Access to culture in the European Union

10-07-2017

Culture, a broad term with a variety of interpretations, is a competence of Member States. However, the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union vests the EU with a supportive role towards Member States' cultural policies, protection of cultural heritage, promotion of culture and cultural cooperation. The Commission's culture work programme covers accessible and inclusive culture as an objective of EU cultural actions, in the conviction that culture can play a role in social integration, education and well-being, in terms of consumption and also through active engagement. People consume cultural goods and services by attending cultural events, such as concerts, film screenings, plays, exhibitions and dance and music performances, visiting heritage sites or museums, and reading books and newspapers, as ways to spend leisure time and achieve personal development. By measuring and accessing the impact of cultural consumption on Europeans' lives and the cost, availability, accessibility and attractiveness of the culture on offer, cultural policy makers and fund providers can make informed decisions on the directions and risks to take. Supporting access to culture and cultural consumption can also contribute to the development of the cultural sector and the cultural and creative industry, which has developed significantly over recent years. Having resisted the 2008 crisis, it contributes to around 3.5 % of EU GDP and 3 % of EU jobs. The cultural services and goods on offer in the EU are diverse and rich, but the missing link is support on the demand side in terms of audience building and the promotion of a varied 'cultural diet'.

Culture, a broad term with a variety of interpretations, is a competence of Member States. However, the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union vests the EU with a supportive role towards Member States' cultural policies, protection of cultural heritage, promotion of culture and cultural cooperation. The Commission's culture work programme covers accessible and inclusive culture as an objective of EU cultural actions, in the conviction that culture can play a role in social integration, education and well-being, in terms of consumption and also through active engagement. People consume cultural goods and services by attending cultural events, such as concerts, film screenings, plays, exhibitions and dance and music performances, visiting heritage sites or museums, and reading books and newspapers, as ways to spend leisure time and achieve personal development. By measuring and accessing the impact of cultural consumption on Europeans' lives and the cost, availability, accessibility and attractiveness of the culture on offer, cultural policy makers and fund providers can make informed decisions on the directions and risks to take. Supporting access to culture and cultural consumption can also contribute to the development of the cultural sector and the cultural and creative industry, which has developed significantly over recent years. Having resisted the 2008 crisis, it contributes to around 3.5 % of EU GDP and 3 % of EU jobs. The cultural services and goods on offer in the EU are diverse and rich, but the missing link is support on the demand side in terms of audience building and the promotion of a varied 'cultural diet'.