Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Programme funding

EUR 236,5 million
Culture 2000 programme aims to promote dialogue and mutual knowledge of the culture and history of the European peoples; to promote creativity and the transnational dissemination of culture, the movement of artists, creators and other cultural operators and professional and their works; to highlight the cultural diversity and the development of new forms of expression; to share the common cultural heritage and improve access to and participation in culture; to consider the role of culture in socioeconomic development and to recognise it as an economic factor and a factor in social integration.


Culture 2000 is the first European Framework Programme in support of culture and establishes a single financing and programming instrument for cultural co-operation with a view to incorporating cultural aspects into Community policies.
The programme represents a new approach in the field of culture and has replaced the three previous cultural programmes, KALEIDOSCOPE, ARIANE and RAPHAEL. Culture 2000 provides the European Union with an outline of the objectives in the field of culture and describes how these objectives will be reached.

The main lines of action of the Culture 2000 involve:
- A legislative framework favourable to culture by promoting cultural diversity, encouraging creativity and cultural development and supporting cultural co-operation and exchanges;
- A cultural dimension to support policies by ensuring cultural development and planning through other instruments (e.g Community RTD Framework Programmes) and ensuring the appropriate training and dissemination of knowledge;
- Incorporating culture into the Community's external relations by promoting respect for cultural diversity, by encouraging cultural development in developing countries and by opening the cultural programmes for participation to candidate countries.

The Culture 2000 programme was normally due to end on 31 December 2004. It has been prolongated, in the same form, for the years 2005 and 2006.


Three types of activities are carried out and supported under the Culture 2000 programme:
- specific innovative and/or experimental actions;
- integrated actions covered by structured, multiannual cultural Cooperation Agreements;
- special cultural events with a European and/or international dimension.

The activities, actions and their implementing measures are either vertical (concerning one cultural field) or horizontal (associating several cultural fields).

1. Specific innovative and/or experimental actions
These actions should be innovative and/or experimental and aim primarily to do the following:
- place the main emphasis on facilitating access to culture and wider cultural participation;
- encourage the emergence and spread of new forms of expression, within and alongside traditional cultural fields;
- support projects aimed at improving access to books and reading and training professionals working in the field;
- support co-operation projects aimed at conserving, sharing, highlighting and safeguarding the common European cultural heritage;
- support the creation of multimedia products, tailored to meet the needs of different publics;
- encourage initiatives, discussions and co-operation between cultural and socio-cultural operators working in the field of social integration;
- foster intercultural dialogue and mutual exchange between European and other cultures;
- promote the dissemination of live cultural events using the new technologies of the information society.

2. Integrated actions covered by structured, multiannual and transnational cultural Co-operation Agreements
The Co-operation Agreements include some or all of the following activities:
- production and circulation of cultural works and events in the European Union;
- mobility of artists, creators and other cultural operators;
- further training for professionals in the cultural field and exchange of experience both in academic and practical terms;
- enhancement of European cultural sites and monuments to raise awareness of European culture;
- research projects, public awareness campaigns, activities for teaching and the dissemination of knowledge, seminars, congresses, meetings on cultural topics of European importance;
- use of new technologies;
- projects aimed at highlighting cultural diversity and multilingualism,- and promoting mutual awareness of the history, roots, common cultural values of the European peoples and their common cultural heritage.

3. Special cultural events with a European and/or international dimension
These events aim to help to increase the European peoples’ sense of belonging to the same community and make them aware of the cultural diversity of the member states. The events include in particular:
- the European capital of culture and the European cultural month;
- organising symposia to study questions of common cultural interest in order to foster cultural dialogue both inside and outside the Community;
- organising innovative and accessible cultural events which have a strong appeal to citizens in general;
- recognising and highlighting European artistic talent, by means of, inter alia, European prizes in the various cultural spheres;
- support for projects involving conservation and safeguarding of the cultural heritage of outstanding importance and contributing to development and dissemination of innovative concepts, methods and techniques.


The Commission is responsible for the implementation of the Culture 2000 programme. An Advisory Committee, made up of representatives of member states and chaired by a representative of the Commission, assists the Commission.

The Culture 2000 is open to participation to the countries of the European Economic Area and to the associated countries of Eastern Europe. In addition, the programme allows for co-operation with non-member countries on the basis of separate co-operation or association agreements and for joint actions with international organisations competent in the field of culture, such as UNESCO, or the Council of Europe.

The Commission will ensure co-ordination with other Community instruments active in the cultural sphere through specific actions, cultural Co-operation Agreements and special cultural events, mainly with a view to promoting and arranging for collaboration between sectors with common and converging interests.

The Commission and the member states will organise, on a voluntary basis, mutual exchange of information for use in the implementation of the Culture 2000 programme, by means of cultural contact points. These will be responsible for promoting the programme, facilitating access to it, providing a link with the various institutions providing aid to the cultural sector in the member states and for providing information for and contact between different operators participating in all Community programmes open for cultural projects.

Specific innovative and/or experimental actions are carried out in partnership or in the form of networks. The projects must involve operators from at least three states participating in the Culture 2000. These actions will cover a period of one year, which may be extended to two supplementary years.

The cultural Co-operation Agreements, proposed for up to three years, aim at carrying out structured, multiannual cultural actions between operators of at least five states participating in the Culture 2000 programme. Under these Agreements, the Culture 2000 encourages closer relations and joint working by supporting cultural networks of operators, cultural bodies and cultural institutions with a view to realising structured cultural projects both within and outside the Community.

Recipients of Community support must mention this support explicitly, and as prominently as possible, in all information or communications relating to the project.

The Commission will provide a detailed assessment report on the Culture 2000 programme by 31 December 2005, so as to enable the European Parliament and the Council to consider the proposal for a new Framework Programme for Community action on culture, announced for 2004 and planned to enter into force in 2007.


This programme record is based on a Decision No 626/2004/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 31 March 2004 amending Decision No 508/2000/EC establishing the Culture 2000 programme.
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