Culture Programme 2007-2013
Following up from previous cultural cooperation programmes, the Culture Programme 2007-2013 (€ 400 million) promotes and protects Europe's cultural and linguistic diversity, in line with the EU Treaty, the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU and the EU's obligations as a Party to the Convention.
Its rationale rests on the benefits that linguistic and cultural cooperation can bring for European integration as well as social and economic development. It also recognises the need to support and strengthen capacity for the cultural and creative sectors (with the exception of audiovisual operators for which a separate instrument exists). Support takes the form of co-financing of cooperation activities or entities enhancing intercultural dialogue and promoting the transnational mobility of cultural professionals and the transnational circulation of cultural works and productions across the EU. Two broad types of activities are typically undertaken: cooperation activities (artistic exchanges, joint cultural creation, co-productions, tours and festivals, and circulation of works) and support activities (exchanges of experience and networking, provision of information and practical support for operators, training).15
With a yearly average budget of € 57 million, EU support is highly cost effective. It helps an estimated 20,000 of artists and cultural professionals each year to develop international careers by improving their skills and knowhow through informal peer learning and new professional pathways. Thousands of works are able to circulate each year, including some 500 translated literary works. Some 1,000 cultural organisations are reached directly or indirectly each year to work across borders and create partnerships. Lastly, many millions of citizens have been reached both directly and indirectly and enjoyed cultural works from other European countries. This has had a positive, structuring effect on the sector and its capacity to address wider markets.
The Programme is open to ten European countries in addition to the 27 EU Member States, while it also supports cooperation with third countries that have concluded association or cooperation agreements with the EU. Since 2007, support has been provided to projects in China, India, Brazil, Mexico and the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) countries (€ 10 million). In the case of ENP countries (2009 & 2010),18 the condition for participation was the ratification of the Convention. In addition to the projects proposed by cultural operators, the Programme also seeks to showcase the European cultural sector by granting prizes and by supporting special actions such as European Capitals of Culture and the European Heritage Label.