Cooperation on cultural policy between the European Commission and the 27 European Union (EU) Member States occurs in the Council of the EU’s related preparatory bodies – the Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council – and its Cultural Affairs Committee.
The Commission is accountable to the European Parliament and, in the field of culture, to its Committee on Culture and Education.
This cooperation also requires dialogue with civil society organisations, cultural stakeholders and other actors, such as cities and regions or international organisations, including the Council of Europe, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Cooperation with the Member States
The Open Method of Cooperation (OMC) is a practical and structured way to bring together representatives from EU Member States to encourage the exchange of good practices regarding the design of policies and funding schemes. The method fosters a common understanding of issues and helps to build consensus on solutions and their implementation.
Through the OMC, experts who have been appointed by Member States meet 5 to 6 times over 18 months to produce policy recommendations, manuals and toolkits shared throughout Europe. The Commission is responsible for organising the OMC, hosting most of its meetings, and supporting the work of the OMC groups with policy updates, and input, such as studies.
OMC expert groups have been meeting since 2008. Recent topics are:
- Culture as a driver for sustainable development (2022)
- Strengthening Cultural heritage resilience for climate change (2022)
- Multilingualism and translation (2022)
- Audio-visual co-productions (2022)
- High-quality architecture and living environment (2021)
- Status and working conditions of artists (to be published mid-2023)
During the 2015-2018 period (Work Plan for Culture 2015-2018), OMC groups produced the following reports:
- From social inclusion to social cohesion: the role of culture policy (2019)
- Sustainable cultural tourism (2019)
- European movies on the move (2019)
- Fostering cooperation in the European Union on skills, training and knowledge transfer in cultural heritage professions (2019)
- The role of public policies in developing entrepreneurial and innovation potential of the cultural and creative sectors together with Overview of EU policies and studies related to entrepreneurship and innovation in cultural and creative sectors (2018)
- Participatory governance of cultural heritage (2018)
- How culture and the arts can promote intercultural dialogue in the context of the migratory and refugee crisis (2017)
- Promoting access to culture via digital means: policies and strategies for audience development (2017) and its sub-group on Promoting reading in the digital environment (2016)
Dialogue with cultural and creative sectors
The Commission commits to strengthen dialogue with organisations from the cultural and creative sectors in the New European Agenda for Culture. Such cooperation is one pre-requisite to the Agenda’s successful implementation.
The Commission brings together stakeholders and decision-makers to discuss key issues according to policy priorities and topics, considering sectoral developments and needs. It aims to strengthen the advocacy capacity of the cultural sector in policy debates on culture at the European level, while encouraging these organisations to work in a more collaborative way.
Voices of Culture is the specific structured dialogue supported by the Commission since 2015. It provides a framework for discussions between EU civil society stakeholders and the Commission. Voices of Culture is currently run by the Goethe-Institut on behalf of the Commission.
Find the current and past themes addressed by the Voices of Culture dialogue on their website.
- Audience development via digital means (2018)
- International Cultural Relations (2022)
- (Re)-Engaging digital audiences in the cultural sectors (2022)
- Status and working conditions for artists, cultural and creative professionals (2021)
- Culture and the Sustainable Development Goals (2021)
- Gender balance in the cultural and creative sectors (2020)
- The role of culture in non-urban areas of the European Union (2020)
- Social Inclusion: partnering with other sectors (2018)
- Skills, Training and Knowledge Transfer: traditional and emerging heritage (2017)
- Intercultural dialogue culture in shared public spaces (2016)
- The role of culture in promoting inclusion in the context of migration (2016)
- Developing the entrepreneurial and innovation potential of the cultural and creative sectors (2016)
- Participatory governance of cultural heritage (2015)
Find out more themes from previous editions.