European cultural area

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Although there is no generally accepted definition of the term European cultural area , it appears many times in public discussion.

Meaning of the term in European cultural history

In European cultural history, the term cultural area is used for culturally connected areas regardless of their political affiliation. Examples of such European cultural areas are large geographical units such as the Balkans as well as geographically more difficult to demarcate areas, for example the Rhineland or historically grown areas, for example Limburg ( historical territory in the Holy Roman Empire , now part of the Netherlands ( Limburg (Netherlands) ) and Belgium ( Limburg (Belgium) ).

The Bavarian - Austrian cultural area and the Central European cultural area apply as further delimitations .

Meaning of the term for the cultural policy of the EU

With its cultural policy, the European Union (EU) wants to make “a contribution to the development of the cultures of the Member States while preserving their national and regional diversity and at the same time emphasizing the common cultural heritage” (Art. 151 EC Treaty). The main financial instrument for protecting and promoting cultural diversity in Europe is the Culture 2000 program . This primarily supports projects that have a European dimension and thus "create a common cultural space". The creation of a “European cultural area” is thus the official goal of cultural cooperation between the member states of the EU. This is what the European Parliament decided on September 5, 2001 in a resolution on cultural cooperation in Europe. A precise definition of the term “European cultural area” is missing in official European documents. In a brochure on The European Union and Culture in 2001, the Commission wrote: “A European cultural area is gradually emerging.” From an official point of view, the European cultural area does not yet exist, but an objective to be achieved.

In the “European cultural portal” of the European Commission there is a reference to the characteristics of a cultural area that Liechtenstein was “never a self-contained cultural area” because of its small size.

See also



  1. European Commission: Cultural Diversity. In: dies .: General report on the activities of the European Union. Brussels, Luxembourg: 2006, ISBN 92-79-00589-8 , p. 120f ( ( Memento of July 20, 2006 in the Internet Archive )
  2. European Commission: Cultural Cooperation , on: this: European Culture Portal (July 7, 2006) ( Memento of November 14, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  3. European Parliament: Resolution of the European Parliament on cultural cooperation in the European Union (2000/2323 (INI)). In: Official Journal of the European Communities . C72E, March 21, 2002, p. 144.
  4. European Commission: Building a Europe of the Peoples. The European Union and culture. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 2002, ISBN 92-894-3176-8 (pdf)
  5. European Commission: Liechtenstein , on: dies .: European Cultural Portal (July 7, 2006) ( Memento of September 19, 2006 in the Internet Archive )