The first strand of the Culture programme encourages cultural organisations and operators to work together on cultural and artistic projects.
The thrust of this strand is to help organisations, such as theatres, museums, professional associations, research centres, universities, cultural institutes and public authorities from different countries participating in the programme to cooperate so that different sectors can work together and extend their cultural and artistic reach across borders.
Co-operation among cultural organisations receives the largest share of the overall programme budget (approximately 77%).
The first sub-category seeks to lay down multi-annual, trans-national cultural links by encouraging a minimum of six cultural operators from at least six eligible countries to cooperate and work across sectors to develop joint cultural activities over a period of three to five years.
EU support for the actions is limited to half of the total eligible cost and is set at a maximum of Euro 500 000 a year. The funding is intended to help set up or extend the geographical reach of a project and make it sustainable beyond the funding period.
The second sub-category concerns actions shared by at least three cultural operators, working across sectors, from at least three eligible countries over a maximum period of two years. Actions that seek to develop long-term co-operation are especially targeted.
EU support for the actions is limited to half of the total eligible cost and is set between Euro 50 000 and Euro 200 000. Literary translation projects are also supported under this sub-strand.
The third sub-category refers to high-profile actions of substantial scale and scope. They should make an impact on European citizens and help to promote a sense of European identity. These actions are supposed to raise awareness and appreciation among citizens of the richness of Europe's cultural diversity and to contribute to intercultural dialogue.
For example support for European cultural festivals is allocated under this sub-strand. The aim is to support festivals that have a European dimension and which contribute to the general objectives of the Programme (i.e. mobility of professionals, circulation of works and intercultural dialogue).
The European Capitals of Culture are also supported within this sub-strand. This has grown, over two decades, into one of Europe’s major cultural events.
A further aspect of this sub-strand is the award of prizes to celebrate artistic talent among young Europeans.
Finally, this strand also supports our joint actions in the field of culture with the Council of Europe.
The selection procedures as well as the potential beneficiaries of the EU support depend on the action in question.