A conference in Brussels on cultural and artistic exchange presented examples of EU-funded projects that bring art to a wider audience.
"Before Europe becomes a military alliance or an economic entity, it must be a cultural community..."
Some 50 years after the EU's founding father Robert Schuman spoke those words, the European Commission is seeking to make them a reality. The 2011 Culture in Motion conference brought together 600 participants from across Europe to discuss current and future EU funding for the arts.
The EU is spending €400m in 2007-13 to support hundreds of cultural organisations and thousands of artists. It also helps circulate their work, introducing Europeans to a wide variety of art from across the continent.
EU-funded projects presented at the conference include:
Imagine 2020 - art and climate change - funds artists who address climate change in their work. Run by arts associations in Germany, France, the UK, the Netherlands, Portugal, Latvia, Slovenia and Croatia.
Festival d'art lyrique d'Aix-en-Provence - annual opera and music festival, which received a grant for new compositions and productions.
European media art network - run by institutions in Germany, the UK, the Netherlands and Bulgaria - helped 16 young media artists produce experimental film, sound and computer-based work. A recent show featuring their work attracted 11 000 visitors.
Diversidad urban forum - Music across borders - brings together organisations from Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Spain, and France to focus on urban art. A four-day hip hop festival in 2009 drew 60 000 people. The project has produced a collaborative album of hip hop music and is now working on a digital platform for music, a tour of urban art and a graffiti exhibition.
Every year the EU also funds the translation of hundreds of books by European authors into other languages. Grants also support cultural festivals and awards for contemporary architecture, cultural heritage, literature, pop music and the European capitals of culture.
Europe's cultural and creative sectors represent some 3% of the EU economy.