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Culture & Structural Fund Objectives - 2007-2013

This page is for those that are not already familiar with the Structural Funds and their support for culture-based local and regional development.

National or Regional Operational Programmes

In the current period the total funds earmarked for culture amount to 6 billion euro. Most of the funding available is through national and regional Operational Programmes. There is specific funding for culture-based interventions, but also opportunities for culture-based initiatives jpeg - 108 KB [108 KB] that address other objectives (ie. innovation, entrepreneurship, urban regeneration, information society, improving human capital).

Programmes are administered by Managing Authorities in each of the 27 EU Member states. Specific Operational Programmes may be operated at a national or regional level.

Broadly, however, in all regions, programmes are expected to contribute in one of the three following areas :
  • Making Europe and its regions more attractive places in which to invest and work
  • Encouraging innovation, entrepreneurship and the growth of the knowledge economy
  • More and better jobs
The sort of intervention that is appropriate will depend on the extent of existing cultural facilities and the strength of the cultural and creative sectors in the region. The level of funding available is much greater in the convergence regions than in the other regions.

For the period until 2013, much funding has already been allocated and frameworks for future delivery established. There are, however, further opportunities to develop projects. These usually take the form of periodic calls for proposals, published by the managing authority in your country or region.

More detailed objectives will be defined within the specific Operational Programmes that cover any particular region.

You may find more information on Structural Fund objectives and their relation to culture in the study on ‘The Contribution of Culture to Local and Regional Development - Evidence from the Structural Funds’, (Section 3.2).

For information on the allocation of structural funding, the priorities in National Strategic Reference Frameworks and the structure of Operational Programmes at a national level: National Strategic Reference Frameworks.

Community Programmes- programmes operating across Europe

There are opportunities to work with other organisations across Europe through programmes co-ordinated at European level. This mostly relates to organisations that already have experience of working with culture-based development.
Programmes like INTERREG IVC and URBACT II exist to promote co-operation and the analysis and exchange of good practice.

INTERREG helps the regions of Europe to work together to share their knowledge and experience and identify good practice. The ‘Innovation and Knowledge Economy’ and ‘Environment and Risk Prevention’ are the two main priority areas.

General information on INTERREG IVC is available here

Information on calls and applications under INTERREG IVC is available here

URBACT II enables cities to work together in an exchange and learning programme that promotes sustainable urban development. Projects are grouped under themes, including ‘ Heritage and City Development’ and ‘Innovation & Creativity’.

General information on URBACT II is available here

Information on getting involved in URBACT II is available here.

Future projects 2014-2020

Debates are already starting about the priorities and structure of Cohesion policy for the next programming period. In developing this new framework, the authorities at all levels are open to input from the relevant stakeholders. You can contribute to this debate on the basis of your experience and help shape the direction and form of future support for culture-based development.