Education & culture DG
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The European Agenda for Culture


In May 2007, the Commission proposed an agenda for Culture founded on three common sets of objectives: cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue; culture as a catalyst for creativity; and culture as a key component in international relations. 


This Agenda, prepared following a public on-line consultation, was approved by the cultural sector during the Lisbon Forum of September 2007. It was also endorsed by the Council in its Resolution of November 2007 and then, a first, by the European Council in its conclusions of December 2007 .

Under the first set of objectives, the Union and all other relevant stakeholders should work together to foster intercultural dialogue to ensure that the EU’s cultural diversity is understood, respected and promoted. To do that, they should for example seek to enhance the cross-border mobility of artists and workers in the cultural sector and the cross-border dissemination of works of art.

The second set of objectives focuses on the promotion of culture as a catalyst for creativity in the framework of the Lisbon Strategyfor growth and jobs and its follow-up "EU 2020". Cultural industries are an asset for Europe's economy and competitiveness. Creativity generates both social and technological innovation and stimulates growth and jobs in the EU.
Promotion of culture as a vital element in the Union's international relations is the third set of objectives. As a party to the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and the Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, the EU is committed to developing a new and more active cultural role for Europe in international relations and to integrating the cultural dimension as a vital element in Europe’s dealings with partner countries and regions.

Multi-level dialogue and partnership

In order to implement these three sets of objectives,  new working methods and partnerships have been launched.
The Commission now  engages in a structured dialogue with the culture sector in order to identify and better understand the full range of stakeholders involved in European cultural co-operation. In this framework, the various stakeholders in the field of culture – professional organisations, cultural institutions, non-governmental organisations, European networks, foundations, etc. – discuss issues among themselves and engage in dialogue with EU institutions and Member States to support the development of new policies.

For Member States, implementing the Agenda for Culture entails taking their cooperation one step further by using the open method of coordination. Four thematic working groups of experts nominated by Member States are formulating policy recommendations based on exchange of best practice and making proposals for cooperation initiatives.

Mainstreaming culture in all relevant policies

The Lisbon Treaty (Article 167, paragraph 4; formerly EU Treaty Article 151) requires the Union to take culture into account in all its actions so as to foster intercultural respect and promote diversity. The Commission works to ensure that the promotion of culture and cultural diversity is given due consideration when all regulatory and financial decisions or proposals are made.