Langen, Floris Antal Freek
EU cultural policy 1974-2007.
PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.
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The development of EU cultural policy has been characterised by a high degree of continuity. The objectives underlying present-day policy actions can be traced back to historical roots that date back to the mid-1970s. Since the first cultural actions were taken, EU cultural policy has had multiple objectives. Involvement in the cultural field has been justified on the basis of economic, social, political and, to a certain extent, cultural arguments. Although there have been shifts in accents and priorities, these various justifications can be found to co-exist throughout the process. In more recent times, the contribution of cultural actions to the emergence of European citizenship has emerged as a more dominant theme. Although peaks in expansion can be seen, Community involvement in the cultural field has overall developed through a slow process of developments and adjustments through relatively small-scale actions. As the Member States have retained much of their control over this area, policy development has been restricted to a limited range of actions for which only a narrow budget has been available. Given the dominance of the subsidiarity principle in all Community actions in the cultural field, the main policy mode has by necessity been one of consensus-seeking between actors with at times conflicting interests. However, over time the main priorities of all actors have become more or less aligned, so that the continuity of policy appears to be safeguarded. Recent developments suggest that culture has gradually come to take up a more prominent role within EU policies. However, consensus will continue to dominate the general approach as far as the development of Community actions is concerned.
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