European Union culture policies aim to address and promote the cultural dimension of European integration through relevant legislation and government funding.[1] These policies support the development of cultural activity, education or research conducted by private companies, NGO's and individual initiatives based in the EU working in the fields of cinema and audiovisual, publishing, music and crafts.

The European Commission runs Culture Programme (2007-2013),[2] and the EU funds other cultural bodies such as the European Cultural Month, the Media Programme, the European Union Youth Orchestra and the European Capital of Culture programme.

The EU awards grants to cultural projects (233 in 2004) and has launched a web portal dedicated to Europe and Culture, responding to the European Council's expressed desire to see the Commission and the member states "promote the networking of cultural information to enable all citizens to access European cultural content by advanced technological means."[3]

History and development

The Council of Europe, which is distinct from the European Union (EU), first formalised cultural cooperation policy in Europe with its European Cultural Convention.[4]

However, European Union-affiliated cultural policy, promoting unified cooperation between member states was first initiated with the 1992 Maastricht Treaty.[5]

Currently, a cultural contact point (CCP) is established in each EU member state, responsible for facilitating communication between the European Commission's Cultural Programme and each member state.[6]

Institutions and bodies

The most important EU institutions through which decisions are made regarding cultural policies are:

List of institutions and bodies

The EU promotes cultural development through numerous institutions, civil society organisations and networks such as:

See also: Institutions of the European Union

List of programmes

The EU promotes cultural development through numerous programmes such as:

List of awards

The EU promotes cultural development through the policy of awards:

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (March 2011)

List of non-EU cultural institutions, bodies and programmes

The following is a list of European institutions, bodies and programmes which may be thought to be related to the EU/EU policy, but are not:

Policies by sector

Arts and Culture

The European Commission runs the EU's Culture Programme, which typically runs in 7 year intervals. The last Culture Programme was called Culture 2000. For the next Culture Programme (2007-2013) was spent €400 million. Current program is called "Creative Europe" (2014-2020).[8]

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (March 2011)


Main article: Sport policies of the European Union

Sport is largely the domain of the member states, with the EU mostly playing an indirect role. Recently the EU launched an anti-doping convention. The role of the EU might increase in the future, if (for example) the Treaty of Lisbon were to be ratified by all member states.[9] Other policies of the EU have affected sports, such as the freedom of employment which was at the core of the Bosman ruling, which prohibited national football leagues from imposing quotas on foreign players with EU nationality.[10]


Main article: Languages of the European Union

The languages of the European Union are languages used by people within the member states of the European Union. They include the 24 official languages of the European Union plus many others. EU policy is to encourage all its citizens to be multilingual; specifically, it encourages them to be able to speak two languages in addition to their mother tongue. The reason for this is not only to promote easier communication between Europeans, but also to encourage greater tolerance and respect for diversity. A number of EU funding programmes actively promote language learning and linguistic diversity. The content of educational systems remains the responsibility of individual member states. Further information can be found at language policy.[11][12]

Impact of cultural policies

European identity

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (March 2011)

See also: Pan-European identity

Economic development

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (March 2011)

See also: Economy of the European Union

Expansion of the European Union

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (March 2011)

See also: Enlargement of the European Union


This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (March 2011)

See also: Euroscepticism

See also


  1. ^ Schindler, Joerg Michael. "Culture, Politics and Europe: en route to Culture-Related Impact Assessment" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-11-18. Retrieved 2013-01-06.
  2. ^ "European Commission - Culture". 2010-07-07. Retrieved 2013-07-24.
  3. ^ "Cultural heritage as a vehicle of cultural identity". 2007-07-05. Retrieved 2007-07-13.
  4. ^ "Compendium: Cultural Policies and Trends in Europe". 1949-05-05. Archived from the original on 2015-02-25. Retrieved 2013-07-24.
  5. ^ Bozoki, Andras. "Cultural Policy and Politics in the European Union" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-02-22. Retrieved 2013-01-06.
  6. ^ "European Commission Website". 2011-07-19. Retrieved 2013-07-24.
  7. ^ "EU Prize for Literature website". Retrieved 2013-07-24.
  8. ^ "European Commission Website". European Commission. 2010-07-07. Archived from the original on 2013-09-08. Retrieved 2013-07-24.
  9. ^ Goldirova, Renata (2007-07-11). "Brussels' first-ever move into sport area set to spark controversy". EUobserver. Retrieved 19 April 2022.
  10. ^ Fordyce, Tom (2007-07-11). "10 years since Bosman". BBC News. Retrieved 2007-07-13.
  11. ^ "About multilingualism policy". European Commission. Retrieved 19 April 2022.
  12. ^ "The European Commission's Action Plan for Language Learning and Linguistic Diversity". European Commission. 2006. Archived from the original on 2 June 2007. Retrieved 19 April 2022.

Further reading