a significant European personality, artistic activity or cultural event;


Suggests that improvements be made as regards promotion of, access to, and publicity concerning these measures;


Points out to the Council that the intended budgetary funding for the measures proposed in the Commission communication and those already in existence need to be reviewed immediately and as a matter of urgency;


Urges the Commission and the Council to guarantee that the rules governing commercial relations at both the bilateral and the multilateral level are transparent, fair, open, and market-access oriented; further insists that these rules must allow European cultural industries to develop all their potential, particularly in the audiovisual, musical and publishing sectors;


Calls on the Commission to revise the mechanisms for customs control and exchange of information with the Member States to ensure that they are as effective as possible in combating illegal exports and imports of works of art and other protected cultural goods;


Calls on the Commission to take the appropriate measures to initiate a thorough revision of the protection of intellectual property rights, in order to better balance the conflicting goals of right-holder protection and free and fair access to cultural products and services in the EU's acquis communautaire, World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules and EU bilateral agreements in order to eradicate the root causes of counterfeiting and piracy;


Calls on the Commission to use its powers to ensure that all trading partners enforce the obligations of the agreements within the framework of WTO and international trade law, including the potential activation of dispute-settlement instruments provided for by international agreements;


Calls on the Commission to develop a reliable and coherent set of indicators and instruments to measure and evaluate international trade in cultural products;


Taking into account that cultural tourism is an ever growing segment of the cultural industry worldwide, calls on the Commission to incorporate into EU trade policy agreements clauses on the spread of and trade in products with cultural and historical value;


Calls on the Commission and the Member States to increasingly take into account the clauses of the EUs FTAs and other trade instruments that deal with trade in cultural products when following up these trade agreements;


Stresses the importance of supporting the transborder flow of cultural products through enhanced mobility of artists and workers in the cultural sector; considers that transborder mobility of European arts and culture has a significant role to play in disseminating European values as well as maintaining and developing cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue;


Calls on the Commission to identify possible non-tariff barriers imposed by third countries in commercial transactions for certain European cultural goods and services and, if necessary, to take steps to eliminate them;


Stresses, in this regard, that the EU should support and facilitate access to its market in cultural products and services as regards developing countries, paying particular attention to the positive impact that this may have on job creation and technological development in their cultural industries,


Calls on the Commission to propose specific cultural actions and events that would promote European culture in developing countries, while giving access to culture priority in development policies;


Supports the systematic integration of the cultural dimension and the various aspects of culture in all external and development policies, projects and programmes, as a means of strengthening the quality of the Commission's diplomatic efforts and the viability and sustainability of all EU cooperation activities and of stepping up measures to raise public awareness of the importance of the cultural aspect of development activities;


Welcomes the establishment of specific cultural cooperation programmes of an inter-dependent nature with some partner countries in the ENP region, in Asia and elsewhere, such as the Culture Fund for India;


Welcomes the Commission's proposal to create an EU-ACP Cultural Fund as a joint EU contribution to supporting the distribution and production of ACP cultural goods, noting that the 10th European Development Fund will provide start-up funds that will be complemented by contributions from the Member States;


Calls on the Commission to promote compliance with international agreements and other legal instruments with a bearing on cultural rights in order to ensure cultural freedom and safeguard diversity and its manifestations in the face of market liberalisation plans that threaten cultural diversity in developing countries;


Calls on the Commission to promote cultural exchanges between the EU and third countries and regions;


Asks the Commission to promote the incorporation of cultural policy in development cooperation policy, in particular with regard to social and economic measures;


Invites the Commission to ensure that all its cooperation programmes and projects take account of local culture and contribute to increasing people's access to culture and to the means of cultural expression, in addition to tackling poverty and reducing social exclusion; underlines the importance of education, including advocacy for the integration of culture in education curricula at all levels in developing countries;


Reminds the Commission that the development of cultural heritage is inextricably linked to public use and enjoyment of it and that cultural heritage should be managed in a sustainable manner in view of its transitory nature; considers, too, that the management of cultural heritage should necessarily be economically viable and consequently play a part in improving the socio-economic conditions in which people live;


Supports the active involvement of the EU in the work of international organisations dealing with culture and in the United Nations ‘Alliance of Civilisations’ process;


Acknowledges the significance of the plans for a European cultural agenda, but notes that the Commission communication on that agenda fails to provide any details regarding its funding or any practical plan for employing the open method of coordination; calls on the Commission to supply those details at the earliest opportunity;


Emphasises the important role played by local and regional authorities in fostering and nurturing culture in their areas, above all in the sphere of cultural heritage and as patrons of artistic innovation, as the bodies responsible for providing and sponsoring cultural amenities and initiatives and education and training and as organisers of festivals and cultural encounters;


Recommends that the Member States involve local and regional authorities in the process not only of monitoring results, but also of implementing any new EU cultural agenda, so that the cultural policy actually implemented reflects the specific expectations and needs of the regions;


Draws attention to the need to promote cultural diversity and to give culture a significant role in dialogue not only between individual countries but also between regions throughout the world, promoting intercultural exchanges and including culture in development programmes; supports the idea of the integrated approach to creating strategies for culture, including all sectors and factors that directly or indirectly influence the development of culture;


Stresses that cultural tourism plays a significant role in regional economic growth and wealth creation and in enhancing the value of Europe's cultural heritage and that regional cultural associations and those active in the arts must be involved in this process;


Regrets the fact that the Commission pays too little attention to twinning arrangements between towns, municipalities and regions, which have for many years provided an excellent forum for cultural cooperation and information exchange;


Calls on the Commission to promote best practices in cultural activities at European level, drawing attention to the fact that most best practices in this area are generated at regional level; suggests that thematic conferences be organised and that publicly accessible best-practice databases be set up in all the official languages of the European Union;


Bearing in mind the forthcoming European Year of Intercultural Dialogue, stresses the role which the regions can play as a genuine cultural meeting point; calls on the Commission to put forward firm proposals for activities for 2008 and to actively involve the regions in the planning and implementation of these activities;


Agrees with the Commission that the EU's cultural and linguistic diversity is a major competitive asset; reminds the Member States that language teaching and educational and cultural exchange programmes within and outside the European Union need continuous support; recalls the role of television broadcasting in the field of intercultural exchange;


Calls on the Commission to support cultural initiatives in regional cooperation projects, including at town level, especially in small and medium-sized towns, inter alia by means of the Interreg IV C programme, and to incorporate a cultural dimension into the regions for economic change initiative;


Calls on the Member States to support culture in the regions by investing in cultural infrastructure, making use of structural funding, and to draw up regional cultural development programmes in consultation with the cultural and education sectors and with civil society;


Calls on the Commission and the Member States to lay down straightforward, transparent and clear rules for the implementation of PPPs, so that they may become an effective means of funding cultural ventures in the regions and may facilitate more active involvement on the part of SMEs;


Welcomes the Commission's proposal to set up an EU-ACP Cultural Fund as an EU contribution to the distribution of ACP and OCT cultural goods; takes the view that similar arrangements should be put in place for neighbourhood policy countries in particular,


Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, and the governments and parliaments of the Member States, and to Unesco and the Council of Europe.

(1)  OJ L 372, 27.12.2006, p. 1.

(2)  OJ L 201, 25.7.2006, p. 15.

(3)  OJ C 287, 29.11.2007, p. 1.

(4)  OJ C 72 E, 21.3.2002, p. 142.

(5)  OJ C 76 E, 25.3.2004, p. 459.

(6)  OJ C 301 E, 13.12.2007, p. 64.

(7)  Answer to Written Question P-5554/07.