What is the European Commission's role in culture?
With individual European Union Member States responsible for their own culture sector policies, the role of the European Commission is to address common challenges, such as limits to the mobility of cultural professionals, barriers to finance, and skills deficits.
The Commission is also committed to promoting cultural diversity, protecting cultural heritage, and supporting the contribution of cultural and creative industries to boosting growth and jobs across the EU, in line with the principles of the European Agenda for Culture.
What does this involve?
As outlined in the Commission's culture work plan for 2010-2014, there are currently six main priorities:
Why is it needed?
The culture sector is, increasingly, a source of job creation, contributing to growth in Europe. The culture sector is also an excellent conduit for improving relations between Member States, as well as furthering social inclusion.
The Agenda thus contributes to both the Europe 2020 strategy for growth and jobs, and satisfying Europe's commitments to international agreements, such as the United Nations convention on culture.
What has been done so far?
Following the successful implementation of the Culture and MEDIA programmes, the Commission launched Creative Europe; a consolidated framework programme in support of Europe's cultural and creative sectors.
These programmes are complemented through regular reports, studies, and data-gathering, designed to provide up-to-date, relevant information on the culture sector and the economy of culture.
Further policy measures and priorities are identified through international cultural cooperation, specifically in the form of discussions with Member States, as well as through regular progress reviews on the implementation of the Agenda for Culture.
What are the next steps?
The Creative Europe programme, until 2020, will provide the major impetus for the culture sector, while the Work Plan for Culture, set to run until the end of 2014, will set the direction.
The Work Plan will, subsequently, be evaluated, revised, and re-launched, on the basis of the findings and discussions between the Member States.