What is it about?
The European Commission fosters cooperation with individual countries outside the European Union, as well as with regional and international organisations.
Internationally, the Commission works with organisations such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization to establish and implement international culture policy.
Why is it needed?
In an increasingly globalised world, cultural diversity and the importance of culture in external relations are on the rise.
In addition to this, the international community, through initiatives such as the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions or the Doha Development Agenda, is increasingly seeking to regulate and support the culture sector.
As such, there is an increasing need to ensure the representation of European interests in the culture sector in international trade and policy discussions.
What is the Commission's role?
The Commission is responsible representing the interests of the EU at an international level, as well as ensuring a more strategic approach to culture and external relations.
As a party to the UNESCO Convention, the European Commission also funds an expert facility on cultural governance, and has produced a first four-year implementation report(629 kB)
What has been achieved so far?
On an international level, the Commission has become a signatory of several agreements on culture policy, including:
These initiatives contribute both to strengthening trade with non-EU countries, as well as promoting intercultural dialogue on cultural issues.
What are the next steps?
In addition to continuing its work on the international stage, the Commission will also continue to implement the recommendations of the European Parliament's resolution on the cultural dimensions of the EU's external actions.
This is, principally, being achieved through the work of the Preparatory Action on Culture in the EU's External Relations.