I EU Cultural Policy

The Cultural Logic of Economic Integration

Rachael Craufurd Smith


The three initial European Communities were established to address the economic and technological challenges facing Europe after the devastation of the Second World War. But if the immediate goals were expressly economic and developmental, the long-term ones were also cultural and political. Economic integration was seen as the 'leaven from which will grow a wider and deeper community between countries long opposed to one another by sanguinary divisions' (Schuman, 1950). In this sense it was a direct response to, and rejection of, the nationalism, totalitarianism and theories of racial superiority that had characterised the recent Fascist regimes. As Ulrich Beck (2006: 163) has observed, 'Europe's collective memory of the Holocaust provides the basis for the European Union'.

This chapter considers how the cultural logic of economic integration has gradually been elucidated and rendered explicit in the constitutional documents, secondary legislation and judicial decisions of the European Union (EU). It then outlines the development by the EU of an explicit cultural policy, formally initiated with the introduction in 1992 of a specific article on culture, now Article 167 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). The analysis explores how the emphasis of the various culture programmes has shifted over time and concludes by arguing that, paradoxically, we now need to look outside the framework of Article 167 TFEU if we wish to reconnect with the fundamental values on which the EU was built.

I would like to thank James Buchan for his help with the editing of this chapter.

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