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Raising cultural awareness

Cultural exchanges are a good way of raising awareness of European cultural diversity.

A large number of Community programmes therefore support action of this kind. One of these is the Youth programme, which each year reaches out to 100 000 young people aged between 15 and 25.

Under the SOCRATES programme, over 100 000 students receive grants to study abroad each year (Erasmus programme), a significant proportion of which concern the cultural sector.

Raising cultural awareness is an ongoing objective of numerous Community measures, notably in the "Culture" framework programme. This programme promotes cooperation between those working in the cultural sector with the aim of developing creativity and intercultural dialogue, improving knowledge of history and of culture in all its forms, and making the most of cultural heritage.

The programme also provides financial support for the cultural capitals of Europe. Each year, one or more cities turns the spotlight on its cultural heritage and launches a series of cultural activities involving broad sectors of the population.

Other features of the Socrates programme include Netd@ys - an event which promotes the use of new media in education; the Community town twinning programme; the European Union's involvement in the "Europe, a common heritage" campaign, launched in 1999 by the Council of Europe, and in "European Heritage Days", held since 1991.

Last update: 20-03-2007