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There have been ministerial resolutions and other calls for European cultural initiatives since the 1970s, but it was not until 1991 that the EU officially began to deal with culture : under the Maastricht treaty and its Article 151, the Union "shall contribute to the flowering of the cultures of the Member States, while respecting their national and regional diversity and at the same time bringing the common cultural heritage to the fore.
"EU initiatives" shall be aimed at encouraging cooperation between Member States and, if necessary, supporting and supplementing their actions". The aim is to encourage the creation of a "European cultural area", as the European Parliament underlined in its resolution of 5 September 2001 on cultural cooperation in Europe.
Cultural cooperation in Europe is encouraged by means of the Culture Programme but also by specific actions financed by other European programmes. These involve European cooperation in the broad sense, since the majority of the programmes are open to the Member States of the European Economic Area and to the applicant countries. This cooperation also plays an important role in the relations that the EU maintains with rest of the world (third countries or international organisations).
|Last update: 20-03-2007|