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EU policies – Delivering for citizens: Promoting European culture

28-06-2019

The concept of cultural diversity lies at the heart of the European project. Recent years have seen renewed interest in the sector's potential for promoting social cohesion, unity and tolerance, on the one hand, with continued recognition of its valuable economic role, on the other. There is a strong commitment at the EU level to ensure that culture is mainstreamed in all policy areas, with a special focus on the protection of cultural heritage and cultural diversity, which are key elements in cultural ...

The concept of cultural diversity lies at the heart of the European project. Recent years have seen renewed interest in the sector's potential for promoting social cohesion, unity and tolerance, on the one hand, with continued recognition of its valuable economic role, on the other. There is a strong commitment at the EU level to ensure that culture is mainstreamed in all policy areas, with a special focus on the protection of cultural heritage and cultural diversity, which are key elements in cultural identity and expression. From the economic point of view, the cultural and creative sector, which employs 8.4 million people in the European Union, is dynamic and has a large potential for growth due to its diversity and scope for individual creative freedom. Yet the development of this potential is hampered by barriers, notably linguistic diversity, fragmentation and different financial mechanisms across the EU. The EU's cultural and creative industry also faces challenge from digital technologies and global competition, particularly from the United States' (US) audiovisual industry, and from US and Chinese diplomatic efforts to promote their cultural output. Under the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, the EU's role in the context of cultural policy is a supportive and complementary one, direct responsibility in the area being largely a matter for the individual Member States. Nevertheless, since 2014, these challenges have been addressed at the EU level, inter alia via the strengthening of the digital single market, which is essential for access to culture, the circulation of European cultural works, the fair remuneration of creators and fair competition. Since the economic crisis, additional funding has also been made available for the sector via the European Fund for Strategic Investment introduced by the Juncker Commission in 2015. As indicated in a 2017 European Commission communication on the role of culture and education, the synergies between the socio-economic aspects are to be enhanced. The European Year of Cultural Heritage in 2018 is to feed into a reflection and actions related to shared culture and history. These issues are addressed in the New European Agenda for Culture, while the new multiannual financial framework for 2021-2027 envisages increased funding for culture. This will also support efforts to combine artistic and technological skills, which are a prerequisite for artistic expression in the new digital environment. This is an update of an earlier briefing issued in advance of the 2019 European elections.

Cultural heritage in EU policies

22-05-2018

2018 is devoted to the European Union's cultural heritage. This paper focuses on the evolution of the very notion of cultural heritage, its role and place in society, as well as the way it is perceived and interpreted in the context of related EU prerogatives. The European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 is a result of this evolution, and allows EU citizens to gain a broad understanding of their cultural heritage in all its aspects, democratically share responsibility for it, celebrate it and benefit ...

2018 is devoted to the European Union's cultural heritage. This paper focuses on the evolution of the very notion of cultural heritage, its role and place in society, as well as the way it is perceived and interpreted in the context of related EU prerogatives. The European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 is a result of this evolution, and allows EU citizens to gain a broad understanding of their cultural heritage in all its aspects, democratically share responsibility for it, celebrate it and benefit from the creation it inspires. Despite the fact that the EU has limited powers in respect of cultural heritage – the role of the European institutions is generally limited to financial support, coordination of joint projects and efforts, and sharing of knowledge – it has contributed to raising awareness about preservation, conservation and restoration issues, technological research (for example 3D reconstructions) and scientific progress in technological solutions. Furthermore, the EU has become an international expert in the field. Cultural heritage has been taken into consideration in numerous EU funding programmes, which has allowed Member States to undertake action to revive their national or local heritage, keep their traditions and crafts, and thereby develop their cultural tourism. The European Parliament has adopted resolutions highlighting, inter alia, the dangers from which cultural heritage is to be protected both in the EU and the world, and underlining the necessity to address trafficking and looting of cultural heritage artefacts, the protection of cultural heritage, including traditional crafts, and the role of cultural heritage in sustanainable tourism.

One step forward and two steps back for human rights in the world

01-03-2018

On 13 December 2017, just a few days after the United Nations' Human Rights Day, the European Parliament (EP) adopted in plenary its annual resolution on human rights and democracy. Addressing the numerous pressures exerted on human rights in 2016, the resolution calls upon the European Union to place human rights at the centre of EU relations with all third countries and to lead by example. The resolution hails the step forward made for the empowerment of women, but also warns of two new challenges ...

On 13 December 2017, just a few days after the United Nations' Human Rights Day, the European Parliament (EP) adopted in plenary its annual resolution on human rights and democracy. Addressing the numerous pressures exerted on human rights in 2016, the resolution calls upon the European Union to place human rights at the centre of EU relations with all third countries and to lead by example. The resolution hails the step forward made for the empowerment of women, but also warns of two new challenges – backward steps – to human rights in the world. One is brought about by new technological developments, and the other by new trends in terrorism involving psychological intimidation through the destruction of heritage sites.

Empowering women in the EU and beyond: Education and reproductive health

02-03-2017

In the EU, gender equality in education and several other policy areas is protected by law. In practice, however, full gender equality has still not been achieved. Beyond the EU, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has found that millions of girls are still being denied an education. Therefore, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) is calling for all countries to repeal discriminatory laws that create barriers ...

In the EU, gender equality in education and several other policy areas is protected by law. In practice, however, full gender equality has still not been achieved. Beyond the EU, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has found that millions of girls are still being denied an education. Therefore, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) is calling for all countries to repeal discriminatory laws that create barriers for women and girls not only in education, but also in access to healthcare, decent jobs and equal pay. The right to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) is not only an integral part of the general right to health but is also fundamentally linked to the enjoyment of many other human rights, according to UN experts.

