Unlike some of the other domains including agriculture or retail, there is no uniform cultural policy in the EU. Each member state devises their own cultural policy. When it comes to culture, the task of the EU is to promote international cooperation and to support and supplement the member states’ activities wherever necessary.
In its cultural activities, the EU draws on Article 167 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. On the one hand, it underlines the importance of protecting national and regional diversity and on the other hand, preserving the union’s common cultural heritage.
(ex Article 151 TEC)
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 common cultural heritage to the fore.
Action by the Union shall be aimed at encouraging cooperation between Member States and, if necessary, supporting and supplementing their action in the following areas:
improvement of the knowledge and dissemination of the culture and history of the European peoples,
conservation and safeguarding of cultural heritage of European significance,
non-commercial cultural exchanges,
artistic and literary creation, including in the audiovisual sector.
- The Union and the Member States shall foster cooperation with third countries and the competent international organisations in the sphere of culture, in particular the Council of Europe.
- The Union shall take cultural aspects into account in its action under other provisions of the Treaties, in particular in order to respect and to promote the diversity of its cultures.
- In order to contribute to the achievement of the objectives referred to in this Article:
- the European Parliament and the Council acting in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure and after consulting the Committee of the Regions, shall adopt incentive measures, excluding any harmonisation of the laws and regulations of the Member States,
- the Council, on a proposal from the Commission, shall adopt recommendations.
European Cultural Capitals
European Union Cultural Awards
European cultural heritage label