European Community (EC) cultural intervention in the context
of the development policy is limited. The most ambitious actions
are focused on African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries,
where the EC has a clear mandate in the field of culture since
1995. More recently, and to a lesser extent, the EC has launched
cultural actions in the Mediterranean region.
The cultural dimension is wholly integrated in the Cotonou Agreement,
which governs relations between the EC and the 77 ACP countries.
Article 27 on “Cultural development” stipulates
“Cooperation in the area of culture shall
integrating the cultural dimension at all
levels of development cooperation;
recognising, preserving and promoting cultural
values and identities to enable inter-cultural dialogue;
recognising, preserving and promoting the
value of cultural heritage; supporting the development of capacity
in this sector; and
developing cultural industries and enhancing
market access opportunities for cultural goods and services”.
In line with this requirement, the following actions and instruments
have been put into place:
The ACP Cinema Support Programme co-finances
the production and diffusion of audiovisual works from ACP countries,
including movies, TV series, documentaries and animation films.
The Commission supports programmes and projects
aimed at contributing to the preservation, presentation (museums)
and valorisation of ACP countries’ cultural heritage and
Programmes of support to decentralised cultural
initiatives (PSICD) aim, through micro-projects run by decentralised
operators such as associations, communities or private actors,
to reinforce the organisational capacities of the cultural sector,
to professionalise artists and cultural bodies, and valorise
The Programme for Support of ACP Cultural
Events in Europe (PAMCE – Programme d’appui aux
manifestations culturelles des pays ACP dans l’UE) co-finances
festival and shows featuring African music, performing arts,
The Commission supports specific cultural
programmes at national and regional level in ACP countries.
These concern diffusion, production and training actions in
the full range of artistic domains and events, thus contributing
to consolidating and professionalising the culture sector.
Since 1989, the Commission has supported 380 music, dance, audiovisual,
fashion, craft, oral tradition and literature projects worth
about €116 million.
The 1995 Barcelona Declaration founding the new Euro-Mediterranean
Partnership includes a Chapter III entitled “Partnership
in social, cultural and Human affairs: Developing human resources,
promoting understanding between cultures & exchanges between
The Declaration states that “dialogue and respect between
cultures and religions are a necessary precondition for bringing
the peoples closer”. In this context, it emphasises “the
importance of the role the mass media can play in the reciprocal
recognition and understanding of cultures as a source of mutual
enrichment” and the necessity “to promote cultural
exchanges and knowledge of other languages, respecting the cultural
identity of each partner”.
On this basis, several programmes have been launched since 1995
Euromed Heritage supports projects aimed at promoting and preserving
the Euro-Mediterranean cultural heritage. Phase I (1997-2003)
has a budget of €17.2 million and Phase II (2001-2008) of
Euromed Audiovisual supports projects aimed at developing new
forms of cooperation between European and Mediterranean TV and
cinema operators. It has a budget of €20 million between
2000 and 2003/4.
Euromed Youth aims to facilitate the integration of young people
into the professional and social life, stimulate democratisation
and facilitate mutual understanding between youth on both sides
of the Mediterranean. It has a budget of €6 million between
1999 and 2006.
Apart from these main programmes, the EC finances other actions
like a full set of cultural activities organised by EC Delegations
every year or the Euromed Civil Forums. The last Euromed
civil forum was dedicated to the Dialogue of Cultures.
Last but not least, other programmes and initiatives (under
preparation) such as the Euromed Foundation on the Dialogue of
Cultures, the “Role of women in the economic life”,
complete the picture.
Information on the Euro-med regional programmes can be find
on the external
relations Web site.