ONDERZOEK VOOR DE COMMISSIE CULT - MINDERHEIDSTALEN EN ONDERWIJS: BESTE PRAKTIJKEN EN VALKUILEN

15-02-2017

Dit verslag bevat een diepgaande vergelijkende analyse van casestudy's van dertien talen om inzicht te verwerven in de stand van zaken wat betreft minderheidstalen in het onderwijs in Europa. Er worden aanwijzingen voor beste praktijken beschreven, en de uitdagingen van minderheidstalen in het onderwijs worden belicht. Er wordt speciale aandacht besteed aan beroepsopleiding en loopbaanperspectieven. Ten slotte worden er in dit verslag aanbevelingen gedaan hoe de EU minderheidstalen in het onderwijs ...

Dit verslag bevat een diepgaande vergelijkende analyse van casestudy's van dertien talen om inzicht te verwerven in de stand van zaken wat betreft minderheidstalen in het onderwijs in Europa. Er worden aanwijzingen voor beste praktijken beschreven, en de uitdagingen van minderheidstalen in het onderwijs worden belicht. Er wordt speciale aandacht besteed aan beroepsopleiding en loopbaanperspectieven. Ten slotte worden er in dit verslag aanbevelingen gedaan hoe de EU minderheidstalen in het onderwijs kan ondersteunen.

Externe auteur

Rixt VAN DONGERA, Drs. Cor VAN DER MEER and Richt STERK

Protection of cultural heritage in armed conflicts

10-03-2016

Cultural heritage is vulnerable. Composed of historic buildings, monuments and artefacts of artistic, historic, religious, scientific or technological importance, it contributes to national identities, but can be destroyed in military conflict. The value and rarity of many cultural artefacts exposes them to human greed: they are vulnerable – especially during times of conflict – to being illegally removed from archaeological sites, stolen from museums, trafficked and sold to private collections. ...

Cultural heritage is vulnerable. Composed of historic buildings, monuments and artefacts of artistic, historic, religious, scientific or technological importance, it contributes to national identities, but can be destroyed in military conflict. The value and rarity of many cultural artefacts exposes them to human greed: they are vulnerable – especially during times of conflict – to being illegally removed from archaeological sites, stolen from museums, trafficked and sold to private collections. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco), the International Council on Monuments and Sites, the World Customs Organization and the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) are all involved in the implementation of international conventions on cultural heritage, such as the 1954 Hague Convention and the 1972 Unesco Convention. They also monitor compliance with the 1954 Convention's Second Protocol protecting cultural heritage, and the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (Unidroit) Convention on trafficking of artefacts. The European Union contributes to these efforts, providing financial support to civil society and international organisations in this field, and organising specialised training courses, meetings, and networks for those involved in protecting EU cultural heritage. It condemns destruction and looting of cultural heritage, and prohibits illicit trade in cultural goods. The scale and brutality of cultural heritage destruction in Syria and Iraq calls for reflection on further measures to protect cultural heritage.

Endangered languages in the EU

20-04-2015

Many languages currently spoken in Europe are endangered and some are at imminent risk of extinction. Though education and language policies remain the competence of Member States, the EU has taken initiatives to promote multilingualism and preserve its linguistic diversity, including measures in support of regional or minority languages. A decline in linguistic diversity has been increasingly acknowledged to entail losses in terms of knowledge and cultural heritage.

Many languages currently spoken in Europe are endangered and some are at imminent risk of extinction. Though education and language policies remain the competence of Member States, the EU has taken initiatives to promote multilingualism and preserve its linguistic diversity, including measures in support of regional or minority languages. A decline in linguistic diversity has been increasingly acknowledged to entail losses in terms of knowledge and cultural heritage.

Return of Cultural Objects Unlawfully Removed from the Territory of a Member State: Initial Appraisal of the Commission's Impact Assessment

16-12-2013

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's Impact Assessment accompanying its proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the return of cultural objects unlawfully removed from the territory of a Member State (COM (2013) 311 final) (recast), submitted on 30 May, 2013. It analyses whether the principal criteria laid down in the Commission’s own Impact Assessment Guidelines, as well as additional factors ...

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's Impact Assessment accompanying its proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the return of cultural objects unlawfully removed from the territory of a Member State (COM (2013) 311 final) (recast), submitted on 30 May, 2013. It analyses whether the principal criteria laid down in the Commission’s own Impact Assessment Guidelines, as well as additional factors identified by the Parliament in its Impact Assessment Handbook, appear to be met by the IA. It does not attempt to deal with the substance of the proposal. It is drafted for informational and background purposes to assist the relevant parliamentary committee and Members more widely in their work.

Return of illegally removed cultural objects

22-08-2013

Illegal trafficking of cultural objects is one of the most profitable of criminal activities. The European Union, with its border-free internal market and substantial cultural and historical heritage, is considered to be particularly affected by such illegal trade.

Illegal trafficking of cultural objects is one of the most profitable of criminal activities. The European Union, with its border-free internal market and substantial cultural and historical heritage, is considered to be particularly affected by such illegal trade.

Preserving UNESCO World Heritage in the EU

16-12-2010

The UNESCO World Heritage sites preservation faces challenges such as finding appropriate funding, tourism impacts, urban development or the effects of climate change.

The UNESCO World Heritage sites preservation faces challenges such as finding appropriate funding, tourism impacts, urban development or the effects of climate change.

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