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What you've always wanted to know about EU funding but never dared to ask!

The Culture Programme 2007-2013: more than you imagine it to be.

The European Commission encourages cooperation between cultural operators within Europe through both its policies and programmes. A total amount of 400 million euros is available for the Culture Programme over the period 2007-2013.

The objective of the Programme is to enhance the cultural area shared by Europeans, based on a common cultural heritage through the development of cultural cooperation between the creators, cultural players and cultural institutions of the countries taking part in the Programme, with a view to encouraging the emergence of European citizenship.

The specific objectives, set for the entire duration of the Programme, are to stimulate the transnational mobility of cultural operators, to promote the transnational circulation of cultural products and works of art, and to encourage intercultural dialogue.

The projects presented under "Real Stories" are examples of activities which incorporate the objectives in a particular exemplary manner.

Who is it for?

The Programme supports cooperation projects, organisations, promotional activities and research in all cultural sectors, except the audiovisual sector, for which there is a separate programme (MEDIA).

Cultural operators, including cultural enterprises, can participate in the Programme as long as they are acting in a non-profit-making capacity.

Eligible applicants must:
- be a public or private organisation with legal personality, whose principal activity is in the cultural sphere (cultural and creative sectors);
- have their registered legal seat in one of the eligible countries.

Which countries?

Organisations based in the following countries are eligible for the Programme:
- EU Member States;
- EEA countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway);
- Countries applying to become an EU member (Croatia, Turkey and Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Organisations based in the countries of the western Balkans (Albania) could become eligible in future, if a Memorandum of Understanding is agreed.

Countries not included in the list of eligible countries are referred to as third countries. Cooperation with cultural operators from third countries is also supported through the Programme. Each year, the focus is on specific third countries.

What can be funded?

The Programme has a flexible, interdisciplinary approach and focuses on the needs expressed by cultural operators during the public consultations leading up to its design in 2006. This has led to a more user-friendly application procedure and the development of a Programme Guide containing essential information on the Programme.

There are three main types of activity supported under the Programme. Support is thus grouped under the three following strands:

Strand one: Support for cultural actions

(approximately 77% of the Programme budget)

It is divided into three sub-categories:

  • Multi-annual cooperation projects: 6 partners from 6 different eligible countries — Duration: 3-5 years (grants between 200 000 and 500 000 euros)

  • Cooperation projects: 3 partners from 3 different eligible countries — Duration: up to 2 years (grants between 50 000 and 200 000 euros)

  • Literary translation projects — Duration: up to 2 years (grants between 2 000 and 60 000 euros)

  • Cooperation with third countries: 3 partners from 3 different eligible countries, plus cooperation with 1 organisation from the selected third country — Duration: up to 2 years (grants between 50 000 and 200 000 euros)

  • Special measures such as cultural prizes (contemporary architecture, cultural heritage, pop music and contemporary literature) and the European Capitals of Culture.

Strand two: Support for cultural organisations and networks of European interest
(approximately 10% of the Programme budget). This strand aims to co-finance the operating costs of the long-term work programmes of organisations pursuing an aim of general European interest in the field of culture or an objective forming part of the EU policy in this area.

Strand three: Support for activities maximising the impact of projects, analysis, statistics, studies on cultural cooperation and cultural policy development
(approximately 5% of the Programme budget). This support aims to promote analysis in the cultural field, raise awareness of the Programme, and promote its results.

Please be aware that an EU grant cannot finance the full costs of an action. Applicants are required to show their commitment to the action by finding additional resources other than the EU grant, for example through fund-raising activities, own resources, or grants from other organisations (e.g. local, regional or national authorities, foundations, etc.). 

What’s the procedure?

The European Commission’s Directorate General for Education and Culture (DG EAC) is responsible for the Culture Programme and directly manages some of its activities. However, most of the grants are administered by the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA), which operates under DG EAC’s control and is also based in Brussels.
Further information on the various application procedures is available in the Programme Guide.

Still want to know more?

Applications for projects are assessed on the basis of the criteria set out in the Programme Guide which can be downloaded here:

…that's not all
: Cultural projects can also be funded by other Community programmes, including the Lifelong Learning, Youth-in-Action and Europe for Citizens programmes, and the MEDIA programme in the audiovisual field. Funding for cultural projects is also possible through the structural funds, which are managed nationally.