Cultural cooperation in the EU supports the cultures of Europe and safeguards the common cultural heritage. The cooperation was formalised with the Maastricht Treaty of 1993. However, cultural cooperation existed before that, e.g. with the introduction of the European City of Culture in 1985.

On the basis of the strategic co-operation in the context of the European Agenda for Culture and the future culture programme, the Presidency will work towards a continued focus on the promotion of cultural diversity, intercultural dialogue and creativity as well as the promotion of the role of culture in the Union’s relations to countries outside the EU.

Creative Europe

The principal focus of the Danish Presidency will be on the negotiations of the Commission’s proposal for a Creative Europe framework programme, which will include the next generation of the Culture Programme that supports cross-border cultural projects, and of the MEDIA and MEDIA Mundus programmes that support the European audiovisual industry.

The current Culture Programme runs from 2007 until 2013 with a total budget of EUR 400 million. Its overall objectives are to promote the transnational mobility of cultural players, to encourage the transnational circulation of works and cultural and artistic products, and to encourage intercultural dialogue.

Follow-up on the Council’s Work Plan for Culture

The Danish Presidency will have a specific focus on the Work Plan’s priority actions, such as the promotion of culture in the Union’s relations with third countries.

Objectives and instruments
With the European Agenda for Culture from 2007 cultural cooperation is now targeted at the following overall strategic objectives:

  • Focusing on cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue
  • Promoting and illustrating the importance of cultural and creative industries for growth and jobs
  • Promoting the role of culture in the Union’s relations to countries outside the EU

This is achieved through support to Member States’ activities in the field of culture and through cooperation with other international organisations working in the area of culture, such as the Council of Europe and UNESCO. In addition, the EU also promotes the strategic objectives by taking cultural aspects into account when drafting new legislation in other policy areas, e.g. education, research and ICT.

The Council’s work plans set out concrete tasks, timelines etc. for how to reach the strategic objectives. The current work plan covers the period 2011-2014 and focuses on, among other things, the mobility of artists, culture and regional development, the cooperation of museums and increased cultural cooperation with third countries.

Foundation of the European cultural cooperation
The Lisbon Treaty constitutes the legal basis of cooperation in the field of culture. According to the Treaty, regulation and harmonisation of national cultural policies is excluded. Instead, cooperation is carried out through:

  • Exchange of best practice
  • Financial support programme
  • Recommendations to Member States

Here you can find more information about the cultural cooperation in EU