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European Cultural Policy (2000-2004)  
Cristiana Carletti
ISSN 1127-4883     BTA - Telematic Bulletin of Art, July 11th 2000, n. 157 (January 16th 1999)
Protection Area

In recent years the European Union has realized a kind of policy in order to promote the respect for cultural differences, expression of member States’ nationalities, even if by encouraging the creativity and the progress for various artistic dimensions both individual and part in a collective project, whose main objective has been the cooperation in the field of culture and the mobilization of cultural goods from one country to another.

The European Commission has explained the basis of this policy in the Decision of 17th October 1997, in which it has stressed the main objectives of the european action for the 2000-2004:

  • to draft a legislative framework for promoting cultural activities and initiatives,
  • to order an exclusively cultural dimension to the other european policies,
  • to caracterize the European Union foreign policy by the cultural point of view.

We’ll pay attention to the legislative aspect of this document drafted by the European Commission. It has considered various fields, in order to provide for a particular action in everyone.

One first consideration has had, as its object, the need to guarantee the respect for cultural differences within the european territory, especially in relation to the Union’s action for the creation of a common space in the economic and political fields, and in the cultural one too. If in the Maastricht Treaty (art. 3 (p) and 128 (1) ), there was the need to assure total respect for cultural differences, this position has been confirmed again in the Amsterdam Treaty: the new article 128 (4) says that "the Community shall consider, in its action and in relation to the other indications in the Treaty, the cultural aspects, in particular in respecting and promoting the cultures’ diversity".

The European Community Court of Justice has expressed the same opinion too: for example, it has undelined that the preservation and the progress for the historic and artistic national heritage of a member State must be guaranteed, except for individual circumstances in which the free movement of goods can be restricted for reasons of general interest.

In the Decision, the Commission (art. 92 (3) of the Treaty) is requested to act if there is a situation in which restrictions to the european action for the promotion of culture and the heritage’s preservation could be expected, because these two activities are in contrast with the rules of the european common market.

In its Decision, the Commission will take into account the specificic circumstances, the market involved, the cultural reasons of its action, in order to suggest the adoption of fundamental guide-lines for the resolution of the problem.

Finally, the Decision of the Commission takes into special consideration the action for the protection of monuments and cultural treasures. The Commission, redarding their artistic beauty, their function (for example, scientific), their historic value, is requested (art. 128 of the Maastricht Treaty), to produce a proper recommendation, in order to guarantee the respect and the preservation of these monuments and sites of cultural interest.



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